BMW X2 VS Volvo XC40

Pint-size luxury and funky style -- does BMW or Volvo do it best?

The Good

A strong powerplant and snappy transmission give the X2 a bit of verve. Plenty of room for front passengers.

The Bad

Love-it-or-leave-it design ethos. Driving aids are pricey and Apple CarPlay is a $300 option.

The Bottom Line

It's tough to recommend the X2 when it's smaller than the X1, costs more and doesn't offer any noticeably better driving dynamics.

Overview

The Good

It’s fun to look at and lovely to drive. It’s everything we love about the larger XC60 in a smaller package.

The Bad

Sensus infotainment continues to be a buggy experience. Fuel economy is pretty dismal for a small SUV, as well.

The Bottom Line

The compact Volvo XC40 genuinely feels premium. And with its Care by Volvo subscription service, might attract a new set of owners.

Ratings

Media

The BMW X2's infotainment system is the snappier of the two and offers both touchscreen and rotary-knob operation, as well as wireless phone charging. On the downside, it only has one USB port, doesn't support Android Auto and makes you pay $300 for the privilege of Apple CarPlay. While Volvo's 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is impressive, the 9-inch Sensus touchscreen is less so. Slow to respond and buggy, it's the most frustrating part of the XC40 experience. To its credit, both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported.

Performance

Both cars pack punchy turbocharged 2.0-liter engines that do a great job of delivering strong acceleration. The Volvo's is stronger, with 248 horsepower to the BMW's 228, though both deliver 258 pound-feet of torque. In terms of handling, both cars want for steering feel but hold their own when the roads turn twistier. The X2's non-linear brake feel is frustrating, while the XC40's stop-start system is choppy and coarse. Both cars also delivered unimpressive fuel economy in our tests. The X2 is rated 21 miles per gallon city and 31 mpg highway but returned closer to 21 mpg in real-world use, while the XC40 is rated for 23/31 but returned 22 mpg.

Design

There's no denying the strong design statement made by the XC40's funky, squat stance, crisp lines and optional two-tone treatment. The so-called "cute little robot" design has a ton of curb appeal. So, too, does the interior, especially if dressed up with the optional R-Design trim package. The X2 is intended as a more coupe-like, design-focused take on the X1, though its roofline and shape aren't that much more aggressive than the X1. Still, plenty of BMW badges, stylish wheels and lots of strong design elements give it an eye-catching look.

Features

Volvo packs lots of standard active-safety tech into the XC40, whereas BMW makes you pay extra and, mysteriously, doesn't even offer now-commonplace items like blind-spot monitoring. Both cars are offered with premium touches like panoramic sunroofs, navigation and upgraded sound systems. But the difference is Volvo makes moving up the equipment roster relatively affordable, while BMW nickel-and-dimes buyers for features (e.g. CarPlay, forward-collision warning) that are standard on many more affordable cars.

Overall

Though the BMW X2 is fun to drive and well-appointed inside and out, its design compromises hurt interior room for both cargo and back-seat passengers. You pay a lot for options we now expect from cars in this class, too. The Volvo XC40 does a better job of feeling premium and delivers more features for better value. Its imperfect infotainment system and less-invigorating driving experience are letdowns, but the XC40 is still one of our favorite cars in its segment because its overall proposition is so appealing.

Videos / Photos

Specs

model 2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD Momentum
  • 2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design
    2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design -
Fuel
Gasoline Fuel Fuel Gasoline Fuel
25 MPG MPG 26 MPG
Basics
Turbocharged, 4 Cylinder Engine Engine 4 Cylinder Engine, Turbocharged
All Wheel Drive Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
8-Speed A/T, Transmission w/Dual Shift Mode, A/T Transmission Transmission w/Dual Shift Mode, A/T, 8-Speed A/T
Body
Sedans Body style SUVs
Braking & Handling
ABS, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes Brakes 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, ABS
Power Steering Steering Power Steering
Tire Pressure Monitor Tires Tire Pressure Monitor
Aluminum Wheels Wheels Aluminum Wheels
Technology Features
AM/FM Stereo, HD Radio, CD Player, MP3 Player, Auxiliary Audio Input, Smart Device Integration Audio Auxiliary Audio Input, AM/FM Stereo, HD Radio, Satellite Radio, MP3 Player, Smart Device Integration, WiFi Hotspot
Power Door Locks, Keyless Entry Locks Power Door Locks, Keyless Entry
Heated Mirrors, Power Mirror(s), Driver Illuminated Vanity Mirror, Passenger Illuminated Visor Mirror, Passenger Vanity Mirror, Driver Vanity Mirror, Mirror Memory Mirrors Heated Mirrors, Power Mirror(s), Mirror Memory, Driver Illuminated Vanity Mirror, Passenger Illuminated Visor Mirror, Driver Vanity Mirror, Passenger Vanity Mirror
Intermittent Wipers, Rain Sensing Wipers, Variable Speed Intermittent Wipers, Remote Trunk Release, Power Liftgate, Automatic Headlights, Fog Lamps, Bluetooth Connection, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, Adjustable Steering Wheel, Trip Computer, Leather Steering Wheel, Keyless Start, Cruise Control, Cargo Shade, Security System, Engine Immobilizer, Telematics, Back-Up Camera Tech Variable Speed Intermittent Wipers, Intermittent Wipers, Rain Sensing Wipers, Power Liftgate, Automatic Headlights, Bluetooth Connection, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, Adjustable Steering Wheel, Trip Computer, Leather Steering Wheel, Remote Trunk Release, Cruise Control, Cargo Shade, Keyless Start, Remote Engine Start, Security System, Engine Immobilizer, Telematics, Back-Up Camera
Safety
Brake Assist, Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors, Headlights-Auto-Leveling, Daytime Running Lights, Stability Control, Traction Control, Child Safety Locks Safety Features Brake Assist, Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors, Daytime Running Lights, Headlights-Auto-Leveling, Stability Control, Traction Control, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Child Safety Locks
Front Side Air Bag, Passenger Air Bag, Driver Air Bag, Knee Air Bag, Front Head Air Bag, Passenger Air Bag Sensor, Rear Head Air Bag Air Bags Front Side Air Bag, Driver Air Bag, Passenger Air Bag, Front Head Air Bag, Rear Head Air Bag, Passenger Air Bag Sensor, Knee Air Bag
Cabin
A/C, Multi-Zone A/C, Climate Control Air Conditioning A/C, Climate Control
Premium Synthetic Seats Seat Trim Leather Seats
Rear Defrost, Privacy Glass, Power Windows Windows Rear Defrost, Privacy Glass, Power Windows
Power Passenger Seat, Bucket Seats, Pass-Through Rear Seat, Rear Bench Seat, Power Driver Seat, Seat Memory Seats Power Driver Seat, Seat Memory, Driver Adjustable Lumbar, Bucket Seats, Rear Bench Seat, Pass-Through Rear Seat
Dimensions
105.1 in Wheelbase (in) 106.4 in
172.2 in Length,Overall (in) 174.2 in
60.1 in Height,Overall (in) 65.3 in
3662 lbs Base Curb Weight (lbs) 3629 lbs, 3729 lbs
Other Details
16.1 Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx (gal) 14.2
Compact Spare Tire Size Compact
Large Cars EPA Classification Small Sport Utility Vehicles 4WD

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