2020 BMW X1 vs 2020 Volvo XC40 Comparison in Norwalk, CA

Compact crossover SUVs are incredibly popular, and it's easy to see why. They take the small footprint and easy maneuverability of a car and add in the ground clearance and capability of an SUV. Of course, BMW didn't just stop there when creating the X1. The 2020 BMW X1 also offers the remarkable luxury and impressive power that you've come to expect from BMW. Other luxury brands have hopped on the compact crossover trend, as well, including Volvo. But when you compare the 2020 Volvo XC40 to the 2020 BMW X1, you'll see why BMW is the right choice.

BMW X1 three-quarters front view

2020 BMW X1 vs 2020 Volvo XC40: Design

If you just look at the specs, you might think that the BMW X1 and the Volvo XC40 have similar designs. After all, both luxury crossovers come with 18-inch wheels, standard roof rails, and a power tailgate. But once you take a look at both vehicles, you'll see that the BMW X1 leads with the signature kidney grille, while the Volvo XC40 has a grille that looks strangely like it's collapsing in on itself. It may not be the most practical difference, but we believe that making a statement is important when you're driving a sporty luxury SUV.

But it's not just exterior looks that separate the BMW X1 from the Volvo XC40. The BMW X1 has an interior that's roomier than that of the Volvo XC40. Legroom is similar in both rows, but the X1 has superior headroom. In addition, the BMW X1 has more cargo capacity than the Volvo XC40. Since they're both upholstered in leatherette and fitted with upscale materials, the extra space really does help differentiate the BMW X1.

BMW X1 touchscreen

2020 BMW X1 vs 2020 Volvo XC40: Interior Features

Once inside, you'll be struck at how similar the features of these crossover SUVs are. Both include 8-way power-adjustable front seats with memory, a three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, and automatic climate control. They even have similarly sized touchscreens. But once you get into available upgrades, the BMW X1 has several advantages. For example, you can add a head-up display to the BMW X1, making the interior even more driver-focused as information is projected closer to your line of sight. The Volvo XC40 lacks such an upgrade. In addition, adding features like heated front seats, a Harman Kardon surround sound system, or wireless charging costs more in the Volvo XC40 than in the BMW X1. When you want to upgrade your vehicle, BMW makes it easier.

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BMW X1 driving

2020 BMW X1 vs 2020 Volvo XC40: Performance

When it comes to performance, it almost feels unfair to compare these two vehicles. Sure, the standard engine in the Volvo XC40 generates a capable 187 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, but this is nothing next to what the BMW X1 gives you. Its standard engine puts out 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque! Despite this power difference, these SUVs actually have the same maximum gas mileage. Even if you upgrade to the available engine in the Volvo XC40, you'll get the same torque as the engine in the BMW X1. The upgraded Volvo engine does get a little more horsepower, but it also weighs more than the BMW X1. These SUVs are otherwise pretty similar, with eight-speed automatic transmissions (with manual mode), strut front and multi-link rear suspension, and a similar wheelbase. Added together, this means that the BMW X1 delivers a more powerful, more engaging drive without sacrificing fuel efficiency.

BMW X1 driving in the snow

2020 BMW X1 vs 2020 Volvo XC40: Safety

Volvo cars are known for their safety, but the BMW X1 can keep up with it. Both SUVs were given perfect five-star overall safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one of the foremost authorities on automotive safety. Both also offer a variety of driver assistance features. Adaptive cruise control can help keep you safe as you drive on the highway, while cornering lights illuminate the path in front of you when you're turning. Both offer parking assist features, but the BMW X1 goes further. The Front and Rear Park Assist offered in the Volvo XC40 will alert you if you get too close to an obstacle while parking. The Parking Assistant that the BMW X1 offers can actually take care of parking for you, steering into the parking spot. All you have to do is control the accelerator and brake, and the BMW X1 will take care of the rest!

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2020 BMW X1 vs 2020 Volvo XC40: Conclusion

As you've seen, these two SUVs share a number of similarities. This can make choosing between them difficult. But the BMW X1 is the better choice. After all, it gives you more power and more easily affordable available upgrades. It may have a higher starting MSRP, but upgrading the Volvo XC40 to include a similarly powered engine makes it pricier than the entry-level BMW X1. We invite you to experience the Ultimate Driving Machine at McKenna BMW.

2020 BMW X12020 Volvo XC40
$35,200Starting MSRP*$33,700
228Standard Horsepower187
258Standard Torque (Pound-Feet)221
24 City / 33 HighwayStandard Gas Mileage (MPG)23 City / 33 Highway
58.7Maximum Cargo Capacity (Cubic Feet)57.5
5 StarsNHTSA Overall Rating5 Stars
$550 PackageHeated Front Seats & Steering Wheel$750 Package
8.8Touchscreen Size (Inches)9
8-Speed Automatic w/ Manual ModeTransmission8-Speed Automatic w/ Manual Mode

*MSRP excludes destination & handling fee of $995, tax, title, license, and registration.