One of the most popular - and rapidly growing - market sectors in the UK automotive industry is that of the SUV. As more and more motorists invest in these stylish, versatile, and practical vehicles, the more the manufacturers design and build. As such, the market segment is now proliferated with SUV models from brands ranging from Ford to Nissan, Dacia to Mazda.
At the higher end of the market, there are the usual luxury marques delivering up a selection of exceptional, technology-packed SUVs that epitomise sophistication and comfort. Among these manufacturers are BMW and Volvo, whose models feature the hallmarks of their parent brands in terms of looks, performance, and comfort.
In this article, we’ve decided to compare an SUV from each of these two manufacturers - the BMW X5 and the Volvo XC90 - to determine which of the higher-end models provide the most for its drivers.
Starting with the overall look of the models, the BMW X5 features a tapered roof, carefully sculpted sides, and twin kidney grille give it the look of a vehicle that means business. Its cabin, meanwhile, provides comfortable leather upholstery and the option of a third row of seats. As such, there is plenty of room for passengers to relax.
In comparison to the BMW X5, the new Volvo XC90 is a sleek and fluid seven-seat SUV that is immediately recognisable as a Volvo. With the iconic Scandinavian design language placing minimalism and quality materials at the forefront of its appearance, you can enjoy a level of sophistication that is without compare. The exceptional comfort of the theatre-style seating is complemented by a panoramic roof that increases the sense of interior space.
It’s 2018 and we all want the very latest in technology and the ability to connect to our smart devices. As such, it’s important for modern SUVs to be able to provide seamless connectivity in a way that is safe but also functional. In this respect, both the BMW X5 and the Volvo XC90 offer their own systems.
In the BMW X5, it is the BMW iDrive controller on the central console that provides motorists with access to audio entertainment, satellite navigation, operating information and more. The Volvo XC90’s system features a nine-inch portrait mode touchscreen that mimics the functionality of a tablet. This touchscreen not only connects to your smartphone for all your infotainment needs, but in fact replaces many of the standard dashboard functions too, thereby reducing the clutter on the central console.
The growth in popularity of the SUV is in no small manner down to family motorists looking for vehicles that offer the performance and protection to keep their brood safe. As such, it’s of critical importance that all SUV manufacturers include nothing but the very best in terms of active and passive safety measures.
Volvo, of course, has built a legacy on being the innovators of automotive safety. It’ll come as no surprise to learn that the XC90 is thus packed with measures to protect you, your passengers, and other road users. The Intelligent City Safety system uses radar and camera technology to identify pedestrians and other moving objects in front of the vehicle, deploying the brakes in support of mitigating against an accident.
The BMW X5’s safety features may not be quite as auspicious as those of the Volvo, but braking assistance and traction control, hill-descent assist, active cruise control, and a full complement of airbags provide more than deliver the peace of mind that family drivers will appreciate.
Engine performance is all-important in an SUV, with efficiency needing to work in harmony with power for the optimum drive. The BMW X5 offers a host of engine options that range from a magnificent 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 that can race to 62mph in just 4.9 seconds, to the 40e plug-in hybrid that combines an electric motor with a 2.0-litre petrol engine and is capable of travelling 19 miles on all-electric power. Diesel options are also available, with variants including a 2.0-litre 228bhp model and a 375bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder edition.
For the Volvo XC90, the selection of engine options is not so abundant but, thanks to the intelligent engineering of the models, the performance remains exceptional. Two 2.0-litre models - one diesel and one petrol - are responsive and capable, but it is the hybrid option that works with an electric motor to emit 59g/km of CO2 that is the most impressive. With a selection of driving modes also available to adjust the characteristics of the engine, gearbox, brakes, and stability control system, ensuring you get the most economical performance from the XC90 is simple.
Both the BMW X5 and the Volvo XC90 represent some of the finest options within the SUV market sector. Style and sophistication are synonymous with the two models and thus ensure that choosing either vehicle will represent an investment that doesn’t disappoint.
You can find out more about the two models by contacting the team at Carwise Group in Harlow, Maidstone and Dunstable today. We’re proud to offer a selection of used SUV models from each of our dealerships, with many SUVs from these and other marques available. Browse our listings today to find the model of your choice.