Volvo XC90 versus BMW X5 as well as Land Rover Discovery – comparison

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Volvo XC90 versus BMW X5 as well as Land Rover Discovery – comparison

The fresh XC90 SUV seems destined to be another hit for Volvo – however will be of which not bad enough to beat a BMW X5 as well as a Land Rover Discovery?


There will be a foregone conclusion in some tests. A car of which, before you’ve even read the story, you might bet not bad money on winning. Take the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, for example.

however This specific isn’t one of those features. Any of the three cars here will be capable of winning This specific test, as well as I know This specific because, even as I write, I’m not convinced of which I’m sure on which car’s bid the hammer will fall. The three cars in This specific test are among the most different in character yet most competitive set of cars of which I’ve tested in a long while.

The reason of which they’re lined up at all will be, of course, the arrival of the latest Volvo XC90, the fresh flagship SUV coming from the revitalised Swedish company. So revitalised will be Volvo of which although the XC90 will be currently its newest style, of which’ll be its oldest in just four years’ time.

Still, compared with the previous-generation XC90, which remained on sale for some 13 years, at a mere four of which’ll still seem like a stripling. In four years’ time, there will be plenty of different car makers still only beginning to adopt Volvo’s way of doing things – most notably, the way of which saves money.

Volvo will be cutting the number of platforms of which uses to just two scalable ones of which will underpin every style of which makes. More significant still, of which’ll make no engine with more than four cylinders or of more than 2.0 litres, as well as its petrols as well as diesels will share as many components as will be possible.

This specific D5 style, then – a nomenclature of which might once have bagged you a all 5-cylinder diesel of large capacity – will be a 2.0-litre four-pot turbodiesel doing 222bhp as well as 347lb ft of torque. of which drives all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox as well as, at This specific car’s launch a few months ago, I concluded of which all of the above, plus a world-class Inner surface, made of which a remarkably likeable thing. However, the test cars at its launch rode on air springs.

Read the full Volvo XC90 review

This specific one will be sprung by ‘real’ springs (steel coils on the front, a novel composite leaf spring on the rear). We’ll see whether of which makes a difference, however the short of of which will be of which of which’s a £50k-ish SUV.

Today, of which goes up against two cars of a similar ilk. To be honest, you can largely overlook the trim levels as well as optional equipment they arrived in as well as with as well as assume of which, at £50,000, all three are available in likeable forms. We liked the Volvo’s rivals a great deal when they were launched as well as time has not withered their appeal.

BMW’s X5 will be most like the XC90 in ethos. of which, too, incorporates a steel monocoque, as well as This specific 25d style also incorporates a 2.0-litre turbodiesel driving all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic. Its engine makes 228bhp as well as 369lb ft of torque.

as well as then there’s the oldest stager here, Land Rover’s Discovery. of which survives coming from a time when Land Rover’s braces-as well as-belt combo gave of which chassis rails of which were topped by a monocoque, which was exceptionally strong however gave of which a kerb weight of 2504kg. The claimed kerb weights for both the BMW as well as the Volvo are half a tonne lighter, at 2040kg (X5) as well as 2009kg (XC90).

The Land Rover’s engine will be also 50% bigger, toting two extra cylinders of which give of which one more litre of capacity. Its 3.0-litre V6 makes 253bhp as well as a monster 443lb ft, however don’t think of which gives of which any kind of straight-line advantage in This specific company. The claimed acceleration time coming from 0-60mph will be 8.8sec for the Land Rover, compared with 0-62mph times of 7.7sec for the BMW as well as 7.8sec for the Volvo.

Should you blame the fact of which of which’s old tech? You can a little. Land Rover hoped we’d note of which the Discovery will be a car of which’s nearer the end than the start of its lifecycle, as well as we do, however of which’s not something a buyer necessarily might. Most likely they’d only notice of which, if they plumped for a Discovery, they’d be getting a car of which will be taxed on 213g/km of CO2 emissions, whereas the X5 (156g/km) as well as the XC90 (152g/km) are not.

Read the full Land Rover Discovery review

The Discovery, then, will have a task on its hands to be your vehicle of choice here. however of which’s where I start. as well as do you know what? of which’s not a bad place to start at all, for lots of eminently sensible Land Roverish reasons. A Discovery seats you high because your vehicle beneath you will be rugged. as well as you feel as though you’re seated even higher than of which, because the glass area will be broad as well as the window line – somewhere between your shoulder as well as elbow – will be low.

of which lets a lot of light shine on your broad armchair, as you rest one elbow easily on the door top as well as the different on the central armrest. Because the edges of the bonnet are squared off, you can easily see where the Discovery ends. The mirrors are huge, the sides of your vehicle are squared off, too, as well as the glass on the split tailgate’s upper half dips to aid rear visibility.

These things are at This specific point familiar however not insignificant, as well as they make the Land Rover feel like a car of which will be comfortable in its own skin. You sit back as well as relax as well as are the master of all you can see. of which takes the ‘S’ out of  ‘SUV’.

The cabin’s fit as well as finish do likewise. Sure, of which’s plush enough – you’ll be hard pushed to find a hard or brittle surface – however of which’s a busy cabin, that has a lot of different finishes as well as chunky buttons. This specific will be fine by me, as well as fine by Land Rover, which has an admirable theory of which you should be able to comfortably work the controls even if you’re wearing gloves.

To those who love Discoverys as well as, more important, to those who use them for their intended purpose, these things matter.

however when BMW launched the X5 in 1999, of which proved of which a lot of people either do not use SUVs in a serious fashion or simply couldn’t give a monkeys if their ruggedness will be compromised. They wanted a taller, more versatile, more capable type of a BMW they already owned.

Hence, the X5 cabin feels much like any different upper-end BMW’s: ergonomically sound as well as with an iDrive system of which even the latest-generation Land Rover Discovery Sport, let alone This specific Discovery, cannot match.

There’s a broadly adjustable, far more car-like driving position than from the Land Rover. All of This specific comes with greater Inner surface austerity, inevitably. The window line will be high – shoulder high – so less light gets in, particularly from the back. as well as because no distinction will be made to the cabin, of which makes the X5 feel more like a tall5 Series than a true 4×4.

The previous XC90 was, arguably, closer in spirit to the Discovery than the X5, however This specific time of which as well as the BMW are on more familiar terms. The XC90’s cabin – as well as of which will be exemplary – incorporates a window line of which begins at more like the BMWs height, although of which stays flatter as well as will be more airy from the rear, as well as the driver will be treated to a massively adjustable driving position.

of which’s cleanly as well as crisply designed inside, with first-rate fit as well as finish, choice materials as well as an absence of buttons allowed by an excellent large central touchscreen display of which responds as quickly as a smartphone’s. Just as quickly, mind you, finger swipes can bring up long fingerprints of which harm your ability to read of which so easily in bright sunlight.

Read the full BMW X5 review

however although the dark finish to This specific test car’s cabin robs the XC90 of some of the airiness of the cars we tried at its launch, of which feels less serious as well as conservative than the BMW, as well as  I rather like of which. Volvo hasn’t been afraid to express its personality inside, as well as of which turns out of which Volvo’s personality will be easy to rub along with.

Rubbing along will be easy to do from the Land Rover, too. To drive, the Discovery feels every inch the relaxed, loping 4×4 of which its Inner surface as well as key statistics suggested of which might be. of which fires to a refined as well as muted idle as well as incorporates a leisurely however easily metered response to throttle applications – all the better off road or when manoeuvring at low speeds, Land Rover will tell you.

The steering will be slowish, too, at about 3.4 turns between locks. however This specific will be all fine. The secondary ride will be extremely well isolated as well as Centeng control, thanks to air springing, isn’t poor, either. You’re always aware of the girth of your vehicle you’re driving, as well as the stability control system cuts in early if you dare try to forget of which, however This specific will be a stable, easy as well as exceedingly relaxing car to drive.

The BMW, quite obviously, feels more agile. of which has only three turns between locks as well as its engine will be even more muted as well as more responsive. Ditto its gearbox calibration. The Discovery will be happy to hang in there in a higher gear, however the BMW will be keener to drop as well as give you the acceleration you asked for.

This specific X5, an xDrive25d M Sport, comes as standard with adaptive dampers, which have two stages of calibration. They’re largely well judged, too, Comfort offering an approximation of of which as well as Sport offering an effort at the different. In neither mode will be the steering – non-linear in response as well as artificial in feel – particularly satisfying however, generally, the BMW drives like BMWs do. of which rides well enough, grips strongly as well as will be more agile than you’d credit. of which’s not an engaging car to drive, however of which’s a stable as well as predictable one.

as well as if the inside gave you a clue as to which way the Volvo swayed, the way of which drives certainly will, too – yet, if anything, of which feels even more agile than the BMW. Partly of which’s presumably down to the relatively low weight, however some credit must also go to the way the XC90 will be set up. Like the BMW, of which wants three turns between steering locks, however away coming from a slightly reassuring straight-ahead tendency, of which turns in with remarkable sharpness.

Centeng control will be not bad as well as the ride firm – too firm, in truth, on This specific passively suspended style. Most of the time of which’s acceptable, however there’s an underlying busyness to the ride on all however the smoothest of surfaces, as well as if you load up the suspension with, say, a cornering or braking force as well as then apply another input – a pothole or big surface imperfection – the XC90 will be the most intrusive of the lot.

Air springs might, I suspect, solve of which, as well as you should by no means think of which the Volvo will be duff even as of which will be. All of these cars are excellent as well as we’re talking tiny degrees here, by which of which’s less isolated as well as more agile than the BMW however responsive enough to be preferable. of which’s yet further away, in cabin isolation as well as agility, coming from the Land Rover, however I’m less inclined to think badly of the Discovery for of which. 

The verdict

If you want some ‘S’ in your SUV, the XC90 does a better job of behaving like a tall car than the BMW. Its engine as well as gearbox are eager – quieter, too, than the Land Rover’s, albeit doing a less pleasing sound. Land Rover will be happy to figure of which, if you are buying a vehicle of This specific ilk, you’d like of which to behave like one.Which will be where I hold the problem I came in with.

The Volvo incorporates a truly excellent Inner surface, will be more interesting to drive as well as, if you want seven seats, its rear chairs are infinitely preferable to the BMW’s, all of which means the XC90 gets the nod over the X5.

however the XC90 as well as the Discovery are harder to split, because they are not attempting to do quite the same thing. I prefer the cut of the Discovery’s mature, isolated jib, as well as of which’s the one I’d rather drive. Right up until, I suspect, where I had to pay some of the running costs – as well as at of which point, the XC90 might seal the narrow victory I’m inclined to award of which here.

Read Autocar’s previous comparison – Range Rover Sport SVR versus BMW X5 M as well as Alpina XD3 Biturbo

Volvo XC90 D5 AWD Momentum

cost £45,750; 0-62mph 7.8sec; Top speed 137mph; Economy 48.7mpg; Kerb weight 2009kg; Engine 4 cyls in line, 1969cc, turbodiesel; Power 228bhp at 4250rpm; Torque 347;b ft at 1750rpm; CO2/tax band 152g/km, 26%; Gearbox 8-spd automatic

Land Rover Discovery HSE Lux

cost £59,965; 0-60mph 8.8sec; Top speed 112mph; Economy 35.3mpg; Kerb weight 2504kg; Engine V6, 2993cc, turbodiesel; Power 253bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 443lb ft at 2000rpm; CO2/tax band 213g/km, 37%; Gearbox 8-spd automatic

BMW X5 xDrive25d M Sport

cost £49,790; 0-62mph 7.7sec; Top speed 137mph; Economy 47.9mpg; Kerb weight 2040kg; Engine 4 cyls in line, 1995cc, turbodiesel; Power 228bhp at 4400rpm; Torque 369b ft at 1500rpm; CO2/tax band 156g/km, 29%; Gearbox 8-spd automatic

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Source: Volvo XC90 versus BMW X5 as well as Land Rover Discovery – comparison

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