New Volvo XC40 vs BMW X1 vs Volkswagen Tiguan

After the success of its larger XC60 and XC90 SUVs, Volvo is wading into an even tougher fight with the XC40. Its first task is to beat the BMW X1 and VW Tiguan

Words By What Car? team

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Infotainment systems


All of these cars get sat-nav, a DAB radio and Bluetooth as standard. On the X1, these functions are shown on a brilliant 6.5in infotainment screen. It responds quickly, its menus are intuitive and its rotary controller by the gear selector is less distracting to use while driving than a touchscreen. The version pictured is the upgraded system (Β£1490) with an 8.8in screen. A concierge service is available, too.

Volkswagen Tiguan

The Tiguan gets a crisp 8.0in touchscreen with plenty of additional functionality, including text message readouts and live traffic data. It also comes with a three-year subscription for online info on fuel pricing, weather and news. The system is generally easy to use, with simple menus and large icons, but physical shortcut buttons around the screen would work better than the touch-sensitive ones you get.

Volvo XC40

The XC40 has a 9.0in portrait-orientated touchscreen. Its graphics are sharp and it swipes left and right like a tablet, but it’s not Apple-slick and many of the icons are quite small. In our view, there’s just too much to play about with and distract you from driving. As with all these cars, you can upgrade the stereo, in this case to a punchy 600-watt Harman Kardon system with 13 speakers and subwoofer for Β£550.

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Volvo XC40

What Car? Says Rated 5 out of 5
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The XC40 mixes style, space and comfort with cutting-edge safety and relative affordability so ably that we named it our 2018 What Car? Car of the Year