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

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BMW X1 vs VW Tiguan vs Volvo XC40

Our verdict

This is a tough contest, and adding up the stars reveals just how close the final outcome is.

The X1’s punchy engine leads the way for performance, while strong practicality, interior quality and the superb iDrive infotainment system are further highlights. But below-par refinement, a harsh ride and high running costs dull the X1’s lustre, so it has to finish last.

Second spot goes to the Tiguan. It does solidly in most areas, majoring on seating flexibility and equipment. But it’s also the most expensive company car, and while it is comfier than the X1, it’s still far from supple in R-Line form. It also has the least plush interior.

The XC40 doesn’t match the seating flexibility of its rivals, but it’s still a really roomy family SUV. It has a seriously swanky interior, a great driving position and a smoother ride and better refinement than both rivals, too. Given that it’s also the cheapest to finance, lease or run as a company car, it’s the clear winner here.

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1st – Volvo XC40

For Supple ride; most refined; best driving position; quality interior; safety kit; cheapest on a PCP

Against Fiddly infotainment; road noise; so-so handling

Recommended options Convenience Pack (Β£350), smartphone integration (Β£300)

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Volvo XC40 review

Find a great Volvo XC40 deal

2nd – Volkswagen Tiguan

For Tidy handling; sliding and reclining rear seats; most standard kit; comfiest in the rear

Against Jiggly ride; boomy engine; highest CO2 emissions; least plush interior

Recommended options Leather seats (Β£1500), Side Scan (Β£395

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Volkswagen Tiguan review

Find a great Volkswagen Tiguan deal

3rd – BMW X1

For Biggest boot; seating flexibility; superb infotainment; best performance; smart interior finish

Against Harsh ride; too much road noise; high PCP costs; least safety kit

Recommended options Driving Assistant Plus (Β£1150), adaptive dampers (Β£150)

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full BMW X1 review

Find a great BMW X1 deal

Specifications: BMW X1 xDrive25d M Sport

Engine size 4cyl, 1995cc, diesel

List price Β£37,780

Target Price Β£35,480

Power 228bhp @ 4400rpm

Torque 332Ib ft @ 1500-3000rpm

Gearbox 8-spd automatic

0-60mph 6.8sec

Top speed 146mph

Gov't fuel economy 56.4mpg

True MPG n/a

CO2 emissions 132g/km

Specifications: Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI 190 4Motion R-Line DSG

Engine size 4cyl, 1998cc, diesel

List price Β£37,100

Target Price Β£34,019

Power 187bhp @ 3500-4000rpm

Torque 295Ib ft @ 1900-3300rpm

Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic

0-60mph 8.4sec

Top speed 131mph

Gov't fuel economy 49.4mpg

True MPG n/a

CO2 emissions 149g/km

Specifications: Volvo XC40 2.0 D4 R-Design Pro

Engine size 4cyl, 1969cc, diesel

List price Β£36,555

Target Price Β£35,304

Power 187bhp @ 4000rpm

Torque 295Ib ft @ 1750-2500rpm

Gearbox 8-spd automatic

0-60mph 8.2sec

Top speed 130mph

Gov't fuel economy 56.5mpg

True MPG 35.4mpg

CO2 emissions 133g/km

Read more: The best family SUVs >

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Volvo XC40

What Car? Says Rated 5 out of 5
Owners say Not yet rated

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