Feature

BMW X5 vs Porsche Cayenne vs Volvo XC90

The plug-in versions of the XC90, Cayenne and X5 all average more than 80mpg in official tests, but which is the best hybrid SUV?

Words ByWhat Car? team

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Volvo XC90 touchscreen

What are they like inside?

All three have plush-feeling interiors and electrically adjustable driver’s seats with enough range of movement to allow almost any driver get to comfortable.

The Volvo XC90’s seats are the most comfortable if you’re after a broad, cushy pew, although the Porsche Cayenne’s more figure-hugging seats are better suited to spirited driving. Meanwhile, the BMW X5’s seats are a bit firm, but suit lanky drivers best thanks to their standard adjustable thigh support. It’s a shame you have to pay extra for adjustable lumbar support on the X5 and Cayenne; it costs Β£275 and Β£1092 respectively, although the BMW will remember your preferred setting.

You’ll see more out of the X5 and XC90, both of which have boxier body shapes and a larger rear glass than the Cayenne.

The XC90’s dash is admirably button-free and has a 9.0in colour touchscreen; it makes the constellation of buttons in the Cayenne look overly complex. However, the XC90’s interface takes some getting used to because some functions are hidden in sub-menus. The X5’s simple selection of shortcut buttons and rotary controller interface is the best here.

There’s enough space in the back of all three SUVs for two tall adults, but the XC90 goes one better than its rivals by being the only one with two sculpted outer rear seats that slide and recline individually. However, this means anyone sitting in the middle gets a raised, firm seat base and tunnel to straddle, as they do in the Cayenne. The X5 has a flatter rear bench, a nearly flat floor and the widest cabin, so is best for accommodating three in the back.

Meanwhile, the XC90 is the only one with two additional seats that fold up out of the flat boot floor and will comfortably seat children. It also has the biggest boot with these seats folded down, although all these cars sacrifice some boot space for the batteries necessary to power the electric motor.

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