New BMW X1 vs new Genesis GV70 vs Volvo XC40: costs
When it comes to posh family SUVs, the Volvo XC40 has ruled the roost for several years. Now, though, it faces fresh competition from a reborn rival and a new challenger with big ideas...
Buying and owning
Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security
If you're planning on buying your family SUV outright, the Volvo XC40 will cost you the most by some margin, while the BMW X1 is the cheapest. It is worth noting, however, that these three manufacturers have taken very different approaches when it comes to trim specifications. The XC40 in Ultimate specification, for example, is so loaded to the ceiling with equipment that you don't even get the choice to specify individual options – well, apart from metallic paint.
If you were to bring the X1 up to the same specification as the XC40 (we're talking 360deg camera, electrically adjustable seats, adjustable lumbar support and that panoramic glass roof), there would be very little in it for outright cost. The Genesis GV70, meanwhile, sits somewhere in the middle. Luxuries such as a heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control and three-zone climate control are standard, but you still have to pay extra if you want a panoramic roof and adaptive LED headlights.
The XC40 also has such strong predicted resale values that by the time you've factored in depreciation, insurance, servicing and fuel costs, it's actually the cheapest to own over three years, followed closely by the X1. The GV70 sits in a distant third, partly due to what can only be described as terrible fuel economy; on our real-world test route, it returned just 25.8mpg, compared with 34.3mpg for the XC40 and 36.6mpg for the X1. The GV70's figure might have been acceptable in the 1990's, but not in 2023.
The GV70 also occupies a much higher insurance group than its rivals, but it does at least claw back some points by being the cheapest of our trio if you go down the PCP finance route. On a three-year deal, with a £4000 deposit and a limit of 10,000 miles a year, it will cost you £633 a month, compared with £661 for the X1 and £737 for the XC40 (which is badly impacted by a 10.5% APR interest rate, at the time of writing).
When it comes to safety, all three cars were awarded the maximum five stars by Euro NCAP. However, it's misleading to compare the results directly, because the XC40 was tested under a less stringent regime back in 2018. It is worth noting, however, that the GV70 outperformed the X1 when it came to protecting the chests of adult occupants in a frontal impact and the necks and heads of children in lateral impacts.
All three cars get automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane-keeping assistance as standard, while the GV70 and XC40 also provide road sign detection and blindspot monitors. The XC40 adds a rear cross-traffic alert system that stops you from reversing out into the path of an unseen approaching vehicle.
We don't have reliability data for Genesis, but Hyundai (Genesis's parent company) had an impressive showing in the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey, ranking fifth out of the 32 manufacturers. BMW finished in a middling 16th place, with Volvo just behind in 17th, while the XC40 itself didn't perform any better in the family SUV class, finishing in the bottom third of the table.
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