Volvo XC40 T5 Plug-in hybrid test drive

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    Topic
  • #146325 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    Yesterday we took out an XC40 for a test drive. We currently have a BMW X1 X-line S-drive 20i which is due back at the end of July and are looking at the Volvo T5 Recharge Inscription Pro hybrid as a possible replacement. It will be that or another X1.

    We have settled on wanting electric seats with memory, a reversing camera, tinted glass and a sunroof on whichever car we choose.

    To get a new X1 to that spec would mean adding Comfort Pack, Tech Pack, and Panoramic roof options. The Volvo would just need tinted glass and the panoramic roof added. Given the discounts available on the BMW, the combined cost of AP and extras are very similar for both cars.

    Running costs are not too much of a consideration in making a decision as our best guess given our pattern of use once MrsW starts commuting to work in September is they will be much the same, with perhaps the Volvo coming out slightly ahead. On long journeys once the battery has run down, the Volvo will be using more fuel than the BMW but for local journeys obviously very much less, if any, as we can recharge overnight.

    So, to the Volvo. The one we borrowed was a brand new R-Design with leather/nubuck seats, the only extra being a reversing camera. This was not the Pro model, so was lacking the power seats. The dealers demonstrator Inscription Pro car wasn’t available but will be hopefully on Monday, so we’ll have a try in that then and check the leather seats out and the softer suspension.

    First impressions coming from the X1 was that it was higher to get in but MrsW had no problem and she said the passenger side was more roomy, partly because the dash seemed further away or maybe that you sit higher in relation to it. Most stuff is handled by the touch screen so there’s no clutter of buttons and control knobs as in the X1. Is that a good thing? Generally I’d say, yes. The things you need most – radio, satnav, phone, and HVAC are all there on the main screen, and this screen is really close up next to you and easy to prod. The satnav display is much better than the BMW and also shows in the digital dashboard between the dials. One oddity was when we asked for a destination using voice control and it asked us to choose from a list – we couldn’t see a list anywhere..

    On balance the interior is about on a par with the X1, plastics on the dash not as nice, but face level air vents, although a strange shape, are well engineered with metal rotary knobs giving very good control of airflow and direction, unlike the not so easily controlled and rather cheap plastic jobs on the X1. Good storage space around the centre console for keys and phone etc which the X1 lacks and the door bins are big. Standard sound system is ok, not as good as the X1 though and it comes mostly from the front of the doors and the dashboard whereas on the X1 it’s more around you with speakers under the seats. We didn’t play with the audio settings.

    MrsW found the R-Design seats comfortable, liked the better support of the backrest bolsters to the X1 seats when cornering. I didn’t, getting a numb bum after a couple of hours – possibly more trial and error with the adjustments would have fixed it, but not a concern as the Inscription Pro seats are different.

    So, driving. The hybrid system works very well moving from electric to petrol seamlessly, the DCT gearbox is good. Even with a depleted battery the car moves off on the electric motor and the engine takes over at about 15-20 mph if you go gently, as you would in town traffic. The engine does show itself up in hard acceleration. The BMW three pot has a nice growl to it, the Volvo one sounds like a bag of nails when pushed hard – no contest there, but it’s quiet in the cruise. I could live with it.

    On picking the car up, it had a full battery and a fully petrol tank. The battery claimed to be good for 24 miles. I took the car home to pick up MrsW so she could practice getting on and off the drive and she drove the first stint in “pure” mode, i.e. battery only. In town as you’d expect smooth and quiet going as far as the traction went. Disappointingly the suspension thumped and hammered at low speed in places where we know the X1 doesn’t. The R-Design has a “sport chassis” and 45 profile tyres whereas the Inscription doesn’t and is on 50 profiles. When we test one it’s going to need to be much better. Pure mode was good for 60mph on the way out of town, but the range was rapidly reducing. The big bugbear of the X1 is road noise and the XC40 is better, but disappointingly not massively better. MrsW wears a hearing aid which she removes in the car because various noises get amplified too much. She said the noise level in the Volvo affected it less than the BMW but she’d still  take it out on a journey. The concrete road of the Puddletown bypass still caused the Volvo tyres to howl but a more subdued howl than the X1.

    Even with the sports chassis the XC40 is no X1 when it comes to handling, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. The steering is light but very precise and has a confident feel. Snicking round roundabouts, the turn in and exit are very tidy at the sort of speeds MrsW complains about when I’m driving. Hopefully the softer Inscription will still be good enough there.

    Towards the end of the three hour drive I liked the car more than at the beginning. We had to get through slow rush hour traffic and it is a really easy to drive car in those conditions. Moving off is very smooth, the electric motor does all the work up to about 15 or more mph and you need to listen for when the engine takes over. The brakes are smooth and progressive too. In the sort of commute MrsW will be doing it’s just right. The other consideration, relevant to short commutes is the ability to precondition the car, especially in the winter when household current can heat the seats and the interior and defrost the windscreen. Although it’s MrsW’s car, I’m the one who goes out, starts it and scrapes the ice before she sets off to work. So it’s a choice between another X1 or an XC40 and that may just be the deciding factor.

     

     

Viewing 25 replies - 26 through 50 (of 76 total)
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  • #146417 Reply
    ajn

    Beef ! Is that some sort of bmw, backwards baseball cap chat🥴🤣..

    I just can’t understand why go test driving anything other than the bmw, if it’s so fantastic why go else where😳.


    @elliot
    I obviously don’t agree with your option, sooo you to are talking round objects in my view too👍, leaving us both totally opposite sides..

    Stick with bmw obvious nothing compares…

    🌻

    #146418 Reply
    ajn

    #146424 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    Average speed 17mph? What is it, a taxi?

    #146428 Reply
    ajn

    Volvo for you, best part is people believe this stuff…

    #146432 Reply
    Elliot
    Participant

    @ajn BMW’s are far superior to any Volvo that’s for sure. Volvo are not a premium brand but for some reason try to position themselves as one.

    #146434 Reply
    ajn

    Sure 👍

    #146435 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    I was told recently BMWs are for people who like driving and Volvo’s are for people who like caravans.

    #146436 Reply
    fwippers
    Participant

    Average speed 17mph? What is it, a taxi?

    If it was London you could knock off the 1!

    #146439 Reply
    wmcforum
    Which Mobility Car

    I like the Volvo image, safe, family orientated, Scandinavian charm with lights that stay on all year round, since the demise of Saab they have added the ‘architect’ crew too.

    #146441 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    But I don’t want to be categorised as a play it safe risk avoider.  It’s just not me.  Maybe I shouldn’t be going down the Volvo route.  Looks for a suitable Alfa Romeo…

    #146446 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    But I don’t want to be categorised as a play it safe risk avoider. It’s just not me. Maybe I shouldn’t be going down the Volvo route. Looks for a suitable Alfa Romeo…

    Wigwam – I’ve had a second test drive today in the X1, this time 4 hours in an 18d xDrive M-Sport as I wanted to try out the sport seats. Just posted a review on the X1 Test Drive thread. Like you have done with the XC40, I have given balanced feedback – good and bad. Can’t be doing with the blinkered / childish reactions of those who take any sensible and legitimate criticisms of ‘their’ car or brand so personally 😉

    #146449 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    I read your review Glos Guy. Particularly your comment about not being able to see the whole dash through the steering wheel.  It Is a bit of a pain – when I adjust the seat back between long distance relaxed and town sit up and pay attention positions, I have to align the steering wheel too!

    #146450 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    Something else that just occured to me. MrsW felt the seat belt top mount in the XC40 was better positioned for her than in the X1.

    #146451 Reply
    ajn

    The question remains, without anyone getting 😉winky or upset, even beefy🤣, why test anything other than the amazing bmw, surely it’s not a hard question…. is it 😳

    go straight to bmw reorder…

    #146557 Reply
    Matthew

    Has anyone got any pics of the new 2022 X1 interior..?

    #146558 Reply
    joss
    Moderator

    Has anyone got any pics of the new 2022 X1 interior..?

    Help yourself. https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffnt&q=BMW+2022+X1+interior&iax=images&ia=images

    Joss
    ***🌻🌻🌻 ***
    Current car BMW X2 2.0i Sport sDrive Auto 2019 with Sport pack
    Last car Ford Focus Titanium 1.5 TDCI
    Builder of Gaming PC's

    #146559 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    Yes, take your pick! No-one knows…

    #146562 Reply
    Matthew

    Oh cheers for that , does look a lot more modern ,like the 1 and 3 series … so it’s out spring of next year is it ..?

    #146567 Reply
    ajn

    🤣Ok, hands up out of order, just joking before it gets out of hand here👍

    🌻

    #146571 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    Oh cheers for that , does look a lot more modern ,like the 1 and 3 series … so it’s out spring of next year is it ..?

    Matthew – there are no actual pics yet, as the car is still undergoing tests in disguised form and no car manufacturer will release pictures at that stage. The photos that you will find online are either the current model, predicted mock-ups, or the new 1 Series (not the X1). They usually show the new 1 series interior in articles about the next X1 as it is likely to be very similar, but they are not the actual 2022 X1.

    My BMW dealer tells me that it won’t be out this year (delayed due to Covid) and spring 2022 is likely to be the launch date. However, it could be sooner, or even later, as car manufacturers rarely confirm launch dates too far in advance as it can kill off sales of the outgoing model. In spite of it being towards end of life, demand for the current X1 remains very high.

    Of course, we cannot take it for granted that it will appear on Motability from launch. Given the demand for the current model (with wait times of up to 5 months), demand for the new model will be very high and Motability may have to wait for a period until that calms down, so we may not be able to order one for another 12-18 months or so from now. Also, we may only be given a limited choice at first of the lower end models until retail demand eases. I was tempted to extend our current lease and hold out for one, but have decided that if I can get a top end model now I will be a fair way through the lease before the new model is on Motability and by the time I can order again we might, if we are lucky, have access to the higher end models. However, the way that Motability is going …….

    #146587 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    Just been reading Australian CarAdvice article about the XC40 hybrid.

    https://www.caradvice.com.au/945249/2021-volvo-xc40-recharge-long-term-review-the-road-trip/

    On a (converting from metric) 500 mile road trip they got 55mpg which I would be very happy with.

    #146588 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    Just been reading Australian CarAdvice article about the XC40 hybrid. https://www.caradvice.com.au/945249/2021-volvo-xc40-recharge-long-term-review-the-road-trip/ On a (converting from metric) 500 mile road trip they got 55mpg which I would be very happy with.

    Yes, that’s pretty good, although you should also read the following group test. Car Magazine achieved 62.7mpg from the XC40 but, in a group test against the Ford Kuga and Peugeot 3008 PHEV’s the Volvo was beaten overall by the Ford, which also achieved 97.5mpg! BTW, does a panoramic roof and Harman/Kardon sound system come as standard on the UK spec XC40 T5 Recharge, or is that just in Australia?

    https://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-reviews/comparison/2020/ford-kuga-hybrid-vs-peugeot-3008-hybrid-vs-volvo-xc40-recharge/

    #146591 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    Regrettably they don’t in the UK.

    #146592 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    Just read that Glos Guy. Not much to conclude there on fuel consumption. Probably more a test of how many miles the battery lasted in each case.  He did agree with me that the ride is hard. Be keen to hear what you think after your test drive.

    #146594 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    Just read that Glos Guy. Not much to conclude there on fuel consumption. Probably more a test of how many miles the battery lasted in each case. He did agree with me that the ride is hard. Be keen to hear what you think after your test drive.

    Yes, I think it’s that as it chimes with other tests that I’ve read on the XC40 and the Kuga PHEV’s. The Ford has a longer electric range to start with and seems to achieve it, whereas the Volvo has a lower quoted electric range yet falls short of it. Around 20 miles seems to be the norm. One reviewer said “accept that from the outset, or you will be disappointed”. One test of the T5 Recharge I watched only achieved mid 40’s mpg but I’ve watched so many I can’t recall which it was!

    If economy is the priority and a full EV isn’t practical, then these PHEV’s seem to be a very good compromise. The hassle of having to plug it in and unplug it every day is partly offset by less visits to the fuel pump. Reviews consistently say that they make little sense to private buyers as the extra purchase price is often more than the fuel savings made and they are really designed for company car drivers to benefit from the lower tax (even if they never plug them in which, bizarrely, many don’t), but thankfully we don’t have that dilemma on Motability as the AP’s are pretty good for them. I’m looking forward to our test drive on Wednesday. I’m sure that it will be a very different driving experience. Whether it’s a better one, I shall see!

Viewing 25 replies - 26 through 50 (of 76 total)
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