The premium compact SUV used to be one of the most competitive segments in the country with the likes of the BMW X1, the Audi Q3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA. The X1, however, was the most popular choice for its sheer driving pleasure. But, the X1 was also the costliest of the lot with a price range of ₹ 34.50 lakh - ₹ 44.5 lakh, while the Q3 retailed between ₹ 34.70 lakh - ₹ 42.88 lakh, and the smallest GLA was priced between ₹ 31.7 lakh - ₹ 38 lakh. Then again, all these compact SUVs are outdated as the recent updates came in the past year or two and the age has started to show on them. The segment sorely missed the punch, and for this very reason, a new kid is on its way to spice things up. Please welcome the all new Volvo XC40. With its price tag of ₹ 39.99 lakh, the XC40 undercuts the X1 and the Q3 in its diesel version, but is almost ₹ 1.96 lakh more expensive than the GLA. However, considering the high tech safety features that the XC40 offers, Volvo will hope to gain the segment leader title very soon.
Also Read: Volvo XC40 India Launch Live Updates
Also Read: Volvo XC40: Price Expectation In India
We drove the new XC40 last year in Milan and also last month in Hyderabad ahead of its official launch on July 4. With the entry of the new Volvo XC40, the premium compact SUV segment will certainly light up as the new baby SUV from the Scandinavian carmaker is built on a completely new platform and will also be the most economical. So before you book a new premium compact SUV, read our spec comparison of the all new Volvo XC40 against the popular X1, the Q3 and the GLA to see how they fare on paper.
Design and Exterior Features
Visually, the Volvo XC40 is the most modern looking car in the lot, as the design is quite distinct and contemporary to say the least. The exterior is bold and comes in a two body colour- a red and black dual tone and a white/black dual tone. Up front, the XC40 gets the signature Thor's hammer DRLs and the new version of Volvo's grille, which gives the car an aggressive stance. In profile, the ingress is carried from the A-pillar to the B-pillar, which compliments the dimensions. You get the standard 18-inch wheels on the XC40 and India gets the R-Design package only now.
The BMW X1 on the other hand, looks like a proper station wagon, but that does defer from the fact that it is a hoot to drive. It is based on the old UKL platform, which sheds about 135kgs from its previous generation. The platform allows the X1 to gets a taller and wider body than the rest in the segment. The increased wheelbase, extended boot capacity and increase in the knee room is very evident on the inside. Visually, the X1 gets updated LED headlamps and tail lamps, while the kidney-shaped 2-part front grille is also slightly updated.
Also Read: New Volvo XC40: All You Need To Know
The Audi Q3 facelift was launched last year and received minor cosmetic changes on the front and the rear along with tweaked bumpers. Moreover, the Q3 also came with panoramic sunroof, LED headlights with LED DRLs, 17-inch alloy wheels and a 2-Zone climate control system. However, in today's time, the Q3 looks the most outdated car and it is about time that the company refreshes it for 2018.
The most compact of the lot, quite literally, is the Mercedes-Benz GLA, which received its first mid-life upgrade only last year in July. The front bumpers are tweaked, while the front grille is completely new with chain-link chrome element, which gives it a bold look. The front bumper is sharper now and the gets bigger air intakes. For the keen eyes, the GLA is quite similar to the GLC, but in a smaller proportion. The bi-xenon lamps is replaced with new LED headlamps, sharper looking LED DRLs, restyled LED tail lamps and 18-inch wheels adds character to the car.
Also Read: Volvo XC40 Review: India Spec Driven
Engine and Performance
In terms of engine, the Volvo XC40 and the BMW X1 come only in diesel version, while both Q3 and the GLA are in petrol as well as diesel. All the four cars are available in the 2.0-litre iteration, while Q3 also comes in a 1.4-litre engine option. In terms of power, the X1 is most powerful of the lot with 190 bhp to its name, while the XC40 churns out 186 bhp from its 2.0-litre D4 engine. The GLA comes in three output options, while the Q3 is the lowest at 148 bhp. The torque punches in the most in the XC40 and the X1, while the Q3 and GLA are far behind from the rest. The XC40 and X1 get an 8-speed automatic gearbox at its disposal, while the Q3 gets the company's 6-Speed AT/ 7-Speed AT for its engine options. The GLA gets the 7-speed DCT gearbox.
|Specifications||Volvo XC40||BMW X1||Audi Q3||Mercedes-Benz GLA|
|Engine||2-litre diesel D4||2.0-litre diesel||1.4 litre TFSI petrol/ 2.0 litre TDI diesel||200 Petrol/ 200d Diesel/ 220d 4MATIC|
|Displacement||1969 cc||1995 cc||1395 cc/ 1968 cc||1991 cc/ 2143 cc/ 2143 cc|
|Max Power||186 bhp||190bhp||148 bhp/ 148 bhp||182 bhp/ 135 bhp/ 168 bhp|
|Max Torque||400 Nm||400Nm||250NM/ 340 NM||300 Nm/ 300 Nm/ 350 Nm|
|Gearbox||8-Speed AT||8-Speed AT||6-Speed AT/ 7-Speed AT||7-speed DCT|
Interiors and Features
Both in terms of the interiors and the features, the Volvo XC40 leads the way as it is the most stylish and the most updated of the all. The inside of the XC40 comes in premium black upholstery with lava carpeting and door inserts, and it looks really cool in flesh. The dashboard of the XC40 gets the 9-inch Sensus system that gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The three-spoke steering wheel gets leather stitching, and so does the gear knob. Apart from this, the XC40 also features Wireless Phone Charging, a Harman Kardon sound system, panoramic sunroof, and the virtual instrument cluster. Given that the XC40 will come in only one variant- the R Design, all the above mentioned features come as standard.
Also Read: Volvo XC40 India Launch Details Revealed
BMW is extremely generous in terms of space in the X1, as the rear passengers get more space to stretch than the previous generation. The material too used in the X1 is high quality and gives the premium compact SUV, a touch of premiumness on the inside as well. The ambient light is perfectly adapted to the interior, while the generously designed centre console with closing roller covers cup holders offers additional storage spaces. BMW also offers the X1 with Navigation Touch Functionality with iDrive Touch Controller, 2-zone Automatic air conditioning and cruise control with braking function. The Navigation Touch Functionality, however, is compatible to only Apple CarPlay and does not get Android Auto.
The Audi Q3 gets the simplest of cabin, but the positioning of the buttons is slightly cluttered to our taste. The cabin too feels outdated and the car really needs a mid-life update to say the least, to at least stay in the game. Audi offers the Q3 with cloth headlining, aluminum door handle trim while the door sill trims also gets aluminum inlays. The upholstery comes in leather combination, while the 4-spoke multi-function steering wheel also comes in leather and so does the gear knob.
Also Read: Volvo XC40 First Drive Review
The last on our list is the Mercedes-Benz GLA and we must say, this is more of a hatchback than a compact SUV. However, at the time of its launch a few years back, the GLA was considered to be the most sophisticated of the lot. But, now, after so many years, it seems as if Mercedes-Benz never bothered updating it. Once you step inside the GLA, you will instantly go on a nostalgic moment as the 8-inch multimedia system does not get a touchscreen. Who has heard of a premium car with no touchscreen, and that too in this day and age. Well, moving on, it also gets integral CD drive for both MP3 and WMA/AAC files, while the multifunction steering wheel helps you with operating the infotainment system. On the brighter side, the GLA gets integral telephone keypad, a Bluetooth interface with a hands-free function and an Aux-in and USB socket in the stowage compartment.
Volvo has priced the new XC40 at an introductory price of ₹ 39.99 lakh for the R-Design, making it the economical than the X1 and the Q3 for its diesel variant. While the XC40 is not available in petrol trim, Volvo hopes to capitalize this segment.
You can check the prices here.
|Petrol Price (ex showroom, India)||Diesel Price (ex showroom, India)|
|Volvo XC40||NA||₹ 39.90 lakh|
|BMW X1||NA||₹ 34.50 lakh- ₹ 44.50 lakh|
|Audi Q3||₹ 34.73 lakh||₹ 36.53 lakh- ₹ 42.88 lakh|
|Mercedes-Benz GLA||₹ 33.77 lakh- ₹ 80.67 lakh||₹ 31.72 lakh- ₹ 38.03 lakh|