Volvo XC40

The UX crossover hit the market in early 2019 but has yet to gain much popularity. Hopefully, the more successful mid-range Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40 will help us figure out why. For comparison, we chose the most marketable version of the UX 200 with a two-liter 150-horsepower aspirated and CVT. You can also join the discussion of the car and material on our forum.

At Audi, the same power is developed by the 1.4 turbo engine, which is assisted by a six-speed “robot” with two clutches. As in the Lexus, traction is transmitted only to the front wheels, but the torque is higher: 250 N • m at the peak versus 202. Base prices around 2.3 million rubles are comparable. But a gasoline Volvo is initially 200-400 thousand more expensive – these are sold only with all-wheel drive. In addition, the two-liter T4 engine, paired with an eight-band “automatic”, develops 190 hp. and 300 N • m.

Lexus UX

The sills, as in the case of Audi and Volvo, are protected from dirt by doors. But rear passengers run the risk of getting dirty on the wheel arches. The surcharge for such a “metallic” is 45 thousand rubles, but there is a special white for 68 thousand. Black and red gloss are free. Lexus is manufactured in Japan.

Lexus UX
Climate control with toggle switches is not as convenient as the knobs in the Audi, but rather than the Volvo touchscreen. The climate concierge turning on the heating on its own seems intrusive. Only here the induction charging of the smartphone can be turned off.

Nevertheless, the most expensive in our company is Q3. Just a self-propelled showcase for options! A rare customer in this class will invest half the price of a car in them. Volvo for that kind of money can be equipped with every conceivable add-on package. Even a demo car from the press park pulls “only” for 3.5 million. Lexus UX 200 also got to us in the top, but it seems to be from another league. For the front-wheel drive “Japanese” to overcome the mark of at least three million, it must be hung with accessories, like a Christmas tree.

Lexus UX 200
In the photo, the Lexus salon looks richer than in life: the materials of decoration are simple in places, some buttons are too cheap. The tiny glovebox is stripped of trim, but can be locked with a key. The steering wheel shines at 18 thousand kilometers.
Lexus UX 200
The seats distribute the load well, but the lateral support is weak. The steering column lacks an adjustable reach. The legs are cramped behind, the ceiling presses, although the central tunnel is the smallest. Limited visibility. There are no pockets in the doors, only on one back.

However, from the driver’s seat, UX is not perceived as a crossover. You sit closer to the ground, as if in an ordinary hatchback. Lexus is indeed noticeably shorter than the competition, with the shortest base and the smallest width. As a result, it is the closest here, which is especially noticeable in the back row. Visibility is slightly worse due to the smaller glazing area. And the trunk is miniature. Also, we can offer test drive Lexus is300.

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UX 200
The complex of safety systems with adaptive cruise control, automatic braking and keeping in the lane is not installed on the UX 200. Only for a hybrid. Here is a regular cruise – that’s all.
Lexus UX 200
The often criticized touchpad is an inconvenient solution, but the audio controller built into the armrest is pleasant, although it takes some getting used to. From the visor of the dashboard “horns” stick out with control knobs for driving modes and a stabilization system.

Audi’s cheerful interior does not skimp on hard plastic, but it is much more spacious. The seating position is higher than in the Lexus, the seat adjustment range is wider. Only then can I raise it so that, with a growth of 170 cm, it rests against the ceiling! The glossy surfaces are covered with fingerprints. But the climate control unit with physical buttons and handles pleases.

Audi Q3

Is that the volume knob is more convenient for the passenger to use, and the driver will be helped by a wheel on the spokes of a plump steering wheel with a rim unsuccessfully cut along the chord … It’s easier to sit on the second row than in a Lexus, there are more chances to stay clean in the process – and find a suitable position, since the back is adjustable … The cargo hold is almost twice as large and better organized. Richer transformation possibilities thanks to the longitudinal adjustment of the sofa.

Audi Q3
The interior of the Q3 is solid, but only the upper part is soft to the touch. Colored Alcantara inserts
Audi Q3
The dense sports seats are comfortable. The back is nice, but the doorways could be wider.

In Volvo, you sit freely, as in Audi, at about the same level, but there is nothing to grasp: there are no handles on the door panels or on the ceiling. Q3 has both. In general, the interiors of European cars are similar in quality. But the materials in the XC40 are more homogeneous than in the Audi, the interior is more practical. There are huge cavities in the doors, a pull-out tray under the driver’s seat, numerous niches for little things. Here is a small, but the most capacious glove box in our company. Like Lexus’s tiny glove compartment, it is devoid of trim, but the lock is only offered at a surcharge.

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Volvo XC40
Volvo XC40
The door pockets are colossal. Three-stage rear sofa heating is included in the Winter Plus package. The wireless charging pad for the smartphone is installed with a slight slope so as not to fidget. So it is more convenient to pry.

The almost square bonnet is clearly visible from the driver’s seat, which makes it easier to understand the dimensions. The steering wheel is comfortable, the matte buttons are more pleasant than the glossy ones of older Volvo cars … The non-adjustable sofa dictates an unnecessarily vertical seating position. The high central tunnel does not favor the third passenger. The trunk, although smaller than the German one, is no worse thought out. Only the window for long items is no match for the folding center backrest in Audi.

Volvo XC40
Volvo successfully combines pleasant materials with quality fittings. The seats and the steering wheel take a long time to warm up and reluctantly cool down. The multimedia system masks age well, but climate and heating control via the touchscreen is inconvenient.
Volvo XC40
The standard chair is moderately rigid, the lateral support is free. The spacious sofa is clearly shaped for two. The headrests can be folded down via the Sensus menu, but will have to be raised manually.

From the first meters, it is felt that Volvo is more powerful: it starts off easier, picks up speed more actively, and easily accelerates on the move. And it’s not just about the power advantage. The accelerator connection is surprisingly good, and it is pleasant to dose the traction. The eight-speed “automatic” shifts emphatically smoothly, but there is no slowness in changing gears.

Volvo XC40
Lexus sells twice as bad as the XC40. Audi is still only harnessing and in a successful month sells as much as Volvo sells consistently. To catch up with the BMW X1, they need to hit 300 cars a month. For Lexus, this is a six-month plan.

The naturally aspirated Lexus with a CVT is not so quick, but the acceleration is just as convenient. The car readily follows the pedal, the gearbox convincingly simulates gear changes. And the responsiveness can be enhanced by selecting Sport with the right shifter on the dashboard visor. The connection grows stronger, and the harshness of the reactions does not become uncomfortable. Great settings for the city! Only a little noisy: extreme overclocking makes the UX freeze at maximum power rpm. The aspirated vocal data does not shine in such modes.

Test drive: Imposing Lexus UX on rivals Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40
In the Lexus (left), the mechanical selector is organic, while in the futuristic interior of the Audi, the high lever is alien. There would be a joystick. But worst of all is Volvo’s non-locking lever, which requires a double wiggle to engage the D and R modes.

The Audi engine does not allow itself to scream, but the pedals of the 150-horsepower Q3 are like a feather pillow. Reactions to the first third of the accelerator stroke are damped to numbness. I don’t understand if this is an ultra-ecological setting, or simply bad. The crossover both starts uncertainly, and accelerates on the move with annoying delays.

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None of the test cars had sound-deadening side windows, but Audi provided better insulation from outside noise. The black radiator grille is the hallmark of the Sport design.

The stifled response to the fuel supply, coupled with the uncertainty of the DSG, turns traffic jams into sheer flour: you give gas – the car hesitates. When you press it, it jumps forward. With an increase in revolutions, the turbo engine finally frees itself from the excessive care of electronics, and the car cheers up: it pulls quickly, imperceptibly turns in six gears. Sport mode makes the Q3 generally follow the pedal more accurately, but the shifting becomes nervous …

Climate control is standard for the Sport version, and in the “base” Audi is equipped with air conditioning. The control unit is ergonomically flawless. There may be three zones, but the test car only has deflectors in the back. To the left of the steering wheel are the light control buttons.

With a selection of Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV studless tires, the Audi dealership got into the weather. On them, the Q3 is quieter than everyone else in the test, and the handling is generally not satisfactory. The crossover is stable and predictable in the corner, and in the limit it delicately shifts to a wider radius. Sensitive electronics do not allow naughty. I also like the natural effort that occurs on the steering wheel when deflecting even a slight angle.

Test drive: Imposing Lexus UX on rivals Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40
The thickest racks and the smallest mirrors (left) are from Lexus, but the picture is good. Forward visibility is better in Audi (center) and Volvo. However, the XC40 wiper leaves a large, uncleaned strip along the left edge of the glass.

Audi technology

Audi Q3 crossover
The second generation of the Audi Q3 crossover has moved from the ancient PQ35 platform to the modular MQB architecture. A very close relative of the Q3 is the Volkswagen Tiguan. The wheelbases differ literally by a couple of millimeters.
Audi Q3
The front suspension is based on McPherson struts, the rear is multi-link. The steering gear ratio is 14.8: 1. For the optional progressive-toothed mechanism, this value applies only to the near-zero zone, and decreases to 11.4: 1 at the rack edges.

The body is mostly steel. The mass fraction of high-strength hot-formed alloys used in the power cage of the passenger compartment reaches 26%. Only the hood is made of sheet aluminum, the profile is used in the construction of the bumper cross members.

Audi Q3
The 35 TFSI modification has a CZDA 1.4 TSI turbo engine of the EA211 series. It is economical and environmentally friendly, but structurally complex. The block and cylinder head are made of aluminum, the liners are cast from cast iron. The developed crankcase with built-in oil channels and a filter installed here is also made of aluminum. The engine has two cooling circuits plus a water intercooler, two thermostats, and a variable displacement oil pump.

Lexus machinery

Lexus UX
The Lexus UX crossover is built on the GA-C platform from the TNGA architecture, similar to the CH-R and Prius models. For all markets, UX is manufactured at the Miyawaka plant in Fukuoka Prefecture.
Lexus UX
McPherson struts are used in the front, a multi-link is used in the back. Moreover, the brake discs are not ventilated there. For improved handling, the steering rack mounts directly to the subframe without rubber bushings.

High-strength steel is widely used in the power structure of the body, the proportion of which is not specified. To increase the rigidity of the body, in addition to conventional welding, laser welding was used (the seams are 33 m long), as well as adhesive joints. The doors, fenders and bonnet as well as the tailgate frame are made of aluminum.

Lexus UX
The two-liter M20A-FKS engine belongs to the new Dynamic Force family. Combined fuel injection combines a high compression ratio of 13: 1 and the ability to operate in an Atkinson cycle at light loads. Both camshafts are equipped with phase shifters, an electric actuator is installed at the inlet, and the valve seats are laser-clad. For the market, it is derated from 171 hp to 150. In addition to the Lexus UX, this motor is also installed on the new RAV4. The Direct Shift-CVT variator, which is equipped with two-liter crossovers, is interesting in the presence of a starting gear, coupled with a torque converter. At a speed of 20-25 km / h, the gears open and the pulleys begin to work. Thus, the start is more intense and without stress on the belt. This is also useful off-road, where the box works in adverse conditions.

Volvo machinery

Volvo XC40
The CMA platform, developed by the engineering company CEVT, owned by Geely, has nothing to do with the large Volvo SPA platform, on the basis of which the XC60, S60 / V60, S90 / V90, XC90 models are built. The CMA’s front suspension is McPherson struts rather than double wishbones, while the rear multi-link has traditional springs rather than a composite transverse spring as an elastic element. The picture shows a front-wheel drive version. Hybrid and pure electric versions will follow.
Volvo XC40
The exact data on the proportion of high-strength steels and body rigidity are not reported, but the illustration speaks for itself. In addition to welding, gluing is also used when assembling the body at a plant in Ghent, Belgium.
Volvo XC40
Aluminum petrol turbo fours belong to the Drive-E modular family and are built on a solid block, unified with diesel engines that have fallen out of favor. We are testing a T4 version (190 HP, 300 N • m) with direct injection, a pair of phase shifters, balance shafts, a variable oil pump and an electric water pump. It is paired with an eight-speed automatic Aisin AW TG-81SC. In all-wheel drive versions, power take-off to the rear axle is carried out by a fifth generation Haldex clutch.

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By Vinceslav

Journalist, writer. I write articles and reviews on equipment such as cars, computers, games. Worked for 6 years in the auto and auto parts business. And all my life I have been engaged in computer technology.

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