Audi Q5 vs BMW X3 vs Lexus NX350h vs Volvo XC40 EV 2022 | Petrol, Diesel, Hybrid or Electric | autoX
If youre lucky enough to have a budget about 60, 70, lakh, rupees or so here are four options that offer you four completely different kind of power plants lets not call them engines anymore, so you have first up the lexus nx 350 edge hybrid. This is a strong hybrid. Also has an ev mode lots of promise, but how does it drive? How does it work? Is it really efficient? Second, we have good old diesel lots of talk, lots of driving fun with the bmw x3. Is it still relevant? What do you do about it when it goes above 10 years, thats, the second option? Third, we have good old petrol, our favorite fuel. The audi q5 also offers you performance, refinement, 15 year old lifespan, so theres a lot of promise there, but is that the future or is the future evs this the volvo xc40 recharge? Yes, i know its slightly smaller than the other three, but itll be in a similar price range and with its power, its a powerhouse to drive well lets find out what the future holds for us and which of these four makes the most sense in todays market Music, of course, with the new power plants, the new propulsion designers also get a lot of freedom when it comes to design im. Just going to do a quick take on what i think of the design the xc40 recharge. Well, the xc40 is a good looking car, but i think the recharge misses out on an opportunity.
There are two schools of thought on evs. Some manufacturers think they should look really radical, something they should look regular and just with small touches. So you see small touches like this grill some recharge badging slightly different wheels, but i think its i i do think the xc40 could do with a little more difference with a little more something else. You know sort of differentiated from its regular power sibling uh. The q5 well regular big rd, grille uh. It looks as audience as it can and to me i think it looks slightly boring because i think, with the second generation q5 audi went in for a very evolutionary development design, whereas i think they could have done a lot more to make. It stand out. The x3 well, its always the same. The grill something i dont like, but overall its a decent, looking car looks good. Has the bmw design touches great tail lights, great looking profile, but that grille does put me off and then i come to the best looking car in this slot, the lexus nx350 one. I love that red color. I love most reds, but this is particularly striking. It looks fantastic. The big spindle grill works. Well, the black treatment make sure that its not in your face 20 inch wheels, give it very good stance and its got a lovely tail light design. So i think, out of the four this would be my favorite looking car and the lexus definitely depends on the design Music.
So, first up in this test, im driving the petrol powered rdq5. Now you see petrol has been around for so long. It was the fuel of choice for over a century and its been fascinating to see how the technological advancements have come into petrol engines, uh, considering what they were in the early 1900s to what they are today, how clean they are, how efficient they are, and more Remarkably, how much power they produce like this two liter turbocharged engine, its got 248 bhp, its got 370 nmr torque and i have to say, with the automatic gearbox its absolutely a delight to drive. I got into the q5 and i, like i said earlier. I thought audi missed a trick with the exterior design, but when it comes to setting it up when it comes to refinement when it comes to chassis setup, its absolutely set up fantastically you actually dont feel the weight. It feels like a really light and nimble car that you can throw around the chassis behaves very well. The right comfort is very good. The gearbox functions excellently and it just is a very good drivers, cars, its something that you would really enjoy driving every day, but with petrol with the exorbitant pricing uh of fuel that we have today. It is also the most expensive car to run of the lot. Uh, if you drive this enthusiastically, you are not likely to see more than six to seven kilometers to a liter and with petrol, ranging between 105 to 120 rupees, a liter thats, a lot of money to pay for your commute, and i think thats the only place Where the audi q5 really loses out to the competition, because uh the inherent size weight and the fuel efficiency means that its the most expensive to run, but over the diesel x3, it has another advantage, which is that it has a five year longer lifespan.
You can use the q5 for 15 years without a problem. I would say that this would probably be the most well rounded all rounder in the segment. Its got. A decent interior, decent amount of space, great to drive only loses out and looks and the running cost, but still a very, very strong product. Moving on from petrol, we are now in the diesel powered x3. Of course, there are other cars in the segment that are also diesel powered, but as we are seeing, the government is making a push towards uh, if not completely, banning diesel, but making it unviable to buy cars, making them a lot more expensive and thats strange. You know because diesel uh, while its been around for a very long time, really came into vogue in the 70s. When manufacturers european manufacturers particularly started working on making their diesel cars more refined, more powerful and more efficient, so one fun fact: a diesel engine compared to a similar size, petrol engine will always be more fuel efficient, thats. What the design of the engines has been based on its a much more efficient fuel and as a result, you, the fuel efficiency you will get in lets say a diesel powered x3 will be much higher than lets say a petrol powered x3. So the differences can even be up to 50 or more, in fact, in an x3, if you drive normally a mix of urban and highways its easy to see fuel consumption figures of uh, 12, 13 14 kilometers to a liter, which also makes it one of the Most uh cheapest to run cars to you know when it comes to fuel costs in the segment in in this test.
Also, and diesel also have one secret trick up the streets with turbo charging. They have a lot of torque like the x3 400 nm, and you know theres another secret sauce. This bmws done the eight speed automatic gearbox that they have for a very long time has been the best gearbox in the world that ive driven paired with their engines. The gearbox tuning is so good that you are never forced to use the paddles to shift the gears manually. It just instantly shifts gears and with the 400nm it makes the x3 an absolute delight to drive this x3 also doesnt have very stiff suspension. The 18 inch wheels help there and so its a its a car that you can use in all conditions and trust me with its communicative steering, with its gearbox with its engine with the power and torque delivery. Its probably the best drivers car in this test and in its segment, barring the porsche mechanic thing, but otherwise i mean its just so fantastic to drive it flows along the road and, if youre, going on long journeys, its a car that you really enjoy the downsides. Well, the biggest downside is the government policy now of the 10 year lifespan. So you can only use the x3 for 10 years, after which it is supposed to be off the road and de registered and thats going to be a serious dent, because youre paying over 70 lakhs for this car and only being able to use for 10 years.
Does deter a lot of people and you can see why? Because in todays modern cars, a life of 15 to 20 years is very easy to achieve, but our government regulations are strange, so thats, the xt for you, the best drivers car in the segment very efficient. Very cheap to run, but the compromise is the limited lifespan from diesel. We moved to the latest platform of the four electric. Well, you see theres something you get with the volvo, which is a cutting edge electric platform, its got a big 78 kilowatt hour battery its got loads of power and torque 408 bhp 660 nm in a car thats under 4.5 meters. Long. In fact, the xc40 is a size smaller than the other three, but it does come with the latest technology, so theres a compromise there that you make, but what you make up for with the xc40 is the i hate to say this terrible pun. But the performance is electric: it really flies that 660 nm means acceleration in the volvo is mind blowing. In fact, you have to recalibrate your brain at times. If you use more than half throttle how quickly it accelerates and covers distance, it makes overtaking a breeze, whether youre, in a highway or in the city, because the instant talk from the electric motors really fires you down the road, while many other electric cars dont offer. You very good range, the volvo does. The claimed figure for the volvo is over 400 kilometers.
But what weve seen on this long trip and previous tests with the car is that its easy to achieve between 300 and 320 kilometers and uh, even with the heavy footed driver? Like me at least 300 kilometers is easy, which means that for most commutes, actually the volvo is more than sufficient. Youve got no problem. The problem starts when you take it long. Distance like we have – and i have to tell you, despite whatever people might tell you range anxiety, is a real issue where we are right now. Our next big charging station, or rather a fast charging station, is about 110 kilometers away. The car is showing me 160 kilometers, which makes it easy for me to reach there, but as the numbers trickle down it does start working on your brain. It does bring about some anxiety so, and you know, thats, not a problem with the car per se. Its more a problem with the fact that we dont have a very viable charging infrastructure right now. So, though, that that is one of the things that you have to consider if youre looking for an electric car. Second thing: yes, with the volvo you get a big battery latest technology, all wheel, drive twin motors, uh and and and good range, but it will also come at a cost. I expect the volvo to cost above 70 lakh rupees, when its launched next month and thats thats, the the money you paid there is for the technology.
The compromises is the fact that its slightly smaller and i have to say after the lexus after the bmw after the audi, the xc 40s interior doesnt feel that special its not supposed to so that is something that youll have to consider. You will be paying for the technology and as long as youre comfortable paying for the technology, you should be willing to make these compromises. Overall, though, if charging infrastructure, for you is not a problem, if you can charge at home and long outstation, trips are not too many. The xc40 is a very tempting proposition, its great to drive its great to look at and with its 300 kilometers of range. Very practical, Music and from electrics we move on to hybrids. This is the technology that i widely regarded for a very long time as something that would be ideal for india. Before we move to evs, you see, hybrids are much cheaper to produce than evs. They also offer you significant efficiency benefits. That means that you have lower running cost. You get a similar driving experience and biggest of all, you dont have to set up a new charging infrastructure because petrol hybrids, you just fill petrol at a regular petrol pump, and they can offer you significant efficiency benefits. For instance, the nx350h is powered by a 2.5 liter atkins cycle engine thats, supplemented by a dedicated battery pack, electric motors, which makes it all wheel drive its got 243 bhp and while lexus does not reveal the talk, its got ample performance.
0 100 comes up in 7.7 seconds, which is fast enough, not the fastest in the segment, but not slow either and efficiency is massive. I mean even with petrol. If you drive this thing, sedately you take it easy and youve got a mixed commute, its very easy to see 15 to 16 kilometers to a liter in petrol and thats massive, because no other vehicle in this segment gives you that kind of efficiency. That kind of running cost the only car that really competes with the low running cost is the bmw x3. Of course, the xc40 running cost is going to be something else, but ill come to that later, so the nx also another advantage. The nx has is that it feels special when you look outside it looks special when you get inside. This is easily the most comfortable, the most plush, the most luxury interior. In the forecast, its got big seats, its very well made this 14 inch display really pops in front of you. Its got apple carplay now, which is a late adoption by toyota and lexus uh. The mark levinson sound system on this sounds sublime, and you know if you spend time in the car you just enjoy the luxury and the comfort it offers. However, with the hybrid also has an ecbt and thats, where the lexus nx loses out a little bit. The driving appeal is not as good, especially when you get into the bmw or the rd, or even the instant dock of the volvo, the nx that the gearbox stretches on a bit.
You have to really prod it its not slow again, but then you have to make it work. You have to really give it the beans and then then it starts going faster and the other thing when youre really pushing it on because of the ecvt. The engine is quite loud, so the refinement is not as good and thats surprising. I would have thought that lexus would be the most refined, but its not. I would that its a interesting matchup between the other three, the volvo, the bmw and the audi, but this is certainly not the most defined where it wins well, uh, the design, the interiors, the equipment list and the low running cost the efficiency, its also competitively priced For the amount of features it offers, but it does lose out on the driving experience a little bit so thats a compromise you make. But i think that compromise is somewhat compensated for by how fuel efficient it is, and it has a dedicated, ev mode like right. Now, im coasting and the engines turned off the cars running only on ev at slow speeds. When youre parking for small distances, the car will run in ev mode and especially if you do a lot of traffic. If you do a lot of urban areas, thats something that will significantly bring down your running costs and your fuel consumption Music, now taking these four very different cars out on a long road trip has been great fun, weve, taken them on fast highways on curvy roads.
We havent taken them on some dirt tracks. As a result, you can see whats happened and that was to test the suspension, see how the right comfort is now. Of course, i should give you a verdict about what to choose and how each of the technology functions, and i think first up ill talk about the rdq fact, its probably the best all rounder, rather the most reliable option of this segment, its a car thats petrol Powered you can keep it for 15 years, its great to drive and, if theres, something to fault it over. I would say the fact that it doesnt look as special as it should. Second, is the diesel powered x3 diesel? Of course the government has now decided. Is the devils fuel and theyre going all after diesel powered cars, but the x3 has benefits its probably got one of the lowest running cost, along with the lexus and its still great fun to drive its a true drivers. Car the low end, torque really helps and the gearbox is phenomenal, but the 10 year cap on its life will deter some customers and thats a compromise. You have to make third, the volvo xc40 now thats a great technology party piece. If you want to tell people, you are worried about your carbon footprint at the same time, get a car thats blisteringly fast. The volvo xc40 is for you that 660 nm instant talk, really hits you like. I said earlier.
You have to recalibrate how you drive, but its not a value proposition. Evs are still very expensive and itll take time for them to come down to a similar price level as petrol diesel cars and thats a compromise you make its a slightly smaller car. It doesnt feel that special in the interior experience, but it is special to drive which comes to the lexus. Well, i would have to say this out of the form would be my pick. Yes, there are compromises, but it looks great inside and out. It feels fantastic. The quality is great, that mark levinson sound system. Yes, the bmw has a better driving experience and the lexus could do with a better transmission, but the overall package, especially when you look at the fuel efficiency, the low running cost and those stunning looks, i think, pick all the boxes for me so weve.