What if you value keen dynamics?
Hmm, seems the BMW still holds the high ground here. Both have adaptive damping, and various drive modes for the suspension and drivetrain, and both have eight-speed autos. While they have dissimilar engine types, they perform similarly, hitting the limit in just under seven seconds, although the petrol powered Volvo, with its ability to rev, gets the overtake down in a quicker manner. But the
difference between them lies in their all-wheel drive systems. BMW uses a constantly variable set-up which is able to send all or nothing to each end if need be. And it’s a proactive system as the big BMW never seems to run out of traction or grip but then it does rumble along on big wide rubber too. And if you want less roll and are ok with a few bumps, the Sport setting firms the dampers to see to that. The Volvo is certainly not embarrassed here, but the R-Design is outpointed by the M Sport. The Volvo’s predominantly a front-driver in nature, the torque sent rearwards when needed, and it relies more on its torque vectoring by brake to keep things trim and on line when you’re trying to hustle it along at X5 pace. The lighter petrol engine over the front helps the Volvo feel well balanced and it’s rather nimble for a big seven seater. There’s not much in it for steering accuracy or feel, the Volvo helm surprisingly good, and while both autos can be left to sort themselves, the BMW’s unit shows how it should really be done. As for the Polestar Optimisation, given this is no quicker than the regular T6, the money is better spent towards the extended leather upgrade for the cabin.