What if you value keen dy­nam­ics?

NZ Autocar - - New Arrival -

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.

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