2019 Audi A4 vs. 2018 Volvo S60 Cross Country

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The A4’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The S60 Cross Country doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The A4 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The S60 Cross Country doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The A4 Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The S60 Cross Country only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the A4 and the S60 Cross Country have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability

The Audi A4’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the S60 Cross Country’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 25th in initial quality. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 22 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Engine

The A4 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 8 more horsepower (248 vs. 240) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the S60 Cross Country’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A4 45 TFSI Quattro gets better fuel mileage than the S60 Cross Country (23 city/34 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).

Transmission

The A4 offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The S60 Cross Country doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The A4 Auto’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The S60 Cross Country doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A4 Quattro’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the S60 Cross Country:

 

A4 Quattro

S60 Cross Country

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.9 inches

The A4’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the S60 Cross Country are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the S60 Cross Country (245/40R18 vs. 235/50R18).

The A4’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the S60 Cross Country’s optional 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The A4 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The S60 Cross Country’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The A4 offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The S60 Cross Country’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

Chassis

The Audi A4 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 400 pounds less than the Volvo S60 Cross Country.

Cargo Capacity

The A4 has a larger trunk than the S60 Cross Country (13 vs. 12 cubic feet).

The S60 Cross Country’s spare tire is stored in the cargo area, where it diminishes the useable cargo capacity and interferes with loading and unloading. The A4’s spare is out of the way under the trunk floor.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the A4 has a standard power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The S60 Cross Country doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the A4 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the S60 Cross Country. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Volvo. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 29% lower rating, Volvo is ranked 14th.

Ergonomics

The A4 has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The S60 Cross Country doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the A4 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. The driver of the S60 Cross Country can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A4 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. Heated windshield washer nozzles cost extra on the S60 Cross Country.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the A4 has standard extendable sun visors. The S60 Cross Country doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the A4 keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The S60 Cross Country doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Model Availability

The A4 is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The S60 Cross Country doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A4 is less expensive to operate than the S60 Cross Country because typical repairs cost much less on the A4 than the S60 Cross Country, including $1 less for a muffler, $7 less for front brake pads, $38 less for fuel injection and $247 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® chose the Audi A4 as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the A4 first among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The S60 Cross Country isn’t in the top three.

The Audi A4/S4 outsold the Volvo 60 Series by almost three to one during the 2018 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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