2019 Audi A5 Sportback vs. 2018 Volvo S60 Cross Country

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The A5 Sportback’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 A5 Sportback 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 A5 Sportback 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 A5 Sportback 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, all wheel drive, 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 A5 Sportback’s engine uses 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 A5 Sportback’s 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 A5 Sportback gets better fuel mileage than the S60 Cross Country (23 city/34 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi A5 Sportback higher (5 out of 10) than the Volvo S60 Cross Country (3). This means the A5 Sportback produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the S60 Cross Country every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The A5 Sportback 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 A5 Sportback’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 A5 Sportback’s brake rotors are larger than those on the S60 Cross Country:

 

A5

S60

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.9 inches

The A5 Sportback’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 A5 Sportback has larger standard tires than the S60 Cross Country (245/40R18 vs. 235/50R18). The A5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the S60 Cross Country (255/35R19 vs. 235/50R18).

The A5 Sportback’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the S60 Cross Country’s standard 50 series tires. The A5 Sportback’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the S60 Cross Country’s optional 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The A5 Sportback offers an available 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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A5 Sportback’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer than on the S60 Cross Country (111.2 inches vs. 109.2 inches).

Passenger Space

The A5 Sportback has .1 inches more front headroom and 1.6 inches more rear legroom than the S60 Cross Country.

Cargo Capacity

The A5 Sportback has a much larger trunk than the S60 Cross Country (21.8 vs. 12 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the A5 Sportback has a standard power liftgate, 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 A5 Sportback 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 A5 Sportback Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation 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 A5 Sportback the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. 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 A5 Sportback 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 A5 Sportback has standard extendable sun visors. The S60 Cross Country doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the A5 Sportback Premium Plus/Prestige 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.

The A5 Sportback Prestige’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The S60 Cross Country doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Audi A5 comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Volvo S60 Cross Country isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Recommendations

The Audi A5/S5 outsold the Volvo 60 Series by over two to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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