2019 Audi Q5 vs. 2019 Volvo XC40

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q5. But it costs extra on the XC40.

Both the Q5 and the XC40 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Q5 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The XC40 has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

The Audi Q5’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the XC40’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Q5’s reliability 42 points higher than the XC40.

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 Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 61 more horsepower (248 vs. 187) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 221) than the XC40 T4’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the XC40 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi Q5 is faster than the XC40 T5:

 

Q5

XC40

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

8.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.6 MPH

84.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the Q5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The XC40 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi Q5 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The XC40 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Q5 has 4.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC40 (18.5 vs. 14.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The Q5 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 XC40 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The Q5’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 XC40 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

The Q5’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the XC40 are solid, not vented.

The Q5 stops much shorter than the XC40:

 

Q5

XC40

 

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

132 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Q5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the XC40 (255/45R20 vs. 245/45R20).

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q5’s wheelbase is 4.6 inches longer than on the XC40 (111 inches vs. 106.4 inches).

The Q5 Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the XC40 T5 R-Design AWD (27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Chassis

The design of the Audi Q5 amounts to more than styling. The Q5 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is lower than the XC40 (.34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Q5 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The Q5 has 2.7 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 1.7 inches more rear legroom and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the XC40.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Q5’s rear seats recline. The XC40’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Q5 has a much larger cargo volume than the XC40 with its rear seat up (25.1 vs. 20.7 cubic feet).

Towing

The Q5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the XC40’s (4400 vs. 3500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Q5 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the XC40. 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 Q5 Prestige 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 XC40 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Q5 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 XC40.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Q5 has standard extendable sun visors. The XC40 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Q5 Premium Plus/Prestige keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The XC40 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Q5 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the XC40.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q5 is less expensive to operate than the XC40 because typical repairs cost less on the Q5 than the XC40, including $62 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q5, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Volvo XC40 isn't recommended.

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

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