2019 Audi Q7 vs. 2019 Volvo XC90

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Q7 offers an optional backup collision prevention system which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The XC90 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q7. But it costs extra on the XC90.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Q7 Prestige helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The XC90 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the Q7 and the XC90 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, 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.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Audi Q7 is safer than the Volvo XC90:

 

Q7

XC90

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Abdominal Force

128 G’s

153 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Reliability

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 Q7’s reliability 44 points higher than the XC90.

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

As tested in Motor Trend the Q7 55 TFSI 3.0 supercharged V6 is faster than the XC90 T6 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.:

 

Q7

XC90

Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

2.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

6.7 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9 sec

11.2 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.7 sec

3.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.2 MPH

90.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi Q7 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The XC90 T5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Q7 has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC90 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (22.5 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Q7 has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC90’s standard fuel tank (22.5 vs. 18.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Q7’s brake rotors are larger than those on the XC90:

 

Q7

XC90 T5/T6

XC90 T8

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13.6 inches

14.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

12.6 inches

13.4 inches

The Q7 stops much shorter than the XC90:

 

Q7

XC90

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Q7 has larger standard tires than the XC90 (255/55R19 vs. 235/55R19). The Q7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the XC90 (285/45R20 vs. 275/45R20).

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Q7 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The XC90 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The front and rear suspension of the Q7 uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the XC90, which uses transverse leafs springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

The Q7 Prestige handles at .85 G’s, while the XC90 T6 AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Q7 Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the XC90 T6 AWD (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Q7 Prestige is quieter than the XC90 T6 AWD:

 

Q7

XC90

At idle

43 dB

48 dB

Full-Throttle

70 dB

74 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

65 dB

Passenger Space

The Q7 has .8 inches more front legroom, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 1.8 inches more rear legroom, 2 inches more rear shoulder room and 2.5 inches more third row shoulder room than the XC90.

Towing

The Q7’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the XC90’s (4400 vs. 4000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Volvo XC90 AWD is only 5000 pounds. The Q7 offers up to a 7700 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Q7 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the XC90. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

A Service Interval Display is standard on the Q7 to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, spark plug replacement, air filter replacement and tire rotation, vehicle inspection based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Volvo doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the XC90.

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 Q7’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The XC90’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Q7 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The XC90 doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the Q7 has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The XC90 doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Q7 has standard extendable sun visors. The XC90 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Q7 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Q7 with a number “5” insurance rate while the XC90 is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q7 is less expensive to operate than the XC90 because typical repairs cost much less on the Q7 than the XC90, including $584 less for a water pump, $234 less for a fuel pump and $516 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q7, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Volvo XC90 isn't recommended.

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its March 2016 issue and the Audi Q7 Prestige won out over the Volvo XC90 T6 AWD.

The Q7 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 2 years. The XC90 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Audi Q7 outsold the Volvo XC90 by 13% during the 2018 model year.

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

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