2019 Volvo S60 vs. 2019 Audi A4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the S60 and A4 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S60 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The A4’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The S60 offers optional CTA Auto Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The A4 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The S60’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The A4 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the S60 and the A4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, 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 blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the S60 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the A4.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the S60 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The A4’s standard 110-amp alternator and largest (optional) 150-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the S60 has a standard 800-amp battery. The A4’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

The S60 has more powerful engines than the A4:

 

Horsepower

Torque

S60 T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

250 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

S60 T6 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

S60 T8 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

S60 Polestar T8 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

415 HP

494 lbs.-ft.

A4 40 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

188 HP

236 lbs.-ft.

A4 45 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

248 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the S60 T6 is faster than the A4 40 TFSI:

 

S60

A4

Zero to 30 MPH

2.1 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

7 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9.5 sec

11.9 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.9 sec

3.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.3 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

99.2 MPH

91 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the S60 Polestar T8 is faster than the A4 40 TFSI:

 

S60

A4

Zero to 30 MPH

1.6 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.5 sec

7 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

7.4 sec

11.9 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.4 sec

3.7 sec

Quarter Mile

13.1 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

105.9 MPH

91 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the S60 T8 running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the A4 Quattro (74 city/74 hwy MPGe vs. 23 city/34 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S60 T8 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the A4 Quattro (29 city/34 hwy vs. 23 city/34 hwy).

The S60 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 17 miles. The A4 must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the S60 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The A4 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The S60 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The A4 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volvo S60 higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Audi A4 (3 to 5). This means the S60 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the A4 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo S60, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A4.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

S60 T5

S60 Polestar

A4

A4 Quattro

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

14.6 inches

12.4 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

13 inches

The S60 stops much shorter than the A4:

 

S60

A4

 

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the S60 has larger tires than the A4 (235/45R18 vs. 225/50R17).

The S60’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A4’s standard 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S60 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the A4.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S60’s wheelbase is 3.1 inches longer than on the A4 (113.1 inches vs. 110 inches).

The S60 R-Design AWD handles at .91 G’s, while the A4 Premium pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The S60 Polestar executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the A4 Premium (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the S60’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the A4’s (37.1 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Passenger Space

The S60 has 4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A4 (96 vs. 92).

The S60 has 1 inch more front legroom and .2 inches more front shoulder room than the A4.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the S60’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The A4 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Ergonomics

The S60 has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The A4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the A4, the S60 has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The A4’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The S60’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

When the S60 with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The A4’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The S60’s optional Park Assist Pilot can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The A4 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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