2019 Volvo V90 vs. 2018 Infiniti QX30

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The V90’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The QX30 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the V90 and QX30 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The V90 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 QX30’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.

The Volvo V90 offers optional built in child booster seats. They’re more crash worthy than an added child seat because of their direct attachment to the seat. Infiniti doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the QX30. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; V90 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The V90 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The QX30 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The V90 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The QX30 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.

To help make backing safer, the V90’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The QX30 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The V90’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 QX30 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the V90’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Infiniti QX30 has a metal gas tank.

The V90 has standard Volvo On Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The QX30 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the V90 and the QX30 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

The Volvo V90 weighs 438 to 889 pounds more than the Infiniti QX30. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

The V90’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the QX30’s (12 vs. 7 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the V90 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Infiniti doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the QX30.

There are over 40 percent more Volvo dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the V90’s warranty.

Reliability

The battery on the V90 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the V90’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The QX30’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

The V90 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 42 more horsepower (250 vs. 208) than the QX30’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The V90 T6’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 108 more horsepower (316 vs. 208) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 258) than the QX30’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the V90 T6 is faster than the Infiniti QX30:

 

V90

QX30

Zero to 30 MPH

2.1 sec

2.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.6 sec

6.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.5 sec

18.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.4 sec

7.2 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3 sec

3.4 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.2 sec

4.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

99 MPH

92 MPH

Top Speed

133 MPH

131 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the V90 gets better fuel mileage than the QX30:

 

 

V90

QX30

 

2WD

T5/Auto

23 city/35 hwy

24 city/33 hwy

2.0t/Auto

AWD

T6/Auto

21 city/31 hwy

21 city/30 hwy

2.0t/Auto

Regenerative brakes improve the V90’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The QX30 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The V90 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX30 FWD’s standard fuel tank (14.5 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The V90 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX30 AWD’s standard fuel tank (15.9 vs. 14.8 gallons).

The V90 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 QX30 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 V90 higher (6 out of 10) than the Infiniti QX30 (3). This means the V90 produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the QX30 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo V90, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the QX30.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the V90 T6’s brake rotors are larger than those on the QX30:

 

V90 T5

V90 T6

QX30

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

13.6 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

The V90’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the QX30 are solid, not vented.

The V90 stops shorter than the QX30:

 

V90

QX30

 

70 to 0 MPH

157 feet

163 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the V90 has larger tires than the QX30 (255/40R19 vs. 235/50R18).

The V90’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 QX30’s standard 50 series tires. The V90’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the QX30’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the V90 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the QX30. The V90’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the QX30.

The V90 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the QX30; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The V90 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 QX30’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the V90’s wheelbase is 9.5 inches longer than on the QX30 (115.8 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the V90 is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the QX30.

The V90’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.7% to 46.3%) than the QX30’s (59.7% to 40.3%). This gives the V90 more stable handling and braking.

The V90 T6 AWD Inscription handles at .94 G’s, while the QX30 Premium AWD pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The design of the Volvo V90 amounts to more than styling. The V90 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .31 Cd. That is lower than the QX30 (.31 to .34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the V90 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the V90 T6 AWD Inscription is quieter than the QX30 Premium AWD (74 vs. 76 dB).

Passenger Space

The V90 has 9.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the QX30 (98 vs. 88.8).

The V90 has .9 inches more front legroom, 4.3 inches more front hip room, 2.7 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 2.4 inches more rear legroom, 6.7 inches more rear hip room and 2.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the QX30.

Cargo Capacity

The V90 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the QX30 with its rear seat up (25.5 vs. 19.2 cubic feet). The V90 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the QX30 with its rear seat folded (53.9 vs. 34 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the V90 easier. The V90’s trunk lift-over height is 24 inches, while the QX30’s liftover is 28.1 inches.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the V90’s rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The QX30 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the V90’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The QX30 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Towing

The V90 has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The QX30 has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The V90 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The QX30 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

The V90 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 QX30 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The V90 offers an optional 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 QX30 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the V90 and the QX30 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the V90 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The QX30 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The V90’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 QX30’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The V90’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The QX30’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the V90 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the QX30 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The V90 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The QX30 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Both the V90 and the QX30 offer available heated front seats. The V90 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the QX30.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the V90 Inscription keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The QX30 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the V90’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The QX30 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The V90 offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The QX30 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

The V90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The QX30 has never been an “All Star.”

The Volvo 90 Series outsold the Infiniti QX30 by 33% during the 2018 model year.

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

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