2019 Volvo V90 vs. 2019 Audi Q5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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. Audi doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Q5. 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 Q5 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection 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 Q5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the V90 and the Q5 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 and available around view monitors.


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. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Q5.


To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the V90 has a standard 800-amp battery. The Q5’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.


The V90 T6’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 68 more horsepower (316 vs. 248) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 273) than the Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the V90 T6 is faster than the Audi Q5:




Zero to 60 MPH

5.6 sec

5.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.5 sec

16.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.4 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

99 MPH

95 MPH

Top Speed

133 MPH

128 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the V90 gets better fuel mileage than the Q5:








T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/35 hwy



T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4 cyl.

21 city/31 hwy




2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

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 Q5 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 Audi Q5 (3). This means the V90 produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Q5 every 15,000 miles.


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 Q5.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the V90 T6’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Q5:


V90 T6


Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13.3 inches

The V90 stops much shorter than the Q5:





70 to 0 MPH

157 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the V90 has larger tires than the Q5 (255/40R19 vs. 235/60R18).

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 Q5’s standard 60 series tires. The V90’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Q5’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 Q5.

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 Q5’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the V90’s wheelbase is 4.8 inches longer than on the Q5 (115.8 inches vs. 111 inches).

The V90 T6 AWD Inscription handles at .94 G’s, while the Q5 Premium Plus pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The V90 T6 AWD Inscription executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Q5 Prestige (26.3 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s).


The V90 is 7.2 inches shorter in height than the Q5, making the V90 much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Cargo Capacity

The V90 has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Q5 with its rear seat up (25.5 vs. 25.1 cubic feet). The V90 has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q5 with its rear seat folded (53.9 vs. 53.1 cubic feet).


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 Q5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the Q5, the V90 Inscription has a 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.

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 Q5 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 Q5 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the V90 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Q5 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The V90 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

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 Q5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The V90 is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The Q5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.


The V90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The Q5 has never been an “All Star.”

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

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