2019 Volvo XC60 vs. 2018 Audi A7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The XC60 offers an optional 360-Degree Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The A7 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

To help make backing safer, the XC60’s optional 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 A7 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The XC60’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 A7 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the XC60 and the A7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and blind spot warning systems.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC60 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 91 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A7 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC60 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 A7.

Reliability

The A7’s redline is at 7000 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The XC60 has a 6000 RPM redline.

Engine

The XC60 T8’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 60 more horsepower (400 vs. 340) and 147 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 325) than the A7’s 3.0 supercharged V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the XC60 T8 running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the A7 (60 city/58 hwy MPGe vs. 20 city/29 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the XC60 T8 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the A7 (26 city/28 hwy vs. 20 city/29 hwy).

The XC60 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 14 miles. The A7 must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the XC60 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The A7 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The XC60 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 A7 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 XC60 higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Audi A7 (3). This means the XC60 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the A7 every 15,000 miles.

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC60 R-Design offers optional 21-inch wheels. The A7’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The XC60 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 or off-road. The A7’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The XC60 T6/T8 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC60’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The A7 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the XC60 is .6 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A7.

The XC60 T6 AWD Inscription handles at .87 G’s, while the A7 Premium Plus pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the XC60’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the A7’s (37.4 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

The Volvo XC60 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 450 pounds less than the Audi A7.

The XC60 is 11.6 inches shorter than the A7, making the XC60 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The XC60 has standard seating for 5 passengers; the A7 Competition can only carry up to 4.

The XC60 has 9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A7 (103 vs. 94).

The XC60 has 1.1 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom, 1 inch more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the A7.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the XC60 easier. The XC60’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 24.3 inches, while the A7’s liftover is 27.1 inches.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XC60’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The A7 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Ergonomics

The XC60 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 A7 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the XC60 has a standard rear wiper. The A7 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

The XC60’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 A7 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The XC60 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The A7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The Volvo XC60 outsold the Audi A7/S7/RS 7 by almost five to one during 2017.

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

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