2019 Volvo XC90 vs. 2019 Infiniti QX80

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC90 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Infiniti QX80 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

Both the XC90 and QX80 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC90 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 QX80’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 XC90 offers an optional built in child booster seat. It’s more crash worthy than an added child seat because of its direct attachment to the seat. Infiniti doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the QX80. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; XC90 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the XC90 deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The XC90’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The QX80’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The XC90 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 QX80 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.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the XC90’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The QX80 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The XC90’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 QX80 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the XC90 uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The QX80 uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the XC90 and the QX80 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC90 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 154 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The QX80 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The XC90’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the QX80’s (12 vs. 7 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC90 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 QX80.

There are over 40 percent more Volvo dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the XC90’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the XC90 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The QX80’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the XC90 has a standard 800-amp battery. The QX80’s 780-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the XC90 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the XC90’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The QX80’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

The XC90 T8’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 413) than the QX80’s 5.6 DOHC V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the Volvo XC90 is faster than the Infiniti QX80:

 

XC90 T6

XC90 T8

QX80

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

5.3 sec

6.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.5 sec

14.6 sec

17.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

14 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

98 MPH

94 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the XC90 T8 running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the QX80 AWD (59 city/56 hwy MPGe vs. 13 city/19 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the XC90 T8 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the QX80 AWD (24 city/27 hwy vs. 13 city/19 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the XC90 gets better fuel mileage than the QX80:

 

 

 

MPG

XC90

 

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

 

AWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

 

 

T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4 cyl.

19 city/26 hwy

QX80

 

RWD

5.6 DOHC V8

14 city/20 hwy

 

AWD

5.6 DOHC V8

13 city/19 hwy

The XC90 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 17 miles. The QX80 must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the XC90 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The QX80 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the XC90’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The QX80 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The XC90 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 QX80 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo XC90, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the QX80.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the XC90 T8’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the QX80:

 

XC90 T8

QX80

Front Rotors

14.4 inches

13.8 inches

The XC90 stops much shorter than the QX80:

 

XC90

QX80

 

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

155 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The XC90’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the QX80’s optional 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The XC90 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 QX80’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The XC90 T6 AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the QX80 AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The XC90 T6 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the QX80 AWD (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the XC90’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the QX80’s (38.7 feet vs. 41.3 feet). The XC90’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter with 22-inch wheels than the QX80’s (39.7 feet vs. 41.3 feet).

For greater off-road capability the XC90 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the QX80 (9.4 vs. 9.2 inches), allowing the XC90 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The XC90 w/Air Suspension’s minimum ground clearance is 1.3 inches higher than on the QX80 (10.5 vs. 9.2 inches).

Chassis

The Volvo XC90 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 850 to 950 pounds less than the Infiniti QX80.

The XC90 is 1 foot, 3.3 inches shorter than the QX80, making the XC90 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Unibody construction lowers the XC90’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The QX80 uses body-on-frame design instead.

The design of the Volvo XC90 amounts to more than styling. The XC90 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is significantly lower than the QX80 (.367) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the XC90 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The XC90 has 1.3 inches more front legroom and 3.1 inches more third row legroom than the QX80.

The front step up height for the XC90 is 6.9 inches lower than the QX80 (15.8” vs. 22.7”). The XC90’s rear step up height is 7.5 inches lower than the QX80’s (16” vs. 23.5”).

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the XC90 easier. The XC90’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 30.8 inches, while the QX80’s liftover is 35.8 inches.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the XC90’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The QX80 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

The XC90 has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The QX80 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the QX80, the XC90 R-Design/Inscription/Excellence 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.

The XC90 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 QX80 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the XC90 and the QX80 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the XC90 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The QX80 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the XC90 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The QX80 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

A manual rear sunshade is optional in the XC90 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The QX80 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The XC90 Inscription/Excellence has standard front air conditioned seats and the XC90 Excellence also has them in the second row. This keeps the passengers comfortable and takes the sting out of hot seats in summer. The QX80 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.

Standard Sensus Connected Touch for the XC90 allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, searching the internet and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The QX80 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The XC90’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 QX80 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC90 is less expensive to operate than the QX80 because it costs $36 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the XC90 than the QX80, including $732 less for a timing belt/chain and $101 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Volvo XC90, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

Motor Trend selected the XC90 as their 2016 Sport Utility of the Year. The QX80 has never been chosen.

The XC90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2016. The QX80 has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the XC90 as the 2016 North American Truck of the Year. The QX80 has never been chosen.

The Volvo XC90 outsold the Infiniti QX80 by 65% during 2018.

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

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