2020 Audi e-tron Sportback vs. 2020 Volvo XC90

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

To allow off-road and deep snow capability, Four-Wheel Drive is standard on the e-tron Sportback. But it costs extra on the XC90.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the e-tron Sportback helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The XC90 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the e-tron Sportback and the XC90 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

The Audi e-tron Sportback weighs 649 to 1427 pounds more than the Volvo XC90. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 22nd in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 28th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 80 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 10 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Engine

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The e-tron Sportback’s electric motors produce 152 more horsepower (402 vs. 250) and 232 lbs.-ft. more torque (490 vs. 258) than the XC90 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The e-tron Sportback’s electric motors produce 86 more horsepower (402 vs. 316) and 195 lbs.-ft. more torque (490 vs. 295) than the XC90 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder. The e-tron Sportback’s electric motors produce 2 more horsepower (402 vs. 400) and 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (490 vs. 472) than the XC90 T8’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the e-tron Sportback gets better fuel mileage than the XC90 T8 running on electricity (76 city/78 hwy vs. 58 city/52 hwy MPGe).

The e-tron Sportback’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 204 miles on a full charge. The XC90 T8 can only travel about 18 miles before it has to start its internal combustion engine.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi e-tron Sportback higher (10 out of 10) than the Volvo XC90 (5 to 7). This means the e-tron Sportback produces up to 19.8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the XC90 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The e-tron Sportback’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The XC90 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the e-tron Sportback’s brake rotors are larger than those on the XC90:

e-tron Sportback

XC90 T5/T6

XC90 T8

Front Rotors

15.7 inches

13.6 inches

14.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

12.6 inches

13.4 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the e-tron Sportback has larger standard tires than the XC90 (255/50R20 vs. 235/55R19).

The e-tron Sportback’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the XC90’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the e-tron Sportback has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the XC90.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the e-tron Sportback uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the XC90, which uses coil springs in front and transverse leafs springs in the rear. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

Chassis

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The design of the Audi e-tron Sportback amounts to more than styling. The e-tron Sportback has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .25 Cd. That is significantly lower than the XC90 (.33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the e-tron Sportback get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the e-tron Sportback uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The XC90 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The e-tron Sportback has .9 inches more front shoulder room, 2.1 inches more rear legroom and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the XC90.

Servicing Ease

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A Service Interval Display is standard on the e-tron Sportback to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for vehicle inspection based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Volvo doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the XC90.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Volvo. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 17% lower rating, Volvo is ranked 14th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the XC90, the e-tron Sportback Prestige has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The e-tron Sportback’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 XC90’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the e-tron Sportback has standard extendable sun visors. The XC90 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi e-tron Sportback has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The XC90 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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