2020 Volvo S60 vs. 2019 Audi A5 Sportback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the S60 and A5 Sportback have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S60 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 A5 Sportback’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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The S60 offers optional CTA Auto Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The S60’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 A5 Sportback doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the S60 and the A5 Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear 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, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the S60 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 A5 Sportback.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the S60 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The A5 Sportback’s standard 110-amp alternator and largest (optional) 150-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the S60 has a standard 800-amp battery. The A5 Sportback’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

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The S60 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/SC 4 cyl. produces 68 more horsepower (316 vs. 248) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 273) than the A5 Sportback’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The S60 T8’s standard 2.0 turbo/SC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 152 more horsepower (400 vs. 248) and 199 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 273) than the A5 Sportback’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the S60 T6 2.0 turbo/SC 4 cyl. is faster than the Audi A5 Sportback:

S60

A5 Sportback

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

5.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.8 sec

14 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

14 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

103 MPH

100 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

129 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the S60 T8 gets better mileage running on electricity than the A5 Sportback SMG (70 city/68 hwy MPGe vs. 23 city/34 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S60 T8 gets better city fuel mileage running on gasoline than the A5 Sportback SMG (28 city vs. 23 city).

The S60 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 22 miles. The A5 Sportback must run its internal combustion engine to move.

The S60 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 A5 Sportback doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo S60, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A5 Sportback.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S60 Polestar’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the A5 Sportback:

S60 Polestar

A5 Sportback

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

13.3 inches

Tires and Wheels

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The S60 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 A5 Sportback; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S60’s wheelbase is 1.9 inches longer than on the A5 Sportback (113.1 inches vs. 111.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S60 is .5 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the A5 Sportback.

The S60 R-Design AWD handles at .94 G’s, while the A5 Sportback Prestige pulls only .93 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the S60’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the A5 Sportback’s (37.1 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

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The design of the Volvo S60 amounts to more than styling. The S60 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the A5 Sportback (.29) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S60 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The S60 has 1 inch more front legroom, .4 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom and .1 inches more rear legroom than the A5 Sportback.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers the S60’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the S60 offers cargo security. The A5 Sportback’s hatchback body style defeats cargo security.

Towing

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The S60 has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The A5 Sportback has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The S60 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 A5 Sportback doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the A5 Sportback, the S60 R-Design/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.

If the windows are left open on the S60 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the A5 Sportback can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The S60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the S60 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer cornering lights. The S60 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

Model Availability

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The S60 is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the S60 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the S60 will cost $2930 less than the A5 Sportback over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volvo S60 will be $4943 to $11406 less than for the Audi A5 Sportback.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/20

J.D. Power and Associates rated the S60 second among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The A5 Sportback isn’t in the top three.

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