2020 Volvo XC40 vs. 2019 Infiniti QX30

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The XC40’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The QX30 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the XC40 and QX30 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC40 offers optional 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 QX30’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 XC40 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The QX30 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The XC40 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 QX30 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The XC40 offers an optional CTA Auto Brake that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The QX30 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the XC40’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 QX30 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The XC40’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 QX30 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the XC40 and the QX30 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC40 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The QX30 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The XC40’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the QX30’s (12 vs. 7 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC40 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 QX30.

There are over 40 percent more Volvo dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the XC40’s warranty.

Engine

The XC40 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 40 more horsepower (248 vs. 208) than the QX30’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the XC40 T5 is faster than the Infiniti QX30:

XC40

QX30

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

6.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.4 sec

18.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7 sec

7.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

92 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the XC40 T5 AWD gets better fuel mileage than the QX30 AWD (22 city/30 hwy vs. 21 city/30 hwy).

The XC40 has a gallon more fuel capacity than the QX30 FWD’s standard fuel tank (14.2 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The XC40 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 QX30 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 XC40 higher (5 out of 10) than the Infiniti QX30 (3). This means the XC40 produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the QX30 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo XC40, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the QX30.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the XC40’s brake rotors are larger than those on the QX30:

XC40

QX30

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the XC40’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the QX30 (245/45R20 vs. 235/50R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC40 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The QX30’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The XC40 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 QX30; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The XC40 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 QX30’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The XC40 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC40’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 QX30 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XC40 is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the QX30.

The XC40’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57.9% to 42.1%) than the QX30’s (59.7% to 40.3%). This gives the XC40 more stable handling and braking.

The XC40 T5 R-Design AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the QX30 Essential AWD pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the XC40 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the QX30 (8.3 vs. 8 inches), allowing the XC40 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the XC40 T5 R-Design AWD is quieter than the QX30 Essential AWD (74 vs. 76 dB).

Passenger Space

The XC40 has 9.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the QX30 (98 vs. 88.8).

The XC40 has .6 inches more front headroom, 2.6 inches more front hip room, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.6 inches more rear headroom, 2.6 inches more rear legroom, 5.6 inches more rear hip room and 3.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the QX30.

Cargo Capacity

The XC40 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the QX30 with its rear seat up (20.7 vs. 19.2 cubic feet). The XC40 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the QX30 with its rear seat folded (57.5 vs. 34 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XC40’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The QX30 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the XC40 has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just waving your foot, completely leaving your hands free. The QX30 doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The XC40 has a 3500 lbs. towing capacity. The QX30 has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The XC40 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The QX30 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

The XC40 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 QX30 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The power windows standard on both the XC40 and the QX30 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the XC40 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The QX30 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The XC40’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 QX30’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The XC40’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The QX30’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The XC40’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The QX30’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the XC40 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the QX30 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 XC40 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The QX30 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Both the XC40 and the QX30 offer available heated front seats. The XC40 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the QX30.

On extremely cold winter days, the XC40’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The QX30 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volvo XC40 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The QX30 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC40 is less expensive to operate than the QX30 because typical repairs cost much less on the XC40 than the QX30, including $356 less for a water pump, $99 less for a muffler, $44 less for a starter, $142 less for fuel injection, $72 less for front struts, $166 less for a timing belt/chain and $990 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The Volvo XC40 outsold the Infiniti QX30 by 53% during 2018.

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

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