2020 Volvo XC40 vs. 2019 Infiniti QX50

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 QX50 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the XC40 and QX50 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 QX50’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 QX50 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 QX50 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.

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 QX50 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the XC40 and the QX50 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, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

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 QX50 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The XC40’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the QX50’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 QX50.

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.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the XC40 has a standard 800-amp battery. The QX50’s 720-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the XC40 T4 FWD gets better fuel mileage than the QX50 FWD (23 city/33 hwy vs. 24 city/31 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the XC40’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 QX50 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 QX50 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the XC40’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the QX50:

XC40

QX50

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

The XC40 stops shorter than the QX50:

XC40

QX50

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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 QX50; 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 QX50’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 QX50 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

Chassis

The XC40 is 10.6 inches shorter than the QX50, making the XC40 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The XC40 has 1.3 inches more front legroom and .8 inches more rear hip room than the QX50.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XC40’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The QX50 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

The XC40’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the QX50’s (3500 vs. 0 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Infiniti QX50 AWD is only 3000 pounds. The XC40 offers up to a 4630 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the XC40 and the QX50 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 QX50 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

If the windows are left open on the XC40 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 also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the QX50 can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 QX50’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the XC40 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The QX50 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the XC40’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the QX50’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The XC40’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Infiniti only offers heated mirrors on the QX50 Essential.

The XC40 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The QX50 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the XC40 and the QX50 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 QX50.

The XC40’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 QX50 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC40 is less expensive to operate than the QX50 because typical repairs cost much less on the XC40 than the QX50, including $366 less for a water pump, $99 less for a muffler, $171 less for a starter, $78 less for fuel injection, $72 less for front struts, $166 less for a timing belt/chain and $886 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2019 issue and they ranked the Volvo XC40 T5 R-Design AWD higher than the Infiniti QX50 Essential AWD.

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

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