2021 Volvo S60 vs. 2020 Audi A6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The S60 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 A6 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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 A6 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 A6 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the S60 and the A6 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, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

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 A6.

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the S60’s reliability 20 points higher than the A6.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Volvo vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volvo 31st in initial quality. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 32nd.

Engine

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The S60 has more powerful engines than the A6:

Horsepower

Torque

S60 T5 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

S60 T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

S60 Recharge 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

A6 45 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

248 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

A6 55 TFSI 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid

335 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/10/21

On the EPA test cycle the S60 Recharge running on electricity running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the A6:

MPGe

S60

AWD

Electric Motor

70 city/68 hwy

A6

MPG

AWD

45 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

55 TFSI 3.0 turbo V6 Hybrid

22 city/29 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the S60 Recharge running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the A6 45 TFSI (28 city/33 hwy vs. 24 city/32 hwy).

The S60 Recharge can drive on battery power alone for up to 22 miles. The A6 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 A6 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 A6.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S60 Polestar’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the A6:

S60 Polestar

A6

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

13.3 inches

The S60 stops shorter than the A6:

S60

A6

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

129 feet

Consumer Reports

Chassis

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The Volvo S60 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 450 pounds less than the Audi A6.

The S60 is 7 inches shorter than the A6, making the S60 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers the S60’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The A6 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

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 A6 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the S60 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The A6 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the S60’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the A6’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The S60’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 A6 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The S60 is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The A6 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 $3825 less than the A6 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S60 is less expensive to operate than the A6 because it costs $64 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the S60 than the A6, including $182 less for a water pump, $12 less for a muffler, $22 less for front brake pads, $402 less for a starter, $1286 less for fuel injection, $200 less for front struts, $157 less for a timing belt/chain and $49 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volvo S60 will be $9249 to $19425 less than for the Audi A6.

Recommendations

© 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 2020/10/21

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 A6 was rated third in its category.

The Volvo 60 Series outsold the Audi A6/S6 by 13% during 2019.

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

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