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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo S60 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Kia K5 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
The S60’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The K5 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
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 K5 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The S60 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 K5 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 S60 offers an optional 360° Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The K5 only offers rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
Both the S60 and the K5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, lane departure warning systems and driver alert monitors.
The Volvo S60 weighs 429 to 1316 pounds more than the Kia K5. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
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 vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the S60 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The K5 has not been tested, yet.
The S60’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the K5’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).
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. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the K5.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the S60 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The K5’s standard 130-amp alternator and largest (2.5T) 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 K5’s 760-amp battery isn’t as powerful.
The battery on the S60 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the S60’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The K5’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.
The S60 has more powerful engines than the K5:
S60 T5 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder
S60 T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder
S60 Recharge 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid
K5 1.6T 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder
K5 GT 2.5T 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder
On the EPA test cycle the S60 Recharge running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the K5 LX (70 city/68 hwy MPGe vs. 29 city/38 hwy).
The S60 Recharge can drive on battery power alone for up to 22 miles. The K5 must run its internal combustion engine to move.
Regenerative brakes improve the S60 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The K5 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
Regardless of its engine, the S60’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Kia only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the K5 LX.
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 K5 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
For better stopping power the S60’s brake rotors are larger than those on the K5:
The S60’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the K5 are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the S60 has larger tires than the K5 (235/45R18 vs. 205/65R16).
The S60’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the K5 LX/LXS’ standard 65 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S60 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the K5 LX/LXS.
The S60 is 5.7 inches shorter than the K5, making the S60 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the S60’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The K5’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.
The S60’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The K5 LX doesn’t offer folding rear seats.
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the S60’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The K5 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 K5’s non-lockable folding seat defeats cargo security.
A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the S60. The K5 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the S60 has a standard power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The K5 doesn’t offer a power trunk, so its trunk has to be closed manually.
Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the K5 EX/GT, 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.
The S60 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The K5 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The S60’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 K5’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the K5 GT-Line/EX/GT’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.
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 K5 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The S60’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 K5’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
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 K5 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
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 K5 doesn’t offer headlight washers.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the S60 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The K5 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The S60 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.
The S60’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The K5 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
Both the S60 and the K5 offer available heated front seats. The S60 T6/Recharge also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the K5.
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 K5 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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