2021 Volvo S90 vs. 2020 Audi A7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Volvo S90 offers optional built in child booster seats. They’re more crash worthy than an added child seat because of their direct attachment to the seat. Audi doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the A7. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; S90 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The S90 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The A7 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The S90’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 A7 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the S90 and the A7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, 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 S90 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 A7.

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 S90’s reliability 23 points higher than the A7.

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 S90 Recharge’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 65 more horsepower (400 vs. 335) and 103 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 369) than the A7’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the S90 Recharge running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the A7 (58 city/64 hwy MPGe vs. 22 city/29 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S90 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the A7:

MPG

S90

T8 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl. Hybrid

28 city/31 hwy

T6 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl.

21 city/32 hwy

A7

3.0 turbo V6

22 city/29 hwy

The S90 Recharge can drive on battery power alone for up to 21 miles. The A7 must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volvo S90 higher (7 out of 10) than the Audi A7 (5). This means the S90 produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the A7 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is available on the Volvo S90, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A7.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S90’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the A7:

S90

A7

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13.3 inches

The S90 stops shorter than the A7:

S90

A7

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

163 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

116 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S90’s wheelbase is 5.3 inches longer than on the A7 (120.5 inches vs. 115.2 inches).

The S90 T6 Inscription handles at .88 G’s, while the A7 Prestige pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

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The Volvo S90 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 450 pounds less than the Audi A7.

Passenger Space

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The S90 has 7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A7 (102 vs. 95).

The S90 has .8 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom and 3.4 inches more rear legroom than the A7.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers the S90’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The A7 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

With its sedan body style, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the S90 offers cargo security. The A7’s hatchback body style, non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Towing

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The S90’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the A7’s (3700 vs. 3500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Audi A7 is only 3500 pounds. The S90 offers up to a 4600 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The S90 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 A7 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The S90’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 A7’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the S90 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The A7 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

A power rear sunshade is standard in the S90 Inscription to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The A7 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The S90 Inscription has standard front air conditioned seats and offers them optionally in the rear. This keeps the passengers comfortable and takes the sting out of hot seats in summer. The A7 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The S90 has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The A7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The S90’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 A7 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the S90 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the S90 will cost $360 to $3765 less than the A7 over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volvo S90 will be $14665 to $15603 less than for the Audi A7.

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

The S90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2017. The A7 has never been an “All Star.”

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