2021 Volvo S90 vs. 2020 Infiniti Q50

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/10/22

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo S90 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 Infiniti Q50 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

Both the S90 and Q50 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S90 has 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 Q50’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 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. Infiniti doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Q50. 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 Q50 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The S90 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 Q50 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.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the S90. But it costs extra on the Q50.

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 Q50 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the S90 and the Q50 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 and available around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the S90 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 184 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q50 has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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The S90’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Q50’s (12 vs. 7 years).

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. Infiniti doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Q50.

There are over 38 percent more Volvo dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the S90’s warranty.

Engine

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The S90 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder produces 16 more horsepower (316 vs. 300) than the Q50 3.0t’s standard 3.0 turbo V6. The S90 Recharge’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 122 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 350) than the Q50 Red Sport 400’s standard 3.0 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the S90 Recharge running on electricity running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Q50:

MPGe

S90

AWD

Electric Motor

58 city/64 hwy

Q50

MPG

RWD

3.0t 3.0 turbo V6

20 city/29 hwy

Red Sport 400 3.0 turbo V6

20 city/26 hwy

AWD

3.0t 3.0 turbo V6

19 city/27 hwy

Red Sport 400 3.0 turbo V6

19 city/26 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the S90 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Q50:

MPG

S90

AWD

T8 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl. Hybrid

28 city/31 hwy

T6 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl.

21 city/32 hwy

Q50

RWD

3.0t 3.0 turbo V6

20 city/29 hwy

Red Sport 400 3.0 turbo V6

20 city/26 hwy

AWD

3.0t 3.0 turbo V6

19 city/27 hwy

Red Sport 400 3.0 turbo V6

19 city/26 hwy

The S90 Recharge can drive on battery power alone for up to 21 miles. The Q50 must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the S90’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Q50 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Regardless of its engine, the S90’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.) Infiniti only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Q50 2.0t.

The S90 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 Q50 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

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 Infiniti Q50 (3). This means the S90 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Q50 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 Q50.

Brakes and Stopping

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The S90 stops shorter than the Q50:

S90

Q50

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

165 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the S90 has larger standard tires than the Q50 (245/45R18 vs. 225/55R17). The S90’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Q50 (255/35R20 vs. 245/40R19).

The S90’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 Q50’s standard 55 series tires. The S90’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Q50 Red Sport 400’s 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S90 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Q50. The S90’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Q50 Sport/Red Sport 400 AWD.

The S90 T6 has a standard space-saver spare (not available on Recharged) so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Q50; 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

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S90’s wheelbase is 8.3 inches longer than on the Q50 (120.5 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the S90 is 3.3 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Q50.

The S90 T6 Momentum handles at .90 G’s, while the Q50 Red Sport 400 pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

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The S90 has 3.2 inches more front hip room, .8 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 5.3 inches more rear legroom and 2.4 inches more rear hip room than the Q50.

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 Q50 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S90’s power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Q50 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Towing

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The S90 has a 3700 lbs. towing capacity. The Q50 has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Q50 Sport/Red Sport 400, the S90 Inscription/T8 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 S90 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 Q50 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The S90’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Q50’s parking brake has to released manually.

The power windows standard on both the S90 and the Q50 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the S90 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Q50 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Q50 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 S90 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Q50 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

A power rear sunshade is standard in the S90 Inscription to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Q50 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Both the S90 and the Q50 offer available heated front seats. The S90 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Q50.

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 Q50 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The S90 Inscription offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Q50.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volvo S90 T6 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Q50 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 Q50 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 Q50 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 2020/10/22

The S90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2017. The Q50 has never been an “All Star.”

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

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