2021 Volvo V90 Cross Country vs. 2020 Audi Q5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Volvo V90 Cross Country 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 Q5. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; V90 Cross Country owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The V90 Cross Country 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 Q5 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The V90 Cross Country’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 Q5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the V90 Cross Country and the Q5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

Warranty

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Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the V90 Cross Country 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 Q5.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the V90 Cross Country has a standard 800-amp battery. The Q5’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 V90 Cross Country’s 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder produces 68 more horsepower (316 vs. 248) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 273) than the Q5 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The V90 Cross Country 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 Q5 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 V90 Cross Country higher (7 out of 10) than the Audi Q5 (5). This means the V90 Cross Country produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Q5 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo V90 Cross Country, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Q5.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the V90 Cross Country’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the Q5:

V90 Cross Country

Q5

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13.3 inches

The V90 Cross Country stops shorter than the Q5:

V90 Cross Country

Q5

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The V90 Cross Country’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Q5’s standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the V90 Cross Country has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Q5.

Suspension and Handling

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The V90 Cross Country 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. The Q5’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the V90 Cross Country’s wheelbase is 4.8 inches longer than on the Q5 (115.8 inches vs. 111 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the V90 Cross Country is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Q5.

The V90 Cross Country T6 handles at .87 G’s, while the Q5 45 TFSI Premium Plus pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The V90 Cross Country T6 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Q5 45 TFSI Prestige (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the V90 Cross Country’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the Q5’s (38.1 feet vs. 38.4 feet). The V90 Cross Country’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Q5 55 TFSI e’s (38.1 feet vs. 39.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the V90 Cross Country has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Q5 55 TFSI e (8.3 vs. 8 inches), allowing the V90 Cross Country to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The V90 Cross Country’s minimum ground clearance is .1 inch higher than on the Q5 (8.3 vs. 8.2 inches).

Cargo Capacity

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The V90 Cross Country has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Q5 with its rear seat up (25.5 vs. 25.1 cubic feet). The V90 Cross Country has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q5 with its rear seat folded (53.9 vs. 53.1 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the V90 Cross Country easier. The V90 Cross Country’s trunk lift-over height is 26.8 inches, while the Q5’s liftover is 29 inches.

The V90 Cross Country’s cargo area is larger than the Q5’s in every dimension:

V90 Cross Country

Q5

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

45.4”/78.3”

36”/69”

Min Width

43.3”

41”

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/10/27

The V90 Cross Country 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 Q5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the Q5, the V90 Cross Country offers an optional 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.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the V90 Cross Country has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q5 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The V90 Cross Country has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Q5 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the V90 Cross Country has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Q5 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The V90 Cross Country also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The V90 Cross Country offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Q5.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volvo V90 Cross Country has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Wireless charging costs extra on the Q5.

The V90 Cross Country offers an optional 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 Q5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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