2021 Volvo V90 vs. 2020 Audi A6 Allroad

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Volvo V90 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 A6 Allroad. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; V90 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The V90 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 A6 Allroad doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The V90’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 Allroad doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the V90 and the A6 Allroad 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, 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 V90 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 Allroad.

Reliability

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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.

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the V90’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The A6 Allroad doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The V90 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 Allroad doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo V90, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A6 Allroad.

Brakes and Stopping

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The V90 stops much shorter than the A6 Allroad:

V90

A6 Allroad

70 to 0 MPH

157 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the V90 has larger tires than the A6 Allroad (255/40R19 vs. 245/45R20).

The V90’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A6 Allroad’s standard 45 series tires. The V90’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the A6 Allroad’s 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The V90 T6 AWD Inscription handles at .94 G’s, while the A6 Allroad Prestige pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The Volvo V90 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 550 pounds less than the Audi A6 Allroad.

Passenger Space

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The V90 has .4 inches more front headroom and .9 inches more front legroom than the A6 Allroad.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the V90 easier. The V90’s trunk lift-over height is 24 inches, while the A6 Allroad’s liftover is 27 inches.

Ergonomics

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The V90 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 Allroad doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the A6 Allroad, the V90 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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the V90 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The A6 Allroad doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the V90 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the A6 Allroad only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the V90 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The A6 Allroad doesn’t offer cornering lights. The V90 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

Model Availability

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The V90 is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The A6 Allroad doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the V90 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the V90 will cost $125 to $3065 less than the A6 Allroad over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volvo V90 will be $10762 to $16068 less than for the Audi A6 Allroad.

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 2020/10/27

The V90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The A6 Allroad has never been an “All Star.”

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