2021 Volvo XC40 vs. 2020 Audi Q3

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

The XC40 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 Q3 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The XC40 offers an optional CTA Auto Brake that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Q3 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The XC40’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 Q3 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the XC40 and the Q3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front 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, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

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, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC40 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q3 last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2019.

Warranty

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Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC40 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 Q3.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the XC40 has a standard 800-amp battery. The Q3’s 680-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 XC40’s reliability 15 points higher than the Q3.

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 XC40 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 20 more horsepower (248 vs. 228) than the Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the XC40 T5 is faster than the Audi Q3:

XC40

Q3

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

7.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.4 sec

19.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7 sec

8.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

91 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

130 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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

On the EPA test cycle the XC40 T5 AWD 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (248 HP) gets better fuel mileage than the Q3 (22 city/30 hwy vs. 19 city/27 hwy).

The XC40 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 Q3 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the XC40’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Q3:

XC40

Q3

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13.4 inches

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XC40 is .8 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Q3.

For better maneuverability, the XC40’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Q3’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

© 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 design of the Volvo XC40 amounts to more than styling. The XC40 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .34 Cd. That is lower than the Q3 (.36). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the XC40 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The XC40 has 14 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Q3 (98 vs. 84).

The XC40 has .9 inches more front legroom, 1.5 inches more rear headroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q3.

Cargo Capacity

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The XC40 has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q3 with its rear seat folded (57.5 vs. 48 cubic feet).

The XC40’s cargo area is larger than the Q3’s in almost every dimension:

XC40

Q3

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

34.9”/65.7”

34”/65”

Max Width

47.8”

54”

Min Width

39.5”

39”

Height

29.4”

28”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XC40’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Q3 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

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The XC40’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Q3’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Audi Q3 is only 1500 pounds. The XC40 offers up to a 4630 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The XC40 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 Q3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When three different drivers share the XC40, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Q3 doesn’t offer a memory system.

The XC40’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 Q3’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the XC40 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Q3 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the XC40 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q3 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the XC40’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Q3’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC40 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Q3 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XC40 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Q3 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The XC40 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

When the XC40 is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Q3’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the XC40 and the Q3 offer available heated front seats. The XC40 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Q3.

On extremely cold winter days, the XC40’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Q3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Model Availability

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The XC40 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q3 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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The XC40 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the XC40 will retain 46.39% to 55.1% of its original price after five years, while the Q3 only retains 44.62% to 45.25%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volvo XC40 will be $1055 to $9900 less than for the Audi Q3.

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

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Volvo XC40 and the Audi Q3, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Volvo XC40 outsold the Audi Q3 by 19% during 2019.

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