2021 Volvo XC40 vs. 2020 Audi Q5

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 2020/10/21

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 Q5 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 Q5 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 Q5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the XC40 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, 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 Q5 last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

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 Q5.

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 Q5’s 420-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 16 points higher than the Q5.

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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On the EPA test cycle the XC40 T5 AWD 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (248 HP) gets better fuel mileage than the Q5 45 TFSI Auto (22 city/30 hwy vs. 22 city/28 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 Q5 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo XC40, 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 XC40’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the Q5:

XC40

Q5

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13.3 inches

The XC40 stops much shorter than the Q5:

XC40

Q5

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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The XC40’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Q5’s standard 60 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The XC40 T5 R-Design AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Q5 45 TFSI Premium Plus pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the XC40’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Q5’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.4 feet). The XC40’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Q5 55 TFSI e’s (37.4 feet vs. 39.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the XC40 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Q5 55 TFSI e (8.3 vs. 8 inches), allowing the XC40 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The XC40’s minimum ground clearance is .1 inch higher than on the Q5 (8.3 vs. 8.2 inches).

Chassis

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The Volvo XC40 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 350 pounds less than the Audi Q5.

The XC40 is 9.4 inches shorter than the Q5, making the XC40 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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The XC40 has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q5 with its rear seat folded (57.5 vs. 53.1 cubic feet).

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Audi Q5 is limited to 4400 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 Q5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 Q5 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 Q5’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The XC40’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Q5’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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 Q5 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 Q5 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.

Model Availability

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The XC40 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the XC40 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the XC40 will cost $915 less than the Q5 over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volvo XC40 will be $10767 to $18335 less than for the Audi Q5.

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

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Volvo XC40 and the Audi Q5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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