2021 Volvo XC60 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 Volvo XC60 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; XC60 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The XC60 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.

The XC60’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 XC60 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, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC60 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 132 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q5 was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC60 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 XC60 has a standard 800-amp battery (850 T8). 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 XC60 has more powerful engines than the Q5:

Horsepower

Torque

XC60 T5 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

XC60 T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

XC60 T8 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

XC60 T8 P.E. 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid

415 HP

494 lbs.-ft.

Q5 45 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

248 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

Q5 55 TFSI e 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the XC60 T6 is faster than the Q5 45 TFSI:

XC60

Q5

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

5.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14 sec

16.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100 MPH

95 MPH

Top Speed

129 MPH

128 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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The XC60 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Q5 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The XC60 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 XC60, 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 XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Q5:

XC60 T8 P. E.

Q5

Q5 55 TFSI e

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

13.3 inches

13.7 inches

The XC60 stops much shorter than the Q5:

XC60

Q5

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Q5 (265/35R22 vs. 255/45R20).

The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Q5’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC60 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Q5’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The XC60 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 or off-road. The Q5’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The XC60 T6/T8 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC60’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Q5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC60’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the Q5 (112.8 inches vs. 111 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the XC60 is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Q5.

The XC60 T6 AWD R-Design handles at .88 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 XC60 T5 AWD Momentum executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Q5 45 TFSI Prestige (26.6 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the XC60’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Q5’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.4 feet). The XC60’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 XC60 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Q5 55 TFSI e (8.5 vs. 8 inches), allowing the XC60 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The XC60’s minimum ground clearance is .3 inch higher than on the Q5 (8.5 vs. 8.2 inches).

Passenger Space

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The XC60 has .5 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front shoulder room and .2 inches more rear legroom than the Q5.

Cargo Capacity

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The XC60 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Q5 with its rear seat up (30.2 vs. 25.1 cubic feet). The XC60 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q5 with its rear seat folded (63.3 vs. 53.1 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the XC60 easier. The XC60’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 26 inches, while the Q5’s liftover is 29 inches.

Ergonomics

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The XC60 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 XC60 R-Design/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.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the XC60 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 XC60’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 XC60’s headlights were rated “Acceptable” 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 XC60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Q5 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XC60 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Q5 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The XC60 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The XC60 Inscription offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Q5.

Model Availability

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The XC60 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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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC60 is less expensive to operate than the Q5 because it costs $64 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the XC60 than the Q5, including $218 less for a water pump, $418 less for a muffler, $139 less for a starter, $8 less for fuel injection, $158 less for front struts, $443 less for a timing belt/chain and $13 less for a power steering pump.

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 XC60 and the Audi Q5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the XC60 third among compact premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Q5 isn’t in the top three.

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

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