2021 Volvo XC60 vs. 2020 Audi Q8

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Q8. 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 Q8 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 Q8 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the XC60 and the Q8 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

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 Q8.

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 Q8’s 380-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the XC60 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the XC60’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Q8’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

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 XC60’s reliability 38 points higher than the Q8.

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 T8’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 65 more horsepower (400 vs. 335) and 103 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 369) than the Q8’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid. The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 80 more horsepower (415 vs. 335) and 125 lbs.-ft. more torque (494 vs. 369) than the Q8’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the XC60 T8 is faster than the Audi Q8:

XC60

Q8

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

5.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

14.4 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the XC60 T8 running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Q8 (56 city/57 hwy MPGe vs. 17 city/21 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the XC60 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Q8:

MPG

XC60

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

T8 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl. Hybrid

26 city/28 hwy

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

T6 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

Q8

AWD

3.0 turbo V6 Hybrid

17 city/21 hwy

The XC60 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 19 miles. The Q8 must run its internal combustion engine to move.

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 Q8 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 XC60 higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Audi Q8 (3). This means the XC60 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Q8 every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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The XC60 stops much shorter than the Q8:

XC60

Q8

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

141 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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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 Q8’s optional 40 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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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 Q8 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The XC60 T5 AWD Momentum handles at .87 G’s, while the Q8 Prestige pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the XC60’s turning circle is 6.1 feet tighter than the Q8’s (37.4 feet vs. 43.5 feet).

For greater off-road capability the XC60 has a 2.7 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Q8 (8.5 vs. 5.8 inches), allowing the XC60 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Volvo XC60 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 950 to 1100 pounds less than the Audi Q8.

The XC60 is 12 inches shorter than the Q8, making the XC60 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Volvo XC60 amounts to more than styling. The XC60 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is lower than the Q8 (.35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the XC60 get better fuel mileage.

Cargo Capacity

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The XC60 has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q8 with its rear seat folded (63.3 vs. 60.7 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 Q8’s liftover is 33.7 inches.

Ergonomics

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Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the XC60 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Q8 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 Q8 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XC60 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Q8 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 R-Design/Inscription’s optional Park Assist Pilot can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Q8 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The XC60 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q8 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the XC60 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the XC60 will cost $1525 to $7855 less than the Q8 over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volvo XC60 will be $17208 to $32019 less than for the Audi Q8.

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 the Volvo XC60, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Volvo XC60 outsold the Audi Q8 by over two to one during 2019.

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