2021 Volvo XC90 vs. 2020 Infiniti QX80

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 2020/10/23

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC90 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Infiniti QX80 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

Both the XC90 and QX80 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC90 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The QX80’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Volvo XC90 offers an optional built in child booster seat. It’s more crash worthy than an added child seat because of its direct attachment to the seat. Infiniti doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the QX80. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; XC90 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the XC90 deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The XC90’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The QX80’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The XC90 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The QX80 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the XC90’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The QX80 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The XC90’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 QX80 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the XC90 uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The QX80 uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the XC90 and the QX80 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Volvo XC90 is safer than the Infiniti QX80:

XC90

QX80

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

2 Stars

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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 XC90 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 132 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The QX80 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The XC90’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the QX80’s (12 vs. 7 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC90 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Infiniti doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the QX80.

There are over 38 percent more Volvo dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the XC90’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the XC90 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The QX80’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the XC90 has a standard 800-amp battery. The QX80’s 780-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the XC90 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the XC90’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The QX80’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

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The XC90 Recharge’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 413) than the QX80’s 5.6 DOHC V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the Volvo XC90 is faster than the Infiniti QX80:

XC90 T6

XC90 Recharge

QX80

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

5.3 sec

6.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.5 sec

14.6 sec

17.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

14 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

98 MPH

94 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 2020/10/23

On the EPA test cycle the XC90 Recharge running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the QX80:

MPGe

XC90

AWD

Electric Motor

58 city/53 hwy

QX80

MPG

RWD

5.6 DOHC V8

14 city/20 hwy

AWD

5.6 DOHCV8

13 city/19 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the XC90 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the QX80:

MPG

XC90

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/30 hwy

AWD

T8 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl. Hybrid

26 city/28 hwy

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/28 hwy

T6 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl.

19 city/28 hwy

QX80

RWD

5.6 DOHC V8

14 city/20 hwy

AWD

5.6 DOHCV8

13 city/19 hwy

The XC90 Recharge can drive on battery power alone for up to 18 miles. The QX80 must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the XC90 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The QX80 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the XC90’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 QX80 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The XC90 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 QX80 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo XC90, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the QX80.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the XC90 Recharge’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the QX80:

XC90 Recharge

QX80

Front Rotors

14.4 inches

13.8 inches

The XC90 stops much shorter than the QX80:

XC90

QX80

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

155 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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The XC90’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 QX80’s standard 60 series tires. The XC90’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the QX80’s optional 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The XC90 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 QX80’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The XC90 T6 AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the QX80 AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The XC90 T6 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the QX80 AWD (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the XC90 w/19” wheels’ turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the QX80’s (38.7 feet vs. 41.3 feet). The XC90 w/22” wheels’ turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the QX80’s (39.7 feet vs. 41.3 feet).

For greater off-road capability the XC90 w/Air Suspension has a greater minimum ground clearance than the QX80 (9.9 vs. 9.2 inches), allowing the XC90 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Volvo XC90 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 800 to 1350 pounds less than the Infiniti QX80.

The XC90 is 1 foot, 3.2 inches shorter than the QX80, making the XC90 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Unibody construction lowers the XC90’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The QX80 uses body-on-frame design instead.

The design of the Volvo XC90 amounts to more than styling. The XC90 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is significantly lower than the QX80 (.37) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the XC90 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The XC90 has 1.3 inches more front legroom and 3.1 inches more third row legroom than the QX80.

The front step up height for the XC90 is 6.6 inches lower than the QX80 (15.8” vs. 22.4”). The XC90’s rear step up height is 6.8 inches lower than the QX80’s (16” vs. 22.8”).

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the XC90 easier. The XC90’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 30.8 inches, while the QX80’s liftover is 35.8 inches.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the XC90’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The QX80 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The XC90 has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The QX80 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

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The XC90 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The QX80 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The XC90’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The QX80’s parking brake has to released manually.

The power windows standard on both the XC90 and the QX80 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the XC90 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The QX80 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the XC90 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The QX80 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

A manual rear sunshade and rear side window sunshades are optional in the XC90 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The QX80 doesn’t offer a rear or rear side window sunshades.

The XC90 Inscription offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the QX80.

The XC90 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 QX80 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the XC90 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the XC90 will cost $2955 less than the QX80 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC90 is less expensive to operate than the QX80 because it costs $37 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the XC90 than the QX80, including $753 less for a timing belt/chain and $103 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volvo XC90 will be $22586 to $25297 less than for the Infiniti QX80.

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 2020/10/23

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Volvo XC90, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Infiniti QX80 isn't recommended.

Motor Trend selected the XC90 as their 2016 Sport Utility of the Year. The QX80 has never been chosen.

The XC90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2016. The QX80 has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the XC90 as the 2016 North American Truck of the Year. The QX80 has never been chosen.

The Volvo XC90 outsold the Infiniti QX80 by 87% during 2019.

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

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