2020 Audi Q5 vs Volvo XC60Compare Cars
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Pitting the 2020 Audi Q5 against the 2020 Volvo XC60 is not an easy task. Trust us, these are both excellent small SUVs. Both evoke a sense of luxury, come with a ton of standard features, and have thoughtfully designed cabins that feel larger than they look from the outside. But is one of these luxury small SUVs a better choice than the other?
Well, it really depends on what exactly you are looking for. Let's be upfront - the Audi Q5 has nowhere near as many options for customization as the Volvo XC60 with its numerous configurations. The Q5 is a solid performer though, and the XC60 can be, depending on which trim level you go for. They both provide quiet, well-mannered rides and are safe vehicles overall. The XC60 just happens to have way more options to choose from than the straightforward Q5.
With that being said, let us dig our heels into this comparison review. In the end, we will let you know whether we think the 2020 Audi Q5 or the 2020 Volvo XC60 is the better vehicle to buy and why that is the case.
Let us kickstart this review by comparing the different powertrains you will find on the 2020 Audi Q5 and the 2020 Volvo XC60. The 2020 Audi Q5 is powered by a 2.0-L turbocharged engine that puts forth 248 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque - altogether, not a bad showing for this segment. It is smartly matched up with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that provides some seamless gear shifts. Also, all-wheel drive comes standard.
As far as power goes, the Q5's engine does a good job of supplying it to all of the wheels. You can get from 0 to 60 mph in roughly 6.2 seconds, which is a good time for this class. It does get ever-so-slightly bested by the 2020 BMW X3, but that is a whole different review right there. The Q5 has smooth power delivery thanks to the well-tuned transmission. You will not find a ton of small luxury SUVs with a 7-speed dual-clutch, but this one definitely works well. And having standard all-wheel drive is a huge bonus for those of you who live in places where the weather can change on the drop of a dime and create road hazards.
But how does the 2020 Volvo XC60 stack up? Well, that depends on which of the three available powertrain options you choose. The base powertrain (known as the T5) has a turbocharged engine that serves up 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. This keeps it fairly comparable to the Q5's standard powertrain. You get an 8-speed automatic transmission with any engine that you select. Front-wheel drive is standard on the T5s but keeps all-wheel drive as an option. Everything above the T5 gets standard all-wheel drive.
If you upgrade to the T6, you get a turbocharged and supercharged version of the T5, which produces a solid 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The T8 eAWD Plug-in Hybrid utilizes this engine but also features a battery pack and electric motor that give the vehicle a combined 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. If you decide you want an even more powerful vehicle that is fuel-friendly, the Pole Star Engineered gets amped up to 415 hp and 494 lb-ft of torque, which is certainly a strong output for a hybrid powertrain in this segment.
Regardless of which powertrain you get, the Volvo XC60 offers up a good amount of power. However, if we had to pick just one powertrain, we would go with the T6. It does the best job of balancing power output and the driving dynamics themselves, which we will get to in the next segment.
Alright, let us just jump right in and discuss what makes the 2020 Audi Q5 and 2020 Volvo XC60 so drive-worthy. On the XC60, you will want to skip the T5 and go directly to the T6 powertrain. It is a lot spunkier than the T5 and offers way better driving dynamics all around. The T5 tends to feel sluggish in some situations, but it still stacks up well against the competition. Of course, most people who are spending money on a luxury vehicle will not mind spending a bit more to get the increase in power the T6 provides.
The Volvo XC60 does a superb job of creating a sense of security with the brakes. They modulate well in any situation, and they can easily make a panic stop in a safe distance. The adaptive suspension that comes equipped on the XC60 comes in handy when you need some extra ground clearance, which makes the XC60 a capable off-roader if you get all-wheel drive equipped.
The XC60 does have a few noteworthy issues that warrant some discussion. While the transmission is able to smooth most issues out, there is some difficulty from the twin-powered engine. It sends a lot of surges in power that impact driving at slower speeds. For the most part, the transmission evens these surges out, but they do happen and can occasionally be a minor annoyance. Also, you are going to have to deal with handling and steering that just do not feel as lively as what is on many of the XC60's rivals.
And the 2020 Audi Q5 is one of those competitors that nails it on drivability. The 2.0-L 4-cylinder is a capable engine, pumping out enough power to get the vehicle up and running in a respectable amount of time. Accelerating is quick and efficient, and the brakes modulate well under any type of duress. If you need to make a panic stop, you can securely do so in the Q5. You will feel almost no nosedive at all, which is something that can be felt in this segment while making quick stops. The 7-speed dual-clutch was a really smart choice to equip on Audi's part since it provides such seamless shifts between gears. Never does it search or hesitate.
Steering and handling feel excellent on the Q5, besting what the XC60 can give you. Although the stability control system is a little too intrusive at times, it is a minor issue and does relatively little to detract from the comfortable ride quality that you get. The Q5 is considerably more fun than some of its competitors but is not the sportiest vehicle in the segment.
What else impacts drivability? Well, a vehicle has to be comfy to ride in, doesn't it? The Q5 is one of those luxury vehicles that you can sit in for hours on end. Roadtrips are a delight in this vehicle even though its seats do not have the most plush padding. Still, they are well-bolstered and look nice in their chic leather upholstery. Get the ventilated seats and you can enjoy a cooled-down ride on a hot summer day. The leather ventilates well on its own, but the ventilation function makes it even better.
As far as noise intrusion goes, the Q5 experiences barely any. Road and wind noise both are appropriately muted, and the engine purrs like a kitten lest you take it up to full throttle, in which it will growl a bit. The interior itself is overall designed for both functionality and luxury. The design might seem minimalistic, but it is accordingly so. You will not feel overwhelmed by controls along the dash. And, regarding its spaciousness, the Q5 is a lot bigger inside than it might seem from the exterior. The front seats get a wealth of room, and even adults over 6 feet in height can stretch out and relax in the second row.
The XC60 is a seriously comfortable vehicle too. What it lacks in sportiness it makes up for in coziness. It is packed with many padded surfaces, and the optional massaging front seats are truly a gem. There is 4-zone climate control that pumps air to all four areas of the cabin, which is not something you find in a lot of the XC60's competitors.
As far as noise goes, the supercharged T6 engine does put forth a bit of a whine, but it only does so at slower speeds and is audible only if you have the sound system turned off. Otherwise, there is not a lot of noise that pours forth into the well-insulated cabin. Just know that the ride comfort does suffer as you go over broken road surfaces; bumps do not get absorbed well by the air suspension.
The XC60 does have a cleanly designed, well-thought-out interior, but a lot of the functions are located on the touchscreen. Unfortunately, the touchscreen is not the best in terms of layout. Every function takes about two pushes even though one would simply suffice. Luckily, you do not need to rely on technology much in order to get this little SUV in and out of tight spots. The outward visibility is excellent, and there is an optional 360-degree surround-view camera system if you feel you might need it. But even the standard rear-view camera is not something you will need to rely on much.
Safety features are definitely important, as are safety ratings. As you might imagine, the 2020 Audi Q5 and 2020 Volvo XC60 are both jam-packed with standard safety features and driver aids. The XC60 bundles in features like rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up display. The Q5 gets features like hill descent control, Audi pre sene basic, Audi pre sense city, and Audi drive select. All in all, both are equipped with a good amount of safety features.
But what about their ratings? How did they do in their crash tests? The XC60 got almost all "God" ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but the headlights and LATCH child safety seat system all got marked down. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the XC60 a 5-star rating, not taking stars off any of its crash tests.
Meanwhile, NHTSA also gave the Q5 a full 5 star rating. It did not lose any stars either but had a minimally bigger rollover risk than the XC60, both still falling in the normal range for this segment. IIHS only marked the Q5 down for its headlights, giving it a "Marginal" score. Everything else was rated as being "Good."
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Which Has the Best Value?
So, which vehicle has the best value? It really depends on what you are looking for. While the XC60 has a lot more to offer in terms of customization, the Q5 has one choice that is solid. The XC60 is a little bit more affordably priced if you go with the T5, but chances are the T5 won't feel powerful enough for you. This really gives the Q5 the advantage. So, even though you pay a little bit more, you get the better deal in the long run.
Which is Better?
Pound for pound, the 2020 Audi Q5 performs a bit better than the XC60. Although Volvo gives you more options, sometimes, less is more. You get a straightforward vehicle with the Q5, and everything it does speaks to Audi's excellent balance of luxury and functionality.