Monday, November 05, 2018

Audi Q7 vs Volvo XC90: Which One Is Right For You?

Luxury SUVs are somewhat of a big trend right now with many car makers like Audi and Volvo vying for market share and expanding their manufacturing plants.

The 2018 Volvo XC90 and 2018 Audi Q7 exist in the same segment, sure, but it’s important to note that they are actually quite different. It’s important to know about the big differences so you can select which one is right for you. Both are great looking and powerful vehicles that could be suited to your needs, but which one will win the place on your garage?

What Are These Two Cars Like To Drive?

The Q7 has the larger, more powerful engine, making it faster off the mark and that extra push from the engine allowing it to build speed quicker and cruise past slower traffic. You have a choice of either a 2.0-liter turbocharged or 3.0-liter supercharged TFSI® engine – offering 252 and 333 hp respectively.

However, with that in mind, the XC90 with its 315 horsepower never feels ‘slow’ or underpowered and is great for cruising at motorway speeds. You certainly won’t have any trouble overtaking other vehicles or driving on inclines.

The Q7 has a smoother and quieter engine while the XC90 gives off a little more of a rumble, which you will find is more noticeable when you accelerate hard. Both of these models come with smooth shifting eight-speed automatic gearboxes and manual overrides. Only the Q7 offers steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Both vehicles have optional adaptive air suspension systems. There is a big difference in the way each is set up. The Volvo is the firmer of the two, so its body leans less than the Audi’s when taking corners. Its steering is also sharper, so it actually feels lighter and more agile to drive. The Audi’s body leans a few degrees more than the Volvo’s and the steering is slightly slower to react. It’s fair to say that the Audi definitely feels like the more ‘stately’ drive, while the Volvo is nice and light.

A Look Inside

Both interiors have an extremely high-end feel. In terms of cabin space, both vehicles offer a luxurious cabin and will not disappoint those who are looking for leg room. There’s plenty of head and leg room as well as an incredible view of the road ahead. Audi’s cabin is the wider of the two. However, tapering on the rear side windows restrict over-the-shoulder visibility with the Audi. Both have fully adjustable electric seats, with the S-Line seats in the Audi being broader than the Volvo’s.

The second row is more or less the same in each vehicle, but it’s the XC90 that offers more space when looking into the third row. The seats are easy to raise manually in the XC90, but the Q7 has a button to raise or lower the seats electrically. The XC90 also offers the most boot space, perfect for shopping or camping trips.

Inside the Volvo you’ll find a tablet-style 9.0in infotainment touchscreen mounted in the center of the dash. It operates everything from the temperature to the navigation and is easy to use. Audi offers a more traditional center console with separate controls for climate and radio.

Which Of The Two Vehicles Is Safer?

As you’re likely going to be transporting many people in your new car, you’ll want to know which of the two is safer to drive. The overall NHTSA safety rating for both the Q7 and XC90 is 5 stars, which basically means they're both safe vehicles.

The XC90 is one of the safest cars on the road, and places like West County Volvo will back this up. There’s no shortage of airbags, and it comes standard with a forward-collision warning and automatic braking system that can detect pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles. You can also choose from features such as blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic warning and lane-keep assist. Volvo's Pilot Assist II system is also a semi-autonomous driving function that takes care of accelerating, braking and steering at speeds up to 80 mph.

The Audi Q7 also comes standard with a forward-collision warning and an automatic braking system that detects pedestrians and other vehicles, but it's not a full-speed system. To get that, you have to step up to the Q7's adaptive cruise control. Blind spot monitoring and lane-keep assist are also available.

Which Of These Vehicles Is The Best Value For Money?

At first glance, it may seem like the Volvo costs less with a base price of $46,900. That price is for a front-wheel-drive model, so when you add all-wheel drive, it bumps up the price to $49,900. The base price for the Q7 is $49,900 and comes standard with seven passengers in three rows and all-wheel drive. If you want the third-row bucket seats in the XC90, then you'll need to pony up $54,050 or more.

You also have to consider fuel economy when determining the best bang for your buck. Both drivetrains on the Q7 offer 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The front-wheel-drive XC90 offers 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway while the all-wheel-drive XC90 version is rated at 20/27 mpg city/highway.

Which One Is Right For You?

Making the decision yourself all boils down to what you deem to be most important. If you're looking for more space and more safety features, then Volvo might be for you. However, if you're looking for a better ride and handling, faster acceleration, and better towing capabilities, then the Q7 is your best bet. Take into account what you want, the brand you trust most, and of course, the aesthetic you prefer.

Which will you go for? Let us know!

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