For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q3 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Volvo XC60 has only front height-adjustable seat belts.
Both the Q3 and the XC60 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive and blind spot warning systems.
The Audi Q3’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the XC60’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 26th in initial quality. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 30th.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 11th in reliability, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 16th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi fourth in reliability. Volvo is ranked 19th.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi Q3 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The XC60 T5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Q3 has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC60 T8 Plug-In Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (16.9 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Q3’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the XC60’s standard 60 series tires. The Q3’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the XC60’s optional 45 series tires.
The front and rear suspension of the Q3 uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the XC60, which uses transverse leafs springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.
The Audi Q3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 600 pounds less than the Volvo XC60.
The Q3 is 11.8 inches shorter than the XC60, making the Q3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Q3’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The XC60’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
If the windows are left down on the Q3 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the XC60 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Q3 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The XC60 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Q3 has standard extendable sun visors. The XC60 doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q3, based on reliability, safety and performance.
The Audi Q3 outsold the Volvo XC60 by almost two to one during the 2017 model year.