Volvo XC60
Beth Twigg

Beth Twigg

Beth is our Content and Paid Media Specialist, tasked with creating great articles to keep you both entertained and informed. She has two years previous experience, but has been writing and scribbling for much longer.

Read time of 8 minutes.

It’s the ultimate luxury crossover showdown: the Volvo XC60 vs the Audi Q5.

If you’re looking for an affordable SUV, this is not the post for you.

We’re firmly in the luxury realm here with the Volvo XC60 and the Audi Q5.

Specifically, the mid-sized luxury crossover SUV class. (Say that five times fast). But if you are looking for a premium mid-size SUV, then you’re barking up the right tree, with many of the German heavyweight brands, as well as a few competitors, trying to grab a slice of the crossover pie. 

Some of the best-selling cars in the UK come from this class thanks to their winning combination of practicality, flexibility, versatility and absolute driving pleasure. 

We’re pitting two of the best head-to-head, to see whether a Swedish brand not always known for their premium aesthetic can stand up against a German giant who has taken the art of luxury vehicle design and perfected it. 

Audi Q5


The Volvo XC60 is the middle child of Volvo’s iconic XC line-up. The Goldilocks of the piece. Not too big, like the XC90, and not too small, like the XC40.

It’s just right.

And we’re on the second generation of this best-seller now, with Volvo breathing new life into the old car back in 2017. But, although this gen is six years old now, it retains its fresh feel, and there’s plenty of the safety features that Volvo are famed for to keep it in the carts of buyers across the UK.

There's a reason why so many opt for a Volvo lease, and the XC60 is a prime example of how the brand are managing to keep up with the premium giants.

The Audi Q5 is similarly sized – which is why they’re often debated over – and is one of the most popular cars to come out of the mid-size crossover segment. 

If you’re looking for a compact family SUV, but you don’t want to compromise on the refined, premium feel, then it’s highly likely that you’ve been eyeing up the Q5. It stands on its own in a class filled with very good crossovers from manufacturers worldwide, and its latest facelift added enough extra ‘bits’ to keep it at the top of many wishlists.

Both cars ooze luxury out of every nook and cranny, but the Volvo does so in a more alternative way, while the Audi Q5 is more traditionally a luxury car. 

But should you opt for an Audi Q5 lease or a Volvo XC60 lease? Read on to find out...

Volvo XC60


Volvo have kept it simple when it comes to picking your engine: one petrol, one diesel, one hybrid.

Alright, there’s a little bit more to it than that. The petrol and diesel options are both 2 litres and come with a 48V mild hybrid set-up to maximise fuel economy and make your pennies go further. The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant, on the other hand, has a 14.7kWh battery with an official range of 47 miles.

With a touch of careful driving, and making sure you plug in each evening, you might find you don’t even need the petrol backup on the daily commute, which could save you a good chunk of money in fuel costs.

The Audi Q5 is much the same, but a little more complicated.

There’s either a 2L turbocharged petrol, or a 2L turbocharged diesel for starters. If you’re after something more economical, you’ll want to go for the PHEV variant, which pairs both an electric motor and a petrol backup for 39 miles of electric-only driving and lower CO2 emissions (great, if you’re after a business car lease).

Want something sportier? The SQ5 model, with a V6 diesel engine, is the one for you.

WINNER: We’re giving this one to the Volvo. Keeps it simple with the three choices, and pips the Q5 for electric-only range. In true Eurovision form, 12 points to Sweden.

Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60 interior

(L-R): Interior of the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60


Now we’re onto the fun stuff. The place where you’ll spend all your time (unless you’ve taken up wing-walking, and like to strap yourself to the roof). 

If you know anything about the luxury car market, you’ll likely know that Audi does a good interior. They’ve practically perfected the art of the comfortable cabin.

And the Audi Q5 is no exception.

With a sensible lay-out and solid construction, it feels spacious and luxurious, with plenty of high-end finishes and soft-touch materials to give it that premium polish. The design is easy on the eye without being overly minimalist, the good-sized windows let in plenty of light that make it feel even airier, and there’s plenty of tech to keep you entertained and connected on the go.

Even your taller friends will feel comfortable in the back of the Q5, with plenty of head and knee room. The width isn’t quite as good as some rivals, so you’ll likely want to keep journeys with three adults in the back on the shorter side, but it’s still extremely comfortable.

No issues in the front, however – the seats slide back a considerable distance and the high ceilings give it a cavernous feel. 

Volvo XC60

It’s arguably one of the best interiors in its class.

But Volvo aren’t letting Audi win this one without a fight.

The XC60’s cabin is light and clean, giving it an air of luxury that would befit a five star spa located in a Swedish forest. Simple, classy and uncomplicated.

Volvo have used plenty of matte wood and metal trims to give it this look, and everything feels upmarket to the touch. The lighter colour schemes also lend it an air of being more spacious than it actually is – and it’s already very spacious.

You’ll have absolutely no difficulty sitting in the front if you’re on the taller side, with front seats that slide a good distance back and a decently high ceiling, even if you opt for the panoramic roof for extra sunlight and good views.

It’s also wider than many rivals – including the Q5 – which means you can get three tall adults in the back without them feeling like they’re sardines in a can. The middle passenger, though they have plenty of room for their shoulders, will have to straddle the raised tunnel along the floor, however.

If you’ve got children though, it’s good news. You can spec a pair of optional fold-out booster seats, which are built into the outer rear seats and make it much easier to switch from booster to normal seat without having to heft one in and out all the time.

WINNER: We’ve got to give this one to the Audi Q5, for showing everyone else how it’s done.

audi q5 and volvo xc60 boot

(L-R): Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60 boot


The boot is where the XC60 starts to fall down ever so slightly.

The petrol and diesel models have 483 litres of space, while the PHEV models have a slightly reduced capacity at 468L because of the electrical bits situated under the boot floor. It’s by no means bad, but it’s not the best in the class.

The Audi Q5, on the other hand, has around 10% more space to play with in the combustion engine models at 550L, while it actually drops to around 450L in the PHEV – less than the Volvo equivalent.

Both are more than enough for daily family life, but it’s worth bearing in mind when it comes to picking your next car lease.

You can also get more space by folding down the rear seats, if you have a big tip run to do or you’ve got the DIY itch and need to pick up some Ikea flatpacks.

The Q5’s rear seats fold in a handy 40/20/40 arrangement, so you have plenty of options to carry people and cargo at the same time. You also have the option of adding the Rear Bench Seat Plus option, which allows the rear seats to slide forward and increases the boot to 610L.

The XC60 has the more traditional 60/40 split with its rear seats, but it does also give you a ski hatch for sliding in long items between the passengers, which can come in handy.

Both have plenty of cabin storage too, to stow away all of life’s odds and ends - and then never see them again. (We’ve all done it).

You’ll find a deep bin beneath the central armrest and a cubby with a sliding cover next to the gear lever in both the Audi and the Volvo, while their door bins are big enough to easily swallow a 1L bottle of water.  

WINNER: We’re split on this one. If you’re after the most practical combustion engine model, the Audi Q5 is your winner. But the Volvo XC60 takes the PHEV crown. 

Audi Q5

Technology, safety and specs

Volvo are well renowned for their safety features, and the XC60 is crammed with some of the finest. 

It received the maximum five star rating in its Euro NCAP safety test, with an impressive 98% for adult occupant protection and 95% for safety assistance. In terms of tech, every model comes with automatic emergency braking and front/rear parking sensors, while additional kit like blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and Pilot Assist is standard on Plus trim and above, and available as part of a Driver Assist pack on the entry-level model. 

When it comes to the inside tech, every model gets the 9in touchscreen with full Google ability to make navigation as quick and intuitive as possible, while an over-the-air update has made Apple CarPlay available for the first time. 

It does fall into the trap of minimalism, however, and most of the controls are hidden within the touchscreen.

The Audi gives you a few more buttons to play with so you don’t always have to go delving so deep.

The Q5 is plumbed with plenty of tech too, with a clear 12.3in Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display for all the on-the-go info you need, while the touchscreen infotainment system comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring.

It also received the max five stars from Euro NCAP, but it’s not quite as good as the XC60 when it comes down to the individual scores. Each model gets six airbags and automatic emergency braking as standard, while optional packs (standard on Vorsprung) can give you blind-spot monitoring, a system that warns you of any vehicles approaching when you’re backing out onto a road, turn assist, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition.

In terms of trim levels, Volvo once again keeps it simple.

Audi Q5

The entry-level Core trim gets you everything you need, including 18in wheels, auto wipers and headlights, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera. In terms of value for money, it’s probably the best one in the line-up.

But if you like a few more creature comforts and you have the budget for it, Plus trim gets you 19in alloys, handsfree tailgate opening, adaptive cruise control, heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, four-zone climate control, 360-degree parking camera, and a Harmon Kardon sound system.

The top-level trim, Ultimate, adds 20in wheels, panoramic sunroof, head-up display, Bowers and Wilkins sound system and a Nappa leather trim for that ultimate luxe finish.

Audi like to be a little more confusing with their trim options, so if the Q5 is the car lease for you, be careful when you’re picking your spec so you get exactly what you want and what you need.

There are four basic trims on offer, and then optional extras you can add on top.

Entry-level Sport gets plenty of kit for daily life: cruise control, heated seats, three-zone climate control and keyless go. S-Line and Edition 1 are more styling packs that get all the tech from the trim below, but add extra flair to the look, including sporty bumpers, wheels, privacy glass and LED headlights.

Top-spec Vorsprung gives you everything you could think of and more, including adaptive air suspension, panoramic sunroof, head-up display, and every assistance and safety system Audi offers.

WINNER: Again, a tricky one, but for ease of use, safety and value for money, the Volvo just pips the Audi to the post. 

Volvo XC60


From our very scientific testing, the Volvo XC60 is the winner by a small margin.

Rolling simplicity, luxury, practicality, and the utmost in safety features into one mid-sized package, there’s not much out there that could beat the sensible Scandinavian crossover.

But if you’re a big German car fan, that’s not to say the Q5 isn’t good. It really is an excellent car. Audi have taken everything they know about building a luxury vehicle – and that is a lot – and thrown it at this compact crossover SUV, with the result being one of the best vehicles in the class.

In fact, we’ll just take both.

Ready to get your luxury SUV lease on the road?