It’s Sweden versus Germany in a battle of wagons

It doesn’t get much more “Volvo” than that old standby body style we all know and love. I’m of course talking about the station wagon, a favorite for both families and modern automotive journalists. The Swedish brand is certainly well-versed in this space, as is evident by the release of its latest wagon, the new mid-size V60. Officially breaking cover at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, stateside buyers will be happy to know that this gorgeous piece of extended roof goodness is indeed arriving on these shores to meet all your grocery-getting needs. But how does it compare against the competition? To find out,we lined it up against another luxury wagon, namely the Audi A4 Allroad, and gave ’em both a thorough visual shakedown, diving into the aesthetics, the equipment, and what’s going on under the hood.

Continue reading for the full comparison.

2019 Volvo V60 Vs. 2018 Audi A4 Allroad Performance

2019 Volvo V60 Exterior
- image 770018
Thanks to its tall suspension and standard AWD, the Audi is the preferred choice when tackling less-than-ideal conditions. On the other hand, the Volvo offers more power and fun, as well as potentially greater efficiency thanks to that hybrid set-up.

Let’s kick things off with the performance side of the equation for both these wagons, starting with the new Volvo V60. Taking cues from its larger sibling, the V90, the V60 adopts the same engine lineup. These include three gas-powered units, three diesels (which are only offered in Europe, byt the way), and even a couple of hybrids. Each utilizes a 2.0-liter four-cylinder for the go-juice burning, with the base model T4 producing 190 horsepower. Above that is the 254-horse T5, followed by the range-topping twin-charged (supercharged and turbocharged) T6, which makes 360 horsepower. The diesels can be had in 150-horsepower, 190-horsepower, and 235-horsepower configurations, while the hybrids make upwards of 390 horsepower, plus the option for a mid-grade 340-horse configuration. An eight-speed automatic handles the cog swaps, sending power either to the front or all four corners, depending on the model picked.

2017 - 2018 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 661362
The engine lineup is limited to a single turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque

Moving on to the Audi, things get a different focus. For starters, quattro AWD is standard, which means this thing has more grip right off the bat. The engine lineup is limited to a single turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Routed through a seven-speed automatic transmission, it’s enough to propel the Audi to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. If you live overseas, you can also get yours with a variety of diesel options, which range between 218 horsepower and 272 horsepower.

On the surface, then, the Audi is slower, but that’s only half the story. Thanks to its impressive quattro AWD system, taller suspension, and rugged set-up, the Audi is also the preferred choice when tackling less-than-ideal conditions. The Volvo might be quicker, but it’s lower suspension and optional AWD put it at a disadvantage if you’re heading off the beaten path looking for that trail head. On the other hand, the Volvo offers more power and fun, as well as potentially greater efficiency thanks to that hybrid set-up. It really just depends on what you want.

2019 Volvo V60 Vs. 2018 Audi A4 Allroad Front

left right

Now let’s check out how these two rides look. The Volvo is a truly striking piece of design, adopting the Swedish brand’s latest language. Right off the bat, it looks like the V60 adopts a lot of what we originally saw in the latest V90, and we’re liking what we see. The stance is low and wide, with vertical slats used for the central grille intake. The headlights also utilize something Volvo is calling “Thor’s Hammer,” with T-shaped LED daytime running lights that stretch across the center section of the housings. Lower aero fins house the fog lights in the corners and the bottom intake.

Side-by-side, the Audi A4 Allroad actually looks somewhat similar to the Volvo, at least from the front. The Germans use a simple, rounded design, rocking loads of polished metal. The Audi also comes with headlights that get L-shaped LED daytime running lights and vertical slats in the grille. The Audi, however, gets a larger opening compared to the Volvo, encompassing both the upper and lower portions into a single feature. Small fog lights are in the corners, framed by flat-black surrounds. There’s also a skid plate along the lower section of the bumper to enhance the wagon’s off-road worthiness.

2019 Volvo V60 Vs. 2018 Audi A4 Allroad Side

left right

Moving around to the sides, we find the Volvo’s roof line is long and straight, falling back into the hatch at an abrupt angle. The window line lends the vehicle a forward-leaning rake, narrowing towards the rear end, while pumped up fenders and character lines enhance the look. Indents in the doors give it a bit more visual beef around the fenders, while the ride height is low, crouched over the large alloy wheels and relatively thin tires. More polished trim is used for the window surrounds.

By contrast, the Audi is much taller, rising above the terrain with an extra 1.3 inches of ground clearance when compared to the standard Audi A4 Avant. Standard spec throws in 18-inch wheels, which come wrapped in grippy Pirelli tires. The fenders and side runners are covered in a matte-black plastic that’s design to ward away bits of the landscape that get flung up while on the move, while tall roof rails enhance the wagon’s practicality. Polished “quattro” badges declare the wagon’s extra grip.

2019 Volvo V60 Vs. 2018 Audi A4 Allroad Rear

left right

Finally, let’s take a look at the rear of these wagons. The Volvo gets a traditionally Volvo-esque design for the taillights, with L-shaped housings that stretch upwards towards the roof, adding to the car’s sense of tallness. However, this modernized vehicle does away with the frumpiness of older Volvos, and it brings the look into the modern era and makes it look good in the process. The hatch is wide and practical, with the taillight housings divided to make loading and unloading that much easier. Offsetting the tall taillights are horizontal layouts for the lower bumper trim and dual trapezoidal exhaust tips. A trailing edge roof spoiler completes it.

The Audi once again brings a skid plate feature along the bumper’s lowest edge, with aero slats added for good measure. The exhaust consists of a twin polished pipes pushed to one side, while the taillights are horizontal. The hatch looks equally as accommodating as that of the Volvo, but the roof spoiler is much more subtle. The rear angle also reveals Audi’s pumped-up ride height with a whole lot of clarity.

Conclusion

2019 Volvo V60 Exterior
- image 770027

When you break it down, these two vehicles are designed to tackle rather different lifestyles. The Volvo, is sleek and refined, the perfect pavement cruiser with lots of power (if desired) and a road presence that is undeniable. It feels elegant and stylish, and it’s got all the right features to make you the envy of the other soccer moms in the drop-off line.

Then there’s the Audi, which is far more rugged and versatile. The tall ride height and tough underbody cladding frame it as a solid alternative to the traditional crossover, and the standard AWD underlines that facet. It’s not quite as elegant and stylish as the Volvo, but it certainly has its own charm as well.

To sum up, then – the Volvo is great for the pavement, the Audi is great for everything else.

Which would you prefer?

References

2019 Volvo V60 Exterior
- image 770030

Read our full review on the 2019 Volvo V60.

2017 - 2018 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro High Resolution Exterior
- image 661324

Read our full review on the 2018 Audi A4 Allroad.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: