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Audi Vs. Lexus Vs. Volvo: Comparison of The Q3, UX and XC40 City Crossovers

Volvo vs. Audi vs. Lexus comparison

If you want a high seating position, decent ground clearance, and comfort in driving but don’t want to refuel twice a day, take a luxury crossover, only a very small one. Fortunately, the choice of such cars is rich. Today, the Indy Auto Man used car dealership experts compare three models representing very different schools of automotive engineering — German, Swedish, and Japanese. The heroes of our comparison are the Audi Q3, Volvo XC40, and Lexus UX.

Interior Comparison

Since we are talking about luxury class today, let’s start with what separates it from the mass market - the finishing. The Lexus UX is the undisputed leader compared to Volvo and Audi. Soft and pleasant leather on the steering wheel, seats, armrests, and on the shelf in front of the multimedia system screen, stitching with real thread, pliable plastic in the upper part of the center console and on the instrument visor - this crossover, although small, is quite luxurious.

However, only one Lexus UX trim level has such an abundance of leather and thread - the top-end Discover. In other modifications, the seats are fabric, and the rest of the trim is unpretentious. The more affordable UX has a cabin perceived as cheaper than the Volvo XC40 and Audi Q3.

The Q3 inner part is a typical interior of almost any Audi model. Everything is assembled from the best types of soft plastic, adjusted to within an inch, and promises to be as durable as possible.

The finishing materials and build quality of the Volvo XC40 are at the same impeccable level as that of the Audi. The Volvo interior looks fresher than in the Audi Q3, perhaps because of the decorative inserts that look like silver graph paper. The main difference between Audi and Volvo is that in the Audi Q3, the hi-tech is futuristic, while the XC40 is still warmer and more humane.


volvo xc 40 interior

Audi has classic car multimedia stuffed with detailed navigation, high resolution, vibration response to touching the screen (can be disabled), and a larger diagonal than in the Volvo - 10.1 versus 8.8 inches.

Lexus has the most modest system in this comparison: no navigation, no Apple CarPlay, no Android Auto, no touch screen, and the UX diagonal is only 7 inches. On the other hand, all the essential functionality is there.

Q3, XC40, UX: Comparing Seating Position and Comfort

Lexus UX loses in terms of seating comfort. Even in its highest position, the distance from the cushion to the floor in the UX crossover is almost the same as in the Volvo XC40 and Audi Q3 - in the lower position. Moreover, the headrest prevents you from raising the seat a little more. Lexus's seats are also the simplest compared to Volvo and Audi but comfortable enough. The number and range of adjustments are approximately the same as in the XC40 and Q3, except that in the Audi, you can change the seating space length. 

Volvo has the best seating position, a few inches higher, and there is more headroom than Lexus and Audi can offer. Alas, visibility is not the XC40’s strongest skill: the Swede has the widest A-pillars.

The unexpected winner in this regard is the stylish, fashionable hatchback coupe-like Lexus UX. The Japanese SUV has the narrowest A-pillars, and the side mirrors are larger than those of Volvo and Audi. 

Audi Vs. Volvo Vs. Lexus Practicality

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The Lexus UX has the narrowest and lowest door opening in the rear, the most modest knee room, the least air from the seat cushion to the ceiling, and the smallest width at shoulder level.

The absolute leader in rear space is the Volvo XC40. The Swede has the most space for knees and heads, and the interior is noticeably more spacious than that of Lexus and Audi. However, only the Audi Q3 has rear seat adjustments: longitudinal and backrest angles.

The rear seat of the Q3 is molded for two passengers for a reason: here is the most massive central tunnel, and the most modest is in Lexus. All cars have folding armrests, and USB ports for rear passengers are available everywhere, but only the UX has them as regular ones, while Volvo and Audi have Type-C ports. Moreover, only Lexus does not have air ducts to the feet of the rear passengers, although central deflectors, like all other cars, are available. In terms of trunk volume, Lexus also loses to its competitors.

The main advantage of Audi is the three-section backrest of the rear seats. To transport something long, you can lower only the central part. But if the Q3 rear seat is moved forward as much as possible, you may not have to fold anything: the length of the compartment will exceed 3 feet.

The Volvo has a falling door in the back squab, which is good. However, squeezing, for example, two snowboards through it will not work. But if the backrests are lowered, the Volvo will get a perfectly flat surface, while the Audi will have them at a slight slope - a small but inconvenient one.

Driving Experience from Volvo, Lexus, and Audi

lexus ux vs Audi vs Volvo

The Volvo XC40 is the most mighty car compared to Audi and Lexus: two liters, turbo, 190 horsepower. Of course, this is a little unfair about the 150-horsepower Audi Q3 and Lexus UX, but this engine in the Swedish crossover is considered the base among gasoline options. The least powerful in the range is diesel, with just one and a half hundred horsepower. 

No surprise that the XC40 is a little faster than its competitors. According to the manufacturer, the Volvo crossover accelerates from zero to sixty in 8.4 seconds - eight-tenths faster than Lexus and Audi. The acceleration pattern is smooth and even a bit lazy, especially in the standard mode. In Dynamic, everything becomes a little sharper, but no matter how hard you stomp the accelerator, you won't squeeze real excitement out of the Volvo.

The Audi Q3 is responsible for the spirited acceleration in this Volvo vs. Lexus vs. Audi comparison: the small 1.4 TSI turbo engine and the six-speed robotized gearbox traditionally know how to create the right impression. In the Sport mode, the Audi crossover is bold and assertive, although it’s not very fast. If you turn on the comfortable and automatic mode, the Audi transforms into an easy-going charmer, suitable for daily commutes in traffic jams. But in terms of ease-of-control dynamics, the Volvo is better tuned. And Lexus is even better.

At first glance, the Lexus UX is the main underdog in this dynamic comparison because it has a naturally aspirated engine with CVT. However, in terms of power, the two-liter unit of the Japanese is not inferior to the supercharged Audi engine, and the variator here has a fixed first gear, reducing the load on the continuously variable transmission and providing a more intense start.

In terms of smoothness, Lexus leads by a small margin. The UX's suspension is dense and quiet and does a good job of isolating passengers from minor road defects. It rattles at sharp joints and large speed bumps but behaves well in other conditions.

The Volvo, however, is only slightly inferior to the Japanese crossover: on the highway, everything is smooth. The soft shock absorbers fail to control the unsprung masses only when driving fast on uneven roads with potholes and patches. The Q3 demonstrates similar behavior, and the suspension does not have enough rebound travel.

Off-Road Capacity

All cars have long overhangs, especially Lexus. It has a very light ground clearance: from the bottom point to the ground is only 6 inches. Volvo feels the best in this matter - 8.3 inches. The Q3 is only an inch smaller. From the 2023 model year, the Volvo XC40 is an AWD SUV: the traction back is transmitted by a nimble Haldex clutch. The all-wheel drive Audi Q3 will have the same characteristics, but four-wheel drive is available only on cars with the top-end 180-horsepower 2.0. The Lexus UX is FWD only. 

Lexus Vs. Audi Vs. Volvo: Which Crossover to Buy in Indiana?

The Volvo XC40 is the most versatile crossover, albeit an urban one. It is the most spacious in the back and boasts a convenient multimedia system, a practical and roomy trunk, a good ride, a well-tuned automatic transmission, and the peppiest engine, for which there is no overpayment. In addition, the Volvo XC40 is the most balanced in appearance.

It was not easy to determine the best between Audi and Lexus. The Audi Q3 is much more like a crossover in the usual sense of the term. It is taller and more spacious than the Lexus, the trunks are indecent to compare, and the Q3’s multimedia system is more capable and modern. But traction control is not so convenient, the turbo engine does not provide any noticeable advantage in dynamics, and for some reason, the stabilization system rudely suppresses any attempts to reveal the chassis potential.

Lexus, at a comparable price, has a more elegant interior, the suspension is more comfortable, and visibility is the best. In the context of a city car that needs to squeeze into tight parking spaces and jostle in heavy traffic, it has an advantage.

The appearance of each vehicle has its admirers, and your driving experience may differ from any comparison test. If you want to buy a luxury Audi, Volvo, or Lexus crossover, check the used cars for sale in Indianapolis, Indiana, and schedule your test drive in Indianapolis at the most convenient time!