Volvo T5 vs. Volvo T6: We Break Down The Differences (2023)

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When it comes to style, safety, and performance, Swedish car manufacturer Volvo is not to be outclassed with their innovation and creating some of the most advanced powertrains in the industry. With that said, Volvo has been doing a great job of rolling out a series of SUVs, sedans, and crossovers to meet the ever-growing customer demands.

One of the most common questions that people have when it comes to buying a Volvo is whether they should get the T5 or T6 as their engine option?

If you’re having a tough time choosing between the Volvo T5 vs. Volvo T6, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to know the main differences between the Volvo T5 and T6 powertrain options.

Volvo T5 vs.Volvo T6: What’s the Difference?

Just to be clear, when people talk about T5 and T6 (or the T4, T8 Recharge, T8 Recharge Hybrid, or Polestar, for that matter), they’re referring to the designations for Volvo’s powertrain options. Knowing these engine types will help you choose the right Volvo for your needs.

With that out of the way, the main difference between the Volvo T5 vs. Volvo T6 lies with the engine design, function, and performance stats.


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Volvo T5 Engine and Specs

First launched in 1994, the T5 is the standard engine used in most Volvo models, especially on entry-level trims. The T5 is a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine available in both FWD or AWD. It’s a perfectly capable engine that can crank out 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.

All T5 engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission that provides a smooth ride and seamless transition. The FWD T5 offers the same 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque performance as its T5 AWD sibling, but as expected, the former wins in fuel economy at 30 highway mpg (versus 27 highway mpg of AWD). The T5 features a fuel capacity of 18.5 gallons.

Volvo T6 Engine and Specs

Released by Volvo back in 2011, the T6 label denotes that the vehicle is powered by a twin-turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder, boasting a performance of 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Just like the T5, the T6 engine is generally hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and it comes as a standard on all AWD models.

As you can see, the main difference between the T5 and T6 is that the latter has an additional supercharger to elevate its power and torque. For fuel economy, the T6 is slightly less efficient, with a combined 23 mpg and a capacity of 18.5 gallons.

For many drivers, the T6 engine strikes a good balance of power, performance, and responsiveness.


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Model Availability

Below is a quick table checklist of models available for both the Volvo T5 and T6.

Volvo T5 Model Availability

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Volvo T6 Model Availability

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As you can see, the T5 has more widespread usage seen in many Volvo models, especially with their older cars. On the other hand, the T6, which was only introduced in 2011, powers Volvo’s newer models and more advanced trims.

T5 vs. T6: Performance Stats

As mentioned earlier, the T5 offers a respectable performance of 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Most critics agree that the T5 powertrain is a fine, reliable engine for everyday driving. The T5 offers leisurely acceleration when you’re cruising around town. On a 2020 Volvo S60 T5 R-Design, the engine provides an acceleration of 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph.

While it’s not the fastest out there, the T5 feels peppy and can launch without digging much into the torque steer. Shifting also feels crisp, but you can feel the occasional jerk when downshifting. However, if you’re on a sporty Volvo trim with paddle shifters, the transmission becomes more responsive.

Meanwhile, if you want a Volvo that can give you extra power and more, the T6 engine makes a lot more sense.

Offering a performance of 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, many critics called the T6 the sweet spot for Volvo’s engine lineup. As you might expect, the T6 boasts better acceleration at 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds. This engine isn’t exactly an acceleration champ, but when placed next to a T5, the T5 feels lethargic by comparison.

Although the difference in acceleration isn’t more pronounced on paper, the T6 responds with more sharpness, especially since you’re in an all-wheel-drive system. You’ll notice the difference when you’re merging or passing other cars at highway speeds.

Many drivers agree that the T6 is engaging to drive with plenty of athleticism and refinement to offer on the side. For its drawback, many drivers have reported some hesitation on the downshift.

Engine Reliability

Based on critics and user reviews, the general sentiment is that both the T5 and T6 are fairly reliable engines. According toRepairPal, Volvo has a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5, which is an above-average score. If you head over, the most common issues for Volvos are premature tire wear and transmission failure - complaints about the T5 or T6 engines are very few and far between.

Whether you opt for the standard T5 engine or the superior T6 supercharged powertrain, you can trust they’re going to serve you for a long while.


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Which Engine Option Should You Get?

Volvo T5 vs. Volvo T6, which is the better engine? Both engines are top-notch luxury choices should you fancy getting a new Volvo. It all comes down to what you want from your vehicle.

For daily commutes and normal driving, the T5 should be more than enough to meet your needs. But if you don’t mind shelling out a few thousand dollars for a T6 upgrade, it’s a considerable performance update with snappier acceleration and a more engaging driving experience.

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