2018 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon vs. 2017 Infiniti QX70

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the 3 Series Sports Wagon. But it costs extra on the QX70.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The QX70 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

Compared to metal, the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Infiniti QX70 has a metal gas tank.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The QX70 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the 3 Series Sports Wagon and the QX70 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the QX70’s (12 vs. 7 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 3 Series Sports Wagon for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Infiniti doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the QX70.

There are over 60 percent more BMW dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 3 Series Sports Wagon has a standard 210-amp alternator (180-amp - 3 Series Sports Wagon diesel). The QX70’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the 3 Series Sports Wagon is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The QX70’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

Engine

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 267) than the QX70’s 3.7 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 328d Sports Wagon gets better fuel mileage than the QX70 AWD (30 city/40 hwy vs. 16 city/22 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 330i Sports Wagon gets better fuel mileage than the QX70 AWD (23 city/33 hwy vs. 16 city/22 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The QX70 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The QX70 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the QX70.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the QX70:

 

3 Series Sports Wagon

QX70

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

The 3 Series Sports Wagon stops shorter than the QX70:

 

3 Series Sports Wagon

QX70

 

70 to 0 MPH

165 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’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 QX70’s standard 60 series tires. The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s optional 255/40R18 rear tires have a lower 40 series profile than the QX70’s optional 45 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the 3 Series Sports Wagon can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The QX70 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The 3 Series Sports Wagon offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The QX70’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The 330i Sports Wagon handles at .86 G’s, while the QX70 3.7 AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 400 pounds less than the Infiniti QX70.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon is 8.5 inches shorter than the QX70, making the 3 Series Sports Wagon easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon is 9.6 inches shorter in height than the QX70, making the 3 Series Sports Wagon much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Passenger Space

The 3 Series Sports Wagon has 1.1 inches more front headroom and .4 inches more rear legroom than the QX70.

Cargo Capacity

The 3 Series Sports Wagon has a much larger cargo area than the QX70 with its rear seat up (27.5 vs. 24.8 cubic feet).

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The QX70’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The QX70 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

The 3 Series Sports Wagon has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The QX70 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The 3 Series Sports Wagon offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The QX70 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the 3 Series Sports Wagon and the QX70 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the 3 Series Sports Wagon is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The QX70 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’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 QX70’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The QX70’s standard-intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 3 Series Sports Wagon to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The QX70 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 3 Series Sports Wagon offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The QX70 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 3 Series Sports Wagon detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The QX70 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The QX70’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The QX70 has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the 3 Series Sports Wagon and the QX70 offer available heated front seats. The 3 Series Sports Wagon also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the QX70.

On extremely cold Winter days, the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The QX70 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Standard BMW Apps for the 3 Series Sports Wagon allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, tagging songs to buy them later, following twitter accounts and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The QX70 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The QX70 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The BMW 3 Series comes in sedan, four door hatchback and station wagon bodystyles; the Infiniti QX70 isn’t available as a sedan or four door hatchback.

Economic Advantages

The 3 Series Sports Wagon will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 3 Series Sports Wagon will retain 48.49% to 48.58% of its original price after five years, while the QX70 only retains 43.94% to 44.2%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon will be $7871 to $9345 less than for the Infiniti QX70.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Infiniti QX70 isn't recommended.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.” The QX70 is not ranked.

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 20 of the last 23 years. The QX70 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 13 of the last 21 years. The QX70 has never been an “All Star.”

The BMW 3 Series outsold the Infiniti QX70 by over 15 to one during the 2016 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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