2019 BMW X3 vs. 2019 Infiniti QX30

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X3’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The QX30 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The X3 has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The QX30 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The X3 has standard Active Protection, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The QX30 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To help make backing safer, the X3’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The QX30 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The X3’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The QX30 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the X3’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Infiniti QX30 has a metal gas tank.

Both the X3 and the QX30 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

The BMW X3 weighs 559 to 992 pounds more than the Infiniti QX30. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X3 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The QX30 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The X3’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the QX30’s (12 vs. 7 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X3 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 QX30.

There are over 62 percent more BMW dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the X3’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 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 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 14th.

Engine

The X3 s/xDrive30i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 40 more horsepower (248 vs. 208) than the QX30’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The X3 M40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 147 more horsepower (355 vs. 208) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 258) than the QX30’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the X3’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The QX30 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The X3’s standard fuel tank has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX30 FWD’s standard fuel tank (17.2 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The X3 M40i’s standard fuel tank has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX30 AWD’s standard fuel tank (17.7 vs. 14.8 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the BMW X3 higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Infiniti QX30 (3). This means the X3 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the QX30 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X3, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the QX30.

The X3 M40i’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The QX30 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the QX30:

 

X3

X3 M40i

QX30

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.7 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.5 inches

11.6 inches

The X3’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the QX30 are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the QX30 (F:245/45R20 & R:275/40R20 vs. 235/50R18).

The X3’s optional 245/40R21 front and 275/35R21 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the QX30’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X3 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The QX30’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The X3 offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the QX30; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The X3 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 or off-road. The QX30’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X3’s wheelbase is 6.5 inches longer than on the QX30 (112.8 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X3 is 2 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the QX30.

The X3’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.4% to 49.6%) than the QX30’s (59.7% to 40.3%). This gives the X3 more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

The front grille of the X3 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The QX30 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The X3 has 12.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the QX30 (101.4 vs. 88.8).

The X3 has 2.7 inches more front headroom, 2.8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.6 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom and 2.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the QX30.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X3’s rear seats recline. The QX30’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The X3 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the QX30 with its rear seat up (28.7 vs. 19.2 cubic feet). The X3 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the QX30 with its rear seat folded (62.7 vs. 34 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X3’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The QX30 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the X3 has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The QX30 doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The X3 has a 4400 lbs. towing capacity. The QX30 has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The X3 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The QX30 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the X3 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the QX30. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

The X3 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 QX30 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the X3 and the QX30 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X3 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The QX30 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The X3’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 QX30’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The X3’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 QX30’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the X3 has standard extendable sun visors. The QX30 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the X3 and the QX30 offer available heated front seats. The X3 M40i also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the QX30.

On extremely cold winter days, the X3’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The QX30 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the X3 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the X3 will cost $1270 less than the QX30 over a five-year period.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® chose the BMW X3 as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X3 third among compact premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The QX30 isn’t in the top three.

The BMW X3 outsold the Infiniti QX30 by almost 8 to one during 2018.

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

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