2019 Ford Flex vs. 2018 Infiniti QX60

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Flex inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The QX60 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

Both the Flex and the QX60 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

There are almost 15 times as many Ford dealers as there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Flex’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Flex has a standard 650-amp battery. The QX60’s 550-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

Engine

The Flex Limited’s optional 3.5 turbo V6 produces 70 more horsepower (365 vs. 295) and 80 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 270) than the QX60’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Flex has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The QX60 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Flex’s brake rotors are larger than those on the QX60:

 

Flex

QX60

Front Rotors

12.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.13 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Flex’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the QX60 (255/45R20 vs. 235/65R18).

The Flex SEL’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the QX60’s standard 65 series tires. The Flex’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the QX60’s optional 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Flex has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The QX60’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Flex’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The QX60 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Flex’s wheelbase is 3.7 inches longer than on the QX60 (117.9 inches vs. 114.2 inches).

The Flex’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54.4% to 45.6%) than the QX60’s (57% to 43%). This gives the Flex more stable handling and braking.

The Flex Limited AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the QX60 3.5 AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

The Flex has 6.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the QX60 (155.8 vs. 149).

The Flex has 1.1 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front legroom, 2.3 inches more rear headroom, 2.6 inches more rear legroom, 2.2 inches more third row headroom and 2.5 inches more third row legroom than the QX60.

Flexibility is maximized at the game, campground or a drive-in theatre in the Flex Limited when its optional tailgating rear seats are deployed, allowing people to sit facing out of the liftgate. (Do not use while vehicle is in motion.) The QX60 doesn’t offer tailgating seats.

Cargo Capacity

The Flex’s cargo area provides more volume than the QX60.

 

Flex

QX60

Behind Third Seat

20 cubic feet

16 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

43.2 cubic feet

40.8 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

83.2 cubic feet

76.5 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Flex’s second row seats (third row seats optional on Limited), to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The QX60 doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Flex and the QX60 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Flex is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The QX60 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Flex’s exterior PIN entry system. The QX60 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its extra cost InTouch Services™ can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

Standard SYNC AppLink for the Flex allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, tagging songs to buy them later and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The QX60 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The Flex Limited’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The QX60 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Flex owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Flex will cost $810 to $1670 less than the QX60 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Flex is less expensive to operate than the QX60 because it costs $288 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Flex than the QX60, including $19 less for front brake pads, $275 less for a starter, $200 less for fuel injection, $222 less for a fuel pump, $163 less for front struts, $34 less for a timing belt/chain and $681 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Flex will be $5817 to $10752 less than for the Infiniti QX60.

Recommendations

The Flex was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 10 years. The QX60 has never been an “All Star.”

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

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