2019 Lexus NX Series vs. 2019 Infiniti QX30

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The NX Series’ optional 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 NX Series has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The QX30 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The NX Series offers an optional Intuitive Parking Assist with Automatic Braking that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The QX30 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the NX Series’ 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.

Both the NX Series 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 and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

The Lexus NX Series weighs 465 to 895 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 all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the NX Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 100 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The QX30 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

There are over 12 percent more Lexus dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the NX Series’ warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the NX Series’ reliability 38 points higher than the QX30.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 14th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked fourth.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Infiniti vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Infiniti is ranked 6th.

Engine

The NX 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 27 more horsepower (235 vs. 208) than the QX30’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the NX 300h gets better fuel mileage than the QX30 AWD (33 city/30 hwy vs. 21 city/30 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the NX Series 300h’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The QX30 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The NX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX30 FWD’s standard fuel tank (14.8 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The NX Series’ standard fuel tank has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX30 AWD’s standard fuel tank (15.9 vs. 14.8 gallons).

Transmission

The NX 300h has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The QX30 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the NX Series’ front brake rotors are larger than those on the QX30:

 

NX Series

QX30

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

12.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

The NX Series has a standard 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 NX Series 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.

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the NX 300 F Sport AWD is quieter than the QX30 Essential AWD:

 

NX Series

QX30

At idle

37 dB

41 dB

Full-Throttle

74 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

69 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space

The NX Series has 1.5 inches more front legroom, 3 inches more front hip room, 2.5 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 2.6 inches more rear legroom, 4.9 inches more rear hip room and 2.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the QX30.

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

Cargo Capacity

The NX Series has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the QX30 with its rear seat folded (54.6 vs. 34 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the NX Series’ optional rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The QX30 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just kicking your foot under the back bumper can open the NX Series’ power liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The NX Series’ power liftgate can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The QX30 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Towing

The NX 300h AWD offers up to a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The QX30 has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The NX Series 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.

Ergonomics

The NX Series has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The QX30 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The NX Series’ instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The QX30 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the NX Series and the QX30 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the NX Series 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 NX Series’ 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.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the NX Series has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the QX30 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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

Optional air-conditioned seats in the NX Series keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The QX30 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the NX Series’ 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 NX Series owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the NX Series will cost $310 to $1720 less than the QX30 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the NX Series is less expensive to operate than the QX30 because typical repairs cost much less on the NX Series than the QX30, including $212 less for a water pump, $28 less for front brake pads, $57 less for front struts and $941 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lexus NX Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its September 2016 issue and they ranked the Lexus NX 300 F Sport AWD two places higher than the Infiniti QX30 Essential AWD.

The Lexus NX Series outsold the Infiniti QX30 by almost 8 to one during 2018.

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

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