2019 Nissan Maxima vs. 2019 Infiniti Q50

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Maxima are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Q50 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Maxima 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 Q50 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Maxima’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 Q50 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Maxima and the Q50 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front 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 lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Maxima is safer than the Infiniti Q50:

 

Maxima

Q50

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

106

225

Neck Compression

20 lbs.

45 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

67/94 lbs.

185/312 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

103

153

Chest Compression

.7 inches

1 inches

Neck Injury Risk

29%

48%

Neck Stress

114 lbs.

145 lbs.

Neck Compression

52 lbs.

85 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Maxima is safer than the Infiniti Q50:

 

Maxima

Q50

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.9 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

188 G’s

262 G’s

Hip Force

286 lbs.

320 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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 available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Maxima the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q50 has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

There are over 5 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Maxima’s 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 Maxima’s reliability 33 points higher than the Q50.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Maxima first among large cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Q50 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 14th.

Engine

The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 92 more horsepower (300 vs. 208) and 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (261 vs. 258) than the Q50 2.0t’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Transmission

The Maxima 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 Q50 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Maxima has larger tires than the Q50 (245/45R18 vs. 225/55R17).

The Maxima’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Q50’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Maxima has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Q50.

The Maxima has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Q50 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Maxima offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Q50, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare or run-flat tires, either of which has mileage and speed limitations.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Maxima is 1.9 inches wider in the front and .9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Q50.

Chassis

The Maxima SL/SR/Platinum uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Q50 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Maxima has .5 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front hip room and 1 inch more rear hip room than the Q50.

Cargo Capacity

The Maxima has a much larger trunk than the Q50 (14.3 vs. 13.2 cubic feet).

The Maxima’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Q50 Pure doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Ergonomics

The Maxima’s 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 Q50 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

A power rear sunshade is standard in the Maxima Platinum to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Q50 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Both the Maxima and the Q50 offer available heated front seats. The Maxima also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Q50.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Maxima SR/Platinum keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Q50 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Maxima is less expensive to operate than the Q50 because it costs $54 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Maxima than the Q50, including $87 less for a starter, $37 less for a fuel pump, $313 less for front struts and $531 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Maxima, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Infiniti Q50 isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Maxima second among large cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Q50 isn’t in the top three.

The Nissan Maxima outsold the Infiniti Q50 by 28% during the 2018 model year.

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

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