2020 Acura MDX vs. 2020 Infiniti QX80

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For better protection of the passenger compartment, the MDX uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The QX80 uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the MDX and the QX80 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, 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, 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 Acura MDX is safer than the Infiniti QX80:

MDX

QX80

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

2 Stars

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

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, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the MDX the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 153 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The QX80 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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There are over 31 percent more Acura dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the MDX’s warranty.

Reliability

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The engines in the MDX have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the QX80 has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

Engine

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As tested in Car and Driver the Acura MDX V6 is faster than the Infiniti QX80:

MDX

QX80

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

6.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.4 sec

17.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.2 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

94 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the MDX gets better fuel mileage than the QX80:

MPG

MDX

2WD

3.5 DOHC 6 cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

4WD

3.5 DOHC 6 cyl.

19 city/26 hwy

A-Spec 3.5 DOHC 6 cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

Hybrid 3.0 DOHC 6 cyl.

26 city/27 hwy

QX80

2WD

5.6 DOHC V8

14 city/20 hwy

4WD

5.6 DOHC V8

13 city/19 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the MDX’s fuel efficiency. The QX80 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Regenerative brakes improve the MDX Sport Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The QX80 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the MDX’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 QX80 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The MDX 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 QX80 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Acura MDX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the QX80.

The MDX offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The QX80 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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The MDX stops shorter than the QX80:

MDX

QX80

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

155 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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The MDX A-Spec’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the QX80’s optional 50 series tires.

The MDX 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 QX80 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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The MDX offers an available 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 QX80’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The MDX SH-AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the QX80 AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The MDX SH-AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the QX80 AWD (27 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the MDX Sport Hybrid’s turning circle is 2.9 feet tighter than the QX80’s (38.4 feet vs. 41.3 feet). The MDX’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the QX80’s (38.7 feet vs. 41.3 feet).

Chassis

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The Acura MDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1450 to 1650 pounds less than the Infiniti QX80.

The MDX is 1 foot, 2 inches shorter than the QX80, making the MDX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The MDX is 8.4 inches shorter in height than the QX80, making the MDX much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Unibody construction lowers the MDX’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The QX80 uses body-on-frame design instead.

The MDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The QX80 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The front step up height for the MDX is 3.4 inches lower than the QX80 (19” vs. 22.4”). The MDX’s rear step up height is 5.4 inches lower than the QX80’s (17.4” vs. 22.8”).

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the MDX easier. The MDX’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 31.5 inches, while the QX80’s liftover is 35.8 inches.

Ergonomics

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The MDX offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The QX80 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The MDX’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The QX80’s parking brake has to released manually.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the MDX to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The QX80 doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the MDX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the MDX will cost $875 to $5880 less than the QX80 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the MDX is less expensive to operate than the QX80 because it costs $146 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the MDX than the QX80, including $907 less for a timing belt/chain and $145 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura MDX will be $20845 to $28946 less than for the Infiniti QX80.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/29

The Acura MDX outsold the Infiniti QX80 by almost three to one during 2019.

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