2020 Ford Explorer vs. 2019 Infiniti QX60

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Explorer and QX60 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Explorer has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The QX60’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Explorer has standard Post Collision Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The QX60 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.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Explorer 4WD’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The QX60 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Explorer’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 QX60 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Explorer and the QX60 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

There are over 14 times as many Ford dealers as there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability

The Explorer has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The QX60 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 19th, below the industry average.

Engine

The Explorer’s standard 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. produces 5 more horsepower (300 vs. 295) and 40 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 270) than the QX60’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The Explorer’s optional 3.3 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 23 more horsepower (318 vs. 295) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (322 vs. 270) than the QX60’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The Explorer Platinum’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 70 more horsepower (365 vs. 295) and 110 lbs.-ft. more torque (380 vs. 270) than the QX60’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The Explorer ST’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 105 more horsepower (400 vs. 295) and 145 lbs.-ft. more torque (415 vs. 270) than the QX60’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Explorer gets better fuel mileage than the QX60:

MPG

Explorer

RWD

2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

QX60

FWD

3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/27 hwy

AWD

3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Explorer Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The QX60 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Explorer’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 QX60 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Explorer 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 Explorer’s brake rotors are larger than those on the QX60:

Explorer

Explorer ST

Explorer ST opt.

QX60

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13.6 inches

14.3 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

12.8 inches

13.8 inches

12.13 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the QX60 (255/65R18 vs. 235/65R18). The Explorer ST/Platinum’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the QX60 (275/45R21 vs. 235/65R18).

The Explorer ST/Platinum’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the QX60 Luxe’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer ST/Platinum offers optional 21-inch wheels. The QX60’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Having a flat tire is dangerous, inconvenient and expensive. The self-sealing tires available on the Explorer can automatically seal most punctures up to 3/16 of an inch, effectively preventing most flat tires. The QX60 doesn’t offer self-sealing tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Explorer 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 Explorer’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 Explorer’s wheelbase is 4.9 inches longer than on the QX60 (119.1 inches vs. 114.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the QX60.

For greater off-road capability the Explorer has a 1.4 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the QX60 (7.9 vs. 6.5 inches), allowing the Explorer to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the Explorer (except 3.3 V6 non-Hybrid) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The QX60 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Explorer Hybrid uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The QX60 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Explorer has 3.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the QX60 (152.7 vs. 149).

The Explorer has .8 inches more front legroom, 2.4 inches more front hip room, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room, 2.3 inches more rear headroom, 3.3 inches more rear hip room, 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.4 inches more third row headroom and 1.4 inches more third row legroom than the QX60.

Cargo Capacity

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

Explorer

QX60

Behind Third Seat

18.2 cubic feet

16 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

47.9 cubic feet

40.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

87.8 cubic feet

76.2 cubic feet

The Explorer’s cargo area is larger than the QX60’s in every dimension:

Explorer

QX60

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

20.8”/49.8”/83.9”

20.7”/45”/78.5”

Max Width

59”

50”

Min Width

48.1”

46”

Height

33.7”

32.2”

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

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Infiniti QX60 is limited to 5000 pounds. The Explorer offers up to a 5600 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Explorer is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the QX60. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

The Explorer’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The QX60’s parking brake has to released manually.

The power windows standard on both the Explorer and the QX60 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Explorer 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 Explorer’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.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Explorer Platinum has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The QX60 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Explorer ST/Platinum’s Active Park Assist 2.0 can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The QX60 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

The Ford Explorer outsold the Infiniti QX60 by almost six to one during 2018.

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

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