2020 Infiniti QX50 vs. 2020 Audi Q3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The QX50 has standard Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Q3 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the QX50 and the Q3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee 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 all wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

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The QX50 comes with a full 4-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Q3’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 10,000 miles sooner.

Infiniti’s powertrain warranty covers the QX50 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Q3 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the QX50 has a standard 720-amp battery. The Q3’s 680-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Infiniti vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti 19th in initial quality. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Infiniti vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Infiniti 1 place higher in reliability than Audi.

Engine

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The QX50’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 40 more horsepower (268 vs. 228) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 258) than the Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Infiniti QX50 is faster than the Audi Q3:

QX50

Q3

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

8.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

16.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.6 MPH

85.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the QX50 AWD CVT gets better fuel mileage than the Q3 (22 city/28 hwy vs. 19 city/27 hwy).

Transmission

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The QX50 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 Q3 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The QX50 stops shorter than the Q3:

QX50

Q3

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

130 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the QX50 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Q3.

The QX50 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 Q3 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the QX50 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Q3 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the QX50’s wheelbase is 4.7 inches longer than on the Q3 (110.2 inches vs. 105.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the QX50 is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Q3.

The QX50 Essential AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the Q3 Premium Plus pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The QX50 Essential AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the Q3 Premium Plus (26.7 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the QX50’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Q3’s (36.4 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

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The design of the Infiniti QX50 amounts to more than styling. The QX50 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Q3 (.36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the QX50 get better fuel mileage.

The QX50 uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Q3 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The QX50 has 20.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Q3 (104.4 vs. 84).

The QX50 has 1.4 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 2.6 inches more rear legroom and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q3.

Cargo Capacity

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The QX50 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Q3 with its rear seat up (31.4 vs. 23.7 cubic feet). The QX50 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q3 with its rear seat folded (65.1 vs. 48 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the QX50 easier. The QX50’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 26.6 inches, while the Q3’s liftover is 27.8 inches.

The QX50’s cargo area is larger than the Q3’s in every dimension:

QX50

Q3

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

39”/71.7”

34”/65”

Max Width

54.5”

54”

Min Width

41.5”

39”

Height

31.2”

28”

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Audi Q3 is limited to 1500 pounds. The QX50 AWD offers up to a 3000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Infiniti service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti fourth in service department satisfaction. With a 21% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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The QX50 offers a 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 Q3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the QX50 (except Pure/Luxe), the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The Q3 doesn’t offer a memory system.

The QX50 (except Pure/Luxe)’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Q3 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The QX50 (except Pure/Luxe/Essential) offers an available heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Q3 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The QX50’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Q3’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the QX50 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q3 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the QX50’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Q3’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the QX50 (except Pure/Luxe) offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Q3 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the QX50 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Q3 doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

When the QX50 with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Q3’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the QX50 (except Pure/Luxe/Essential) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Q3 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the QX50 Essential’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Q3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Model Availability

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The QX50 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q3 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

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Consumer Reports® recommends both the Infiniti QX50 and the Audi Q3, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Infiniti QX50 outsold the Audi Q3 by 26% during 2019.

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

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