2020 Infiniti QX60 vs. 2019 Ford Flex

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The QX60 Luxe’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Flex doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front, middle and rear seat shoulder belts of the Infiniti QX60 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Ford Flex doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle or rear seat belts.

The QX60 has a standard Intelligent Brake Assist, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Flex offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The QX60 Luxe offers an optional Backup Collision Intervention that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Flex doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Infiniti QX60 has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Flex doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The QX60 Luxe’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Flex doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The QX60 Luxe offers an optional Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Flex only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the QX60 and the Flex have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Infiniti QX60 is safer than the Flex:

QX60

Flex

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

39

49

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

3 cm

11 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

15 cm

23 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

2.3/.1 kN

2.8/2.2 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.52/.37

.53/.69

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the QX60 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 157 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Flex was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The QX60 comes with a full 4-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Flex’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 24,000 miles sooner.

Infiniti’s powertrain warranty covers the QX60 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Ford covers the Flex. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Flex ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The QX60’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Flex’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Infiniti vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti 11th in reliability, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Infiniti vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Infiniti 12 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine

The QX60’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 8 more horsepower (295 vs. 287) and 16 lbs.-ft. more torque (270 vs. 254) than the Flex’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

QX60

FWD

3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/27 hwy

AWD

3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

Flex

FWD

3.5 DOHC V6

16 city/23 hwy

AWD

3.5 DOHC V6

16 city/22 hwy

3.5 turbo V6

15 city/21 hwy

The QX60 has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the Flex (19.5 vs. 18.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Infiniti QX60 higher (5 out of 10) than the Ford Flex (3). This means the QX60 produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Flex every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The QX60 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 Flex doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The QX60 stops much shorter than the Flex:

QX60

Flex

70 to 0 MPH

181 feet

192 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

137 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

143 feet

157 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the QX60 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Flex SE.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the QX60’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Flex’s (38.7 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

Chassis

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the QX60 has liquid-filled engine mounts. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Flex uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The design of the Infiniti QX60 amounts to more than styling. The QX60 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the Flex (.36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the QX60 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The QX60 has 1.3 inches more front hip room, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear hip room, 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room, .9 inches more third row hip room and 6.3 inches more third row shoulder room than the Flex.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the QX60’s middle and third row seats recline. The Flex’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just kicking your foot under the back bumper can open the QX60 Luxe’s available liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The Flex doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

The QX60’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Flex’s (5000 vs. 2000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Infiniti service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti fourth in service department satisfaction. With a 67% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.

Ergonomics

The QX60’s 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 Flex’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the QX60 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Flex can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The QX60’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 Flex’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The QX60 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Flex doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Consumer Reports rated the QX60’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Flex’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the QX60 Luxe detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Flex doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

When the QX60 Luxe 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 Flex’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The QX60 Luxe offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Flex has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The QX60 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Flex SEL/Limited.

Economic Advantages

The QX60 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the QX60 will retain 54.7% to 54.76% of its original price after five years, while the Flex only retains 41.51% to 45.94%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the QX60 is less expensive to operate than the Flex because typical repairs cost much less on the QX60 than the Flex, including $276 less for a water pump and $268 less for a muffler.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Infiniti QX60, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Ford Flex isn't recommended.

The Infiniti QX60 outsold the Ford Flex by over two to one during 2018.

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

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