2020 Infiniti QX60 vs. 2020 Ford Explorer

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 Explorer 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 Explorer doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle or rear seat belts.

Both the QX60 and the Explorer 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, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

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 Explorer has not been tested, yet.

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 Explorer’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 Explorer. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Explorer ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The QX60’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Explorer’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.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Infiniti QX60 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The Explorer ST requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The QX60 has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Explorer Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (19.5 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 Explorer doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The QX60’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Explorer ST are solid, not vented.

Passenger Space

The QX60 has 2.7 inches more rear legroom, 1.1 inches more third row hip room and 2.5 inches more third row shoulder room than the Explorer.

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

Towing

The QX60’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Explorer’s (5000 vs. 3000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The QX60 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Explorer uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

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

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 Explorer’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Infiniti QX60, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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