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The NX Series’ optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The QX50 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The NX Series has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The QX50 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The NX Series’ 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 QX50 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the NX Series and the QX50 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the NX Series its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The QX50 has not been fully tested, yet.
There are over 18 percent more Lexus dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the NX Series’ warranty.
A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the NX Series’ reliability 34 points higher than the QX50.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 19th, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 11th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Infiniti vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Infiniti is ranked 13th.
On the EPA test cycle the NX 300h gets better fuel mileage than the QX50 AWD CVT (33 city/30 hwy vs. 22 city/28 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the NX Series 300h’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The QX50 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the NX Series 300h’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 QX50 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The NX Series stops much shorter than the QX50:
60 to 0 MPH
The NX Series has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the QX50; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.
The NX Series has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The QX50’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
The NX Series offers an optional 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 QX50’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The NX Series has 3.2 inches more front legroom and .1 inches more rear hip room than the QX50.
Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the NX Series’ optional rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The QX50 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Infiniti. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 3% lower rating, Infiniti is ranked fourth.
The NX Series’ instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The QX50 does not have an oil pressure gauge.
The power windows standard on both the NX Series and the QX50 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the NX Series is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The QX50 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
If the windows are left open on the NX Series 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. (This window function must be activated by your Lexus service department.) The driver of the QX50 can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The NX Series’ headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the QX50’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Marginal.”
The NX Series’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Infiniti only offers heated mirrors on the QX50 Essential/Sensory/Autograph.
The NX Series’ standard rear view mirror and optional side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The QX50 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
Insurance will cost less for the NX Series owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the NX Series will cost $85 to $1515 less than the QX50 over a five-year period.
The NX Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the NX Series will retain 50.95% to 51.77% of its original price after five years, while the QX50 only retains 47.09% to 47.54%.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the NX Series is less expensive to operate than the QX50 because typical repairs cost much less on the NX Series than the QX50, including $230 less for a water pump, $33 less for front brake pads, $4 less for a fuel pump, $57 less for front struts and $848 less for a power steering pump.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lexus NX Series will be $1428 to $3994 less than for the Infiniti QX50.
Consumer Reports® recommends both the Lexus NX Series and the Infiniti QX50, based on reliability, safety and performance.
The Lexus NX Series outsold the Infiniti QX50 by over three to one during 2019.
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