2020 Lincoln MKZ vs. 2020 Infiniti Q50

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/12

The rear seatbelts optional on the MKZ inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Q50 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The MKZ’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 Q50 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the MKZ and the Q50 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and front parking sensors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Lincoln MKZ is safer than the Infiniti Q50:

MKZ

Q50

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

125

225

Neck Stress

200 lbs.

223 lbs.

Neck Compression

24 lbs.

45 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

3 Stars

3 Stars

Chest Compression

.3 inches

1 inches

Neck Compression

50 lbs.

85 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

14/11 lbs.

541/294 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Lincoln MKZ is safer than the Infiniti Q50:

MKZ

Q50

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

16 inches

19 inches

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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 MKZ the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 169 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q50 has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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There are over 4 times as many Lincoln dealers as there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the MKZ’s warranty.

Reliability

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The MKZ 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 Q50 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

The battery on the MKZ is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the MKZ’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Q50’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

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 MKZ’s reliability 40 points higher than the Q50.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 19th, below the industry average.

Engine

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The MKZ has more powerful engines than the Q50:

Torque

MKZ 3.0 turbo V6

400 lbs.-ft.

Q50 3.0t 3.0 turbo V6

295 lbs.-ft.

Q50 Red Sport 400 3.0 turbo V6

350 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the MKZ Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Q50 3.0t RWD (42 city/39 hwy vs. 20 city/29 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the MKZ Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Q50 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The MKZ 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 Q50 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Lincoln MKZ higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Infiniti Q50 (3). This means the MKZ produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Q50 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The MKZ Hybrid 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 Q50 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The MKZ stops shorter than the Q50:

MKZ

Q50

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

126 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the MKZ has larger tires than the Q50 (245/45R18 vs. 225/55R17).

The MKZ’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Q50’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the MKZ has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Q50.

The MKZ (except Hybrid) 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 Q50; 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.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the MKZ is 1.7 inches wider in the front and .5 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Q50.

Chassis

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The front grille of the MKZ 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 Q50 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The MKZ uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Q50 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The MKZ has 1.9 inches more front hip room, 1 inch more front shoulder room, 1.9 inches more rear legroom and 1.3 inches more rear hip room than the Q50.

Cargo Capacity

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The MKZ has a much larger trunk than the Q50 (15.4 vs. 13.5 cubic feet).

The MKZ’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Q50 Pure doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the MKZ offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The Q50 doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Towing

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The MKZ has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Q50 has no towing capacity.

The MKZ 3.0 Turbo/Hybrid (except 2.0 Turbo) can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the MKZ can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Q50 can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Servicing Ease

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The MKZ has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Q50 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

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The MKZ’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Q50’s parking brake has to released manually.

The power windows standard on both the MKZ and the Q50 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the MKZ is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Q50 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 MKZ’s exterior PIN entry system. The Q50 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its extra cost Infiniti Connection can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the MKZ’s exterior PIN entry system. The Q50 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its extra cost Infiniti Connection can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

A power rear sunshade is standard in the MKZ Reserve to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Q50 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The MKZ has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Q50, and aren’t available on the Q50 Pure. The MKZ Reserve also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Q50.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the MKZ Reserve keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Q50 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The MKZ Reserve offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Q50.

The MKZ offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q50 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The MKZ Reserve’s Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Q50 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the MKZ owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the MKZ will cost $895 less than the Q50 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the MKZ is less expensive to operate than the Q50 because it costs $200 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the MKZ than the Q50, including $224 less for a starter, $29 less for fuel injection, $22 less for a fuel pump, $247 less for front struts and $19 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lincoln MKZ will be $2686 to $8453 less than for the Infiniti Q50.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/12

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lincoln MKZ, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Infiniti Q50 isn't recommended.

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