Crossovers are all the rage and are quickly becoming the volume models for many automakers. That is especially true for Infiniti, which sells more QX60s than any other model regardless of class in its entire lineup. But does the higher volume necessarily mean that it’s the best?
The smaller and newer QX50 features advanced powertrains, state-of-the-art tech and other luxury amenities once only found on larger and more expensive vehicles.
In that case, if you’re in the market for an Infiniti crossover, does the QX50 make more sense?
The QX50 is not only the technology leader in this comparison, but also of the entire Infiniti lineup. It features a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder VC-Turbo (Variable Compression) engine that is designed to optimize fuel economy and performance in a way never before seen on an internal combustion engine. The engine can vary between a 14:1 compression ratio for fuel economy and an 8:1 ratio for spirited driving. It’s a system no one but Nissan and Infiniti has been able to employ in their volume cars. In the QX50, this powertrain is rated to produce 268 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque.
Both vehicles are only available with a Continuously Variable Transmission and offer all-wheel drive.
The all-wheel drive version of the QX50, which is the volume configuration, is rated by the EPA at 22 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway or 25 mpg combined.
The all-wheel drive QX60 is rated at 19 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway or 22 mpg combined.
Neither vehicle offers engine start/stop functionality or a hybrid or electrified powertrain.
The QX50 is physically a smaller vehicle than the QX60. Infiniti hasn’t provided cabin volume numbers, but the QX50 is capable of seating five people in a 2+3 configuration. While the rear seats are big enough for most adults, the middle seat in the rear would only really be comfortable for adults on short trips. The outboard rear seats, though, would be fine for a cross-country road trip.
The QX60 is the vehicle you want if you need to carry more than five. The vehicle comes with seating capacity for seven thanks to its third row. When not in use, the third-row seats fold down to provide more cargo space. While only suitable for children, the third row adds a dose of versatility, something that the QX50 doesn’t have.
Cargo Capacity and Trailering
With all the seats in place, the QX50 has 31.4 cu-ft of cargo space. Fold the rear seats down and that space jumps to 65.1 cu-ft. The load floor is easy to get luggage, bags and other things in to as the loading lip is quite low.
Towing capacity for the QX50 is rated at 3,000 pounds.
With all three rows of seats in place, the QX60 has 16 cu-ft of cargo space. With the third row folded, that increases to 40.5 cu-ft. With both the second and third row folded, it jumps even further to 76.2 cu-ft.
Towing capacity for the QX50 sits at 3,000 lb, with the QX60 boasting a max of 5,000 lb.
The QX50 comes with Infiniti’s ProPilot Assist which is an SAE Level 2 ADAS driving assistant system. It keeps the car in the center of the lane at all times and and adjusts the speed according to the traffic. It’s a strictly hands-on system but helps alleviate stress on long journeys. If the driver takes their hands off the wheel for an extended period of time, the system will respond in a few different ways.
At first, there’ll be a red warning light on the instrument cluster and in the heads-up display. Then there will be a beep that gets progressively faster and more intrusive, the longer the driver avoids gripping the steering wheel. Finally, the car will begin to pulse the brakes assuming the driver has fallen asleep and as an attempt to wake him/her up. As a final contingency it will automatically engage the hazard lights and bring the car to a dead stop at the side of the road.
SEE ALSO: 2019 Infiniti QX50 Review
New for 2020, the QX50 picks up Infiniti’s new infotainment system. It now finally has support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and higher resolution screens with better color reproduction. The systems also have built-in WiFi hotspots for connecting up to seven devices while on the road.
The QX60 didn’t receive the company’s infotainment updates for 2020. Considering that every other vehicle did, we can assume that Infiniti is reserving the changes for a mid-life facelift.
The QX60 still has available safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure prevention and blind spot monitoring. While not as seamless as ProPilot Assist in use, these systems are still quite advanced and help keep the occupants safe and less fatigued on long journeys.
Without support for Apple Car Play or Android Auto, owners will have to rely on the built-in navigation system, which works well enough but isn’t a sophisticated as systems from other brands.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the QX50 is a quite a handsome vehicle. Instead of square edges like on many SUVs, the QX50 has a sleek, elegant appearance. The proportions fit the vehicle, and the design doesn’t cut into interior space the way some of the competition does.
SEE ALSO: 2019 Infiniti QX50 Pros and Cons
Inside, the leather is supple and elegant. Opting for the premium upgraded interior adds a beautiful cream and chocolate leather interior and real aluminum trim pieces. The interior of the QX50 feels the most modern of the entire lineup.
That being said, the QX60 isn’t a bad place to be. While the exterior isn’t as sleek and rather boxy because it has to accommodate the third row, it shares many of the design cues from its smaller sibling. There’s no mistaking either of these products for anything other than an Infiniti, and both have some great road presence.
The inside has similar leather appointments and wood trim pieces. Ignore the antiquated infotainment system and the QX60 could easily match German rivals in quality and feel.
The QX50 front-wheel drive starts at $37,250 U.S. The all-wheel drive starts at $39,250 U.S. Both prices are before delivery. Fully loaded models come in at around $55,000.
There are far fewer options for the QX60 which starts at $44,350 for front-wheel drive and $46,350 for all-wheel drive. Fully loaded models come in around $50,000.
Do you need the third row? If you do, Infiniti’s QX60 is the one for you, and as it is the brand’s highest selling model, most of Infiniti’s customers would agree with you. It’s a shame that it doesn’t get the updated infotainment system even as an option.
If carrying two extra passengers isn’t on your list of priorities, the QX50 is the way to go. It looks fantastic. It drives well. It has advanced semi-autonomous driving tech. It can support having your phone plugged in to it. The interior is amazing.
The QX50, in a lot of ways, feels like a bargain.