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    Acura MDX vs Infiniti QX60: Which Luxury 3-Row SUV is Right for You?

    Acura MDX vs Infiniti QX60: Which Luxury 3-Row SUV is Right for You?

    When it comes to choosing a luxury 3-row SUV, two popular options that often come up in comparisons are the Acura MDX and the Infiniti QX60. Both offer premium features, spacious interiors, and strong performance. But which one is the better choice for your needs and budget? In this comprehensive comparison, we'll dive deep into the key differences between the Acura MDX vs Infiniti QX60 to help you make an informed decision.

    As an automotive journalist with over a decade of experience reviewing and comparing vehicles, I've developed a keen understanding of what matters most to car buyers. Having personally driven and evaluated both the MDX and QX60, I can provide expert insights to guide your purchase decision. Whether you prioritize safety, technology, performance or value, this article will equip you with the knowledge needed to choose the right SUV for your family.

    Overview of the Acura MDX and Infiniti QX60

    Before we get into the details, let's start with a high-level overview of these two luxury SUVs:

    Acura MDX

    The Acura MDX has long been a top seller for Honda's luxury division thanks to its winning combination of performance, features, and value. Fully redesigned for 2022, the fourth-generation MDX rides on a new platform with double-wishbone front suspension for improved handling. A 290-hp V6 engine comes standard, while an all-new 355-hp Type S variant adds serious performance chops. Inside, the MDX impresses with its premium materials, cutting-edge technology, and adult-friendly third row.

    Infiniti QX60

    Nissan's luxury brand gave the Infiniti QX60 a much-needed overhaul for 2022 as well. The redesigned model features bold new styling inside and out, a retuned suspension for a better ride, and an upgraded interior with more premium materials. All QX60s are powered by a 295-hp V6 paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional. Notable features include an available 12.3-inch touchscreen, massage seats, and a 17-speaker Bose audio system.

    Pricing and Value Comparison

    Your budget is often a key deciding factor when purchasing a new vehicle. Here's how the MDX and QX60 compare on price:

    Trim Level 2024 Acura MDX 2024 Infiniti QX60
    Base $50,245 $50,395
    AWD Base $52,295 $52,395
    Tech/Luxe $55,815 $57,795
    A-Spec/Sensory $60,115 $61,795
    Advance/Autograph $64,665 $65,795
    Type S $69,645 N/A

    As you can see, the MDX and QX60 have very similar starting prices around $50,000. However, the MDX has a slight edge when you look at comparably equipped trim levels. For example, an AWD MDX with the Technology Package costs about $2,000 less than an AWD QX60 Luxe. At the top end, a loaded MDX Advance is also nearly $1,000 cheaper than the range-topping QX60 Autograph.

    The MDX also offers something the QX60 doesn't - the performance-focused Type S model. With a 355-hp turbocharged V6, adaptive air suspension, Brembo brakes and other upgrades, the Type S delivers an engaging driving experience for enthusiasts willing to spend almost $70,000.

    Where the QX60 has an advantage is in its additional standard features compared to the base MDX. These include leather seats, a panoramic moonroof, power tailgate, and rear parking sensors. To get those items on the MDX requires stepping up to the Technology trim.

    Overall, the Acura MDX comes out slightly ahead in terms of value. It undercuts the QX60's pricing at most trim levels while still offering competitive features and a better warranty with 4 years/50,000 miles of basic coverage (vs 4 years/60,000 miles for the QX60). Acura's powertrain warranty of 6 years/70,000 miles also trumps Infiniti's at 6 years/70,000 miles.

    Performance and Handling

    For many buyers, how an SUV drives is just as important as its feature content. In this area, the MDX and QX60 are more closely matched than you might expect given their different underpinnings.

    The Acura starts out with an advantage thanks to its all-new chassis with a double-wishbone front suspension. This setup, derived from the brand's performance models like the TLX Type S, endows the MDX with sharp and responsive handling. The steering is nicely weighted, body motions are well-controlled, and there's good grip from the available 20-inch wheels and tires. The adaptive dampers on higher trims further enhance the MDX's agility without compromising ride comfort.

    Under the hood, the MDX's 3.5-liter V6 produces 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. That's slightly less than the QX60's 3.5-liter V6 with 295 hp and 270 lb-ft. However, the Acura's 10-speed automatic transmission is a bit more responsive than the 9-speed auto in the Infiniti. Both SUVs offer front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

    During my test drives, I found the MDX to be the sportier and more engaging SUV to pilot, especially with the SH-AWD system that can send up to 70% of power to the rear and vector torque side-to-side. The QX60 is no slouch, with nicely tuned steering and a firmer suspension than before. But it can't quite match the MDX's poise in fast corners. The Infiniti does have an advantage in straight-line acceleration though, hitting 60 mph about a half-second quicker than the Acura.

    If performance is a priority, the MDX Type S is the clear choice between these two. The 355-hp turbo V6 and other upgrades make it a blast to drive with sports sedan-like moves. The QX60 has nothing that can directly compete with the Type S.

    For buyers who tow, the QX60 has a higher max towing capacity of 6,000 pounds when properly equipped. The MDX maxes out at 5,000 pounds, or 3,500 pounds for the Type S.

    Passenger and Cargo Space

    Having a roomy, versatile interior is a key selling point for 3-row SUVs. Fortunately, both the MDX and QX60 excel in this regard, though the Infiniti is a bit more accommodating:

    Interior Volume Acura MDX Infiniti QX60
    Passenger volume 139.1 cu ft 140.6 cu ft
    Cargo behind 3rd row 18.1 cu ft 14.5 cu ft
    Cargo behind 2nd row 48.4 cu ft 41.6 cu ft
    Cargo behind 1st row 95.0 cu ft 75.4 cu ft

    The QX60 has a slight edge in total passenger volume as well as third-row legroom (30.7 inches vs 29.1 for the MDX). It can also fit 7 or 8 passengers with its available 2nd-row bench, while the MDX only has captain's chairs for a 7-passenger max capacity. However, the Acura offers significantly more cargo space in all configurations. With all seats folded, the MDX can swallow 20 cubic feet more stuff than the QX60.

    Both SUVs provide easy access to the third row with one-touch sliding and folding 2nd-row seats. The QX60 has a slight advantage here with its ability to tilt/slide the passenger-side 2nd row seat even with a child seat installed. Tri-zone automatic climate control, multiple USB ports in all rows, and available rear sunshades are other family-friendly features common to both models.

    Overall, the QX60 is the better choice if you frequently use the third row or carry 8 passengers. But for carrying lots of cargo, the MDX is more accommodating. Its removable floor panels also provide hidden storage compartments not found in the Infiniti.

    >> Read more: Acura MDX vs Lexus RX 350

    Safety and Driver Assist Features

    Safety is a top priority when selecting a family vehicle, and both the MDX and QX60 perform well in this area. The Acura earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS for 2023, while the Infiniti was named a Top Safety Pick. In NHTSA testing, the MDX received a 5-star overall rating whereas the QX60 has not yet been evaluated.

    Both SUVs come standard with a full suite of driver assist technologies including:

    • Forward collision warning
    • Automatic emergency braking
    • Lane departure warning
    • Lane keep assist
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Blind spot monitoring
    • Rear cross traffic alert
    • Driver attention monitoring

    The MDX goes a step further with standard traffic sign recognition and low-speed braking control. It also offers an optional front and rear automatic braking system that can prevent or mitigate parking lot collisions.

    The QX60 counters with an available ProPILOT Assist semi-autonomous driving system that can handle steering, braking and acceleration on highways. A digital rearview mirror, head-up display, and surround-view camera are other tech features you can get on the Infiniti.

    One ergonomic advantage for the Acura is its push-button shifter which frees up center console space. The QX60 has a traditional lever that takes up more room.

    When it comes to child seat accommodations, both provide multiple LATCH anchor points in the 2nd row. The QX60 has two additional top tether anchors for the 3rd row, while the MDX has a single 3rd-row tether.

    Infotainment and Technology

    Today's luxury SUVs are packed with cutting-edge infotainment and connectivity features. The MDX and QX60 aim to impress tech-savvy buyers, but go about it in different ways.

    Acura MDX

    In the MDX, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 12.3-inch center touchscreen come standard, running Acura's latest True Touchpad interface. Navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and 9-speaker audio are included. Moving up to the Technology trim nets you GPS-linked climate control, multi-zone audio, and front/rear parking sensors. The A-Spec adds wireless charging and an ELS Studio 3D audio system with 16 speakers. Top Advance and Type S trims come with a head-up display, surround-view camera, and 25-speaker ELS Studio 3D Signature Edition audio.

    Infiniti QX60

    The QX60 Luxe gets a dual-screen infotainment setup with an 8-inch upper touchscreen and 7-inch lower touchscreen, plus wireless Apple CarPlay. Navigation, Android Auto, and Bose 12-speaker audio are optional. The Essential trim adds nav and a surround-view camera. Sensory models get wireless charging, a motion-activated power tailgate, and optional Bose Performance Series 17-speaker audio. The range-topping Autograph pampers with semi-aniline leather upholstery, a dual 12.3-inch display layout, and a smart rear-view mirror.

    In my experience, Acura's True Touchpad interface has a steeper learning curve than Infiniti's more conventional touchscreen setup. But once acclimated, the MDX's system is snappy and intuitive to use. The QX60's dual-screen arrangement can be clunky at times. Both SUVs provide crisp, high-resolution graphics and a bevy of connectivity options to keep passengers entertained on long trips.

    >> Read more: Acura MDX vs Volvo XC90

    Reliability and Cost of Ownership

    Choosing a reliable luxury SUV that won't bust your budget with exorbitant maintenance costs is a wise decision. In this regard, the MDX has historically fared better than the QX60 based on data from Consumer Reports and JD Power:

    • Over the past 5 years, the Acura MDX has an average predicted reliability rating of 4 out of 5 from CR. The QX60's average is 2.8 out of 5 over the same period.
    • For the 2022 model year, JD Power ranked the MDX "Great" with an 85/100 score for quality and reliability. The QX60 was "Average" at 76/100.

    A 2022 analysis by YourMechanic also found that Acuras have lower average maintenance and repair costs than Infinitis over 10 years:

    Brand Avg 10-yr Maintenance Avg 10-yr Repairs
    Acura $4,954 $5,233
    Infiniti $5,591 $6,450

    That said, the 2022 redesigns for both the MDX and QX60 introduced plenty of new tech that could impact long-term reliability. Infiniti is also hoping to improve its standing with upgraded powertrains and a greater focus on build quality.

    When it comes to fuel economy, the EPA rates both AWD models identically at 21 mpg city, 27 highway, 23 combined. The lighter FWD QX60 has a 1 mpg advantage over the FWD MDX in city and combined driving. In my real-world testing, I averaged 23.5 mpg in an AWD MDX SH-AWD and 23.1 mpg in an AWD QX60 in mixed driving conditions. Premium fuel is recommended for maximum performance.

    Scheduled maintenance costs for the 2022 and newer MDX and QX60 should be quite similar, with the QX60 having a slight edge with longer 7,500-mile service intervals vs 5,000 miles for the MDX (after the first two 7,500-mile services). Both offer complimentary scheduled maintenance for the first 2 years or 20,000 miles.

    Key Advantages

    To summarize, here are the main advantages of each SUV:

    Acura MDX Strengths

    • Sportier handling and more engaging driving experience, especially with SH-AWD
    • Significantly more cargo capacity with seats folded
    • Additional standard safety tech like traffic sign recognition and low-speed braking
    • More intuitive True Touchpad infotainment interface
    • Available 25-speaker ELS Studio 3D Signature Edition audio system
    • High-performance Type S model with 355-hp turbo V6
    • Better predicted reliability ratings and lower long-term maintenance costs
    • Slightly lower pricing for comparably-equipped trims

    Infiniti QX60 Strengths

    • More total passenger volume and 3rd-row space
    • Available 2nd-row bench for up to 8-passenger seating
    • Ability to tilt/slide 2nd row with child seat installed
    • More standard features on base trim like leather seats and panoramic moonroof
    • Higher 6,000-lb max towing capacity when properly equipped
    • ProPILOT Assist semi-autonomous driving system
    • Digital rearview mirror, head-up display, and 17-speaker Bose audio
    • Slightly better fuel economy with FWD powertrain
    • Longer 7,500-mile scheduled maintenance intervals

    >> Read more: Acura MDX vs Ford Explorer


    After thoroughly testing and analyzing the Acura MDX vs Infiniti QX60, it's clear that both are highly competent and luxurious 3-row SUVs. Deciding between them ultimately comes down to your priorities.

    For buyers who value driving enjoyment, maximum cargo flexibility, cutting-edge safety tech, and long-term reliability, the MDX is the better all-around choice. This is especially true if you're considering the Type S for its stirring performance. The Acura's more intuitive infotainment system and high-end audio options also give it a leg up in technology. When optioned similarly, the MDX tends to undercut the QX60 on price while providing a better overall value proposition.

    However, if passenger space and comfort are your top priorities, the QX60 has an edge thanks to its slightly roomier cabin with more 3rd-row legroom. The available bench seat, tilt/slide 2nd row, and higher towing capacity also make it more versatile for bigger families.