Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Ford Explorer VS 2014 Infiniti QX60 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2014 Ford Explorer

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VS

2014 Infiniti QX60

Safety Comparison

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport 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 QX60 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Explorer 4WD’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The QX60 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Explorer’s optional 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 QX60 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Explorer and the QX60 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Explorer is safer than the Infiniti QX60:

Explorer

QX60

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

156

337

Neck Injury Risk

36%

42%

Neck Stress

305 lbs.

464 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

452/475 lbs.

516/475 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

209

248

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

31%

33%

Neck Compression

31 lbs.

44 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

440/468 lbs.

479/476 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 flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Explorer is safer than the Infiniti QX60:

Explorer

QX60

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

44

114

Chest Movement

.8 inches

.9 inches

Hip Force

295 lbs.

457 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

41 G’s

Hip Force

524 lbs.

557 lbs.

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

Warranty Comparison

There are almost 25 times as many Ford dealers as there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Explorer has a standard 175-amp alternator (200-amp - Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport). The QX60’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 13th in reliability. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 20th.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer has more powerful engines than the QX60:

Horsepower

Torque

Explorer 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

270 lbs.-ft.

Explorer 3.5 DOHC V6

290 HP

255 lbs.-ft.

Explorer Sport 3.5 turbo V6

365 HP

350 lbs.-ft.

QX60 Hybrid 2.5 supercharged 4 cyl.

250 HP

243 lbs.-ft.

QX60 3.5 DOHC V6

265 HP

248 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Ford Explorer V6 is faster than the QX60 3.5:

Explorer

QX60

Zero to 60 MPH

7.5 sec

7.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.9 sec

8.3 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Explorer 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 QX60 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Explorer’s brake rotors are larger than those on the QX60:

Explorer

QX60

Front Rotors

12.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.8 inches

12.13 inches

The Explorer stops shorter than the QX60:

Explorer

QX60

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

135 feet

137 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the QX60 (245/65R17 vs. 235/65R18). The Explorer’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the QX60 (255/50R20 vs. 235/65R18).

The Explorer’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the QX60’s optional 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Explorer has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The QX60’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the QX60.

The Explorer Limited 4WD handles at .77 G’s, while the QX60 3.5 AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Explorer Limited 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the QX60 3.5 AWD (27.4 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 29.3 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Explorer has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the QX60 (7.6 vs. 6.5 inches), allowing the Explorer to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer has .7 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front hip room, 1 inch more front shoulder room, 2.2 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear hip room, .6 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.3 inches more third row headroom and 2.4 inches more third row legroom than the QX60.

The Explorer offers an optional rear tailgate seat that can be flipped rearward and used for tailgate picnics. (Do not use seat reversed while vehicle in motion.) The QX60 doesn’t offer a rear tailgate seat.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Explorer’s cargo area provides more volume than the QX60.

Explorer

QX60

Behind Third Seat

21 cubic feet

15.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

43.8 cubic feet

40.8 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

80.7 cubic feet

76.5 cubic feet

Ergonomics Comparison

The power windows standard on both the Explorer and the QX60 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Explorer is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The QX60 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 Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport’s exterior keypad. The QX60 doesn’t offer an exterior keypad 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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Explorer Limited detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The QX60 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Optional SYNC AppLink for the Explorer allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including playing internet radio stations and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The QX60 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The Explorer Limited’s optional 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 QX60 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Explorer owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Explorer will cost $890 to $2745 less than the QX60 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Explorer is less expensive to operate than the QX60 because typical repairs cost much less on the Explorer than the QX60, including $21 less for front brake pads, $13 less for a starter, $201 less for fuel injection, $8 less for a fuel pump, $295 less for front struts, $543 less for a timing belt/chain and $2321 less for a power steering pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Explorer will be $2798 to $7514 less than for the Infiniti QX60.

Recommendations Comparison

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Explorer as the 2011 North American Truck of the Year. The QX60 has never been chosen.

The Ford Explorer outsold the Infiniti QX60/JX35 by over six to one during 2013.

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