To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X1. But it costs extra on the QX50.
When descending a steep, off-road slope, the X1’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The QX50 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.
The X1 has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The QX50 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the X1 and the QX50 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.
The X1’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the QX50’s (12 vs. 7 years).
BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X1 for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Infiniti doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the QX50.
There are over 2 times as many BMW dealers as there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the X1’s warranty.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X1 has a standard 150-amp alternator. The QX50’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
On the EPA test cycle the X1 gets better fuel mileage than the QX50 AWD (22 city/32 hwy vs. 17 city/24 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the X1’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 X1’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 X1’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the QX50’s standard 55 series tires.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X1 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The QX50 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The X1 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The QX50’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X1 is 1.1 inches wider in the front and .5 inches wider in the rear than on the QX50.
For greater off-road capability the X1 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the QX50 (7.2 vs. 6.5 inches), allowing the X1 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The X1 is 12 inches shorter than the QX50, making the X1 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The design of the BMW X1 amounts to more than styling. The X1 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .31 Cd. That is lower than the QX50 (.33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the X1 get better fuel mileage.
The X1 has 4.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the QX50 (101 vs. 96.8).
The X1 has 3.3 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, 1.7 inches more rear legroom and 2.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the QX50.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X1’s available rear seats recline. The QX50’s rear seats don’t recline.
The X1 has a larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the QX50 with its rear seat folded (58.7 vs. 49.7 cubic feet).
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults or children, the X1 has a standard power cargo door, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The QX50 doesn’t offer a power cargo door.
The X1 offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The QX50 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The power windows standard on both the X1 and the QX50 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X1 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.
The X1’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The QX50’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.
The X1’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The QX50’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
The X1 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which 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.
On extremely cold Winter days, the X1’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The QX50 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
Optional BMW Apps for the X1 allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, tagging songs to buy them later, following twitter accounts and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The QX50 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.
The X1’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The QX50 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.