Both SUVs are all-new.
It's been nearly a decade since the current Infiniti QX60 launched as the JX35, and a new version is finally here. The 2022 Infiniti QX60 arrives with a completely refreshed design language, modernized interior, and updated powertrain. As before, the QX60 is a three-row mid-size SUV, putting it in competition with some compelling alternatives. Among the other SUVs in this segment, we think the 2022 Acura MDX is the QX60's closest competitor. It too was refreshed this year for a new generation, and it too comes with three rows and a V6 engine under the hood.
We loved the new MDX in its sporty A-Spec trim, but can the QX60 come along to sweep potential buyers away from Acura showrooms? Let's compare the QX60 and MDX to find out.
Both Acura and Infiniti have struggled to land on lasting design languages in the past, but each seems to have hit its stride with these latest efforts. The QX60 adopts styling from the Monograph Concept, which should act as the brand's familial look moving forward. There are interesting details throughout, including kimono folds in the headlamps, an origami-inspired grille, and an available two-tone roof. We'd describe the QX60 as elegant but not aggressively styled.
The latest MDX embraces similar styling as the TLX sedan, opting for hard creases and angular lines. Especially in its A-Spec Trim, the MDX looks like a sportier vehicle. There's no true "winner" between these two in the styling department, but we'd lean slightly towards the more aggressive MDX.
As with the exterior design, these two cabins both offer luxury in different flavors. Infiniti went for a more traditional luxury feel with available diamond-stitched semi-aniline leather and open-pore wood. The technology here is a huge upgrade over the outgoing QX60, now with a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, available 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and available 10.8-inch head-up display. We've used a lesser version of this setup in the Nissan Rogue and found it highly intuitive.
The Acura takes a more modern, youthful approach to luxury with its cabin design. In A-Spec guise, the MDX features sporty red leather seats with black and aluminum accents. Acura's cabin tech is pretty stellar, but the True Touchpad controller is hampered by a steep learning curve. Both interiors look like nice places to spend time, so this is once again a matter of personal taste.
The QX60 and MDX offer space for up to seven passengers, or six people with second-row captain's chairs. Infiniti offers its captain's chairs on the top Autograph trim, which boasts a removable center console. The Acura offers an even more flexible solution with a removable middle seat that doubles as a cupholder. Both SUVs offer easy access to the third row, though Infiniti's second-row seats lean forward a bit more than Acura's.
In terms of cargo space, the QX60 offers 14.5 cubic feet behind the third row, 41.6 cubic feet behind the second row, and 75.4 cubic feet behind the first row. The MDX offers comparable figures of 16.3, 39.1, and 71.4 cubic feet. We love the MDX's underfloor storage and reversible trunk with plastic or carpeting, but the QX60 edges it out in overall capacity.
In a three-row family drag race, the QX60 and MDX would likely finish neck and neck. Both vehicles feature naturally aspirated V6 engines displacing 3.5-liters. Acura's engine produces 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque, while the Infiniti delivers 295 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque; it's a slight difference and we doubt you can feel it in the real world. Infiniti uses a new nine-speed automatic transmission sourced from ZF, whereas Acura's 10-speed automatic is a home-grown affair. Both SUVs send power to the front wheels or optional all-wheel-drive.
Acura will soon release an MDX Type S with a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6, upping the output to 355 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. When the Type S arrives, Acura will have Infiniti beat on performance. As a slight consolation, the QX60 tows up to 6,000 pounds, 1,000 pounds more than the MDX.
Infiniti hasn't released pricing for the 2022 QX60, but we expect it to go up from the outgoing model's $44,350 starting price. This leaves a little wiggle room for Infiniti to undercut the 2022 MDX, which starts at $46,900. Though the pricing will be broadly similar, we will need to wait for Infiniti to release a full trim level breakdown to tell which of these two luxury SUVs is the better value. Infiniti could outmatch Acura on price, but if the MDX includes more standard features, it could be considered the more attractive proposition. The QX60 arrives in late 2021, so we will have a clearer picture before then.