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Head-to-Head: BMW X5 vs Infiniti QX60

Niel Stender

The new BMW X5 & Infiniti QX60 appear to be in the same competitive luxury SUV segment, but one of them stands above in this comparison. 

Do You Go for the BMW X5 or the Infiniti QX60?

press.bmwgroup.com | infinitiusa.com
press.bmwgroup.com | infinitiusa.com

The BMW X5 was an early entrant into the luxury SUV segment. As such, there is quite a bit of competition nipping at its heels. One of them is the Infiniti QX60. Both have six-cylinder power plants, available all-wheel drive, and offer the upper-crust lifestyle to aspiring owners.

A new 2021 BMW X5, specifically the AWD-equipped xDrive40i with its $61,700 MSRP, is pricier than a comparable new 2020 Infiniti QX60. However, it comes with quite a few more standard features too. The Infiniti QX60 Luxe AWD is $48,150, but that balloons to $56,500 with its added packages. The Essential, Sensory, and Pro Assist packages are all necessary to get a more apples-to-apples comparison here. So, let’s see which fully loaded SUV is the best value for would-be buyers.

BMW X5 vs Infiniti QX60 Specs

2021 BMW X5 3.0L I6 - carsforsale.com
2021 BMW X5 3.0L I6 - carsforsale.com

As noted, both the 2021 BMW X5 and 2020 Infiniti QX60 are motivated by six-cylinder engines. The Infiniti uses a naturally aspirated V-configuration making 295 horsepower mated to a continuously variable transmission. While the BMW works with a twin-turbo inline layout putting 335 horses to the wheels via an 8-speed automatic.

Fuel economy champs these SUVs are not, with the BMW achieving 21 and 25 mpg for the city and highway respectively. Infiniti’s QX60 gets 19 mpg around town and 26 on the highway. If towing is on your list, look to the BMW X5 with its 7,200 lb capability, which is a significant step up over the 5,000 lb max of the Infiniti QX60.

2020 Infiniti QX60 3.5L V6 - Raiti's Rides on YouTube.com
2020 Infiniti QX60 3.5L V6 - Raiti's Rides on YouTube.com

For those concerned about spaciousness, the QX60 steps ahead. Six inches in extra length versus the X5 yields an additional 4 inches of second row legroom. Max cargo volume with the second and third row folded is a cavernous 76.2 cubic feet for the Infiniti versus 56.5 in the BMW. Interestingly, BMW talks about their third row, but the X5 online configurator does not include an option to add it. A third-row is standard equipment on the QX60, but is best suited to kids.

Warranty-wise, Infiniti has longer coverage terms, but BMW offers complimentary maintenance. The QX60 bumper-to-bumper period is good for 4 years or 60,000 miles while its powertrain is covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. BMW lumps everything together into one overall warranty, good for 4 years or 50,000 miles. Both companies offer 4 years of roadside assistance, but only BMW has complimentary scheduled maintenance. On the X5, that freebie is good for the first 3 years or 36,000 miles.

Driving and Performance Differences

2021 BMW X5 - bmwusa.com
2021 BMW X5 - bmwusa.com

BMW has a reputation for high performance, which they bake into the xDrive40i. 331 lb-ft of torque join the 335-horsepower party to hit 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. That’s quick for any vehicle, especially a nearly 5,000 lb SUV. More than just straight-line speed, the 2021 BMW X5 is close to 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution, which allows it to shine in the bendy bits.

Selectable driving modes on the BMW include Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport. Choose that last one for more aggressive shifting. In concert with the dynamic dampers, double wishbone front, and multi-link rear suspension, the X5 allows for true spirited driving.

If you get too frisky behind the wheel, BMW’s standard Active Driving Assistant can lend a hand with features like frontal collision warning, blind spot detection, and lane departure warning. In the event of an imminent accident, the Active Protection System pretensions seatbelts, closes windows, and activates post-crash braking. It can also disconnect the alternator, fuel pump, and starter from the battery post-impact.

2020 Infiniti QX60 - infinitusa.com
2020 Infiniti QX60 - infinitusa.com

With a similar suspension configuration, the 2020 Infiniti QX60 will have a controlled, planted feel behind the wheel. As well, the standard 18-inch all-season tires offer plenty of sidewall for a cushy ride. But with a 0-60 mph split of 7.1 seconds, don’t go looking for stoplight drag races. For comfortable daily commutes, the Infiniti will get the job done, however pretending a cloverleaf highway is the Nürburgring would not be recommended.

On the safety front, new Infiniti QX60s are equipped with predictive forward collision warning, emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and blind sport warning. A 5-star rating from NHTSA and Top Safety Pick award from IIHS is achieved in part due to airbags covering the front and side of first row occupants plus a curtain along all three rows.

Comfort and Interior

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2021 BMW X5 owners are treated to standard leather seating with soft-touch surfaces accented by real wood trim. Front row thrones can be warmed up and power-adjusted 16 different ways. Customizable ambient lighting and a panoramic moonroof with power shade lets drivers control the interior mood.

For even more fanciness, tick the $4350 Executive and $1600 Luxury Seating package boxes. The first one nets four-zone climate control, 20-way massaging and ventilated front seats, plus the ability to turn your giant moonroof into an LED light show.

Even with the top-line 2020 Infiniti QX60 Luxe AWD, leatherette is the standard upholstery, though leather can be optioned as part of the Essential package. For $2900, the Essential package also includes navigation, a surround view camera system, and rain sensing wipers. Triple-zone automatic climate control is a nice touch for third-row folks. That way back seat also splits 50/50 and can recline.

A traditional sunroof is standard along with power adjustable, heated front seats and heated steering wheel. The $3500 Sensory package lays on the lux with an air purifier, second and third row moonroof, Maple trim, and heated outboard second row seating.

Trims and Features Available

2021 BMW X5 - bmwusa.com
2021 BMW X5 - bmwusa.com

At roughly $62,000, the xDrive40i comes with a high level of included features and plenty of optional add-ons. Dual 12-inch digital screens dominate the cockpit with a decidedly modern, upscale look. One manages instrument panel duties while the other sits in the center of the dashboard. That central touchscreen controls Apple and Android software, navigation with real time traffic and the 10-spekaer audio system amongst other things.

For $1050, the Convenience package adds remote start, wireless charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Select the Driver Assistance suite, a $1700 option, for active cruise control, automatic lane change, evasion assist and traffic jam assistant. And if you’d like your X5 to park itself, the $800 Parking Assistance package will find you a space and steer itself into place.

The 2021 BMW X5 xDrive40i is offered in rear-wheel drive configuration as the sDrive40i for about $2000 less with the same general options scheme. The $65,400 xDrive45e tacks an electric motor onto the twin-turbo I6 while two flavors of V8 are also available in the M50i and X5M. The $83,000 M50i packs a 523 twin-turbo V8 and a high level of luxury. For the full-tilt boogie, check out the six-figure, over 600 horsepower BMW X5 M luxo-bruiser.

2020 Infiniti QX60 - infinitusa.com
2020 Infiniti QX60 - infinitusa.com

Infiniti offers two trims on the 2020 Infiniti QX60. Pure for $44,350 or Luxe for $46,150. Both can be optioned with AWD for an additional $2000. The $48,150 Luxe AWD also uses dual digital screens for the gauge cluster and infotainment control, but they’re both eight inches in size. Four years of SiriusXM radio is included as are eight USB ports and a 13-speaker Bose audio system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are notably absent as standard or optional equipment.

Back row QX60 occupants would be happy with the $2150 Theater package, which features a pair of 8-inch monitors, wireless headphones, and 120V power port. Tacking on the ProAssist package for $1950 brings driver aids like blind spot intervention, automatic high beams, and backup collision intervention.

Should You Go BMW or Infiniti?

2021 BMW X5 - bmwusa.com
2021 BMW X5 - bmwusa.com

A 2021 BMW X5 is more expensive than a new 2020 Infiniti QX60, and the same goes for lightly used models. One-year-old X5s with about 10,000 miles are trading in the $55,000 range, which is not a whole lot less than the $62,000 new pricing. Conversely, a year old QX60 with 16,000 miles is currently for sale at $34,000 versus 48 grand for a shiny new one.

All that taken into consideration, the BMW X5 offers quite a bit more in the driving, comfort, and tech departments than the Infiniti. If your budget is tight, the QX60 will certainly provide a pleasant, upscale commute. However, if you have some wiggle room, check out an X5 to combine the Sport aspect of an SUV with real luxury.

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Niel Stender
Niel Stender

Niel got his start in the car world as a vehicle dynamics engineer with SVT at Ford. He still has dreams of running figure eights on the wet pad in an S197 GT500. These days, when not fending off karate kicks from the 3 tiny humans that run his household, he can be found on St. Louis backroads pretending to be Ken Block in his 6-speed Mazda 6.

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