MDX vs. Infiniti QX60? - Acura MDX Forum : Acura MDX SUV Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2016, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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MDX vs. Infiniti QX60?

Has anyone personally compared these two? Looking for feedback. Looking at 2016s. Thinking of trading in our 2014 Honda Odyssey and buying an SUV with 3 rows. We do still use the 3rd row fairly regularly. Kids are 15 & 11 so no littles anymore. Comfort quiet and adequate space are more crucial for me than performance. It's a family hauler so I don't care if it gets 0-60 faster than the other. Also looking for solid and capable in the snow as we deal with lake effect in addition to system snow. We will get snow tires. Reliability is important as we will have to make an hour and a half trip to either dealer, if need be.

Thoughts?


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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2016, 04:23 PM
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To be honest, neither since space is a priority. Minivans own that attribute. The third row is pretty useless for people bigger than a small child. The 2016+ Pilots do a bit better with more headroom. Reliability wise Infiniti is worse but there are small issues here and there in the MDX that may bug you enough to visit the dealer like rattles or fit and finish. The QX60 is also notorious for the problematic cvt but the 9 speed in the 2016 MDX can be love/hate for some.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2016, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, that is a valid point. Obviously I will not find equal space to my
Ody. Having driven a minivan for the last 7 years, I am feeling ready for a change. The 3rd row would only be used for short periods if we need to help another kid get home from a practice or something. I don't want to give it up but they can deal with it not being terribly roomy back there for a few minutes.

Additionally, last winter I lost a friend who was in an accident due to snowy road conditions. Another friend was in a horrible accident. I think I would feel a bit more secure and less anxious in a vehicle with AWD. We do get a substantial amount of snow.

I have heard the 3rd row is roomier in the QX60. Unsure as to the extent that is true. Not interested in the Pilot because I am hoping that by moving up into more of a "luxury" vehicle I will find improvements in fit and finish and a reduction of rattles and squeaks. I am prone to migraines and find that those annoying little rattles can be triggers. Also, I am looking for as little road noise as possible.

I appreciate the feedback.


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2016, 06:38 PM
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Yeah the third row in the QX is better because of the increased headroom and also i think it reclines (might even be powered?). The QX has better road comfort too (meaning, it rides softer and handling isn't as on point) and overall just feels a bit more luxurious. The MDX feels more just premium. BUT, I think the reliability of the QX may drive you nuts, especially with your distance to the dealer.

For the snow, AWD is only as good as your tires. Outfitted properly, a correctly equipped FWD vehicle will protect you better than an AWD with just all seasons. Tires are your key to stopping after all. AWD is just there to assist you in keeping a line while driving, but it can't do its job if the traction doesn't exist either. An important thing to note as well is that SH-AWD's operation has a lot to do with input to the accelerator too. While you will have the torque vectoring, in crisis situations most common drivers will take their foot of the gas and stomp on the brake. SH-AWD becomes moot then and your tires and brakes (and you know well that braking hard in the snow is asking for trouble) are your lifeline.

You may be surprised by the Pilot. While it doesn't look luxurious, it is actually better equipped than an MDX in terms of technology, interior, and flexibility of the space. It is, for all intents and purposes, an MDX in a more economical form because they essentially took the 2014-2016 MDX, improved upon it, and gave it a different look. Many of our parts outside of the body/interior/facias are interchangeable.

I wonder if it worth it to wait for the Lexus RX in 7 seater format for you. Lexus traditionally has been a reliability powerhouse that is presented in quiet, comfortable, and luxurious platforms (outside of the NX, and the IS is borderline). The only problem I foresee is space because of that rear slope, but they may decide to angle the D pillar less to allow for more room in the third row. The ETA is still unknown though (2018).
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2016, 08:38 PM
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I think the 3rd row in the MDX is fine for shorter distances - even for adults. I've on many occasions carried adults back there to a restaurant, etc. It s/b fine for your occasional kids' friends local transport.

There's a lot of subjectivity in the choice of a vehicle which is why there are so many available. I think people overdo the whole 'luxury' aspect and can't even define it well. Nowadays brands and models that one wouldn't have thought of as 'luxury' have upscale options available that make them objectively fairly on par with the so-called luxury models. This is in terms of tech safety, tech infotainment, leather, other surfaces, conveniences, etc.

The subjectivity extends to the overall size of the vehicle, not too big and not too small, the power, handling, styling, etc.

And then there's 'value' that's subjective as well. Some people are willing to pay a fair amount of money for what another person wouldn't pay a nickle for because they don't value it the same as the first person. As an example, if the rear entertainment system cost only an extra $20 I still wouldn't have purchased it since I have no use for it but some others pay the overpriced charge for the feature - and we're both correct in our decisions.

What you really need to do is get out and get close to the vehicles - test drive them extensively, see how the room really pans out, how you like the styling, and consider what they cost relative to each other.

For cross shopping there are now a lot of choices for a 7 seat SUV (which I'd personally rather have than a minivan regardless of practicality - more subjectiveness) but you should probably at least consider - MDX, Infiniti QX60, Volvo XC90, Lexus, Pilot, and then you might want to toss in the mix - Audi Q7, Mercedes, and then take a look at some others like offerings from Hyundai/Kia, Ford Explorer, GM offerings, etc. You might be surprised at the 'luxury' available in some of these, if that's what you;re looking for. There is something more objective on the warranty periods to consider which adds a certain value 0 some brands warrant longer than others.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2016, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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MDX vs. Infiniti QX60?

Good points made and I appreciate the thoughtful responses.

Question regarding reliability. Note, I am not auto savvy. However, I am trying to do my research and the J.D. Power and Assoc. reliability score for the 2016 MDX is 3 out of 5 while the QX60 is 3.5. Why the added concern over reliability for the QX60?

I will definitely have snow tires. Tried a couple winters here without them. Finally made the investment and will never go back to winter driving without my snow tires. The difference is just amazing. I am hoping the AWD with snow tires will be significantly better than my FWD Ody with snow tires. Very interesting to learn about the SH-AWD connection to the accelerator. Thank you for that explanation.

I was told that the MDX would offer better (than the Pilot) noise dampening materials and the laminated glass would help reduce road noise. Would you agree with that? Also, having driven the Ody for 2.5 years, I am not thrilled with the many rattles and squeaks that have developed. This is the noisiest vehicle I have had in that regard. I am hoping that Acura will be better. Am I expecting too much?



We will be making the jaunt to the dealerships this weekend. Was just hoping to get a bit of knowledge before I arrive so I can be mindful of things that set one apart from the other. I will do more research on the other 3 row options and keep my options open. Based on what I have read so far, these 2 seem like the best options as far as meeting our needs/desires. Will keep an open mind.


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2016, 10:30 PM
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Play with the seats up and down as well as moving them back and forth to see if you like the spaces. As well, pay attention to the idling and accelerate noise in the MDX. if they're acceptable to you, then you're good with the MDX.

the other thing that some may complain is the touch screen. there're certain things you used to just press that button, but now you have to do the touch screen thing.. you either accept or hate it
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 09:23 AM
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During the MDX test drive if your not happy with the driving characteristics, try out the three driving modes "normal, comfort, and sport." They are selectable with the "IDS" button near the gear selector. It adjusts the steering assist and throttle sensitivity.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 10:02 AM
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You can find more opinions and comparisons of the two vehicles in this thread:
2106 MDX vs. 2015 Infiniti QX60

Even though both dealerships are quite a distance from where you live, the dealership experience and how they treat you might also be something to consider. My Acura and Infiniti dealerships are right next to each other. Though I haven't been too thrilled with the service I've received lately at Infiniti, and have only had service done at Acura a few times, I'd give my Infiniti dealership the edge in terms of customer experience. My Infiniti dealer seems much more willing to offer loaner vehicles than Acura. The Infiniti dealership also covered a few repairs on our vehicle well after the warranty period (not sure if they had received any assistance from corporate). I honestly don't know how my Acura dealership would handle something like this, as my MDX is still under the factory warranty.

If you have some extra time during the dealership visits, I'd recommend that you take a quick walk over to the service department, and both observe and talk to the advisors there. See if you could get a good feel of how they would treat you and what they could offer you should you have to bring your vehicle in for service.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 12:27 PM
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Purple, some of the biggest hits reported by most media outlets to the MDXes reliability include questionable longevity of the electronics in the vehicle, namely the infotainment. But our small sample here hasn't really shown many infotainment unit reliability issues, rather that it's sluggish and cumbersome to use.

The 6 speed MDXes 2014-2015 has transmission juddering issues, which turned out to be an unforeseen early fluid failure issue due to heat causing a flutter in the torque converter. Acura is addressing this by a software update to the transmission to kept temperatures, but we're not sure what that means for performance exactly. Coming from having owned Hondas since the 90s, I do have apprehensions about the in-house transmissions (like their 5 speed...), but it looks like at least Honda is actively addressing the issue (they will change out your transmission fluid for free if you have the judder until the software fix is released).

The 2016s with the ZF 9 speed haven't really presented any reliability issues, rather awkward programming causing usage issues, especially during low speed. But Acura released a software update there too, which made many of us happy. Other than that, the MDXes problems seem to lie with fit and finish issues, rattles, and body panel alignments. Start-stop issues seem to be few and only affect Advance models.

All-in-all, not really much having to do with reliability aside from the transmission in the 2014-2015 models. If anything, your Odyssey becoming a rattle trap is pretty telling of Honda's (and Acura's) build quality issues with the Alabama plant (which builds both the Odyssey and the MDX, and now I believe the Ridgeline) and may be a sign of what is to come with the MDX (mine develops rattles, and Acura/Honda's stance is that this is normal with age, so live with it).

Which brings me to Emmet's point, and it is a very good one. The dealer experience with Acura is going to be pretty much just like a Honda dealer, albeit a bit more pretty and less flashy blue. If you find a good Service Advisor who doesn't use "it's normal" on you, you're in luck. But the turnover rate of SAs is high, so keep that in mind. I am in agreement that the dealership experience with Acura is pretty poor for a brand that markets itself as "luxury" and Infiniti has indeed treated me better as well in the past. A lot of it is appearances, but at the very least they don't try to shoot you down right when you bring up an issue. For example, in order to diagnose an issue with most Acura dealers, you will need to drive and show a tech the problem. This means if you ever have an intermittent issue, especially a temperature sensitive one, you may never get it resolved because the problem may not present with the dealer if their road conditions are different or if you are forced to demonstrate to a tech only at the beginning of their shifts at around 7am (this is a problem I have with all but one of my regional dealers, so it tells me this is a process of the brand). I understand why they do it, as they need to be able to know how to duplicate the issue, but even if you've shown them a video of it, they won't do anything about it until you can show them while driving. Acura Client Relations is pretty useless because they just follow what the dealership says.

Most of the issues I've seen cited and from being told by my buddy with a 2014 QX60 were with the transmission shuddering and some with the infotainment. The CVT transmission issues were pretty high in the 2014s, less in the 2015s but still significant, and fewer for the 2016s, but they still exist. No word really on the 2017s. Many seem to have involved outright transmission replacements as well (this is from my review of forums, Edmunds, and Consumer Affairs back when I was looking at the QX60). The infotainment system issues did not seem to be reliability issues either (much like the MDX), but more just bugs or usage issues (and mostly with the entertainment options). You may experience rattles early on as well, especially the dash area, so just keep watch for that while you drive one.

From personal experience with my buddy's QX60, he has had most of his issues resolved by the dealer, including transmission replacements. Rattles we kind of deal with if we can. The initial warranty is long enough at 4/60 that I don't think you will have much issues getting things fixed. It's just a matter of going back to the dealer to get them fixed (and it may be just the dealer we use that causes some of the repeat visits). After repairs/replacements though, things tend to be fine. He also had some problems with the electrical systems and some engine bay components, but again, those were dealt with over numerous trips.

Having dealt a few Nissan family products (and JATCO, the transmission manufacturer, with both ATs and CVTs) and from being with my buddy on quite a few of his QX60 appointments, I may be more jaded than others and is probably where my "may drive you nuts" comment sprouted from but more so that you will probably need to repeat visits rather than having many different issues. To be fair, the 2014 MDX was probably just as problematic for some (not all, like mdxstang has had a good experience), albeit not with the transmission but the infotainment. So it depends on your level of tolerance with various issues, dealership experience (we have switched a few times), and how the brand assists (Infiniti's customer relations is bit more accepting of cases vs Acura's stance of dealership makes all technical rulings).

The 16 Pilot actually turned out to be surprisingly quiet when I drove it about two or three months ago. I honestly don't remember thinking it was much louder than the MDX. I've been in older generation Pilots and those were definitely loud, practically Odyssey level loud because of the big rear hatch section. I was kind of jealous of the newer infotainment system (even more so now that the 17 version has carplay and android auto), but it does have its share of bugs as well according to Supertech, who used to visit here, and my neighbor, who bought the 16 Pilot after trying my MDX. Will it develop rattles and squeaks? Probably, but I should tell you stories about my 11 Genesis (caused by broken chassis welds resulting from... just driving.. Hyundai kept fixing it over 5 years) being louder than an 05 Subaru wagon that I still have (pretty solid in rattles department actually even after 11 years, but the rear hatch section just flexes). So far, the 16 MDX is ok and the dealer has resolved almost all of my issues except two noises. It has had more rattles than I would have expected for a new car, but they were all easy to resolve as long as the dealer was willing to do it (that's my main problem, they always come at me with not knowing how to resolve it to my satisfaction).

Ok enough of my novels. Go drive them both and see which one you like better.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-08-2016, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Wow! Thanks to all for taking the time to share your insight. Many good points were made and I have a better feel of what to be especially aware of during our test drives.

Thanks to Emmet for sharing the link to the other thread. Within that other thread were links to several other pertinent threads so I gained quite a bit of information by going through those.

Neoshi, I appreciate your novels very much. I don't know anyone who drives or has driven either of these vehicles so your personal knowledge is incredibly helpful. I feel much better about walking into the dealerships with a bit of knowledge.

Thank you!


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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-13-2016, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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We made the trip to test drive both vehicles that we were considering.

Stopped first at Acura. Drove a 2015 MDX with ~ 30,000 miles on it. It was responsive. Handled the snow well. We found an empty parking lot to give it a test. It felt tight on space for my family. Husband is 6' with a muscular build. Broad through the shoulders. My oldest son is 5'10". He said the 2nd row was okay but he was definitely uncomfortable in the 3rd row. Push button for 3rd row access is nice but the limited space between 2nd and 3rd row makes for difficult access. We did not like the 2 screen interface, especially needing to scroll back and forth through the screens to find what we were looking for. Also, not sure if it was a quirk unique to the one we drove, when idling there was an obvious vibration throughout the car. We felt it through the seats and it was very obvious when touching the center console. Seats were adequate but not cushy.

Next stop was Infiniti. Tested a 2015 QX60 with ~18,000 miles on it. Definitely feels more spacious, high and low. Did not notice a big difference in handling. Did about the same with the snowy parking lot test. 3rd row was much more comfortable for my son. No push button for 3rd row access but it is a simple lever and the seat bottom actually folds up so there is much more space for entering/exiting. We all felt that the seats were considerably more comfortable than in the MDX. No noticeable vibration. Felt significantly more luxurious, interior wise.

Neither vehicle seemed outstandingly quiet compared to non-"luxury" brands, in my opinion. I was a bit disappointed with both in that regard.

For all 4 of us, the QX60 was the clear winner. We actually went on to test drive a 2017 and are currently considering buying and leasing options.

We are approx. an hour and a half from both dealerships and both sales persons said the dealership would send someone to drop off a loaner and pick up the vehicle if it needs service beyond the typical oil changes, regular maintenance. Not sure if that will come to fruition but that is the story. Will be nice if it happens.

No deals have been made just yet but we are talking with a couple of dealerships and hope to make a deal soon.

I appreciate the insights and the heads up on things to note during our test drives. Hope everyone's vehicle is everything they hoped it would be.


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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 03:24 PM
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It sounds like the QX60 is a winner. It's always a good thing to get that... lovin feeling.

I bet that vibration in the 2015 MDX is either the notorious VCM or the transmission fluid issue. Just remember to shop near the end of a month to squeeze them on their month end sales goals and email a bunch of dealers to see who can give you the best deal (and subsequently who can beat best offers until nobody will budge).
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by neoshi View Post
It sounds like the QX60 is a winner. It's always a good thing to get that... lovin feeling.



I bet that vibration in the 2015 MDX is either the notorious VCM or the transmission fluid issue. Just remember to shop near the end of a month to squeeze them on their month end sales goals and email a bunch of dealers to see who can give you the best deal (and subsequently who can beat best offers until nobody will budge).


:-) indeed.

The vibration was really significant. It really was a disturbing sensation that was constant while waiting at a stoplight but went away when the car was in motion. Very strange and unpleasant.

We are discussing with 3 dealers. We only have 3 within a 2.5 hour drive. That is as far as we are willing to go. They actually seem to be pretty consistent. All the numbers are pretty close. I think we will end up choosing based on interaction with the salesperson and hope they will be an advocate if need arises, service-wise. We are in no big rush but I am always ready to get the business settled and get into a new car.


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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by purplesparklies View Post
Has anyone personally compared these two? Looking for feedback. Looking at 2016s. Thinking of trading in our 2014 Honda Odyssey and buying an SUV with 3 rows. We do still use the 3rd row fairly regularly. Kids are 15 & 11 so no littles anymore. Comfort quiet and adequate space are more crucial for me than performance. It's a family hauler so I don't care if it gets 0-60 faster than the other. Also looking for solid and capable in the snow as we deal with lake effect in addition to system snow. We will get snow tires. Reliability is important as we will have to make an hour and a half trip to either dealer, if need be.

Thoughts?


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The MDX 3rd row has been awesome for my purposes. Whenever I am carrying 6 passengers, the 6th passenger is always trying to get the 3rd row. They flip for the 3rd row with the winner getting the 3rd row. And these are 5 foot 11 adults. Go figure.

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