2022 Acura MDX vs 2022 Infiniti QX60: Compare SUVs

February 2, 2022

 

 

 

 

As the bestselling models for their brands, the Acura MDX and Infiniti QX60 represent the most important makeovers for 2022. The redesigned three-row SUVs carry a fresh look, a more versatile interior, and more standard technology, yet the engines from the previous year remain with no hybrid options despite a segment surging with electrification.

That’s really the only thing holding back each of these models in our TCC Rating scale, where the 2022 Acura MDX ekes out the win with a 7.0 compared to the 2022 Infiniti QX60’s score of 6.8 out of 10. We expect both of those ratings to improve once crash testing is completed. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

With its available black roof, raked windshield, and muscular rear, the Infiniti draws inspiration from both the Lincoln Aviator and Range Rover Velar. It’s elegant yet athletic, and looks composed without trying too hard, except for the fake front vents. Acura channels European SUVs with its sweeping roofline and broad grille that’s pulled back toward the fenders. 

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph

2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph

2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph

2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph

Inside, the QX60 gets the edge for simplicity, if not parts-sharing. The steering wheel controls, console controller, and gear selector come from the Nissan Pathfinder, but the 12.3-inch touchscreen and touch-based climate panel with temperature dials remains easy to use, even if it interrupts the available open-pore wood and quilted semi-aniline leather dash. 

The MDX offers the same upgrades, but instead of a touchscreen, Acura relies on a console touchpad that’s no safer than a touchscreen but more frustrating. A wrist rest makes it easier to control, but the center stack design feels busier even though the dash trim is better integrated. 

The front seats in either come with heaters and at least a dozen different power adjustments as standard. They accommodate a range of body sizes, and support all day drives, especially with the available massagers on the QX60.

The MDX gains an advantage behind the front row. A standard second-row bench seat squeezes up to three passengers in either model, but Infiniti only offers second-row captain’s chairs on the top Autograph trim, which is a mistake Acura doesn’t make. 

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Acura MDX

In the MDX, the middle second-row seat can be folded down into a console with two cupholders, effectively turning the outboard seats into captain’s chairs. The console/seat can also be removed with a couple clicks, weighing less than a carry-on bag and stowable in the 16.3-cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row. A hidden floor below enabled us to fit five ski boots and wet gloves out of the way, decluttering the rest of the cargo space.

The QX60 also has a hidden floor and a smaller removable console between the captain’s chairs that can be stowed in the 14.5 cubic feet of space behind row three. 

2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph

2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph

2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph

2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph

2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph

2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph

2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph

2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph

Both models feature pushbutton second-row seats that are simple enough to use for a toddler, so getting in and out of the third row won’t strain a parent’s back unless they’re the ones trying to sit back there. We advise against it in either model, though the MDX is roomier for toes and legs, if not hips. The wheelbase of the MDX stretched nearly three inches more from last year’s model, enabling the second-row seats to slide further than the QX60 and offering an inch more rearmost leg room (29.0 inches in the MDX versus 28.0 inches in the QX60). You can fit your feet under the second-row seats, unlike the QX60, and the rearmost headrests automatically flip down when manually lowering the 50/50-split rear seats. 

But the wider QX60 also has wider door openings for easier ingress. Child safety seats can be left in place in the second row while still accessing the rear. Oddly, from the cargo hold, it requires a manual pull of the lever and pull of the headrests to collapse the 60/40-split seats in the QX60 even on the top trim, but a power button raises them back up. The MDX lacks power rear seats. 

Infiniti invested more in the powertrain of the 2022 QX60 by ditching the CVT for a 9-speed automatic transmission for a better towing experience with the 3.5-liter V-6. It makes 295 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque and has a tow rating of 6,000 lb, but the 9-speed requires aggressive flicks of the paddle shifters to make confident passing moves. It’s tuned for efficiency, and with standard front-wheel drive it gets an EPA-rated 23 mpg combined (MDX gets 1 mpg less). The cabin is quieter, the steering is better, and all-wheel drive remains an option, but the QX60 won’t be confused for a performance-focused SUV.

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Infiniti QX60

2022 Infiniti QX60

2022 Infiniti QX60

2022 Infiniti QX60

The MDX does that a bit better, but not because of its same-sized V-6 that turns out 290 hp and 267 lb-ft. A seamless 10-speed automatic has a low launch gear, and the Type S upgrades to a 355-hp turbo V-6. In all models, the suspension tuning and handling make the MDX feel smaller than it is. It can tow 5,000 lb, but it’s more fun to haul donkey. 

Both SUVs come loaded with good standard safety and convenience features, though the MDX has standard adaptive cruise control. Both come with a panoramic sunroof and wireless smartphone connectivity, but the QX60 finishes its top end with more refinement, despite the excellent ELS audio system in the MDX. 

Our ratings reflect the similarities of these two: You can’t go wrong with either. They start below $50,000, but Acura tips into the luxury pocketbook with the $70,000 Type S; more money means more fun, though. The QX60 has more value and a more elegant exterior, but the MDX has more interior versatility and better driving dynamics, even with the base model.

Summary

7.3
Expert Rating
The 2022 Acura MDX wears its new flagship mantle with confidence, from its styling to its eager road manners.
6.8
Expert Rating
The 2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph tops the lineup, but the technology upgrades need more differentiation from the Pathfinder.

Styling

8.0
Expert Rating
The MDX drapes a sinuous body over an expressive interior.
Read More
8.0
Expert Rating
Stately without being lavish, the 2022 QX60 makes its home in the luxury segment.
Read More

Performance

7.0
Expert Rating
The 2022 MDX is a road-tripper’s delight.
Read More
6.0
Expert Rating
Mechanically similar to the Nissan Pathfinder, the 2022 QX60 distinguishes itself with a more refined ride.
Read More

Comfort & Quality

9.0
Expert Rating
The MDX can seat up to seven; five get the royal treatment.
Read More
9.0
Expert Rating
Comfy seats and an upscale interior make up for the cramped third row in the 2022 QX60.
Read More

Safety

9.0
Expert Rating
The MDX crash-tests well, with some feedback from safety agencies.
Read More
The 2022 Infiniti QX60 has not been officially crash tested.
Read More

Features

7.0
Expert Rating
Thumbs up for the standard features; thumbs down for the MDX’s touchy interface.
Read More
7.0
Expert Rating
Modern convenience features offset outdated infotainment on the 2022 QX60.
Read More

Fuel Economy

4.0
Expert Rating
The 2022 MDX earns low-20s EPA ratings.
Read More
4.0
Expert Rating
The 9-speed helps, but the lack of a hybrid limits the QX60’s efficiency.
Read More

MSRP

from $48,000
from $46,850

Invoice

from $46,792
from $44,273

Fuel Economy - Combined City and Highway

22
23

Engine

Premium Unleaded V-6, 3.5 L
Premium Unleaded V-6, 3.5 L

Drivetrain

Front Wheel Drive Read Full Specs
Front Wheel Drive Read Full Specs
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