Over the past decade, the luxury Sport Utility Vehicle segment has emerged as one of the most competitive sectors in the automotive market and it shows no signs of slowing down. German luxury brand Audi; and Infiniti, which is the luxury division of Japanese automaker Nissan, have stepped up their commitment to the SUV market.
The Infiniti QX60—formerly known as the JX—is in its third model year of production, while the older Audi Q7 is in its eighth. Both models have received minor changes for the new model year with the Q7 adding new Offroad and Sport Style packages. We take a look at these two 2015 models in a head-to-head comparison.
Engines & Power
Infiniti QX60: Infiniti gives customers the choice between a gasoline-powered QX60 and a hybrid one. While the former is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 that generates 265 horsepower, the hybrid engine, which is a four-cylinder, is smaller and less powerful—with a 2.5-liter capacity and 15 less horsepower.
Customers can also choose between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. The QX60 engine is mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission. The V6 engine, also seen in the Nissan Murano and Pathfinder, has been improved for 2015 with less friction and enhanced D-step shift logic to increase fuel economy. Despite being less powerful than the Q7, the QX60 has strong throttle response in Sport model.
Audi Q7: Audi’s large luxury SUV entry is split into three trims: the gasoline-powered 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine with 280 horsepower and the fuel-efficient diesel-powered 3.0 TDI, which produces 240 horsepower. The top-tier 3.0T S Line Prestige gets a 3.0-liter V-6 with 333 horsepower.
Each engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the automaker’s Quattro four-wheel-drive system is standard on all trims.
Infiniti QX60: The fuel economy ranges in the V6 engine is 19-mpg city/25-mpgh highway, an improvement over the 18/23 seen in the 2014 model. The hybrid QX60 is the most fuel efficient luxury three-row SUV with fuel economy of 26-mpg city/28-mpg highway. With their smaller engines and electric power sources, hybrid trims are more fuel efficient than their gasoline counterparts.
Audi Q7: The city range for the Q7 is 16 to 19 mpg, while its highway range is 22 to 28 mpg. The 3.0 TDI is the most fuel efficient of the three available trims, with a fuel economy of 19/28 mpg.
Interiors & Cargo Space
Infiniti QX60: Providing accommodation for seven passengers, the QX60 is designed as a mid-size crossover SUV. Its passenger volume is 149.8 cu. ft., while cargo space is measured at 15.8 cu. ft.
Audi Q7: Although a seven-seater as well, the Q7 is classified as a full-size crossover SUV. Its passenger space and cargo space are measured at 133.2 cu. ft. and 10.9 cu. ft., respectively.
Convenience and Safety
Infiniti QX60: In addition to the features standard on most luxury vehicles—such as heated and multi-adjustable power front seats, leather upholstery, steering wheel-mounted controls, fog lights, and alloy wheels—the Infiniti has a power sunroof on all trims.
Audi Q7: The power sunroof is standard on the S Line Prestige; it is optional on the other trims. Customers have the option of getting a second-row side airbag; it is not available with the QX60. Also, electronic parking aid is standard on the Audi; it is optional on the Infiniti.
The Q7 comes out on top in the towing department, as it has a capacity up to 6,600 pounds, while the QX is only rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds. If hauling heavy items or large trailers, the Q7 is the clear choice between the two models.
MSRP and Resale Value
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price range for the 2015 QX is between $39,153 to $46,500. A hybrid QX60 can top $50,000 with options added. The MSRP range for the 2015 Q7 is $47,700 to $60,900 with the TDI being the top-of-the-line model. In terms of resale value, each score well. The Intellichoice 5-year Retained Value score for the QX60 is 52% while the Q7 comes in at 53%. Want more info on the Q7? See how the 2011 model fared in our comparison against the 2011 Porsche Cayenne.