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Battle of Japanese Crossovers: Infiniti QX50 vs. Acura RDX

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The Infiniti QX50 and the Acura RDX are both premium crossovers. How are they different and which one is better?

For today’s families, sedans may no longer be the best choice of transport. Nowadays, crossovers have come to rule. They offer more space and functionality for more people, and they’re more comfortable and fuel-efficient than SUVs built for rugged terrain. While the Germans do have their own models in the niche, two crossovers from Japan premium brands are creating a buzz in the industry. These are the Infiniti QX50 and the Acura RDX.

In many ways, these two are identical. They’re both premium crossovers that offer safe transport, ample space, and luxury interiors and accessories. You won’t have to worry you’ll be uncomfortable with these rides. Features like automatic climate control, power seats, satellite radio, keyless ignition, and Bluetooth connectivity are available for both. And while they may look different, they both look good.

But if you’re looking to choose between the 2, here are some key differences between the Infiniti QX50 and the Acura RDX:

  1. The RDX is a bit more expensive than the QX50, although of course it all depends on where you buy your unit and what options you want to put in it. In general, however, you’ll have to pay about a thousand dollars more for the Acura.
  2. Curiously, the less expensive Infiniti offers leather upholstery and the chrome grille as standard equipment, while they’re not in the Acura. The same goes for the fog lights, LED brake lights, programmable exterior lights, and the remote activated approach lights.
  3. The Acura gets better marks for fuel economy, with 20 miles in the city and 29 miles on the highway per gallon. With the Infiniti, you’re limited to just 17 mpg for city driving and 24 mpg for highway cruising.
  4. It shouldn’t be surprising that Infiniti guzzles more gas, since its 3.7-liter engine cranks out 325 HP at 7,000 rpm with 267 lb-ft of torque at 5200 rpm. The 3.5-liter engine in the Acura offers just 279 HP at 6200 rpm and 252 lb-ft of torque at 4900 rpm.
  5. With its rear wheel drive, powerful motor, and 7-speed transmission, the Infiniti gets to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds. In comparison, the slower Acura takes 6.2 seconds to reach that same mark with its 6-speed transmission. The RWD configuration also provides the Infiniti with more precise handling that used to belong to just sports sedans.
  6. Still, the Acura may offer a more comfortable ride with its front wheel drive. What’s more, passengers inside get to enjoy a lot more room. The Acura offers greater space allocations for passengers’ hips, shoulders, and head. While the Infiniti does offer 2 more inches of legroom in front, at the back passengers enjoy 3 more inches of legroom in the Acura.
  7. The Acura also offers much more cargo space than the Infiniti, although the Acura’s seats in the rear just won’t fold flat.
  8. In the Infiniti, you may find the engine noise a bit aggravating. However, the problem in the Acura is that the audio sound is simply tinny in comparison.

So with these points, let’s sum them up one at a time:

The Infiniti QX50 is focused more on the driver than most of the SUVs available today. It offers better speed and greater power, and its handling is terrific. It’s a true pleasure to drive.

Previously, this focus on the driver has made it one of the least useful among family transports. But the new 2016 QX50 has made some concessions so that the passengers in the rear can actually have the space to sit in comfortably.

It’s also more affordable, but then those initial savings will probably go to buying gas more frequently.

The Acura RDX offers a more comfortable ride for families, with lots of space for even adult passengers in the rear and certainly more cargo space for lots of family equipment. This is great for everyday use and for zooming around the country. It may take you a longer time to get where you’re going, but at least you’re comfy. And you also get to spend less money for gasoline on those trips.

Verdict

While many car critics do contend that the Infiniti QX50 is the better buy, that’s only true for those who really prefer greater handling and speed for a better driving experience. But the reality is that it may not be the more practical option among the two, as the cramped rear space and limited cargo space may not accommodate the needs of the family.

The Acura doesn’t go as fast and doesn’t handle as well, but for a family transport those aren’t the priorities. You want the people at the back to be comfortable, and you want enough space for all your bags and other stuff at the back. And with the Acura RDX, you don’t want people at the back grumbling about the cramped space, nor will you be muttering curses when you fill up the gas tank.

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