Is Infiniti’s safety rating for midsize luxury SUVs better than BMW’s?

When comparing the newest Infiniti QX60 to the BMW X5, Infiniti manufactures the safer option. Safety features can lower auto insurance rates by up to 8%.

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Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 23, 2020

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Things to remember...

  • Infiniti and BMW are both popular vehicle manufacturers and hold market share in the luxury midsize SUV sector
  • The Infiniti QX60 has earned the IIHS 2017 Top Safety Pick and BMW’s X5 did not qualify because of some test results
  • IIHS performs five different crash tests and front crash prevention tests as well to rate a vehicle
  • While Infiniti midsize luxury SUVs are an IIHS Top Pick, the headlight system was rated poor in 2017 models
  • When comparing the newest Infiniti QX60 to the BMW X5, Infiniti manufactures the safer option

Midsize SUVs have changed the auto industry. Since full-size SUVs are far from fuel efficient and full-size sedans aren’t quite as roomy as some would prefer, midsize SUVs fall into the perfect middle ground.

Midsize SUVs are more efficient than the gas guzzlers, and they offer more seating options and cargo space than a sedan normally would — which is why the crossover market is booming, and more and more manufacturers are starting to pay attention.

While all crossovers offer advantages to the consumer who wants the best of both worlds, it’s luxury models that are getting a lot of attention.

Manufacturers like Infiniti and BMW have not just entered the market for their own slice of the pie, they have designed and produced extremely popular models that sell off of dealership lots quickly.

While each brand still sells other body styles, midsize SUVs are coming off of the production line much quicker.

It’s always nice to have access to luxury, but don’t let the luxurious features distract you from the importance of safety ratings. Crossovers might be bigger than sedans and lighter than SUVs, but that doesn’t automatically make them safer.

Instead of being lulled into a false sense of security, it’s crucial to compare vehicle safety ratings. Let’s discuss what you need to know about safety ratings of both Infinity and BMW midsize SUVs.

Looking to make your car safer? Enter your ZIP code above and compare at least three to four policies to get better car insurance!

How Safety Ratings Are Determined

Infiniti and BMW may conduct their own testing to determine if a car performs well in a collision, but you never want to trust a report or assessment that could be biased.

That’s where the IIHS comes in.  The IIHS, which stands for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, independently conducts vehicle research focusing on crashworthiness and crash avoidance.

To rate vehicles that come off of the assembly line, the IIHS has a Vehicle Research Center where the nonprofit simulates an environment of a real-life crash to see whether or not occupants would be injured.

There are five different tests that determine how different structural areas of the vehicle hold up. Other tests measure if the car is designed for crash avoidance as well.

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Compare Safety Ratings between Infiniti and BMW for Midsize Luxury SUVs

Every vehicle manufacturer builds its models on a different platform that’s designed by its engineers. That’s why some midsize SUVs are safer than others.

Before you look at a specific model’s safety ratings, you need to understand what exactly is being graded after a vehicle goes through the range of tests conducted in the crash hall owned by IIHS. Here’s what’s being tested:

  • Small overlap front
  • Moderate overlap front
  • Side
  • Roof strength
  • Head restraints & seats
  • Front crash prevention
  • Headlights
  • Child seat anchors (LATCH)

Once the tests have been conducted, there’s a rating for the vehicle in each area. Not all vehicles will get the highest marks on each test.

It’s important for the scoring to be high for any model to become a Top Safety Pick.

Here are the ratings you’ll see (in order from best to worst):

  • Good
  • Acceptable
  • Marginal
  • Poor
  • Superior, Advanced, or Basic (front crash prevention only)

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Infiniti QX60 vs. BMW X5

You can’t compare an entire make vs. another. You’ll need to narrow your research subjects to two similar vehicles manufactured by different brands.

If you’re trying to compare Infiniti and BMW, it’s best to compare popular models like the 2017 QX60 and the X5. Here’s how each model performed in the tests above:

Safety Ratings for the Infiniti QX60

  • Small overlap front – Good
  • Moderate overlap front – Good
  • Roof strength – Good
  • Side – Good
  • Head restraints & seats – Good
  • Front Crash Prevention – Superior (with optional equipment)
  • Headlights – Poor
  • Child Seat Anchors Ease of Use – Marginal

The Infinito QX60 is an award-winning midsize luxury SUV. As a 2017 Top Safety Pick, the QX60 has earned the highest marks possible in every crashworthiness test.

IIHS also pointed out that the QX60 has earned a Superior 6 out of 6 scores in front crash prevention with the optional Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection system.

While the QX60 performs great in an accident, there is always room for improvement.

The most shocking revelation is that the vehicle earns a Poor rating in headlights because of the excessive glare of the low beams. For families, it’s worth noting that the child seat latching system earned a marginal rating; the latches are hard to find and to reach.

Safety Ratings for the BMW X3

  • Small overlap front – N/A
  • Moderate overlap front – Good
  • Roof strength – Good
  • Side – Good
  • Head restraints & seats – Good
  • Front Crash Prevention – Superior (with optional equipment)
  • Headlights – Marginal (with optional equipment)
  • Child Seat Anchors Ease of Use – Marginal

Like the QX60, the BMW X3 earned Good ratings all the way across the board in crash tests and a perfect Superior rating in front crash prevention with an optional system.

The main difference is that the vehicle was not tested for Small Overlap front, which means it does not qualify for a Top Safety Pick Award.

Amazingly, even though it is not an award-winning model, it scores higher in headlight performance than the Infiniti. Scoring high in this category is a notch higher than the Infiniti since it failed miserably in headlight tests.

The X3 also received a Marginal grade for car seat latching systems, because they are too deep in the seats and require a lot of muscle to attach.

Is the Infiniti safer than the BMW for midsize luxury SUVs?

The 2017 Top Safety Pick award goes to the Infiniti QX60, which makes it safer over the X3 by default. While there were areas for improvement, the fact that the QX60 scored well on each crash test qualified it to be a Top Pick.

Although, owners of the Infiniti will still need to upgrade their headlights to ensure they have the best visibility possible.

While it might not be true for every model, in this case, Infiniti manufactures the safer midsize luxury SUV. The excellent crash test performance is what stood out the most.

If you do buy an Infiniti, you’ll have peace of mind in knowing that the vehicle will carry low liability premiums. Shop online for auto quotes and find out how much will cost to insure the vehicle you like the most.

Start comparison shopping today for better and more affordable auto insurance by entering your ZIP code below!

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