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

Lexus and Infiniti earned top safety honors for their small SUVs, but Lexus was rated the safer option. The average cost of SUV auto insurance is 18% higher than normal vehicles.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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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 and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 3, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • The IIHS/HDLI provides the customer with clear safety ratings based on their thorough evaluations of each vehicle
  • It’s important to choose a safe vehicle because each vehicle’s overall safety ratings can influence the cost of insurance premiums
  • Compared to Infiniti, Lexus provides safer vehicles based on the safety ratings provided by IIHS/HDLI

When it comes to purchasing a midsize luxury SUV, it’s important to consider how safe it is for the potential passengers and how a safer vehicle will impact automobile insurance.

It’s easy to be misled by a company that will put forth their best effort to convince the consumer that their car is the safest choice.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) works in conjunction with the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) in order to provide tests and safety ratings for each vehicle in order to help consumers choose the safest option.

Depending on IIHS/HLDI’s findings, they will award the worthy vehicles with either the Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ title.

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IIHS/HLDI Safety Ratings

By executing specialized safety tests, the IIHS/HDLI uses the results to determine the safety rating for each vehicle. The following are all categories in which IIHS/HDLI uses to properly assess each vehicle:

  • Child seat anchors
  • Crashworthiness
  • Crash avoidance and mitigation

Within each of these categories, each vehicle will receive ratings that are either good, acceptable, marginal or poor.

The exception to this rule is front crash prevention, which fits under the category of crash avoidance and mitigation. Front crash prevention will receive ratings that range from “basic” to “superior.”

There is a correlation between a vehicle’s safety and insurance premiums, so it would benefit the driver to properly research these ratings.

Midsize luxury SUVs created by Lexus (RX and NX) and Infiniti (QX50, QX60, and QX70) are the focus of this particular safety study.


A vehicle’s crashworthiness is determined by how well-protected the passengers will be if it is involved in a crash or collision. This category includes the testing of the front moderate overlap, front small overlap, roof strength, sides, head restraints, and seats.

Lexus RX and NX both earned “good” ratings across the board for all areas of crashworthiness. Infiniti’s QX60 model matched these ratings in all areas as well. Infiniti’s QX50 model was unavailable for testing in the areas of front small overlap and roof strength.

The Infiniti QX70 was also unavailable for those two areas as well the side testing. However, “good” ratings were received for all tests that they were available for.

Crash Avoidance & Mitigation

When choosing a vehicle, it’s important to remember that its ability to avoid collisions can aid in lowering the cost of insurance coverage. The Lexus RX and Infiniti QX60 both earned a solid “superior” ratings for front crash prevention.

The Lexus NX, however, earned an “advanced” rating in the same category.

Both the Infiniti QX50 and QX70 just barely scraped by with the lowest “advanced” ratings, just a step above the “basic” level.

The Lexus RX, NX, and Infiniti QX70 all scored “acceptable” ratings for their headlights. The IIHS/HLDI further indicated that the Lexus RX was acceptable with optional equipment and that the Lexus NX was acceptable with only certain trims.

The headlights of the Infiniti QX50 received a “marginal” rating, while the Infiniti QX60 received “poor” results from the testing.


Child Seat Anchors

This is a very important category for midsize luxury SUV drivers with small children. Most vehicles are required to have at least two seats with Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, commonly referred to as LATCH.

Because this is a federal regulation, the IIHS/HDLI thoroughly examines the accessibility, force, clearance angle, and appearance of any other confusing hardware in each vehicle.

Overall, these evaluations determine how easy it is to install car seats and child restraints using the vehicle’s hardware.

The Lexus NX, Infiniti QX60, and QX70 all received “marginal” ratings for their child seat anchors.

The Infiniti QX50 was left behind with a “poor” rating while the Lexus RX soared above all of its competitors with an astounding “good+” rating with an indication of extra LATCH positions.

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Top Safety Pick Awards

The IILS/HDLI used all of the ratings that these vehicles received in order to decide which ones are deserving of their Top Safety Pick awards. This is their way of recommending what they consider to be the safest vehicles to consumers.

Lexus RX and NX both managed to receive Top Safety Pick+ awards for their vehicles. The normal Top Safety Pick award went to the Infiniti QX60. Unfortunately, the Infiniti QX50 and QX70 did not receive and safety awards from the IIHS/HDLI.

Overall, Lexus seems to produce midsize luxury SUVs that are at the top of the line when it comes to safety with two Top Safety Pick+ awards on their side. The Infiniti QX60 did manage to earn a safety award, but the QX50 and QX70 fell short.

Lexus’s consistency in providing effective safety features and additional achievements with child seat anchor safety allowed its vehicles to endure the tests and succeed with flying colors over the competition.

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