The Acura vs. INFINITI comparison is one that luxury car shoppers have performed since the end of the 1980s. Both brands were formed with similar intent and positioning. Acura is the luxury and performance subsidiary of Honda, while INFINITI serves the same purpose for its parent brand, Nissan. Both brands were introduced to our shores with lineups that combined high-class luxury with affordable Japanese-engineered reliability. Both were successful in their market entry, and that leads us to today.
Drivers who seek luxury sedans and SUVs with spirited performance and top features for the dollar can choose from Acura or INFINITI. But those who have a deeper love for on-road fun, powerful reliability, more affordable maintenance, and technological progress will often gravitate toward a new Acura vehicle.
See why by scrolling down to compare INFINITI and Acura brand advantages and by visiting Muller’s Woodfield Acura to test drive the new Acura lineup.
To better understand the differences between INFINITI vs. Acura, we have to understand each brand’s history.
Origins for both automakers are almost the same: Acura came to life in 1986, born from a desire to combine the robust and efficient benefits of a Honda vehicle with the high-class luxury of the then-dominant European brands. The first two Acura vehicles proved that this was very much possible. The Acura Legend sedan and the Acura Integra three- or five-door hatchback kicked off the lineup and, as the first one’s name predicted, became instant legends on the road.
INFINITI was created a few years later to follow this success, and their lineup grew to compete across most vehicle classes. As the possibility of buying an INFINITI or Acura came to the surface, the Acura brand further differentiated itself on the race track and then with road-going supercars like the NSX.
Acura vehicles would be seen in IMSA and SCCA races as early as 1991, built as both purpose-built prototype racers for series like American Le Mans and souped-up touring cars that were versions of the Acura cars normal drivers could buy. They continue to have a major motorsports presence with events like the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach and race cars like the vicious Acura NSX GT3 (and subsequent NSX GT3 Evo and NSX GT3 Evo22) and the prototype-class Acura ARX-06 endurance racer.
Success in both the luxury and racing fields continues to this day for the Acura brand. Models infused with this luxury legacy and motorsports pedigree include a compact sedan, midsize sedan, compact SUV, and midsize SUV. From the return of the brand-building Integra to the latest MDX, the new Acura lineup includes:
As we mentioned, INFINITI came to the automotive world with a very similar origin story to Acura. The big Japanese brands of the time had realized that this reliable and affordable luxury car formula was what drivers wanted. Nissan decided to get in on the action by debuting the INFINITI brand in 1989. This was three years after the first Acura cars (like the Integra) made themselves known on the street. The INFINITI brand launched with a similar lineup, the Q45 sedan and the M30 coupe.
The INFINITI brand would grow in a similar fashion to Acura, but there was a major difference in the history of Acura vs. INFINITI brands: While Acura started developing purpose-built race cars in the early 1990s and sponsoring entire racing series in the following years, the INFINITI brand’s main motorsports contributions were their six-year involvement in IndyCar and their decade of sponsorship and partnership in Formula One, which recently concluded in 2020. We give kudos to their efforts, like the INFINITI Engineering Academy, but must also point out that their brand does not have any of their own in-house prototype-class endurance race cars; Acura has built several over the years.
INFINITI did pioneer vehicle segments like the coupe-roof SUV (and continues to serve it with the QX55) but can not equal the motorsports prowess of Acura. They also were introduced later and had to play catch up, and while they do have sporty models in their back catalog, they never made supercars like the Acura NSX. Today, their lineup is rich with SUVs:
As mentioned in the history section of our Acura vs. INFINITI comparison guide, both brands were developed by their parent companies (Honda and Nissan, respectively) with the goal of competing against European luxury cars. But as a battle plan, both brands decided that reliability and affordability beyond what their European competitors could offer would differentiate their high-class vehicles. As you can still go out and buy a new Acura or INFINITI vehicle, it’s clear that both of their plans were successful.
But which brand was, and still is, more successful in the field of reliability? We could talk at length about the engineering decisions that go into making an Acura vehicle so dependable, but we’ll let the industry’s experts do the talking. Here’s a look into Acura vs. INFINITI reliability across both their overall brand scores and rankings for their most popular SUVs:
|RepairPal Brand Reliability Rating
|4.0 out of 5.01 – 2nd place out of 32 brands1
|3.5 out of 5.04 – 16th place out of 32 brands4
|J.D. Power Reliability Rating for Brand’s Compact SUV
|RDX – 81 out of 1002
|QX50 – 78 out of 1005
|J.D. Power Reliability Rating for Brand’s Midsize SUV
|MDX – 78 out of 1003
|QX60 – 72 out of 1006
Whether it’s how Acura ranks 14 brands higher than INFINITI1, 4 in RepairPal ratings, or that J.D. Power reliability ratings see the 2023 Acura MDX score six points higher than the equivalent model, the 2023 INFINITI QX60,3, 6 Acura vs. INFINITI reliability has a clear result: Acura models can provide much more dependability.
Another spirit shared between Acura and INFINITI is the spirit of affordable yet premium luxury. Acura vs. INFINITI pricing sees very similar starting prices across the board, but as you explore what’s involved in the price, you’ll notice how much more an Acura vehicle can offer. But first, here’s a quick breakdown of which equivalent model costs more:
|Starting Price MSRP
|Integra – More Affordable
|Q50 – More Expensive
|TLX – More Affordable Than Q50
|RDX – More Expensive
|QX50 – More Affordable
|MDX – More Expensive
|QX60 – More Affordable
|Integra Type S DE5
Acura vs. INFINITI price points are a very similar area. While models like the RDX vs. QX50 see the Acura vehicle cost more, it’s not by a big margin. These two models, in particular, have a very similar price, but the Acura model offers a lot more. If we consider Acura vs. INFINITI pricing to be a matter of value, the popular Acura RDX and INFINITI QX50 are a great same-segment duo that’ll demonstrate why an Acura vehicle can be the top choice for value.
The INFINITI QX50 has eight-way power front seats without heating and offers a six-speaker sound system as standard in its base trim. The Acura RDX, meanwhile, has 12-way power front seats with heating and provides a nine-speaker sound system as standard. The Acura RDX also offers a traffic sign recognition system as standard, but the INFINITI QX50 does not. As we also saw, the RDX has a higher J.D Power Reliability rating than the INFINITI QX50.2, 5
You can find this same value proposition as you compare other Acura vs. INFINITI vehicles. For example, the Acura MDX and INFINITI QX60 are very similar in their starting prices, but the MDX has standard 12-way power front seats with power lumbar, heating, and driver’s seat memory, while the QX60 has eight-way power front seats with power lumbar and heating.
As the history of the brands suggests, another major difference between Acura vs. INFINITI brands is the performance spirit imbued into each automaker’s vehicle lineup. With a richer racing history, an Acura vehicle is designed for high-performance fun. On-paper specs can be deceiving (though Acura vehicles are still faster on paper), as the in-depth engineering that makes an Acura vehicle so thrilling takes shape in the experience.
For example, the Acura MDX has Amplitude Reactive Dampers to provide greater comfort and stability, an Agile Handling Assist to enhance the model’s cornering prowess, and available Brembo® brakes. Nothing mentioned here can be found on the competing INFINITI QX60.
To compare the on-paper Acura vs. INFINITI performance capabilities, here’s a quick look at the two most popular SUVs from each brand:
|2.0L Turbo 4-Cylinder
|3.5L V-6 / Available 3.0L Turbo V-6
|2.0L VC-Turbo 4-Cylinder
|Maximum Available Horsepower
|Maximum Available Torque
|280 lb ft
|354 lb ft
|280 lb ft
|270 lb ft
|Maximum EPA-Estimated MPG (City/Highway/Combined)
|Car and Driver 0-60 MPH Time for Model
|6.4 / 5.5 Seconds10
Straight-line acceleration is only half the story when examining a car’s performance potential. Cornering and handling capabilities are another major part, and sticking with the popular SUV models, the MDX vs. QX60 for our Acura vs. INFINITI performance comparison, we see more of that in the Acura model. Specifically, Car and Driver found that the Acura MDX could provide up to 0.87 Gs10 of road-holding grip in their 300-foot skidpad test, while the INFINITI QX60 could achieve up to 0.85 Gs14 of road-holding grip in the same test.
Moving to the extreme side of the Acura vs. INFINITI comparison, we see that Acura offers the Type S trim on the Integra, TLX, and MDX. INFINITI has the Red Sport 400 trim for the Q50 sedan.
Dependability and affordability have been core components of both the Acura and INFINITI brands since their creation. But the road takes its toll, and even the most reliable vehicles will need regular maintenance and repair services. When the need for a scheduled maintenance service or repair arises, the vehicle must be as affordable to maintain as it was to buy. This was another aspect of how the Acura vs. INFINITI rivalry saw both brands find success against their European competitors.
But today, which brand offers the easier-to-maintain vehicle? Let’s take a look at Acura vs. INFINITI ownership costs by comparing the RepairPal estimated yearly repair costs for three of the most popular vehicles for each brand:
|RepairPal Annual Average Repair Cost
As you can see from the RepairPal estimates, an Acura vehicle can take first place for Acura vs. INFINITI ownership costs. Furthermore, if we look at how the Acura vehicle’s ownership costs compare to the rest of the class, things get even more impressive.
For example, the Acura MDX has a RepairPal estimated average annual repair cost of $571,17 which is $68 less17, 20 than the competing INFINITI QX60 and $236 less17 than the average for all luxury midsize SUVs. Likewise, the Acura RDX has a RepairPal estimated average annual repair cost of $497,16 which is $111 lower16, 19 than the equivalent INFINITI QX50, and $362 lower16 than the average for all luxury compact SUVs.
Overall, RepairPal estimates that an Acura vehicle will have an average annual repair cost of $501,1 while an INFINITI vehicle will have an average annual repair cost of $638.4
While Acura and INFINITI vehicles both offer a dependable luxury experience, the Acura brand has a better RepairPal average annual repair cost,1, 4 a better number of high-performance models, better J.D. Power reliability ratings on equivalent models like the MDX and QX60,3, 6 and better standard features like 12-way power front seats on the MDX vs. eight-way power front seats on the INFINITI QX60.
Acura and INFINITI are two different companies but were created with a similar origin story. They’re both luxury sub-brands of respected Japanese automakers (Honda for Acura and Nissan for INFINITI) who were introduced to bring affordable and reliable yet fully high-class luxury cars to our market. However, the Acura brand debuted three years before INFINITI and has had a more illustrious performance history with supercars like the NSX.
To recap our Acura vs. INFINITI brand comparison, Acura vehicles came to the market first, did more on the racetrack, have more new vehicle options, can be more reliable, can offer more features for a very similar price, can go faster and handle better, and can be more affordable to maintain.
There’s also the subjective matter of design, which we think is a win for Acura thanks to its sharp and future-looking vehicle styling. So, whether you’re looking to discover the thrills of an Integra or the space of an MDX, visit our Acura dealership today to get a full tour of our new Acura vehicles for sale. While you’re here, ask for a test drive of the model that catches your eye, then inquire about our current Acura lease deals. If you so choose, we can also introduce you to our pre-owned INFINITI cars and SUVs.
1Reference to this third-party claim is solely for informational purposes and not to be relied upon. For details regarding this rating, visit: https://repairpal.com/reliability/acura
2Reference to this third-party claim is solely for informational purposes and not to be relied upon. For details regarding this rating, visit: https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2023/acura/rdx
3Reference to this third-party claim is solely for informational purposes and not to be relied upon. For details regarding this rating, visit: https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2023/acura/mdx
4Reference to this third-party claim is solely for informational purposes and not to be relied upon. For details regarding this rating, visit: https://repairpal.com/reliability/infiniti
5Reference to this third-party claim is solely for informational purposes and not to be relied upon. For details regarding this rating, visit: https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2023/infiniti/qx50
6Reference to this third-party claim is solely for informational purposes and not to be relied upon. For details regarding this rating, visit: https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2023/infiniti/qx60
7Based on 2023 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.
8This information is not verified by the official manufacturer and shall serve solely as unofficial general information. For details, visit: https://www.caranddriver.com/acura/rdx
9Based on 2024 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.
10This information is not verified by the official manufacturer and shall serve solely as unofficial general information. For details, visit: https://www.caranddriver.com/acura/mdx
112023 EPA Fuel Economy Estimates. Actual mileage may vary with driving conditions - use for comparison only.
12This information is not verified by the official manufacturer and shall serve solely as unofficial general information. For details, visit: https://www.caranddriver.com/infiniti/qx50
132024 EPA Fuel Economy Estimates. Actual mileage may vary with driving conditions - use for comparison only.
14This information is not verified by the official manufacturer and shall serve solely as unofficial general information. For details, visit: https://www.caranddriver.com/infiniti/qx60
15Reference to this third-party claim is solely for informational purposes and not to be relied upon. For details regarding this rating, visit: https://repairpal.com/acura/integra
16Reference to this third-party claim is solely for informational purposes and not to be relied upon. For details regarding this rating, visit: https://repairpal.com/reliability/acura/rdx
17Reference to this third-party claim is solely for informational purposes and not to be relied upon. For details regarding this rating, visit: https://repairpal.com/reliability/acura/mdx
18Reference to this third-party claim is solely for informational purposes and not to be relied upon. For details regarding this rating, visit: https://repairpal.com/reliability/infiniti/q50
19Reference to this third-party claim is solely for informational purposes and not to be relied upon. For details regarding this rating, visit: https://repairpal.com/infiniti/qx50
20Reference to this third-party claim is solely for informational purposes and not to be relied upon. For details regarding this rating, visit: https://repairpal.com/reliability/infiniti/qx60
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