BMW vs. Infiniti reliability – which is better?

BMW vs. Infiniti reliability - which is better?

Despite the common misconception of Japanese cars being more reliable than German ones, most Infiniti models like the Q70, Q50, and QX60 score only 2.5 out of 5 in the J.D. Power reliability score, which is below average and less than most BMWs. For example, the BMW X6 scores a solid 4.5 out of 5, making it twice as reliable as the Infiniti. Other BMW models such as 2 Series, 3 Series, and X5 all received 4 out of 5.

Is BMW really more reliable than Infiniti?

Reliability rating alone does not entail everything about a vehicle brand. Each individual car model from each brand has a different reliability rating and different common issues. To make a better comparison, aside from the generalized reliability rating, let’s take a look at some of the more common complaints from owners about the two brands.

Most problematic Infiniti models

Out of 362 complaints found on, regarding Infiniti vehicles, the most problematic models shared more common issues than you would expect.

Most problematic Infiniti models:

  • 2000 Infiniti G35
  • 2014 Infiniti Q50
  • 2015 Infiniti Q50
  • 2017 Infiniti Q60
  • 2002 Infiniti QX4
  • 2009 Infiniti G37

Most common Infiniti problems

The most common issues among these vehicles that were reported by the community were:

  1. Control of driving seat:

Many users have reported losing control of the driver’s seat with it going flat and not returning to its normal position. This requires a total replacement of the standard seat which results in a cost of around $1,500.

  • Cracked radiator and radiator leaks:
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Cracked radiators and radiator leaks were most often reported in QX56 Infiniti vehicles and can end up leaking transmission fluid and damaging the transmission of your car. In this case you would most likely need to repair both the transmission and radiator, costing you an awful $4,000.

  •  Failing differential:

This issue was most commonly reported by drivers of 2007 Infiniti QX57. The cost of replacing a differential is around $2000, depending on your country or state. This might be the most common drivetrain issue with Infiniti cars.

  • Air bag sensor malfunctioning: 

Infiniti G37 2011 models have reported air bag sensor malfunctions more than once. Some drivers claim that all G37 prior to 2011 have this problem. This issue, despite not sounding like something very urgent to fix, is quite a big deal since you might injure a passenger if you have the misfortune of getting in an accident. The average cost to fix air bag snesors lies between $5,000 and $6,000.

Most problematic BMW models

Surfing across we found a total of 767 BMW complaints, making them twice as many as the ones of Infiniti. On the other hand, comparing Infiniti’s 20,000 sold vehicles in 2019 with BMW’s 2.17 million makes that number sound like the ratio tilts highly in BMW’s favor.

The award for the worst BMW model with the most complaints goes to 2013 BMW X5. The 2011 BMW X5 should also not be underestimated in terms of breaking down unexpectedly and costing you a ton to fix.

The worse models with the lowest reported reliability and most issues are:

  • 2011 BMW X5
  • 2007 BMW 335i
  • 2013 BMW X3
  • 2008 BMW 335i
  • 2013 BMW X5
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The most serious drivetrain issues all these have in common are getting stalled while driving, engines reaching high temperatures and engine failure.

Most common BMW problems

Other very common issues that drivers have experienced with their BMWs include:

  1. Water leaks into the interior

This has occurred most often in the 2008 BMW X5 and costs a whopping $10,000 to fix. And although this is not the most frequent repair, it is listed here as one of the most inconvenient ones as it might damage the interior, causing the repair costs to soar with each day left unnoticed.

  • Faulty electronics

Since BMW often innovates in terms of electronics and features, you often experience failure. For example, some models often report electric windows failing to close or open. The first thing to check if something like that happens to your BMW is the fuse box of your car. Repair costs vary greatly.

  • Notorious coolant system

BMW’s coolant system is notorious for its high requirements. If you fail to use the recommended antifreeze you could most likely shorten the lifespan of your vehicle by half. Many people avoid driving BMWs out of warranty for the same reason.

If your coolant system fails while you are on the road, you are most likely going to end up waiting there a long time. These problems typically occur with vehicles driven more than 80,000 miles and might cost anywhere between $750 for minor leaks to $1500 for major issues.

  •  Oil leaks and leaky oil filter gaskets

Despite this not being a very costly repair, (only a few hundred bucks), this might be the most common thing you will experience if you stick with a BMW for more than 100,000 miles. The valves and caps are made out of plastic which leads to them cracking under high temperatures and eventually leaking.

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Final Verdict

At the end of the day, you get to choose. BMW’s repairs are slightly costlier than Infiniti’s and both cars have a notorious reputation for reliability. Many people say they won’t drive a German car if it’s outside of warranty, but it greatly depends on the models, as there are some BMWs regularly driven for more than 200,000 miles.


Are Infiniti cars better than Lexus and BMW?

Both Lexus and BMW tend to be slightly more reliable than Infiniti. On the other hand, the Infiniti has a stunning design and luxury feel. If reliability is the issue that stops you from purchasing the vehicle, go for a model with a proven record, like the FX35.

Is Infiniti production going to last?

There are many speculations that the Nissan owned Infiniti brand will go out of business by early 2030 since they have recently lost more than 10 percent of their sales in the US market. In 2019 alone, they delivered fewer than 20,000 vehicles worldwide, compared to BMW’s stunning over 2 million cars sold.

BMW vs. Infiniti reliability - which is better?
What to know about BMW problems and issues.

Dan Gurbalov

Why do you love cars? I love the sound of most gasoline engines. I love the smell too.

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