New & Used Infiniti QX50: In Depth
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The Infiniti is a compact luxury crossover vehicle that recently underwent a name change. When it made its debut almost a decade ago, it was known as the EX35, later to become the EX37. Now, as the result of a massive change in Infiniti's naming strategy, it's become the QX50.
Infiniti's littlest crossover has wide-ranging competition, including the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, and Volvo XC60. It is basically a wagon version of a sports sedan with a taller roof and stubby rear, and is one of few in its segment to be based on a rear-drive model. Like its rivals, the QX50 isn't really meant for off-roading as much as it is set up for inclement weather, and it's also not cavernous inside.
There's some logic in the naming now, beyond the initial confusion. All Infiniti crossovers have been given "QX" labels, and all sedans and coupes have received the "Q" prefix. Those letters are followed by a two-digit number in multiples of ten.
Regardless of the renaming, the QX50 is largely the same vehicle that was most recently sold as the EX37.
As a result of an engine change, for 2013 the Ex went from its old EX35 badge to the EX37 name. A newer 325-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 replaced the previous car's 297-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6. That same basic version is still sold today, although another name change took place for the 2014 model year, bringing the QX50 nameplate. The engine continues to be paired with a smooth, quick-shifting seven-speed automatic that comes with steering-wheel shift paddles and can blip the throttle to rev-match downshifts.
Handling and body control aren't quite as great as those of the Q50 sedan (formerly G37) on which the QX50 is based, but they're impressive for a crossover, and steering weighting and feedback are far better than what you'll find in other such vehicles. But fuel economy remains low—even for those who expect it in exchange for the very snappy powertrain performance; EPA ratings are just 17 mpg city, 24 highway with all-wheel drive (AWD), or 17/25 with rear-wheel drive, which is considerably thirstier than most of the alternatives.
The QX50 is already a compact vehicle, but the sleek roofline and performance-oriented layout compound matters inside. While front-seat space is great—the feeling is airy, with supportive seats and plenty of legroom and headroom—the back seat is tight, almost claustrophobic, and if you have taller occupants in front you'll be trading off nearly all the knee space and legroom. The taper of the roofline toward the back severely limits cargo usability, too. It can also make it difficult to see out the rear, especially with second-row occupants' heads in the way.
Infiniti sells the QX50 in four models: base QX50, QX50 AWD, QX50 Journey, and QX50 Journey AWD. Standard equipment includes leather seating, push-button start, a power-folding second row, a moonroof, a universal garage-door opener, power steering-column adjustment, and heated front seats. With a technology package, some of the top technology features include an Active Blind Spot Warning system, Around View Monitor, Lane Departure Prevention, Intelligent Cruise Control, Distance Control Assist, and Intelligent Brake Assist with Forward Collision Warning.