The Car Connection INFINITI QX50 Overview
The Infiniti QX50 is a five-seat crossover SUV. Known as the EX35 a decade ago when it was new, it eventually was renamed the EX37 when it received a larger engine.
Today, as a result of a wholesale change in Infiniti's naming strategy, it's dubbed the QX50.
The biggest change in a decade came last year to the QX50, when it gained a few inches of length. Essentially becoming the Chinese-market version of itself, the longer-wheelbase QX50 has a much more useful back seat. It makes the whole vehicle more attractive—and more competitive with its rivals, vehicles such as the Acura RDX, Range Rover Evoque, Lincoln MKC, and Volvo XC60.
For the 2017 model year, the QX50 now offers 19-inch alloy wheels as an option.
It's always been one of the better-driving vehicles of its kind—and now with a longer body, it doesn't sacrifice so much interior space in the name of style.
MORE: Read our 2017 Infiniti QX50 review
At one time, the QX50 was the Infiniti EX35—but as a result of an engine change for 2013, the EX went from its old EX35 badge to the EX37 name. A newer, 325-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 replaced the previous car's 297-hp, 3.5-liter V-6.
All Infiniti models received new names for 2014. 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 10 that reflects the relative place in the lineup.
Handling and body control aren't quite as great as those of the Q50 sedan (formerly the G37) on which the QX50 is based, but they're impressive for a crossover, and steering weight and feedback are far better than what you'll find in other such vehicles. 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 mpg highway with all-wheel drive, or 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway with rear-wheel drive, which is considerably thirstier than most of the alternatives.
The QX50 was at first a compact vehicle, but its sleek roofline and performance-oriented layout made for a tight rear seat. For the 2016 model year, the QX50 adopted its Chinese-market body—basically the same with a few inches added in wheelbase—and that's made the back seat as comfortable as anything else in the class, and cargo area is up slightly, too.
The current QX50 continues to be powered by the 3.7-liter V-6, paired with a smooth, quick-shifting 7-speed automatic that comes with steering-wheel shift paddles and can blip the throttle to rev-match downshifts. Both rear- and all-wheel-drive models have a bit more ground clearance, a lightly restyled interior, and lower base prices.
Trim levels include Premium, Premium Plus, Deluxe Touring, and Technology. 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. The technology package includes advanced features like blind-spot monitors, surround-view cameras, adaptive cruise control, and forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking.