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STYLING | 8 out of 10
sportiest ute yet
Car and Driver
sporty and stylish
sleek shape for a crossover
built by a company devoted to style
In size and shape, the QX50 is roughly in the template of a number of other compact luxury crossover vehicles, such as the Acura RDX, the Lexus RX 350, Cadillac SRX, and BMW X3. And while the QX50 is an exact carry-over of the EX--a model that was originally introduced for the 2008 model year--it manages to look a bit different (and definitely fresher) thanks to its standout profile, which is more like that of a sport wagon than of a crossover.
The 2014 QX50 is indeed a tall wagon, built on proven sport-sedan underpinnings, and it looks the part. Although some of its styling cues on the outside are on loan from the FX (now called the QX70), the QX50 doesn't end up having an awkward, abbreviated shape. Rather, the design stands up on its own, and nexr to the FX/QX70, it might actually be the better-looking of the two. The EX's tall roofline is lowered (as a visual trick) with subtle sculptural surfaces on the body, and few cutlines and few unneeded details give the EX an especially clean look for its class. Big wheel wells and widely flared fenders taper into an arching roofline, all blending together to give the EX more of a four-door coupe look-more Panamera than Explorer (or even Cayenne).
The cabin is just as sophisticated, look that's simpler and more streamlined than that of the Acura RDX. There's no effort to be rugged or trail-friendly--definitely less of an effort to maximize interior space and versatility as well. The contours are quite soft, and the cockpit-style layout wraps into a wide center stack a big LCD screen and secondary controls. The instruments look elegant and refined in soft-white lighting, and the wood and leather wear matte finishes. We find the overall look to be low-key and tasteful, as it skips the excessive detailing and brightwork that's become so common (and garish). And if you somehow think that's austere, wood finishes can lift the ambiance a bit more.
The Infiniti QX50 is modern and luxurious -- although not entirely fresh.