The 2015 Infiniti QX50 is never short on power, thanks to its 3.7-liter V-6, which produces 325 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. That power is managed by a paddle-shifted seven-speed automatic transmission that even throttle-blips when you downshift. It's a good match, and the QX50 performs with an eagerness that you wouldn't normally find in this segment.
Our ongoing complaint here with the powertrain--as with much of Infiniti's lineup from the past several years--is that there's way too much engine noise in the cabin for a luxury vehicle. You hear it reassuringly when you're accelerating, but you also hear it when you'd rather not.
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. Four-wheel disc brakes stop the QX50 with sport-sedan decisiveness, and there's no excess dive or body motion despite being a bit higher off the ground. We've found that versions with the optional all-wheel drive system don't feel quite as inspired; they don't handle with quite the level of awesome precision as rear-wheel-drive models, and they're a bit slower and thirstier to boot.
Ride quality is good here--firm but compliant--and the independent suspension hits the ideal balance of smoothness and athleticism.