2015 Infiniti QX50 Performance

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Performance

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.

The small QX50 is very quick, thanks to its big V-6; and handling is sport-sedan capable.

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.

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