The Car Connection INFINITI QX50 Overview
The Infiniti QX50 is a mid-size luxury crossover SUV. It competes with some of the most advanced cars on the planet, but the Infiniti has an ace.
MORE: Read our 2020 Infiniti QX50 review
Redesigned in 2019, the QX50 is packed with some of the automaker's most important improvements in a decade. It's powered by a new, innovative engine; rides atop a new, front-wheel-drive platform; and boasts semi self-driving technology borrowed from parent-company Nissan.
The new Infiniti QX50
The newest Infiniti QX50 showcases some of the automaker's most important technology.
The crossover now rides atop a new skeleton that prioritizes fuel economy with a front-wheel drive setup; the last generation was rear-wheel-drive biased. The new model is sized roughly the same as the outgoing model, but features a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that can constantly change its operation to be more efficient or more powerful, depending on conditions. It makes 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque mated to a continuously variable transmission. The new powertrain yields gas mileage of up to 26 mpg combined.
With the QX50, Infiniti also has an entry in the self-driving race. Equipped with Nissan's ProPilot technology, the Infiniti QX50 can manage single lane highway travel for long-distance driving. The technology bundles adaptive cruise control and active lane control for stop-and-go traffic and long drives, but requires driver attention.
For 2020, the Infiniti QX50 gets more standard safety features, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking, blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warnings, automatic high-beam headlights, and rear cross-traffic alerts.
Infiniti QX50 history
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.
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 highway with rear- or all-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, a surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, and forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking.
For the 2017 model year, the QX50 offered 19-inch alloy wheels as an option.