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The Car Connection
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor
March 4, 2021

Buying tip

The QX50 Luxe trim offers access to excellent driver-assist technology that will make any trip more relaxing.

features & specs

22 city / 28 hwy
23 city / 29 hwy
22 city / 28 hwy

The 2021 Infiniti QX50 is a tech-forward crossover SUV with a plush interior that nonetheless can feel like a wallflower.

What kind of vehicle is the 2021 Infiniti QX50? What does it compare to?

The QX50 is a five-seat luxury crossover SUV that squares off against the Audi Q5, Cadillac XT5, Lincoln Corsair, and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

Is the 2021 Infiniti QX50 a good car/SUV?

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The tech-forward QX50 boasts decent turbo punch and attractive styling that are at odds with a so-so infotainment system. Overall, we rate it at 6.3 out of 10, a good but not top-notch score. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2021 Infiniti QX50?

Infiniti added desirable collision-avoidance to most versions of the QX50 this year, plus a wi-fi hotspot is now included.

The QX50 has pert, curvy styling that stands out compared to staid rivals. Its interior isn’t as imaginative, though it is mostly well-organized and quite well-finished in top models. The dual-screen infotainment system doesn’t make too many friends, though Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are easy enough to access.

Underhood, the QX50 offers just one choice, a high-tech 2.0-liter turbo-4 that puts out 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque to the front or all four wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The turbo-4 can vary its own compression, which should improve fuel economy. But EPA ratings of a so-so 25 mpg combined for the all-wheel-drive version have us questioning whether the tech was worth it. Don’t look for a hybrid version of the QX50.

The crossover has a reasonably spacious interior with good materials and nice attention to details. Rear-seat riders have above average space, though cargo room is just acceptable. Bose noise-canceling tech hushes the ride.

Newly standard on all but the base QX50 is a slew of collision-avoidance tech that can take over the controls for limited hands-off driving on the highway. The system is far from full autonomy, but it can dramatically reduce driver fatigue. 

How much does the 2021 Infiniti QX50 cost?

The 2021 QX50 starts at about $39,000, or $41,000 with all-wheel drive. The Luxe trim level that runs about $3,500 more is a better starting point given the high-tech driver-assist features it includes, plus the big sunroof and heated seats most buyers will want anyway.

The range tops out at nearly $60,000 in Autograph form, which isn’t a great value. 

Where is the 2021 Infiniti QX50 made?

In Mexico.




Handsome in and out, the 2021 QX50 cuts a distinctive profile.


Is the 2021 Infiniti QX50 a good-looking car?

The 2021 QX50 is an interesting crossover SUV. Its wide grille and intriguing chrome “kink” are attention grabbers, and its profile stands out among other SUVs that tend to blend in. 

Overall, we rate it at 6 out of 10, with a point above average for the exterior.

The QX50’s interior is functional and draped with nice materials, but the inelegant twin-screen infotainment layout prioritizes function over form. Higher trims use quilted leather that’s properly luxurious, though even the base synthetic hides are nice enough. QX50 Autographs are particularly nice inside, as they should be for nearly $60,000.

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The QX50 boasts a high-tech engine that fades into the background.


Is the Infiniti QX50 4WD?

The QX50 comes with either front-wheel drive or, for $2,000 more, all-wheel drive. Don’t plan on taking one off-road, though. 

How fast is the Infiniti QX50?

Underhood, you’ll find a tech geek’s dream come true: a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that may signal the future for internal-combustion engines (if there is one). This gem of an engine can vary compression on the go to maximize performance and fuel economy.

The engine is a winner, though it feels like something of a waste in what’s otherwise an average-driving crossover SUV. We rate the QX50 at 6 out of 10.

The CVT hides in the background and mostly does its job unobtrusively, though it’s hardly engaging. Ride quality is comfortable but neither land yacht-like nor sporty. It strikes a good balance for most users. 

The QX50’s steer-by-wire system replaces the connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels with a cable and electronic impulses, and it works better here than in Infiniti’s own (and largely unrelated) Q50 sedan, though admittedly we don’t have a lot of seat time in versions with this setup. Infiniti has had more engaging vehicles in this category—the old EX comes to mind. The QX50’s performance is just average.

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Comfort & Quality

The 2021 QX50 is nicely-appointed inside, especially in pricier versions.


The sharpest QX50s are the most expensive, but mid-priced versions aren’t too shabby inside. Good front seats and cargo space elevate the QX50 to a 7 out of 10.

The front seats are plenty comfortable thanks to excellent high-density foam padding that reminds us of old Volvo thrones. Rear-seat riders can stretch out with nearly 39 inches of leg room and head room will do for taller riders. Standard synthetic leather is convincing, while two grades of real hides are on the options list.

The QX50’s cargo area isn’t the biggest, but it’s not small. Some 31 cubic feet of stuff will fit with the rear seats upright and a little over double that with them folded down. 

A Bose noise-cancellation system like that used in the company’s headphones quells road road particularly well, and the most expensive QX50s have lavish interior trim.

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More active safety tech this year makes the QX50 a safe choice.

How safe is the Infiniti QX50?

We don’t have full crash-test ratings so far, but what we do know helps us score the 2021 QX50 at 7 out of 10, with points for standard and available safety features.

In the past the feds have rated it at five stars overall, and the IIHS has found good crash-test scores aside from so-so ratings for headlights. But those tests are out of date; we'll update this with fresh data when it's available.

Every QX50 comes with automatic emergency braking and all but the base Pure offer the automaker’s suite of driver-assistance tech, including adaptive cruise control that can keep the car centered in its lane. Infiniti’s system is unusually good, even against bigger-name rivals, and that tech can prove a serious fatigue-reducer on highway treks.

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The Infiniti QX50 is a fairly good value as long as you resist the top trim’s temptations.

Overall, we rate the 2021 Infiniti QX50 at 7 out of 10 thanks to its good level of standard gear and the big screens, but read on. 

Which Infiniti QX50 should I buy?

The QX50 comes in four trims, starting with a $39,000 or so Pure (add $2,000 for all-wheel drive). The Pure isn’t a bad value on its own, but we’d spend up for the $42,500 Luxe which adds adaptive cruise control, active safety tech, a big sunroof, heated seats, and remote start. The active safety gear alone is worth the extra cash over the base car.

The Essential tosses in a surround-view camera system and navigation, but real leather means upping the price to $47,500 or so, and rivals are tempting at that level.  The costlier Sensory runs $51,000 to start, and again that’s where we’d look more seriously at Audis and Volvos. 

How much is a fully loaded 2021 Infiniti QX50?

The QX50 Autograph runs about $61,000 with extra-cost white leather and red paint. It’s pretty, but it’s not $61,000-pretty. 

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Fuel Economy

The high-tech engine in the QX50 delivers decent fuel economy.

Is the 2021 Infiniti QX50 good on gas?

For all that underhood tech, the QX50 isn’t any more efficient than its rivals. Front-drive versions are rated at 23 mpg city, 29 highway, 26 combined. All-wheel drive dings 1 mpg off each figure. Premium fuel is required. 

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MSRP based on PURE FWD
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Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety 7
Features 7
Fuel Economy 5
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