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2022 Infiniti QX50

The 2022 Infiniti QX50 is a compact luxury SUV with seating for five, swoopy styling, and a high-tech turbo-4 engine.

Worthwhile updates for 2022 include newly standard driver-assistance tech in all trim levels as well as the addition of wireless Apple CarPlay compatibility, a rear-seat USB-C outlet, and door handle sensors at the rear for the keyless entry system.

Starting just a hair over $40,000 in base QX50 Pure trim, the lineup climbs through Luxe, Essential, Sensory, and finally Autograph variants for a little under $60,000. The QX50 is a close relative to the QX55, which has a sleeker roofline.

Safety-wise, the QX50 benefits from the ProPilot Assist tech that was made standard this year, including an advanced adaptive cruise control system that keeps the vehicle centered in its lane to reduce driver fatigue. The NHTSA has rated the QX50 at five stars overall, and results in the limited testing so far from the IIHS have been excellent.

The 2022 QX50 rates 23 mpg city, 29 highway, 25 combined, or 1 mpg less in each measure with all-wheel drive.

Model Lineup

The base QX50 Pure starts at just over $40,000, while drivers in wintry climates should budget another $2,000 for all-wheel drive. That base price includes driver-assistance tech, 19-inch alloy wheels, synthetic leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, and twin touchscreens with wireless Apple CarPlay as well as wired Android Auto compatibility. (The top screen measures 8.0 inches, the bottom 7.0 inches.)

For $3,500 more, the Luxe trim level swaps in leather and a sunroof plus a remote starter.

Next up, the Essential, packs a surround-view camera system, heated steering wheel, Bose audio, and parking sensors for about $48,000, or almost $50,000 with all-wheel drive.

The QX50 Sensory trim rings in at $52,500 with softer leather, a head-up display, and 20-inch wheels. QX55 Autograph models run upward of $58,000 for quilted leather upholstery and open-pore wood trim in the cabin, plus a few other special touches.

Exterior

The QX50 is curvy but buttoned up compared to the daring roofline fitted to the similar QX55. Both share a front end with a broad grille containing a huge Infiniti badge. Visual intrigue continues down the side, highlighted by a lightning bolt rearmost roof pillar on the QX50, which is dropped from the QX55 in favor of a more aggressive angle.

There’s a broad range of colors available, too. Light hues accent the SUV’s curves, while darker shades show off considerable brightwork.

Infiniti fits big rolling stock to every QX50 (and QX55), which fill big wheel wells. Even with hints of unpainted trim, the QX50 forgoes rugged touches in favor of city sophistication.

Interior

The cabin is dominated by a two-screen infotainment system in the center stack. The top one is flanked by climate vents, while the lower one – which absorbs quite a few controls – sits between some buttons and knobs.

Stitched trim imparts an upscale look, though it takes stepping up to the Autograph trim level to experience the best of the QX50.

The front seats offer standard power-adjustment and good comfort without feeling overly plush. The rear seats in the QX50 deliver 39 inches of leg room and reasonable head room for adults, though QX55 models are a little tighter.

Cargo space measures 31.4 cubic feet behind the second row or 65.1 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks tumbled away in the QX50. The QX55 trades utility for style: it offers 26.9 and 54.1 cubic feet, respectively.

Driving Impressions

The 2.0-liter turbo-4 underhood is no average engine. At its debut a couple of years ago, it boasted a world-first ability to vary its own compression while operating in an effort to either fuel economy or performance depending on what was needed at that time.

It’s a high-tech engine, and its 268-hp rating is class-competitive. The downside is that it’s teamed with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which dulls the experience. If quiet refinement is your goal, the QX50 and QX55 can deliver. Drivers looking for more engagement may find the setup a bit dull, though.

The same goes for ride and handling, which are good but not stand-out. Bigger wheels can ride stiffer but not necessarily sportier, and the steer-by-wire system can leave this SUV feeling a little disconnected on a winding road.

Final Word

Stylish and boasting a tech-heavy powertrain, the Infiniti QX50 can be a well-priced choice in this crowded luxury SUV segment. Its QX55 twin offers up a dash of extra style, too.

 

—by Andrew Ganz, with driving impressions from The Car Connection

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