The Infiniti QX50 CUV enters its second generation with a significant makeover with a dramatic looking, trim, athletic presence. There is a deep character line that runs around the entire vehicle, from the sleek clamshell hood, to the rear LED taillights that ties in the good looks. The signature C-pillar, remains as part of well-integrated greenhouse. Up front, the crossover’s “double-arch” grille is adorned with a huge oversized Infiniti badge. It is indeed a classy looking premium Crossover from any angle. Also added is a higher tensile steel in the frame and better body stiffness. The QX50 is also the first Infiniti to feature drive by wire – eliminating mechanical connections between driver and substituting electronics and sensors between key components.
The QX50 is powered by a new downsized Variable Compression (VC) engine, namely a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 268 horsepower. All new and very sophisticated, it is actually an industry first innovation. The turbocharged four-cylinder is able to vary its compression rate between 8:1 and 14:1 depending on engine load – delivering peak horsepower and torque when needed – and operating with maximum efficiency when cruising or at idle. Special engineering allows for the performance of a gasoline engine, with the torque and efficiency of a diesel. The engine also features an integrated exhaust manifold, reducing the distance that exhaust gases must travel to the turbo, and virtually eliminating turbo lag. This gem of an engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission, all-new shift-by-wire design that includes manual shift mode, steering wheel paddles, Downshift Rev Matching plus dual transmission fluid coolers. All Canadian QX50s come with standard AWD. The QX50 offers four driving modes to tailor driving styles: Standard, Eco, Sport, and Personal feedback.
There are five trim levels available, starting with the QX50 Luxe at $44,490. The as – tested QX50 Sensory ($56,490) adds 20-inch dark finish wheels, premium leather seats and trim, climate control, motion activated lift gate, adaptive front lighting, Ultrasuede headliner, , and unique cube design headlights. The QX50 Autograph ($57,990) adds white premium quilted leather seating, blue Ultrasuede upper door and IP trim, blue piping. Also standard on the Sensory trim, is the ProActive package, you get back-up collision intervention, park-distance assist, rear cross-traffic alert, steering assist, intelligent cruise control with full speed range and hold, blind-spot intervention, lane-departure warning and prevention, high-beam assist, head-up display, direct adaptive steering, and easy park assist – which delivers an ultra-light steering effort at low speed. Other “Sensory” touches, rear window shades, adaptive LED headlights, and metallic cargo area finishes and more.
The roomy interior cabin, is superb, a winner of a “Ward’s Best Interiors” award, and matches anything from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW. The driver-centric cockpit features real wood trim or a beautiful shimmering white pearlescent trim that wraps around the dash and continues along the doors. There are roomy comfortable seats and plenty of cargo storage out back. Technology wise Pro Pilot Assist, Infiniti’s suite of driver assist technology is standard on the top trim levels. It’s a “hands-on” system that will operate fully on its own for about ten seconds before informing the driver take the wheel. Consisting of all the standard features typical of such safety assist systems, Pro Pilot is deployed by pushing a small blue button the steering wheel, which activates lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with adjustable safe follow distance, forward collision warning, and emergency braking. It takes some getting used at first, but works well, and seems less prone to failure or is erratic compared to some system I have used.
On road acceleration and cruising speed is good, I like the responsiveness of the engine, and the stepped transmission programming of the CTV. The over boosted steering is a tad light, good for navigating parking and low speed driving. However, Sport Mode sharpen up the handling, giving extra weight to the steering. The QX50 offers a hushed, comfortable ride rides quietly with little road noise. Official fuel economy rating is 10.0 L City, 7.8 L highway, and 9.0 L combined – note, the QX50 needs premium fuel only. With its superb engine, award winning interior and PRO PILOT Assistance technology, the QX50 is a premium technical masterpiece of a luxury Crossover. Highly recommended.
2019 Infiniti QX50 Sensory priced from $56,490.
Price as tested with freight and PDE $58,535
More info at www/infiniti.ca