2019 Infiniti QX50 Looks Like A Winner In First In-Depth Review

In a segment that holds the likes of the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Volvo XC60 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, putting together a mediocre product isn’t an option. Apparently though, Infiniti have nothing to worry about.

The 2019 QX50 is the best type of “all-new”. The only things it shares with its predecessor are its badge and its name, with everything else being completely different, bumper to bumper, inside and out.

Starting with the interior, the QX50 is not above showing off. All the materials are top notch (especially if you opt for the $2,000 Autograph package), and the overall design pleases the eye, according to the good folks at Kelley Blue Book.

Then there’s the fact that you can sit three adults in the back comfortably, with sufficient knee and headroom. As for cargo room, it’s more than acceptable thanks to the 31.4 cu.ft (889 liters) of volume with the rear seats vertical. Fold everything and you’ll be left with a massive 65.1 cu.ft (1,843 liters).

Is the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine really all that?

Much has been said about Infiniti’s 2.0-liter turbo petrol unit, which also happens to be the world’s first variable compression ratio engine. The ratio ranges from 8:1 to 14:1 and it enables the QX50 to offer the best of both worlds – high performance and strong fuel economy; at least on paper.

Power output is 272 PS (268 HP), while peak torque stands at 280 lb-ft (380 Nm). The engine is mated to an XTRONIC CVT, designed to mimic a traditional 8-speed automatic.

So what’s it like to drive then? Apparently, the power delivery is uneven, says the reviewer, who wasn’t a fan of the previously mentioned transmission. On a positive note though, the car is reasonably quick in a straight line, rides smoothly and quietly, and handles well. Overall, a strong showing by the Japanese automaker.

  • ErnieB

    Best looking Japanese SUV period!

    • no25

      definitely not. its good looking, yes. the best? no.

      • ErnieB

        I said of all Japanese SUVs it’s the nicest.. just name me one that actually looks this good? Not one because they are all hideous!

        • no25

          Mazda CX-9, Mazda CX-5, 2019 Toyota RAV4, Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Highlander, Lexus LX, Lexus RX…im sure there’s more. This looks good like I said, but it’s typical Infiniti: weird jagged lines, deep creases, bland interior (how can you even say that’s luxurious?).

    • Jay

      Yes but its a shame about the lack of Android Auto and CarPlay.

  • CVT…ugh…no dice…

    • wait a minute

      it might have seemless shifts, quick acceleration and good fuel efficiency, but IMO there’s still a way to go to convince many drivers who appreciate the engine sound sync’ed with accelerator, and the gentle tugs, when the gears are shifted, these dynamics are absence with current CVT’s.

      • bartisgod

        Personally, I like it. My loaded Nissan Quest handles, accelerates, and breaks better than many economy sedans. It’s as luxurious as a luxury SUV that would cost $20k+ more, and certainly far more so than any other minivan, most of which top out thousands higher. It has unique styling that I happen to think looks gorgeous, and it’s not universally hated like the Aztek or Multipla but it’s polarizing, you either love it or hate it. The CVT is the cherry on top, it feels smooth, silent, and futuristic, like a cross between Tesla and 90s Cadillac. it’s fun enough to drive for a van, almost as much as the Mazda MPV/5, if you know, expect, and accept what the CVT feels like. My weekend car is still a Mazda6, though.

      • willhaven

        I would bet that 90% of people that buy these types of cars don’t even know what type of transmission is used.

        • botornot387

          All they would have to do is test drive it vs any of its competitors, and they would know the difference.

          • willhaven

            Again – why would they care? You act like the average consumer is an enthusiast. The transmission is probably the last thing on their mind when test driving these cars.

          • botornot387

            Again, most buyers in this segment do. It only takes 2 seconds to hear the drone of a CVT when you floor it and feel it sap the power. Most consumers aren’t necessarily enthusiasts, but in the luxury market against established products, this is a deal breaker. This will just like the QX70 or whatever its called based on the pathfinder, i.e. will only sell with large discounts and incentives and never do anything to move the needle for a fledgling brand. Infiniti can’t really afford to screw up products, especially when they price themselves beyond the market like this model.

        • panda-R

          What’s a transmission?

    • botornot387

      LOL just this one piece of info right here is enough to kill this model and take it off of shopping lists vs the Germans. Also, while the inside has some nice materials, the infotainment is horrible and the gauge cluster is mediocre at best. There is too much Nissan DNA here instead of Infiniti. This will sell when you have huge incentives, like the rest of the Infiniti range.

  • botornot387

    I know because I work in the auto industry. It’s the reason why Audi did away with the CVT and moved to the DSG on their models. CVT’s on hybrids is a whole different story, and actually, if you read any reviews or actually go out and drive those aforementioned Lexus models, you would see their Achilles heal is the transmission. In fact the Multi Stage CVT/Auto hybrid has been lambasted on the new Lexus LS hybrid for its inconsistent feel when compared to its competitors. This model is not a hybrid, and it competes in a very highly competitive segment. As its brother the QX70 struggles to sell without large incentives to move, and this powertrain configuration is one of the reasons why.

    Also Nissan CVT is not a winner in reliability, with many of their models with this trans having issues or being replaced. This was simply a cost cutting factor because this is an in house design, instead of Infiniti sourcing from a supplier like ZF, like every other lux manufacturer does. In an application like a mainstream hybrid or Tesla which is electric and doesn’t need gears, this is acceptable, but when you are chasing the Q5, GLC, and X3 not to mention newcomers like the Volvo, Alfa, etc. These are all points you need to have been aware of. A fully loaded one of these is asking $60,000. You can get a Turbo 6 version of the other models for that money. These are how luxury buyers think.

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