Previously known as the EX37, Infiniti's compact crossover was rebadged as the QX50 due to Infiniti's recent lineup-wide renaming strategy.
It may wear a different badge on its tailgate, but familiar elements like an agile rear-wheel-drive platform and a strong V6 mean the 'ute remains the sports car of compact luxury crossovers. While it entails a few compromises compared to rivals - chief among them slightly cramped rear seats and unimpressive cargo space - buyers looking for a practical but fun all-weather vehicle will find much to like.
The QX50 rides on a shortened version of the Q40 sports sedan's athletic architecture. These underpinnings help the crossover feel like a smaller, lower vehicle in turns, despite a ride that's quite comfortable even overly poorly maintained roads.
Power comes from a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 325 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. With the help of a seven-speed automatic transmission, the mill is powerful enough to propel the QX50 from zero-to-60 mph in around six seconds while still returning 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway in rear-wheel-drive form.
An optional all-wheel-drive system prepares the crossover for the worst the four seasons can throw at it while only reducing city mileage by a single mpg.
Outside, the QX50's sleek styling reflects its sporty nature. Highlights include Infiniti's corporate double-arch grille, L-shaped headlights and abbreviated front and rear overhangs. The price for the small size is a limited rear seat legroom and a cargo hold that's smaller than most competing crossovers. At 18.6 cubic feet, the main cargo space is respectable, but the 47.4 cubes available with the rear seats folded down is significantly less than some rivals offer.
While not enormous, the QX50's cabin is quite well furnished. Soft-touch materials and premium leather are used generously throughout, and the well-designed front seats should allow people of all shapes and sizes to ride in comfort up front.
Trim Level Breakdown
The QX50 is offered in two trim levels - QX50 and QX50 Journey - both of which come standard with rear-wheel-drive and offer optional all-wheel-drive (which comes bundled with heated front seats and exterior mirrors)
The entry-level QX50 trim comes standard with leather upholstery, Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, a six-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo system with a USB input and SiriusXM radio, a rear-view camera a seven-inch driver information display and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
The QX50 Journey adds a moonroof, maple interior accents, heated front seats and exterior mirrors, a power tilt and telescope steering column, an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror and Bluetooth smartphone connectivity.
Want more luxury features? Infiniti offers three optional packages packed with extra goodies.
The Premium Package adds a navigation system with NavTraffic, NavWeather and Zagat Survey Restaurant Guide, an 11-speaker Bose Premium Audio sound system, aluminum roof rails and an Around View monitor with front and rear sonar parking sensors. The Around View system includes small front, side and rear-mounted cameras to project an all-around view of every side of the vehicle, helping reduce blind spots when parking.
The Deluxe Touring Package includes 19-inch alloy wheels, memory functionality for the seats, power folding and heated exterior mirrors with reverse tilt-down feature, HID headlights, entry-exit assist for driver's seat and steering wheel, a coat hanger on the driver's headrest and memory functionality for the front seats.
The Technology Package includes active cruise control, a blind spot warning system, lane departure warning (which alerts the driver if the QX50 wanders out of a lane), forward collision warning (which alerts the driver to alerts the driver of an impending collision) and intelligent brake assist (which can brake the QX50 to mitigate the severity of a collision).
The QX50 comes standard with Nissan's fluid finish paint technology. The technology allows for minor scratches in the EX's clearcoat to disappear in hours or days thanks to an elastic resin that flows back into shape after being damaged.
All QX50 models come standard with dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability and controls systems.
A number of optional safety systems are available as part of the Technology Package (detailed above)
The QX50 faces competition from premium small crossover rivals like the redesigned Acura RDX, the luxurious Audi Q5, the surprisingly stylish Volvo XC60 and the Mercedes-Benz GLK350.