Made in Mexico, with the best that the automaker has to offer while it is fighting in a segment that is super hot. The 2023 Infiniti QX50 is a luxury crossover that’s packed with features at a lower price point than its competitors. For 2023, a new dark-themed Sport model replaced the Essential model, while being part of the second generation of the model introduced in 2019, many features became standard.
styles and options
The 2023 Infiniti QX50 is available in Pure, Luxe, Sport, Sensory and Autograph trim levels, equipped with nearly every feature of the QX50. The base Pure model gets LED headlights, a power liftgate and simulated leather upholstery. This includes a dual-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
The new QX50 Sport (from our test) adds dark interior and exterior features and additional luxury and technology features such as dark 20-inch wheels, black exterior accents and grille, black roof rails, premium leather upholstery, seats with ventilated headlights, navigation system Is. traffic data and premium 12-speaker Bose sound system.
Sensory gets bigger wheels, a 16-speaker audio system and two luxury packages that are optional on the Essential. Autograph adds a hands-free liftgate, upgraded interior trim and upholstery, Sensory, Climate and Proactive packages.
All models come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 268 horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque, paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.
The interior of the QX50 Sport looks great, with an interesting combination of trims including quilted leather upholstery, leather door panels and simulated suede inserts. Comfort and utility were matched by “Infinity Gravity” seats, which provided comfort and lateral support over all driving routes.
Headroom and legroom are good for most people, but very tall passengers face some challenges. The middle seating position is not ideal for adults as the headrest only rises to the base of the neck. A panoramic sunroof is present, and rear passengers can move the seatbacks to one of their nine recline positions to avoid rubbing against the headliner.
The QX50 has the quietest cabin of any Infiniti product as it is stiffer with a 23 percent improvement in torsional stiffness compared to the previous model. Its cargo space is between 31.6 and 37 cubic feet behind the rear seat, depending on seating position, with a maximum of 60 cubic feet with the seats folded down.
It’s packed with technology, with a dual-screen interface with a touchscreen at the bottom that has quick responses and a sharp display. The two-screen setup is awkward due to the graphics mismatch, but splitting up the workspace could be nice. It brings an infotainment system that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration along with a wireless charging pad for smartphones.
In terms of safety, it gets stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, 360-degree parking camera, front seat side airbags, full-length front curtain side airbags, active head restraints, adaptive cruise control and gearshift intervention lane.
The QX50 brings the DAS (Direct Adaptive Steering) system. This steer-by-wire setup is notorious among enthusiasts for reducing any sense of steering wheel feedback. Since the DAS is a fully computerized steering setup, it integrates optimally with ProPilot.
on the highway
Your engine is very sensitive to throttle input, as inadvertent foot pressure will generate instant thrust, even if you don’t mean to. This engine is sleek and refined, with a buzzy intake note that pleases the ear under hard acceleration, and none of the harshness of a V-6 at high speeds.
Hard acceleration kicks the turbocharger into higher gear and triggers a drop in the compression ratio to avoid knocking the engine. And when Sport mode is engaged, the CVT transmission maintains its gears without provocation, helping to keep the engine in its sweet spot. Although it’s quite powerful when stepped on, the power delivery isn’t quite as gradual in normal driving. Especially in stop-and-go traffic, there’s a bit more throttle when you go from high to low engine power, so the inertia knocks you out of your seat.
The ProPilot system is amazing. On the highway you just push the button and the car takes you on the drive as if it were autonomous, taking curves and encountering other vehicles without a problem. Sure, any event requires hands and attention behind the wheel. It feels very quiet both through turns and grades and at highway cruising speeds. The AWD system helped tremendously on some of the rougher roads where I was able to test it, but then again, this isn’t a premium SUV.
The new Sport variant strikes the best balance between features and price, which will probably drive new buyers towards the brand. The QX50 is a decent luxury compact SUV, in a segment that isn’t known for being cheap.
Prices: US$40,495 to US$58,545
consumption: 24 mpg city, 30 mpg highway
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