Full 2014 Infiniti QX50 Review
What's New for 2014
The 2014 Infiniti QX50 (formerly known as the Infiniti EX) gets a new name, but otherwise returns with no significant changes.
Luxury automakers often try to inject sporting qualities into their otherwise utilitarian crossover SUVs, but with varying degrees of success. With the 2014 Infiniti QX50, it's almost the opposite scenario. See, the QX50 is a true athlete, and it's one of the most entertaining vehicles to drive in the compact luxury crossover class. The question, more likely, will be whether it's practical enough for you.
Formerly known as the Infiniti EX, the Infiniti QX50 is still Infiniti's smallest and least expensive crossover SUV. It's based on the old G37 sport sedan (not the new-generation Q50 sedan). Accordingly, it inherits the G's strong 3.7-liter V6 engine, responsive steering and athletic handling. The luxury aspect is nicely covered as well, as the posh interior combines a stylish yet functional design with high-quality materials and plenty of standard and optional features.
Our main concern relates to the "utility" aspect of this SUV, as the QX50's backseat is short enough on legroom that most adults won't want to be stuck there for anything longer than a quick trip. Cargo space is similarly limited compared with its luxury crossover competitors.
With that in mind, we'd suggest shoppers looking for a crossover with a more balanced approach to sport and space examine the 2014 Acura RDX, 2014 Audi Q5, 2014 BMW X3 and Volvo XC60. But if a sporty driving character is the main priority, and practicality just a potential bonus, the 2014 Infiniti QX50 is an excellent choice.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Infiniti QX50 is a five-passenger luxury crossover SUV that's offered in two trim levels: base and Journey. Both are available in either front- or all-wheel drive.
Standard equipment on the entry-level QX50 includes 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, power-folding heated mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power front seats (eight-way driver, four-way passenger), heated front seats (all-wheel-drive models only), 60/40-split-folding rear seats, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, trip computer, a 7-inch display, a rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio input jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.
Stepping up to the Journey model gets you a sunroof, heated front seats (includes rear-wheel-drive models), wood interior trim, a power-adjustable steering wheel and Bluetooth phone connectivity.
The Journey model also offers a number of desirable options, including a Premium package that bundles a 360-degree parking camera system, front and rear parking sensors, an air purifier, Bluetooth audio connectivity, a navigation system, voice controls and an 11-speaker Bose audio system.
To the Premium package you can add the Deluxe Touring package, which includes 19-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, driver seat memory functions, an eight-way power passenger seat, a power-folding rear seat and upgraded interior trim. The available Technology package includes lane-departure warning and prevention systems, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with auto braking, and a blind-spot monitoring system.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2014 Infiniti QX50 is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 engine that puts out 325 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard; an all-wheel-drive system is offered as an option. The EPA's estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg in combined driving (17 mpg city/25 mpg highway) with rear-wheel drive and 20 mpg combined (17/24) with all-wheel drive.
Standard safety features on the 2014 Infiniti QX50 include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. A rearview camera is also standard.
The optional Technology package adds forward collision warning and frontal collision mitigation through automatic engagement of the brakes. Also included are blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping systems.
In prior Edmunds brake testing of this model when it was called the EX, we recorded a 60-0 mph stopping distance of 118 feet, a very good result for this class.
In testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the QX50 earned a top score of "Good" in the moderate overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength crash tests. Its head restraints and seat design also received a "Good" rating for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
Interior Design and Special Features
Although a fun driving experience is the 2014 QX50's defining trait, Infiniti made sure its cockpit would still be a nice place to spend time when you're stuck in traffic. The Infiniti's interior features an attractive design and top-quality materials. Better yet, this stylish decor is quite functional, as the gauges and controls are both easy to see and intuitive to use. We're especially fond of the electronics interface, as the combination of the touchscreen display, traditional buttons and multifunction control knob makes it very easy to operate.
The QX50's elevated driving position offers excellent visibility. Front seats are comfortable and offer good support in spirited driving. Though the rear seat is set up for three passengers, its narrow width and shortage of legroom makes it best suited to a pair of youngsters. The cargo area is also smallish, with just 18.6 cubic feet of space behind the second-row seats. Fold those rear seatbacks down and you end up with 47.4 cubic feet, considerably less cargo capacity than you'll find in competing models.
If you like the idea of piloting a sport sedan but have a need for added cargo-carrying abilities, you'll likely find the 2014 Infiniti QX50 to be an ideal compromise. This small crossover feels nimble and entertaining on a winding stretch of road, and its precise steering and strong brakes only enhance the experience. The 325-hp V6 complements this package by producing quick enough acceleration to satiate all but the most hard-core gearheads.
Pleasingly, the QX50 still offers a very agreeable ride quality even with its 18-inch wheels. Road and engine noise are a bit more noticeable that you might expect on a luxury-brand vehicle, but not so much that it puts a damper on the driving fun.