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How Different Is the 2022 Infiniti QX55 From the QX50?

How Different Is the 2022 Infiniti QX55 From the QX50?

  • The just-released 2022 Infiniti QX55 is essentially a QX50 with a more rakish roofline, but there are other differences
  • Notably, Infiniti updated the QX55's engine hardware and software with an eye to making it more responsive
  • Additional changes include more standard features and fewer trim levels

Nissan's luxury brand expanded its SUV lineup earlier this year with the release of the 2022 Infiniti QX55. This compact crossover has sporty styling that's designed to draw attention away from rivals like the BMW X4 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe.

But for many shoppers, the big question will be: What separates the QX55 from the similar QX50?

We touched on the answer in our First Drive of the QX55, which you can read here. Now let's go into more detail about the differences between the QX55 and its less expressive platform-mate.

Besides the obvious

The first difference you will notice is that the QX50 has a traditional crossover shape, whereas the QX55 has an aggressive "coupe" profile with a roofline that slopes down toward the back. This makes the QX55 look sportier, but of course it also cuts into interior space. Specifically, the QX55 has 54.1 cubic feet of maximum cargo space versus 65.1 cubes for the QX50. It also loses 1.5 inches of rear headroom.

Aside from that, the 2022 QX55's biggest differences are under the hood, at least compared to the 2021 QX50. Like the current QX50, the QX55 uses a four-cylinder engine known as "VC-Turbo," which can utilize high compression for efficient cruising or switch to low compression when performance is needed.

But as our First Drive of the QX55 noted, "Infiniti retuned the engine and continuously variable automatic transmission" to improve performance. Here's what that means in greater depth:

  • A new torque converter is designed to add pep off the line.
  • The transmission software has been retuned for both increased sportiness and better efficiency.

In short, compared with the 2021 QX50, the 2022 QX55 is designed to be more aggressive when you're driving hard and more efficient when you're not.

At this time, it's unclear whether these upgrades will migrate over to the 2022 QX50 when that model is released. We'll have to wait for more details from Infiniti in the future. For now at least, the QX55 has a more advanced version of the VC-Turbo powertrain than its QX50 sibling.

We liked the result during our short time behind the wheel of the QX55. We'll know more about how it stacks up against the QX50, not to mention the X4 and the GLC Coupe, once we're able to perform a full test.

Packaging and pricing

Other notable changes that stand out to us can be found in the order guide. For example, the 2021 QX50 offers its own base trim level — Pure — at a lower price than the base QX55. Instead of an entry-level Pure trim, the QX55 starts with the better-equipped Luxe model.

The 2021 QX50 also comes standard with 19-inch wheels and front-wheel drive, leaving you the option to upgrade to all-wheel drive. However, the QX55 is only available with 20-inch wheels and all-wheel drive.

One interesting feature that is not currently available on the 2021 QX50, but comes standard on the 2022 QX55, is wireless Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.

Ultimately, if you equip the two Infinitis with similar features and calculate their prices, the QX55 will likely cost several thousand dollars more than the QX50. Infiniti is betting that for some shoppers, the extra style will be worth it.

Edmunds says

Infiniti is on the right track with its updates to the engine and transmission in the QX55. It's significantly more expensive than the QX50 to start, but it's also equipped with more features that are in high demand. Check back once we've had a chance to measure the QX55 on our test track to see if the changes amount to a package worth buying.