2019 Infiniti QX50 First Look | Edmunds

2019 Infiniti QX50 First Look


Infiniti's compact QX50 has long been overdue for a makeover. Aside from a name swap from EX to QX in 2014 and some hardware tweaks along the way, this small luxury crossover SUV has essentially been on cruise control since its first model year in 2008. Now we finally get a fully redesigned model with the 2019 QX50, and the timing couldn't be better for luxury SUV shoppers.

2019 Infiniti QX50

The new QX50 grows in both height and width, but it is slightly shorter than the outgoing model. Exterior styling now resembles the look Infiniti has given its Q50 sedan and Q60 coupe, and we have to say the QX50 is a sharp-looking SUV. The new proportions help improve passenger and cargo space, too. Infiniti says there's 31.1 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats versus 18.6 cubes for the previous model. That figure can be further expanded by sliding up the rear bench seat — a distinctive feature within the class — or by folding the seats down to provide 64.4 cubic feet of maximum cargo space.

The interior of the QX50 is one of the nicer Infiniti interiors to date, with styling and material details that provide a handcrafted look and more interior storage for your personal items. Infiniti sticks with its dual center-screen display layout, which includes an 8-inch upper touchscreen with navigation and other driving-related info and a 7-inch lower touchscreen for climate controls and infotainment functions. If two monitors aren't enough, there is also a head-up display as well as a screen within the gauge cluster to help fill in the gaps.

2019 Infiniti QX50

At the heart of the new QX50 is an all-new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It's notable for being the first production vehicle engine to be capable of varying its compression ratio. Variable compression, which allows an engine to alter the amount it compresses the air-fuel mixture within the cylinders, isn't a new concept but has proved difficult to implement in a production car for various reasons. The benefit of the QX50's engine is that it can run a high compression to maximize fuel efficiency under a light load but then drop that compression to avoid harmful fuel pre-detonation (knocking) when power is needed and turbo boost pressure is increased.

In other words, variable compression helps the QX50's engine make more power and be more fuel-efficient compared to a regular engine. As a result, the engine produces 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque and returns an Infiniti-estimated 27 mpg combined in front-wheel-drive form. Both sets of figures are above average compared to those of rival crossovers such as the BMW X3, Lexus NX 300 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. Infiniti estimates the all-wheel-drive QX50 will accelerate to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, with the front-wheel-drive model a half step behind at 6.7 seconds — essentially on pace with the compact luxury segment.

2019 Infiniti QX50

The body of the QX50 is said to be 23 percent more torsionally rigid, which provides ride and handling benefits that work in concert with a new suspension design, offering over an inch and a half more ground clearance. Electronic features such as Active Brake Limited Slip and Active Trace Control help transfer power to the wheels with the most grip and help improve QX50's handling characteristics around turns when you're driving aggressively.

ProPilot Assist is Infiniti's new term for its suite of advanced active driving aids, and the QX50 receives the latest the company has to offer. The assist functions are pretty familiar and include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring and a few others commonly available. But it can also include Infiniti's optional direct adaptive steering, which is a steer-by-wire system that uses electrical connections in lieu of mechanical links to turn the front wheels. Through this system, Infiniti says, it can better tailor the driving experience, whether it be filtering out road imperfections or providing increased steering response.

2019 Infiniti QX50

Overall, we like what we see with the 2019 Infiniti QX50. It's improved in just about every area and should be a compelling choice for luxury crossover SUV shoppers. Infiniti has yet to announce pricing and an on-sale date, but expect the new QX50 to arrive within the first half of 2018.

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