Used 2016 INFINITI QX50 Review

Edmunds expert review

With the 2016 Infiniti QX50's growth spurt, our criticism of its cramped backseat has been addressed. There are still better choices than this aging crossover, but it's a decent value.




What's new for 2016

The 2016 Infiniti QX50 returns in a single trim level with a newly stretched wheelbase that creates substantially more rear legroom. The exterior styling has also been revised, while additional standard features include LED daytime running lights, a sunroof and heated seats. The Premium Plus package is new this year.

Vehicle overview

Words often have multiple meanings, and so it is with the "new" 2016 Infiniti QX50. On the one hand, Infiniti has given its compact luxury crossover a newly stretched wheelbase. The rear seat is the primary beneficiary, as it gains a useful 4.3 inches of legroom, putting the QX50 on equal footing with its competitors. This "Q" also rides more smoothly than before, as vehicles with longer wheelbases feel more stately on the highway.

Otherwise, the QX50 is largely unchanged from last year, which is a good and bad thing. The good part is that the QX50 remains one of the more engaging small luxury crossovers to drive, what with its 325-horsepower V6 and sporty underpinnings that are distantly related to the Nissan 370Z sports car. The bad part is that it hasn't received a full redesign since it debuted as the EX35 back in 2008. From its relatively poor fuel economy and dated 7-inch infotainment display to its lack of expected features like a power liftgate and standard Bluetooth audio (it's optional), the QX50 is showing its age. We're not enamored of its humble 18-cubic-foot cargo capacity, either -- even the compact Volkswagen Golf hatchback can swallow more stuff.

Even with the stretched wheelbase this year, the 2016 Infiniti QX50 remains an attractive crossover, inside and out.

While the QX50 has gotten a new lease on life, there are several other luxury crossover models that are worth a close look. The Acura RDX can't match the Infiniti's sharp handling, but it offers more cargo space and a significantly less thirsty V6. The BMW X3 will probably cost you more, but it's also better at just about everything. Same goes for the Audi Q5, which is nearly as old as the Infiniti but has managed to age more gracefully. In the final measure, the 2016 Infiniti QX50 may end up seeming a bit too familiar apart from its "new" dimensions, but it might still merit consideration if the price is right.




Trim levels & features

The 2016 Infiniti QX50 is a compact crossover SUV with seating for five passengers. It's offered in one well-equipped trim level and a choice of standard rear-wheel or available all-wheel drive.

Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic halogen headlights, heated power-folding outside mirrors, a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, a four-way power front passenger seat, heated front seats, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, cruise control, a trip computer, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio preparation, a USB port and auxiliary audio/video input jacks.

Options, most of which are grouped into packages, include the Premium package, which bundles aluminum roof rails, an advanced climate control system, a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver memory settings, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, genuine maple interior trim and an 11-speaker Bose audio system.

The Premium Plus package includes front and rear parking sensors, a touchscreen navigation system, voice controls, Bluetooth streaming audio and a 360-degree camera system (Infiniti's "Around View Monitor").

The Deluxe Touring package adds 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, driver power lumbar, an eight-way power front passenger seat, upgraded dashboard trim, power-folding second-row seats and a built-in coat hanger on the back of the driver seat.

Finally, the Technology package includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, blind spot warning, lane departure warning and lane departure intervention.

The QX50's cabin is well-appointed, but the technology interface is outdated compared to systems like BMW's iDrive and Audi's MMI.



Performance & mpg

Under the hood, the 2016 Infiniti QX50 gets a 3.7-liter V6 engine that produces 325 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Power is put to the pavement via a seven-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is available as an option.

The big V6 posts disappointing EPA fuel economy ratings of 20 mpg combined (17 city/25 highway) with rear-wheel drive and 20 mpg combined (17/24) with all-wheel drive.

Safety

The 2016 Infiniti QX50 is equipped with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.

The optional Technology package adds forward-collision warning and mitigation through automatic engagement of the brakes. Also included are blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and lane-departure prevention.

Driving

The 2016 Infiniti QX50 has a pleasantly supple ride, but its performance-tinged roots are also apparent. The chassis is taut and complemented by precise, responsive steering that has a nice heft to it, while the transmission blips the throttle like a racecar driver on manual downshifts. As for the naturally aspirated 325-hp V6, it's got plenty of sauce at higher rpm, but it lacks the urgent shove off the line that turbocharged engines provide. Furthermore, you can feel the V6 vibrating through the steering wheel during hard acceleration, which is an unusual and undesirable experience for a luxury-branded vehicle.

Interior

The cabin of the 2016 Infiniti QX50 has an upscale feel throughout. Materials quality is generally good, with standard leather upholstery accented by available maple trim. The overall design has begun to look rather dated compared to more modern crossovers, however. That impression is backed up by the relatively small 7-inch central display screen and the lack of standard Bluetooth streaming audio, though we do like the bird's-eye view in tight spaces provided by the optional Around View monitor.

The QX50's front seats are adequately comfortable on long trips, though the steering wheel could stand to telescope out another inch or two for long-legged drivers. The rear compartment's 4.3 inches of additional legroom for 2016 don't exactly turn this crossover into a limousine, but the result is appreciably more spacious seating that can accommodate even taller adults without issue. The rear seat cushion is notable for its generous height, enhancing under-thigh support and giving rear passengers a nice view of the scenery.

The biggest gains for the 2016 QX50 are in the backseat, where occupants will enjoy a 4.3-inch increase in legroom.

When it comes to hauling things rather than people, the QX50 offers 18.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, which is about as stingy as it gets in this segment. Fold those seatbacks down -- at the touch of a button, on models so equipped -- and you have a nearly flat load floor with 50.1 cubic feet of cargo room, slightly more than the outgoing model. The lack of a power liftgate is a rare shortcoming for a vehicle in this class.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.