2017 INFINITI QX50 Review
Pros & Cons
- Powerful standard V6 engine
- Rresponsive handling more akin to a sport sedan than a sport-utility
- Limited cargo space
- That standard V6 engine is pretty thirsty
- All-or-nothing option packages mean you'll probably pay for things you don't want
- Dated interior controls
Edmunds' Expert Review
Originally known as the EX35, the Infiniti QX50 was ahead of its time when it debuted in 2008. Here was a vehicle that offered the raised ride height and all-wheel drive of an SUV but with smaller, more manageable proportions and a lower price tag than more traditional SUVs. These days, most luxury automakers have followed Infiniti's lead and joined the small luxury crossover bandwagon. The issue you might find, though, is that the 2017 Infiniti QX50 is still a lot like that 2008 EX35.
On the upside, the QX50 boasts a sharp driving experience more like a sport sedan than a small utility vehicle. That includes a standard V6 engine that pumps out massively more power than anything in its price range. Though that V6 might be powerful, it's also far thirstier than the turbocharged four-cylinder engines in rival crossovers. The QX50 also suffers from a small cargo area, a ride height that isn't really all that elevated and Infiniti's older infotainment interface. The way Infiniti structures the QX50's all-or-nothing options packages is another possible turnoff, at least for new-vehicle shoppers.
In our opinion, it's probably best to focus on the 2017 QX50's rivals, including the well-rounded BMW X1, the value-rich and spacious Acura RDX, and the well-made, distinctive Lexus NX 200t. They deliver a better mix of size, price and performance than this aging, onetime-trendsetting Infiniti.
The Infiniti QX50 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. The optional Technology package, which requires you to specify all other options packages, includes a forward collision warning and automatic braking system, lane departure warning and intervention, and a blind-spot monitoring system.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the QX50 the best possible rating of Good in its side-impact and moderate-overlap front-impact crash tests.
2017 INFINITI QX50 models
The 2017 Infiniti QX50 is a compact luxury SUV that seats five people. There is a single trim level.
Standard features include 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, a sunroof, heated mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated power front seats (eight-way-adjustable driver, four-way passenger), leather upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and a USB port.
There are multiple option packages, but as you read the descriptions, keep in mind that they have to be ordered along with those that were previously described. There's no picking and choosing.
The Premium package adds driver memory settings, a power-adjustable steering wheel, an air purifier, roof rails, an auto-dimming interior mirror and an 11-speaker Bose sound system. The Premium Plus package can be added to that, and it includes Bluetooth streaming audio, a navigation system, voice controls, front and rear parking sensors and a 360-degree parking camera system. To those packages, the Deluxe Touring package can be added. It includes 19-inch wheels (available separately), adaptive xenon headlights, an eight-way power passenger seat, two-way power driver-seat lumbar adjustment, and a power-folding backseat. And finally, to all of that, you can add the Technology package. It includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and intervention, forward collision warning and automatic braking, and a blind-spot monitoring system.
There is only one engine option in the 2017 Infiniti QX50: a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 325 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, and all-wheel drive is an option.
All of that power means the QX50 is quick to accelerate, but it does come with a fuel economy penalty. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg combined (17 city/24 highway) regardless of whether you get rear- or all-wheel drive. For comparison, the BMW X1 is substantially more fuel-efficient at 26 mpg combined, while Infiniti's new QX30 is good for 27 mpg combined.
The 2017 Infiniti QX50 drives more like a sport sedan than a sport-utility. It's taut and composed when you're driving around turns, and you'll like the precise and responsive steering. The QX50 definitely feels sportier than the typical small SUV. Backing that up further is the non-turbocharged 325-hp V6 that quite simply blows away competitors' turbocharged four-cylinder engines that typically offer about 100 fewer horses. Then again, that engine is getting on in age, and it exhibits a rather rough character with excessive vibrations. The QX50 also isn't that high off the ground. Not only is there less clearance, but you won't get the same commanding view of the road offered by most rivals.
The Infiniti QX50's cabin 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 certain features such as multiple USB ports. Plus, Bluetooth audio isn't standard, and you have to pony up for a pair of pricey packages to get it.
The QX50's front seats are adequately comfortable on long trips, though the steering wheel could telescope out another inch or two for long-legged drivers. The rear compartment's 4.3 inches of additional legroom introduced last year don't exactly turn it 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.
Cargo volume remains a major issue, however, even as that extra wheelbase swelled maximum space to 50.1 cubic feet. That's still pretty limited, trailing every compact luxury SUV (BMW X3, Audi Q5, etc.), and barely topping smaller models such as the Audi Q3. With the backseat raised, this problem gets even worse, with a paltry 18.6 cubic feet of space that's barely better than a sedan's trunk.