2019 Infiniti QX50 Sensory Review

The 2019 Infiniti QX50 is, according to the company, the most compelling Infiniti to date. On the outside, it looks relatively conventional, but under the hood, the QX50 is powered by the world's first production-ready variable compression ratio engine. I will explain about how this impressive technology works and why it is important later in the review. But needless to say, I was very excited to test drive this brand new addition to Infiniti's luxury SUV lineup.

Thanks to Infiniti Canada, I was given the QX50 for a week to test drive. Read on for my unbiased review.

The QX50's aerodynamic exterior follows the company's QX Sport concept. It offers a sporty exterior without looking too aggressive. The front fascia is dominated by an array of mesh-style grilles and a pair of signature I-LED headlights. Two sharp character lines rise across the front hood and transition into the front wheel arches.

The use of deep creases and chrome highlights keep the side profile visual interesting . And the 20' dark tinted aluminum wheels enhances that sporty feel of the car. The signature crescent-shaped D-pillar looks sharper here than in other models.

The rear of the car looks elegant with linear design elements that make the car looks wide and composed. Slender LED taillights are bridged by a prominent, sculpted chrome trim. And the silver rocker panel, which houses the rectilinear dual exhaust tips, keeps the car looking light on its feet.

I very much enjoy the exterior design of the QX50. It achieves a good balance between sportiness and elegance while maintaining a uniquely Infiniti look.

The interior of the QX50 is a step up from the previous generation of Inifini's design. Fluid lines, artful decorations, and neatly positioned physical switchgear make the cabin both functional and visually beautiful. Soft touched materials are generously appointed. The center console is tilted slightly toward the driver, and half of it is covered in soft Alcantara surfaces. The white washed faux wood trim is tastefully implemented, but there is a slight color mismatch between the ones on the dash and the ones on the door panels. The NASA inspired zero gravity fronts seats are very comfortable. They compliment the quiet cabin and the soft ride.

I am pleasantly surprised by how much legroom there is in the rear cabin. The rear seats are comfortable and nicely bolstered. There is only a small bump in the middle of the rear cabin floor, making it that much more comfortable for the person sitting in the middle. The rear air vent has its own temperature control, and the panoramic sunroof gives the cabin of the QX50 an unobstructed, expansive view.

As you can probably tell, I am a fan of the interior of the QX50. While the fit and finishes might be just a little bit behind of its European counterparts, the overall design is both handsome and functional.

While I complained about the outdated infotainment system of the QX60 in my past review, the QX50 is equipped with the more updated dual-screen infotainment system we saw in the Q60. While the graphics can still use some work, the system is responsive and easy to navigate. The redundant buttons on the side of the lower screen, and the rotary dial beside the shifter are much appreciated as the touch screens can be hard to operate in a moving vehicle. Surprisingly there is no Android Auto and Apple Carplay in the menu.

The information LCD display in the instrument panel is large and crisp. They are controlled by the somewhat cramped buttons on the steering wheel. As for the audio, the 16-speaker Bose system sounds excellent especially in the absence of cabin noise.

Safety and Driver Assistance
QX50s with higher trims come with ProPILOT Assist Technology that facilitates semi autonomous driving in certain road conditions (single-lane highway driving).

The followings are standard for all trims:
  • Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW)
  • Forward Emergency Braking With Pedestrian Detection (PFEB)
  • Blind Spot Warning (BSW)
Above PROACTIVE trim, you also get:
  • ProPILOT Assist Technology
  • Lane Departure Warning & Prevention (LDP)
  • Blind Spot Intervention® (BSI®) System
  • Backup Collision Intervention (BCI)
  • Head-Up Display
  • Around View Monitor (AVM)
  • Adaptive Front Lighting System
It earns 5 star safety rating from NHTSA.

All 2019 QX50s come with AWD and CVT in Canada. The 2.0L Variable Compresesion (VC) Turbo engine produces 258hp of power and 280 lb.ft. of torque at only 1600rmp. The VC engine adjusts its compression ratio to optimize power and efficiency. It is achieved by using a multi-link system to continuously raise or lower the pistons' reach. The higher the reach, the higher the compression ration. High compression ratios aid efficiency, while low ratios enable greater power and torque. The VC-Turbo offers any compression ratio between 8:1 (for performance) and 14:1 (for efficiency), maximizing driver control. The fuel efficiency is further improved by utilizing a CVT. Indeed for a car this size, the QX50 has an impressive fuel economy rating of  9L/100km city/highway combined.

During our test drive, we notice very little turbo lag. It also delivers excellent throttle response on the highway. The CVT doesn't feel weak like some other ones we have tested, and our mostly city test drive returns a 11.1L/100km fuel economy rating.

The car does an excellent job of providing a comfortable ride while maintaining cornering stability. The steering while precise, lacks any meaningful feedback. This is more of a people hauler than a sports car.

Cargo Space & Storage
The QX50 does not disappoint when it comes to cargo capacity. There is 31.3 cu.ft. of cargo room behind the 2nd row seats, and 64.4 cu.ft. of cargo behind the first. A large underfloor compartment in the trunk provides additional storage space.

In cabin storage options are plentiful. All side pockets are deep and large, and so is the center console storage bin. The rear passengers enjoy a fold-down center armrest with two cup holders and a small bin for your cellphones.

While the general public might not appreciate the state of the art Variable Compression Ratio Engine in the QX50 as much as a car geek like myself, they will for sure appreciate the handsome exterior, upscale interior, ample storage, and great fuel economy of the car. The 2019 QX50 aims to compete with stiff competitions like the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Acura RDX. I would say, that it has a very good fighting chance.

Test Vehicle
$56,490CAD with Freight & PDE
Majestic White


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