2020 Infiniti QX50 review



Intro

Second year into production, the current generation of the Infiniti QX50 was first unveiled at the 2017 LA Auto Show. It was completely redesigned to compete with the likes of Audi Q5 and the Acura RDX. The redesigned QX50 features a bold exterior, a roomy interior, and a new infotainment system that features a dual screen design. 

For 2020, the QX50 includes more advanced safety features for all trims, and support for both Apple Carplay and Android Auto are now . 

Thanks to Infiniti Canada, I was loaned the QX50 AWD Sensory for one week to test drive. Below is my unbiased review. 

Exterior
The 2020 QX50 has a bold, yet elegant look that is defined by strong, sculptural lines, and muscular proportions. The company calls this design language "Powerful Elegance", which sets the QX50 apart from many of its competitors. 

At the front, the signature double-arch grille looks extra wide and prominent. There are no gaps between the grille and the hood. Slim LED headlights with the signature boomerang style light signature look like a pair of angry eyes. The clamshell hood has a uniquely striking look that is made possible by utilizing a four-link hinge system. Two sharp-edged character lines flow from the hood to the A-pillars to meet with the belt lines on the sides. The integration of A-pillars into the design makes the hood appear longer, and gives the QX50 a sportier profile. 

The car looks more elegant from the side. Sweeping character lines and muscular contours of the door panels are nicely accompanied by the 20" alloy wheels which are set further apart to maximize interior space. The daylight opening is highlighted by chrome trims and features the signature crescent cut D-pillar. Compared to the previous generation, the aerodynamic efficiency of the QX50 has been improved by 6 percent. 

From the back, the LED taillights match the shape of the front headlamps. A chrome strip runs across the tailgate to connect the taillights, and completes the belt line that originated from the ridges of the hood. Dual exhaust tips and the silver skit plate gives the QX50 a more rugged appearance from the back. 

All in all, the 2020 QX50 is a good looking car. While looking bolder than many of its rivals, the QX50 finds a good balance between sophistication and masculinity. The exterior design that should appeal to a large audience. 














Interior
The QX50 has an upscale interior that is elegant, hightech, and functional. The asymmetric design of the deck is driver-centric. All the controls are designed to be easily reachable by the driver, while the front passenger gets to relax and enjoy the beautifully designed front deck. The front deck consists of a top layer which forms a subtle sun shade for the touchscreen. Quality materials including faux-suede headliner, open-pore wood panels, and aluminum trims gives the front cabin a truly luxurious feel. 

The front leather seats are not only beautiful to look at but very comfortable for long rides. The leather surface can either be smooth or quilting. Contrast color stitching paired with thick piping highlights the contours of the seats. The seats are both heated and ventilated. The aggressive side bolsters hug the passenger and provide excellent lateral supports. 

The rear seats of the QX50 deserve special mention. Not only are they reclinable, but a sliding bench design makes the interior space highly flexible. There is plenty of legroom for the rear passengers when the seats are slided to the back most position. Rear seat warmers are available. In addition, the dedicated air vents behind the center console is accompanied by its own automatic climate controls, and charging ports. Another notable interior feature of the QX50 is the massive panoramic moonroof, which is standard on all models except for the most basic. It provides a dramatic view of the sky and visually enhances interior space for the rear passengers. 

The interior of the QX50 is my favorite out of all the Infiniti vehicles I have test driven so far. Finally, the quality materials appointed by Infiniti to its cars are matched with a modern, well-thought-out design. It competes well with the best in class. 












Infotainment
The infotainment system of the QX50 is a great leap forward from the last generation infotainment design that should have been replaced 5 years ago. The new system mainly consists of two large touch displays in the center console. The top 8-inch display is mainly for navigation, and the 7-inch lower display controls the rest of the infotainment functions. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard on all grade levels, and the QX50 comes with its own InTouch apps that syncs with your phone for email, navigation, even Facebook.

The top display also provides a split screen view when you are parking. One side displays a 360 degree camera view and the other side displays a closed up camera view. The navigation/camera system has its own set of dedicated dials and buttons in the center console. Overall, the graphic interface is responsive and intuitive. However, some tasks would require you to dig deeper into the menu than necessary. I was particularly annoyed by the fact that the heated steering wheel control can only be accessed through the touchscreen, while the seat warmer/ventilator has its own dedicated buttons. 

The instrumental panel comes with its own digital display in the middle. It displays relevant vehicle information like fuel economy rating, trip information, and safety feature settings, etc. The display is controlled via the well laid out switches on the steering wheel.

Our tester also comes equipped with a Head-Up Display that shows important warnings and information on a 9-inch area on the windscreen, and an optional 16-speaker Bose audio system that sounds rich and balanced. 







Safety and Driver Assistance
Infiniti includes a host of standard safety features for all 2020 QX50 trims. They include:
  • Rear Automatic Braking 
  • Blind Spot Warning
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection
  • High Beam Assist
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert and rear parking sensors
Other optional features include:
  • Traffic Sign Recognition (added to the ProACTIVE Package)
  • Around View Monitor (AVM)
  • Moving Object Detection 
  • Front/Rear parking sensors
  • Pre-crash seat belt technology
  • Adaptive Front lighting System 
It earns a 5 star safety rating from NHTSA.

 
Driving
Every QX50 is powered by a 2.0L Variable Compression (VC) Turbo engine that produces 268 horsepower and 280 lb.ft. of torque. The engine is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that directs the power to the all wheel drive (AWD) system. 

The unique VC technology continuously adjusts the compression ratio using a multi-link system to control the piston's reach. A high compression ratio gives greater fuel efficiency, and a low compression ration allows for greater power and torque. In operation, the VC turbo engine adjusts the compression ratio between 8:1 and 14:1. It achieves performance close to some V6 engines while maintaining fuel economy of 9.7 L/100km combined. 

The drive train combo is capable of pushing the car from 0-100 in 6.7 seconds, and there is ample power to overtake other cars on highways. However, the CVT feels laggy at times, and the engine sounds loud under heavy throttle. This shouldn't be a problem for casual drives around town, but could bother enthusiastic drivers. 

The suspension of the QX50 is clearly tuned for comfort. It isolates vibration and road disturbances beautifully. While body roll is noticeable in corners, the car maintains good body control overall. The steering is precise and nicely weighted, but I would personally appreciate a bit more feedback. 

The QX50 is rated at 10.8L/100km city, 8.3L/100km highway, and  9.7L/100km combined. Our mostly city test drive returns a fuel economy rating of 12.1L/100km, a bit higher than expected.



Cargo Space & Storage
As I have said before, the QX50 is among the most spacious in the segment. There is 31.1 cu.ft. (880.7L) of trunk space with the rear seats in their rear-most position. This can be increased by sliding the rear seats forward. With the rear seats folded down, the cargo volume is increased to 66.4 cu.ft. (1880L) A large hidden under-floor storage can be used to stow valuable, or wet items. The power tailgate can be foot activated for closing and opening, and there is a 12V charging port in the trunk area. 

Inside the cabin, cleaver design provides plenty of storage options. The door pockets are among the largest, and both the storage bin under the center armrest and the glove compartment are decently sized. A small tray located at the front of the center console can hold your smartphone vertically, and the rear folding armrest is equipped with two additional cup holders and a slim storage tray. 











Verdict
The 2020 Infiniti QX50 clearly distinguished itself from the rest with a beautiful exterior, and a luxurious interior. It is also one of the most spacious SUVs in the segment, providing class-leading comfort and practicality. However, to compete with the best at this price range, the powertrain has to be more responsive and the handling has to be just a little bit shaper. For the majority of potential buyers, the QX50 provides all the ingredients of a great family SUV with style and luxury. 

Test Vehicle
QX50 AWD Sensory

MSRP
As tested: $59,943 CAD with Freight & PED

Color
Hermosa Blue

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