The 2023 Infiniti QX50 is trying to shake off its image as an unassuming or demure crossover with a new sporty vibe. With this latest model, Infiniti is adding a Sport grade to the QX50 lineup to make it more exciting, and to finally quell rabid Infiniti fans who lamented the lack of engagement in the crossover.
The QX50 Sport will get distinctive styling that’ll differentiate it among lesser and higher trims, including an aggressive front end, 20-inch dark-painted wheels and gloss black trim. But it’s still an Infiniti, and still a crossover. Meaning, the new model’s enhancements are conservative — an exercise in paint by the numbers SPORT styling, which is a shame since the technology in the QX50's engine is actually cool.
The new Infiniti QX50 is still powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine featuring variable compression, and makes 268 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. The VC-Turbo engine can raise or lower the stroke of the pistons, and choose the best compression ratio between 8:1 and 14:1 based on driving conditions and driver input. The idea is to switch between performance and efficiency, but ideas live in an ideal world; they die in the real one.
Previous models of the QX50 were neither that exciting nor all that efficient, and it looks like this new model is still not the most efficient: the 2023 Infiniti QX50 will get up to 23 miles par gallon city and 29 highway.
To be fair, this is a full-size crossover with a roomy second row that folds flat for 65.1 cubic feet of cargo space. It’s a car for people who need a car and not much else. Maybe a bit of luxury or acclaim from a badge that’s not, say, as common as others — to describe Infiniti’s market share in a positive light.
Infiniti is the only marque that struggles to sell blobby crossovers and SUVs to Americans. The company insists on sticking to the same design for years, in the hope that the mere idea of an upscale Nissan is enough to sell cars. I’m telling you, Infiniti lives in an ideal world. This is Infiniti doing Infiniti things, adding a Sport trim to its crossover, but at least to one of its more popular models.
The 2023 Nissan Infiniti QX50 will go on sale this month with five available trims and an MSRP of $40,300 for the base model. All QX50 models include Infiniti Premium Care for up to three years, so you get free inspections, oil changes and tire rotations. The top model will be the Infiniti QX50 Autograph with AWD, which starts at $57,350. And the Infiniti QX50 Sport will be a mid-to-high grade, starting at $48,500 or $50,500 with AWD.