The Infiniti QX50 is basically a decent-handling wagon version of an old G35 that offers good value for the segment and loves to drink fuel. What do you need to know before you buy an Infiniti QX50? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything right here in our Buyer’s Guide.
Infiniti says their QX50 is one of the first “personal luxury crossovers” and that it “combines a sculpted, elegant exterior design, exhilarating driving performance and an engaging interior environment.”
We’ll give them the first and last points about exterior and interior refinement, as the QX50 looks handsome enough and the interior is definitely plush. On the second point about the driving experience, the fact that the QX50 gets hydraulic power steering and comes standard with rear-wheel drive is definitely a step in the right direction.
But our guy Andrew Collins drove one, and while the driving experience is better than average for this class of mostly smooth-sailing machines, it wasn’t enough to overcome the terrible fuel economy. Andrew says:
Running cost is the backbone of Japanese luxury brands’ very existence, and as decent as the QX50 is I’m not really sure how anyone could look see “17 MPG” on a car this small and slow and incapable of towing or going off-road and say to themselves; “seems reasonable.”
So with the Q50, you’ve got a luxury crossover built on an old Infiniti G35 platform that handles well, but not Macan-well. And while it comes pretty decked-out for its price-point, it’s not exciting to look at and sucks at fuel economy more than Squidward sucks at playing the clarinet.
It’s not a bad car by any means and really does offer good value, but this is a crossover, and crossover buyers expect to be able to skip a gas station or two. And if they can’t skip a gas station, they at least expect the thing to handle like a sports car, and the QX50 isn’t quite there.
The Infiniti QX50 is based off the old EX35, which debuted as a concept car at the 2007 New York Auto Show. That car saw some changes over the years before becoming the QX50. For one, in 2009 and 2011, Infiniti decided to slap on more standard content, like Infiniti tends to do. In ‘09, leather and a rearview monitor became standard. In ‘11, the EX35 got a seven-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch alloy wheels and dual-zone climate control all as standard.
Then, in 2013, the EX35 got a more powerful 3.7-liter V6 and became the EX37. The following year, the EX37 got the new name: QX50. And finally, for 2016, Infiniti decided to tackle customers’ biggest gripe about their “personal luxury crossover” and give it some actual rear legroom.
The 2016 QX50 has a 3.2-inch longer wheelbase than the ‘15 model and it’s 4.5-inches longer overall. This results in a whopping 4.3-inches of additional legroom for back passengers. That’s a ton more legroom. Also new for ‘16 is some additional ground clearance, updated front and rear fascias, new standard content like a moonroof and revised option packages.
Which One We’d Buy
The QX50 comes in two main models: QX50 and QX50 AWD. All QX50s come with old-fashioned hydraulic power steering, a multi-link rear suspension design and a double-wishbone setup in the front. Brakes are 12.6-inch vented rotors in the front and 12.1-inch vented discs out back.
Like all Infiniti’s, the QX50 comes very well-equipped. You get leather seats, heated power front seats, Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, satellite radio, bluetooth, a rearview monitor, 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, six-speaker audio system with speed sensitive volume, a moonroof and a 7-inch display with a special controller.
If we were buying an Infiniti QX50, we’d just grab the standard rear-wheel drive model. It comes with plenty of standard features and we liked its steering better than the all-wheel drive model’s. With destination, we’d be paying $35,445.
MSRP: $34,450-$35,850 Top Speed: 140 MPH (estimate)
Acceleration: ~6.0s to 60 (estimate)
MPG: 17 city/ 24 hwy / 20 combined
Engines: 3.7L V6
Max Horsepower/Torque: 325 hp/267 lb-ft
Max Advertised Towing Capacity: Not Advertised
Curb Weight: 3,885-4,020 pounds IIHS Rating: Not Fully Tested (‘15MY)
Transmissions: 7-speed automatic
Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, RWD/AWD
Photo credit: Infiniti