First Impressions: 2019 Infiniti QX50

2019 Infiniti QX50

We got to drive the fully redesigned 2019 Infiniti QX50 at the 2018 Midwest Automotive Association annual Spring Rally. 

By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, | May 2018

This compact luxury SUV was on hiatus for 2018 but is back with a fresh and modern design. Infiniti gave us the opportunity to get acquainted with the new QX50 on the easygoing Wisconsin country roads that surround Road America, though we had only a short time to learn as much as we could.

The redesigned QX50 has car-like handling and, from behind the wheel, feels quite a bit smaller than it actually is. The power isn’t particularly impressive, but it’s definitely not lacking, either. This vehicle features a groundbreaking variable compression engine, though shoppers only really need to know that it’s a turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 268 horsepower, paired to a fuel-efficient CVT. Acceleration is quick, responsive, smooth, and effortless; it just lacks the “ooomph” that we look for in an upscale vehicle. There’s no drama. The steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters are a nice touch and help add a little excitement to the driving experience. However, when we downshifted manually via paddle shifter, it took an unusually long time for the engine and transmission to match back up again. To be fair, excitement might not be Infiniti’s goal, here.

There are two screens, a display for navigation and a touch screen for the infotainment system. We really liked the arrangement of the display, in that there was no glare on the screens and they were easy to see. It’s a big upgrade from the previous model’s infotainment system, which was seriously outdated, especially in this competitive class. Still, there were a lot of redundant-seeming controls and some visual clutter.  

Interior refinement is top notch. Soft-touch materials abound, even on the dash, held together with stylish contrast stitching. Infiniti goes above and beyond by using a decorative stitching pattern. The seating is comfortable, and though we didn’t get the opportunity to really check out the second row, it looks quite spacious. The cabin is incredibly quiet inside and we barely felt any bumps in the road, even traveling quickly over a set of train tracks that caused some discomfort in other vehicles we drove the same day. The big takeaway from our short time with the redesigned QX50 is that it’s really comfortable, and in fact, one of the most comfortable vehicles we drove at the rally.

The 2019 Infiniti QX50 starts at $36,550 and is available now.

2018-07-06T20:17:07-04:00Jul 2018|Car Reviews|