To put it simply, everything about the redesigned QX50 looks better than its predecessor. From the attractive creases on the sides of the vehicle, to the sharp-looking grille and headlamp design, this redesign hits all of its targets, making it instantly one of the most attractive luxury crossovers of its size. The QX50 features 19-inch wheels, with an option to upgrade to 20s.
The inside is also a big hit, which is the norm for Infiniti. The design allows for a roomy front and back seat, seating five comfortably (if one in the back is a child) or four adults (even tall ones). The trunk is also roomy for its segment vs. most competitors.
Being a luxury vehicle, there’s a certain level of class expected. And you get it in the QX50, equal to or better than most competitors. The diamond stitching and high-end interior design with its soft-touch suede and leather keeps Infiniti’s interior design among the best in class.
You can tell this is an area that gets a lot of attention in the design process.
You can also opt for a panoramic power sliding moonroof, and get plenty of creature comforts like a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, plus tri-zone automatic climate control. The suede touches are also optional but look and feel very nice.
The 2019 Infiniti QX50 is unique under the hood, as it’s the first vehicle to feature a 2.0-liter variable compression turbo (VCT) four-cylinder engine. This is paired with an continuously variable automatic transmission. The end result of the VCT engine is an ability to maintain a quality driving experience while also promoting fuel efficiency, and some impressive passing ability.
Numbers produced are 268 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque. My test vehicle was all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive is standard, with AWD being an option.
Four drive modes are offered, and all present a positive experience in their own way. You can choose from Eco, Normal, Sport and Personal.
Sport mode should be reserved for more open roads where you can really appreciate it, not when you’re stuck in traffic, and it’s one of the best experiences I’ve had driving an SUV, both in terms of power and responsiveness. It’s not exactly a sports car feel, but it offers a much-improved drive quality over most of the vehicles in its class.
Even in Normal mode, the QX50 offers a very enjoyable drive. And Eco mode is meant to boost your mpg, so not exactly a thrill a minute. But it serves its purpose at the pump.
The 2019 QX50 features a two-screen infotainment system, and responds to voice commands well. The setup allows you to leave navigation up top, and leave radio controls down below. It is looking a bit dated compared to rivals, but still works well.
The dial to control the system works well, but the button configuration is a bit tricky and takes a bit to get used to. Also, there is no compatibility with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, putting Infiniti behind its competition in this regard.
For music lovers, an impressive Bose stereo system with 16 speakers is offered as part of the Sensory package, which also features upgrades in lighting and other areas for a total of $7,500.
A rearview monitor is included, and there are a bevy of tech features to improve safety, including: Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection; Predictive Forward Collision Warning; Blind Spot Warning; Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection; Front and rear parking sensors, and more.
Perhaps most important and helpful are the Propilot Assist and Propilot Active package options, which are yet another step on the journey toward cars becoming more automated in the future.
Assist package features Backup Collision Intervention, Distance Control Assist, Intelligent Cruise Control and Rear Cross Traffic Alert for an affordable $550. Active package adds in Blind Spot Intervention, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention, High Beam Assist, Head Up Display and Direct Adaptive Steering, for another $2,000.
Official fuel mileage numbers on the 2019 QX50 are 24 city/30 highway/26 combined, which is at the top of the class of luxury compact SUVs (which also includes the Lexus NX, BMW X3, Audi Q5, and Cadillac XT5, among others).
In my real-world testing, I stayed mostly in sport mode, so my numbers were lower than the listed amounts (closer to 20 mpg). But accounts from those who have tested the QX50 less aggressively tend to hold up the official numbers, pushing 30 mpg when you stick to Eco mode.
My test vehicle was topped out with features and ended up priced just over $59K. But the base price starts about $37K, so there is lots of room between, depending what features you decide are necessary to have. The good news is that not only does the QX50 top its competitors in many key areas, it’s also more affordable than most of them too.
Infiniti’s stock in the compact luxury SUV rankings just grew tremendously with the new 2019 QX50, going from an outdated model to one that can challenge the leaders of the pack in this segment, thanks to a beautiful new design and a stout package under the hood.
Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.