The Infiniti QX50, introduced in 2007 as the EX and rebadged in 2013, is a compact crossover SUV, more often considered a sport luxury hatchback due to being less rugged and versatile than other crossover SUVs.
The EX was the first production vehicle to offer Nissan’s Around View Monitor, and one of the first to feature Scratch Shield “self-healing” clearcoat paint. The EX was the second Infiniti vehicle to offer Lane Departure Prevention.
For 2016, the QX50 got a facelift, a roomier interior, and some new technologies.
Two models are available, both with a 325-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6 engine teamed with a seven-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control and manual shift mode.
One model is rear-wheel drive with Snow Mode ($34,450), and the other has Intelligent All-Wheel Drive ($35,850). The QX50 is EPA rated at 17 mpg city/24 highway for both models. Four packages are available and 10 accessories are offered, including a moon roof wind deflector for $91 and a cargo cover for $270.
Seven exterior colors are offered and six interior color combinations are available – Wheat, Graphite, and Chestnut with Black Laquer and Aluminum trim standard, and with Maple trim available in the Premium Package for $500.
Model year 2016 brought several changes including a wheelbase that is 3.2-inches longer (113.4-inches versus 110.2-inches; overall length now 186.8-inches versus 182.3-inches; and interior volume now 115.4 cubic feet versus 107.1 cubic feet).
Exterior changes included a new front bumper and lower front fascia, LED daytime running lights, signature Infiniti-style double-arch grille, side mirrors with LED turn signals, a new Hagane Blue exterior color, and rear bumper and lower fascia; updated side sill styling; and moon roof standard for both models. New 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels are now available in the Deluxe Touring Package ($2,400).
The increase in interior space translates to 4.3-inches more rear leg room and 3.9-inches more rear knee room. A wide rear hatch and low load floor make for a versatile vehicle for daily driving or weekend fun.
For this review I drove a striking Midnight Garnet QX50 with Chestnut leather interior with Maple trim, riding on the new 19-inch split five-spoke wheels with all-season tires. The leather seat surfaces had linear stitching and the dash had a “tucked” appearance, giving the interior a plush feel.
The Premium Package (Maple trim) also brought a Bose 11-speaker Premium Sound System with in-dash CD/DVD and MP3 capability; Advanced Climate Control System; dual-occupant memory system for driver’s seat, outside mirrors and steering, linked to individual Intelligent Keys; entry/exit assist for driver’s seat and steering wheel; outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down; auto-dimming inside mirror with Homelink Universal Transceiver; power tilt-telescopic steering wheel; and aluminum roof rails.
The Advanced Climate Control System with microfilter consistently cleans the air and helps prevent germs and allergens from entering the cabin. An Infiniti Controller – a rotating knob with integrated directional buttons, surrounded by clearly labeled buttons for specific functions – handled all the comfort and convenience features from a central location on the upper center stack.
The signature Infiniti exterior styling included large L-shaped headlights with the new LED daytime running lights, distinctive LED taillights and “dynamic arch” profile, which gives the QX50 a coupe-like appearance.
Adaptive front lighting with auto-leveling HID xenon headlights; eight-way power front passenger’s seat; two-way power driver’s seat lumbar support; a coat hanger on the driver’s seat headrest; power fold-up second-row seats (60/40); and premium stitching on the meter hood were also included in the Deluxe Touring Package (19-inch wheels). The sculpted wheel spokes, in a stylized “Y” design, were painted silver with darker pockets.
A Premium Plus Package for $2,000 added Infiniti navigation with 3-D building graphics, a seven-inch color touch-screen display, Around View Monitor with front and rear sonar, XM Nav traffic and Weather with real-time traffic and weather updates (SiriusXM is standard), and streaming audio via Bluetooth (Bluetooth technology is standard).
For the first four years of ownership, Infiniti offers a Personal Assistant to provide 24-hour access to a team of professionals, using a pre-registered phone, to answer questions, supply weather forecasts, find phone numbers or addresses, or perform tasks such as making hotel or dinner reservations.
My QX50 also had a Technology Package for $2,750, which brought Intelligent Cruise Control, Distance Control Assist, Intelligent Brake Assist with Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, and Aluminum Pedals.
Safety and security were addressed by the Infiniti Advance Air Bag System, including front seat-mounted side-impact air bags, roof-mounted curtain side-impact air bags (front and rear); the LATCH system for child seats; child safety rear door locks; and the Infiniti Vehicle Immobilizer System.
Sequential welcome lighting – activated by the approach of the Intelligent Key – lit a puddle light on the driver’s mirror and turned on interior lights. Our car’s Illuminated Kick Plates ($440) added another element to the welcome.
After adding $8,090 in options and accessories and $995 destination charges, the total delivered price for my beautiful QX50 was $43,535.
The automotive columns of Emma Jayne Williams have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 2007. Contact her at email@example.com.