The QX50. What more can be said? Right off the bat, you would likely expect a negative evaluation of this vehicle that’s been on the market for nine years now.
Really? It wasn’t too long ago that Infiniti created its new product lineup, when all their cars are defined by the letter “Q” and all their SUVs use the letters “QX.” In reality, the QX50 is nothing more than an Infiniti EX37 with a new name, the latter being the EX35’s successor with a slightly bigger engine.
That being said, we must admit that the QX50 is an excellent vehicle, even after nine years.
When we look at the QX50, it has trouble hiding its age. At a time when all luxury vehicles – and this is one of them – are sculpted with great precision, the QX50’s lines are pretty conventional and is characterised by a transition period that already passed at Infiniti.
The cockpit’s styling is aging as well, with switchgear and an overall finish that we don’t really see anymore in the brand’s more recent products.
The best example here is the infotainment system that houses a large quantity of buttons that might have been necessary at the time, but that manufacturers are now trying to integrate to their touchscreens. On the other hand, the system in the QX50 remains perfectly functional.
The front seats are somewhat difficult to access for taller folks because of a steeply raked A-pillar. However, the vehicle’s longer wheelbase, new for 2016, considerably increases legroom for rear-seat occupants. Add an interesting driving position to the mix, and those A-pillars will be easily forgotten.
QX50 vs. Q50
The QX50 boasts the same 3.7-litre V6 that’s found in the Q50, the brand’s sporty small sedan. The engine develops 325 horsepower, funnelled to all wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission.
This gearbox works very well, and surprisingly, the engine seems livelier in the QX50 than in the Q50. The latter’s 80-120 km/h passing times are impressive, but its 0-100 km/h sprint is a little disappointing, as if the car hesitated during blastoffs. The QX50 feels more ferocious off the line, and that’s a good thing!
An execution that’s beyond reproach
Sure, the model isn’t new, but it does possess many great qualities. The little SUV’s handling and driving dynamics are sporty, and yet they don’t compromise the ride comfort we should expect from a utility vehicle.
In the end, by trying to constantly innovate, we push aside some very good vehicles that lose some of their magic as they get improved.
The QX50 is still modern in the sense that its road manners continue to shine. In 2008, it probably was amazing, and today, it can still do the job we ask of it.