Midsized sport-utility vehicles are one of the essentials in any carmaker’s line-up these days and Infiniti is certainly no exception.
The QX50, in fact, is the most important part of Infiniti’s sales these days as crossovers now represent more than 70% of the brand’s total sales in the United States.
The 2021 QX50 is a nicely balanced vehicle with solid driving dynamics, a comfortable interior and a well-integrated menu of technology. For those reasons, it holds its own in a crowded and hotly contested segment, at the very heart of the contemporary automotive segment.
Infiniti is one of the pioneers in the luxury end of this market, and it certainly maintained its edge and kept its designs looking fresh, which is a major challenge all by itself.
The 2021 Infiniti QX50 follows the lines of the traditional two-box shape, which is offered in five different levels, Pure, Luxe, Essential, Sensory and the Autograph version, which I had an opportunity to drive. The Autograph trim level comes with an impressive grille with the Infiniti badge highlighted in the center. It also has distinctive light fixtures in the front and rear, while the sheet metal includes crisp lines, giving the vehicle a more contemporary look.
The version I drove also had a panoramic moonroof to bring light into the interior. The ute’s roof rails suggest the QX50 is ready for adventure and 20-inch dark painted wheels accentuate the vehicle’s aggressive stance.
One of the main attractions of any utility vehicle is the ability to carry all kinds of stuff and the load in and take out and the liftgate in the QX50 is easy to use, while the rear opening is large enough for diverse cargo.
The interior of 2021 QX50 is furnished with a nice blend of materials, including maple wood trim, and textures giving the cabin a luxurious feel without being overly ostentatious. The technology, such as driver assistance features, navigation and the connectivity package are nicely integrated with the vehicle’s controls.
The information displays in the QX50’s cabin are also neatly done, offering such as speed and fuel levels as well as other information displays about the vehicle’s operation. The cabin also is very quiet, which eases the stress of sitting behind the wheel on a long drive.
The seats are comfortable and there is plenty of room for passengers in the second row and behind them is plenty of room for packages, luggage or sporting gear in any combination. The visibility from the well-equipped cabin also is very good as is the nighttime lighting scheme.
The 2021 Infiniti QX50 Autograph is equipped with a 2.0-liter variable compression engine with turbo charging. The 4-cylinder engine is matched up with a continuously variable transmission. The combination produces 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. The QX50 I drove was equipped with the Infiniti all-wheel-drive system.
The U.S. Environment Protection Agency says the Infiniti QX50 has a combined fuel-economy rating of 25 miles per gallon, including 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The QX50 is equipped with paddle shifters and different driving modes.
Safety and Technology
The list of safety equipment and other features on the QX50 is long, including automatic collision notification, forward-collision warning, multiple airbags for protection from frontal- and side-impact collisions as well as rollover accidents.
It also has hill-start assist, front and rear parking sensors, around-view monitors with moving object detection as well as Infiniti’s ProPilot assist, intelligent cruise control, traffic sign recognition, adaptive front lighting system, blind-spot alert, blind-spot intervention, lane departure warning and lane departure prevention. It also has navigation with Map Care and Premium Traffic updates, Bose Performance Audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and Wi-Fi hotspot. There also is a head-up display.
The 2021 QX50 has a well-tuned suspension capable of handling sharp curves and varied surfaces, including dirt and gravel with its 8.6 inches of ground clearance. The vehicle’s stability also is enhanced by the all-wheel-drive system.
It also has excellent brakes, but the vehicle’s steer-by-wire system could use a bit more feedback so the driver can get a better feel for the road. The engine delivers plenty of power and torque, given the vehicle’s weight. The CVT helps boost the fuel economy but seems to dilute the power and performance on the road in some cases.
2021 Infiniti QX50 Autograph AWD specifications:
|L: 184.7 inches/W: 74.9 inches/H: 66 inches/Wheelbase: 110.2 inches
|2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4-cylinder engine; CVT
|22 mpg city/28 mpg highway/25 mpg combined
|268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque
|Base price: $56,850; As tested: $61,765 including $1,025 destination charge
The Infiniti QX50 is a well-equipped vehicle with plenty of desirable features. The technology, from the head-up display to the navigation maps and traffic alerts, is nicely integrated and while it is a luxury vehicle, it also a very utilitarian one with plenty of space for passengers and cargo in an attractive package.
However, it is also pricey. The vehicle I drove carried a $61,765 price tag, which places it out of reach of the typical American family.
2021 Infiniti QX50 Autograph AWD — Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Infiniti QX50 a good car?
The 2021 Infiniti QX50 offers a potent engine, good composure around corners, and respectable gas mileage figures. However, the automatic transmission causes a loud droning noise, especially at higher speeds.
Are there any problems with the Infiniti CVT?
Infiniti owners say their vehicle’s continuously variable transmission (CVT) is slow to respond, shudders during acceleration, and overheats easily. Multiple Nissan and Infiniti CVT lawsuits were consolidated and settled in 2016.
What kind of steering system does Infiniti have?
Infiniti’s steer-by-wire system, called Direct Adaptive Steering, has no physical connection between the steering wheel and the front tires.