Everything about the 2016 Infiniti QX50 screams sports car, except for the body which takes on the appearance of a compact SUV crossover. This performance SUV was originally introduced as the EX but has since taken on the new Infiniti naming conventions and has become the QX50. The power and handling make the 2016 QX50 feel like a sports car very similar to the 2015 Infiniti Q50 AWD, but trapped in the body of an SUV, giving the performance enthusiast some versatility to go with their ride.
ENGINE & DRIVE
Paired with a 7 speed automatic transmission, the 2016 Infiniti QX50 sports a 3.7L six cylinder engine churning out 325hp. This power creates a throaty engine rumble through the large dual exhaust from the moment you push the start button.
The fast and powerful accelerations are accompanied by responsive gear changes and rev matching downshifts to keep the ride smooth and controlled. The stiff and responsive steering combines with a centered weight creating a sporty handling with great feedback. Driving the 2016 Infiniti QX50, you can definitely feel that it’s built on a sports sedan chassis, which also leads one to believe it may not be suited for rugged trail driving.
Manoeuvrability of the 2016 QX50 is top notch with its vast turning radius, side mirrors that tilt down when placed in reverse and the Around View Monitor for precise manoeuvring and parallel parking.
Fuel economy could use some drastic improvement but what else can be expected from over 300hp. Rated at 13.7 L/100km in the city and 9.7 L/100km on the highway, our 200km test drive yielded a combined 12.9 L/100km which falls within the range but is still high for a compact SUV. It should be noted that there was quite a bit of spirited driving in the test!
EXTERIOR & INTERIOR
Although the overall look of the 2016 Infiniti QX50 is a compact SUV, the low stance and sloped roofline lend an appearance of a coupe or hatchback. The rear overhang spoiler, large dual chrome exhaust, sloped roofline, rounded body shape and chrome highlights provide a sporty and performance oriented exterior design.
Stepping inside the cabin of the 2016 QX50, you’re immediately surrounded by soft contours, pleasant curves, soft white instrumentation lighting and quality, elegant materials. The dash combines a polished wood with leather upholstery to give a rich and refined feeling. The bright and quiet cabin is a pleasant place to be and the muted engine rumble in the background reminds you of the power at hand.
New for 2016 is the addition of 2.5 inches of leg room length, which is a noticeable improvement for rear seat passengers. I would have liked to see a bit more knee room width for the front passengers to keep things comfortable over longer distances. I liked the convenience of the fold flat rear seats from the cargo area and power fold up button on the center console, but the addition of a power open and close tailgate would help to improve ease of access to the rear cargo area.
Although the dash uses excellent materials put together in a quality build, the display could be a touch larger and the control knob could be relocated to be within arm’s reach so the driver doesn’t need to stretch.
I felt the dash could use a reduction in the number of buttons eliminating duplicate controls where the display would act as the main controller. I also found the cup holders to be slightly awkward and in need of a bit more separation. I had nowhere comfortable to put my phone as the cup holders were too deep without separation and the dash only had a push out storage so tiny I’m not sure what could even be stored in there.
Although the new naming conventions of Infiniti are a step in the wrong direction, I do like the simplicity of offering only one model of the 2016 Infiniti QX50. With a starting price of $37,900 you get an amazing driving experience for a fraction of the price of the competition. The interior delivers some versatility and functionality, but could still use some improvement on the convenience side of things.