2022 Infiniti QX55 Review: Polarizing and Somewhat Outdated
Infiniti rejoins the coupe-crossover segment with a stylish rework of its QX50by Joe Parker, on LISTEN 09:03
Infiniti was one of the first manufacturers to hone its knives and carve a fastback roof onto a crossover with the debut of its FX,, and later, QX70 models. Since those offerings hit the market, the luxury coupe SUV space has run rampant, with the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Audi, and even Lamborghini now joining the segment.
The 2022 Infiniti QX55 shares its underpinnings with the compact QX50, and marks the return of Infiniti to the fastback fray, but how does it stack up against an expanding list of competitors?
Exterior Design — Making its debut in style
Let’s face it, coupe SUV styling is polarizing — they are certainly more engaging to view than their boxy counterparts, but often come with strange proportions that can look awkward from most angles. However, the QX55 is far less ungainly than many of its rivals.
Forward of the B-pillar, the QX55 is effectively a QX50 and incorporates the same styling, namely its double-arch grille, flowing hood, “human-eye” slim headlights, and aggressive faux intakes. The QX50’s flowing lines and rising character line result in a natural progression to the sloped roof of the QX55, creating a more organic, rather than forced, fastback.
Behind the B-pillar, the raked roof flows into a spoiler before continuing its progression to the rear fascia, highlighted by “digital piano key” taillights that invoke feathered wings. Overall, the QX55 looks like its designed to be a coupe SUV, rather than an SUV with a roofline that met the business end of a woodworker’s plane.
|Ground Clearance||8.6 in|
|Curb Weight||4,015 lbs|
Predictably, the QX55 shares its interior layout and features with the QX50, which carries elegance with swooping lines, a quasi-tiered dash/panels, and an optional Monaco Red/Graphite color combination sure to catch the eye.
However modern the styling may be, the QX55’s cabin falls back by some outdated controls and some components that appear to have come straight from Nissan’s parts bin.
Infotainment system — A burden at best
Infiniti overhauled its mid-size QX60 model for 2022 with a far more modern layout that ditched the dual infotainment screen setup and outdated looking controls. Although the QX55 is an all-new model, it already feels antiquated, considering its old-school infotainment system. The dual-screen setup, flanked by outdated-looking controls, feels dated, which is certainly not helped by the low resolution of the screens or the terrible backup camera quality.
Although the common inputs are intuitive, some are downright confusing. Why I wonder, does Infiniti believe I need both a rotary dial and steering wheel controls for the upper navigation screen, while at the same time, I am forced to take my eyes off the wheel to use the bottom touchscreen for the infotainment system?
The “zero gravity” seats are a revelation, providing substantial support while coddling passengers with comfort. Front passengers are not wanting for head, leg, or hip space, but the raked roof will present a struggle for those of a taller stature forced to sit in the rear. Outside noise is mostly kept hushed in the cabin, but wind noise and the infernal engine drone from the CVT trying to find its paces can spoil the quiet.
The shortcomings of style
Those drawn to the QX55’s stylish exterior looks must contend with the typical downsides of a fastback roof — reductions in cargo space, rear passenger headroom, and rear visibility.
The QX55 still offers a notable 26.9-cubic feet of cargo volume behind the second row, but it’s a full 4.1 to 4.5 fewer cubic feet than the QX50. Rear headroom is also reduced by 1.5 inches over a QX50 with a moonroof and 2.2-inches for a model without. Rear visibility also suffers with the rear window’s quick descent into the rear fascia.
|Shoulder room (front)||57.9-in|
|Shoulder room (rear)||57.1-in|
|Cargo Room||26.9 cu-ft.|
2022 Inifiniti QX55 Performance and Capability
Under the hood, the QX55 features a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine which offers 268 horsepower and 280-pound feet of torque, the same powerplant as the QX50. The engine incorporates Nissan/Infiniti’s variable compression system, which fluctuates its compression ratio depending on driving needs by raising or lowering piston stroke, to purportedly improve both performance and efficiency.
On paper, the Infiniti beats out the base models of its closest competitors i.e, the BMW X4, Mercedes GLC Coupe and Audi Q5 Sportback — in both power and torque, but the QX55’s performance suffers due to its Continuously Variable Transmission.
While there is plenty of low-end torque and ample power, the CVT often saps the QX55 of grunt through corners. Though it is far from the worse CVT on the market, there are still some everyday annoyances like delayed responses and droning engine noise under even mundane acceleration.
Handling characteristics — More grocery getter than corner carver
The QX55 breaks away from several of its rivals by offering all-wheel drive as standard, but again, that doesn’t necessarily equate to more thrills on twisty tarmac. Though its smaller stature and low center of gravity bolster its agility, there is perceptible body roll and a tendency to understeer when pushing hard.
The steering is also about as lifeless as a week-old salmon from your local fishmonger, and there is a touch of play in the wheel on initial turn-in. Brake performance is impressive, though, with a firm pedal boosting driver confidence.
Ride quality on the daily trek can be somewhat harsh at times, undoubtedly exacerbated by the standard 20-inch wheels and run-flat tires, but over mostly smooth tarmac the Infiniti has agreeable road manners.
With just one powertrain on offer, all QX55 models perform reasonably with 22 City, 28 Highway, and 25 MPG combined. Despite its CVT and VC-Turbo engine, both of which should increase efficiency, the QX55’s gas mileage aligns with its similarly powered counterparts. The QX55’s combined rating of 25 mpg bests the BMW X4 by a single mile and the Mercedes GLC300 Coupe by two, but the Audi Q5 Sportback is also rated for 25 MPG-combined.
|Top Speed||155 mph|
|Towing Capacity||1,060 lbs.|
2022 Inifiniti QX55 Price
The $46,500 starting price of the 2022 Infiniti QX55 is thousands of dollars cheaper than its closest competition. It is well-equipped right from the base Luxe trim, particularly in a segment where many sought-after features in the competition, are optional extras. The Infiniti loses some of its price-tag appeal in upper trims, where it must compete with rivals that offer better driving traits.
All models come
- A power moonroof
- Power liftgate
- 8-way adjustable and heated front seats
- Dual-zone climate control,
- Rear HVAC vents
- Sirius XM radio
- Wi-Fi hotspot
Essential trim models ($51,600) receive a heated steering wheel, heated and folding outside mirrors, leather-appointed seats with memory, navigation, a 16-speaker Bose audio system, Around View Monitor, and ventilated front seats.
Top Sensory trim ($57,050) gets Infiniti’s ProPILOT smart cruise control, a motion-activated liftgate, open-pore wood interior accents, a head-up display, tri-zone climate control, ambient interior lighting, and other amenities.
For those who put a premium on style, relative comfort, and price — perhaps a small family or suburbanite commuters — the QX55 is a viable option in the expanding coupe SUV segment.
However, its lackluster driving dynamics and performance, some outdated features, design and reduced practicality against its QX50 sibling makes for a somewhat inauspicious debut for the model. With a few significant tweaks to the powertrain, cabin, and steering, the QX55 could take the fight to its German competition. But for now, it lags them.