2020 Infiniti QX50 Impressions - What’s Changed from 2019?
When we reviewed the redesigned 2019 Infiniti QX50 in October, we called the Japanese luxury brand’s newest model “decidedly ordinary.” As we explained, this premium compact crossover wasn’t a bad car, but unless its voluptuous styling hit the spot for you, it merely got the job done without making a splash — all while a series of small annoyances, such as an awkward throttle calibration and some downscale interior bits, wore away at even this theme of general competence. So did Infiniti resolve these issues for the 2020 model year?
2019 Infiniti QX50 - Driven
Infiniti was early to what has become one of the industry’s hottest market segments: the compact luxury crossover. The 2008 EX35 was much more of a car than an SUV, a slightly elevated, slightly roomier version of the acclaimed G35 sports sedan. Infiniti bet big that buyers would sacrifice utility for performance — and it bet wrong. Despite beating most competitors to the market, and even after numerous upgrades over the years (including a longer wheelbase and a name change to QX50), it never made a splash. Later arrivals were able to emulate the more successful compact luxury crossovers and avoid Infiniti’s mistakes.
So not surprisingly, for its first full redesign in more than a decade, the 2019 Infiniti QX50 similarly gravitates toward the class norm. It became taller and wider, adopting more SUV-like proportions. It switched from a V6 engine and a rear-wheel-drive platform to a turbocharged four-cylinder and front-wheel-drive (still with optional all-wheel-drive). All of that mirrors such top rivals as the Acura RDX, Lexus NX, and Cadillac XT4, though a few other competitors still have rear-wheel-drive roots.
But beyond being merely typical, the QX50 is decidedly ordinary as well. It checks general boxes for the luxury crossover class without managing to dazzle. It neither fun and sporty nor vault-like in its serenity. Its infotainment isn’t cutting-edge. It has advanced engineering behind its variable-compression engine, but the real-world effect is less notable.
To be sure, calling a luxury car “ordinary” compared to its peers is no great insult. That means it’s meeting the high standards of its class, even if it doesn’t exceed them. So if you’re looking for a comfortable, quiet, respectably spacious, and generally easy-to-drive small luxury crossover, the QX50 is one of many potentially attractive choices. Prices start at $37,645 including destination change.
Basketball Star Stephen Curry Is Now Designing Cars...Sort Of
Just because you’re one of the best in the world at hitting threes in the NBA, that doesn’t mean you automatically become a good, even decent, car designer. Stephen Curry is living proof of that. The two-time NBA MVP, who also happens to be a brand ambassador for Infiniti, “designed” this concept monstrosity known as the Infiniti QXzero Concept. It’s an ugly concept, and that’s putting it lightly. The good news is that this isn’t an actual showpiece Infiniti; it’s part of an elaborate prank that Curry and Infiniti pulled on one of the MVP’s best friends, COSeezy. So while it is a bit of a relief to learn that Curry’s automotive design chops weren’t at all compromised by this horrendous three-wheeled showcase of ugliness, the QXzero Concept is still a reminder to all of us that just because there’s a “concept” designation attached to it, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be any good, even if it’s all part of an elaborate jig.
2019 Infinity QX80 - Driven
The Infiniti QX80 isn’t exactly a spring chicken. If you count the three years that it was on the market as the “QX56,” this full-size SUV has been on the market for nearly a decade. This is a rather long lifestyle for an SUV in today’s automotive climate, but the QX80 is a very niche vehicle; not in size and purpose but in terms of sales for the brand. When you look at overall sales of the XC80, the figures don’t look that great. In 2016, Chevy sold more than 103,000 Tahoes, and even Cadillac sold some 23,000 examples of the Escalade. The QX80, though? Infiniti moved just 14,085 over all of 2016, and that was an 8.3-percent increase over 2015. With that in mind, the company can’t exactly give it a short lifespan like other automakers can their full-sized, wide-selling SUVs.
That doesn’t mean the QX80 has been ignored, however. On the contrary, it was actually refreshed when Infiniti swapped its name over from QX56, and it was refreshed again in 2017. The overall appearance of the QC80 isn’t displeasing to look at, and when we were offered the chance to spend a few days and give it a good thorough test drive, we couldn’t turn down the offer. Immediately we started asking ourselves questions: Can it still hold its own in a market with much newer, more advanced vehicles? Does it’s aged chassis still deliver driving dynamics and comfortability that’s on par with other full-sized, luxury SUVs on the market today? Should someone really pay anywhere between $65,000 and upward of $90,000 for a vehicle that’s due for retirement? Well, we’ve set out to figure out just how well the QX80 has aged over the years – you just might be surprised.
2019 Infiniti Qs Inspiration Concept
The latest in Infiniti’s growing line of Inspiration concepts made its debut at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show. Called the Qs Inspiration, the concept is the latest in a series of concept cars that Infiniti has showcased to spread the word of its plans for greener powertrains and other new technologies that will shape the future of the brand. Like most automakers these days, Infiniti has moved well beyond “talk is cheap” model by showing an increased commitment in demonstrating what it intends to do now that the industry is in the middle of shifting eras. The Qs Inspiration still looks like a concept, but it’s not really just a concept in the traditional sense of one. It’s a look into a future that isn’t that far away anymore. In fact, look for the next-generation Q50 or Q70 sedans to draw inspiration from the Qs. That’s how close this concept is to becoming, well, more than a concept.
The Infiniti Qs Inspiration Previews an All-Electric Sports Sedan
Infiniti is known for building some of the most awe-inspiring concepts you’ll ever see. It’s nice to see, then, that Infiniti’s form is holding up nicely, as we can see from the Qs Inspiration Concept that’s currently on display at Auto Shanghai 2019. Developed as a sports sedan that showcases Infiniti’s push towards electrification, the Qs Inspiration Concept is a sign that Infiniti’s not just talking the talk when it comes to its electrification plans, it’s provided us with a physical example of what we can look forward to in the future. More importantly, the Qs Inspiration won’t stay a concept for long; Infiniti has plans to build a production model in China, for the Chinese market. It’s all part of the automaker’s goal to offer a diverse lineup of electrified models in the world’s biggest car market. The Qs Inspiration Concept is the first step in achieving that goal.
The Infiniti QX50 has been around since 2013 but drove straight into its second generation for the 2019 model year. The second-generation QX50 does look sportier, and it does feature better interior materials, but the real news in the VC-Turbo engine under the hood. This is Inifinities prized variable compression engine that is supposed to provide impressive performance along with superb fuel economy. And, it’s all controlled depending on input from the driver. When economy is desired, and the engine is under light load, the engine runs at high compression to cut fuel usage but, if you put your foot through the floor, compression will drop to as low as 8:1 and you’ll get fairly decent performance – almost like feelings Honda’s V-TEC kick in. We got to spend a week with a $55,000 version of the QX50 and, while we weren’t extremely impressed with it, we didn’t exactly hate it either. Check out our photo gallery and thoughts in our review below.
2019 Infiniti QX Inspiration Concept
The Infiniti QX Inspiration is a concept SUV that the premium firm unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The QX Inspiration is part of a series of Inspiration vehicles that already includes a sedan and another SUV, and it previews an upcoming crossover that will feature an all-electric drivetrain. Unlike the QX Sport Inspiration, which was based on a production SUV, the QX Inspiration boasts a unique design that will likely trickle down into upcoming crossovers. The big news here is the all-electric drivetrain. We don’t know much about it, but Infiniti promises a high-performance motor and battery combo and an intelligent AWD system. The concept also features autonomous driving technology, a new dashboard layout made of high-resolution displays, and a lounge-like cabin.
2019 Infiniti QX Inspiration Concept - Car from the future or a far-fetched thought?
With the QX Inspiration, Infiniti becomes the latest company to enter the EV fray. The automaker unveiled the QX Inspiration Concept at the Detroit Auto Show which gives a peak into the brand’s new design language for EVs. Although Infiniti has not revealed any specs yet, it says the QX Inspiration, when launched, will be a high performance production SUV.
Here’s a Teaser of Infinities Detroit-Bound Coupe-Like Electric Crossover
When it comes to "love it or hate it" designs, coupe-style crossovers are the first that spring into mind. While some hate them entirely, others would buy one in a heartbeat. Whether you like coupe crossovers or not, a new model is about to come under the spotlight. It’s made by Infiniti and will make its global debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show in January.
10 Best Vehicle and Technology Innovations of 2018
2018 Infiniti Project Black S Concept
Like pretty much every other major automaker out there, Infiniti is signaling a strong move towards electrification in the very near future, with a particularly heavy emphasis on the tech slated for 2021 and onward. While some enthusiasts will undoubtedly cringe at the thought of yet more battery-powered vehicles plying the roads, Infiniti is proving that such a fate is anything but boring, especially when it comes infused with technology plucked from the high-speed world of Formula 1 racing. Which brings us to the latest Project Black S concept, which recently made its big debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. Offered as an evolution of the previous Infiniti Project Black S that dropped at the Geneva Auto Show a few years back, this latest creation is based on the utterly fantastic Q60 Red Sport 400 sports coupe, and provides both aesthetic and technical details on how Infiniti plans to implement hybrid technology to spark the interest of speed lovers everywhere.
Continue reading to lean more about the 2018 Infiniti Project Black S Concept.
Infiniti Spills the Beans on Sexy Project Black S
The Infiniti Black S Prototype is proof that the technological divide between production vehicles and Formula One race cars is shrinking. The Hong Kong-based luxury brand of Nissan unveiled a modified version of the coupe at a private party in Paris, showcasing a hybrid electric powertrain developed by the Renault Sport Formula One team. The concept isn’t earmarked for production — not yet, at least — but it does offer a glimpse of Infiniti’s goal to use hybrid and electric powertrains on all of its models by 2021.
Infiniti Project Black S Gets Hybrid Powertrain for Paris
Infiniti is bringing back the Project Black S Prototype with an updated powertrain made up of its 3.0-liter VR30 twin-turbocharged V-6 engine and a unique energy recovery system. The powertrain is one of a number of improvements Infiniti made on the concept, which was first unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. The Project Black S Prototype represents what Infiniti describes as the “very top end of electrification in the (Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi) Alliance portfolio. It also acts as a benchmark in the company’s pursuit to electrifying its lineup by 2021.
The Infiniti Project Black S Will Showcase Infiniti’s High-Performance Electrified Drivetrain
Infiniti recently announced its plans to electrify its portfolio from 2021; and, as part of this process, the automaker will reveal the Project Black S prototype at the Paris Motor Show. The Project Black S will be Infiniti’s way of showing the world how a Formula One Dual-hybrid powertrain can be used in a road car. Exciting, right?
2018 Infinity Prototype 10 Concept
Infiniti has pulled the wraps off of the Inspiration 10 Concept, providing us a good look at what Infiniti’s future design language could look like. Like its predecessor, the Inspiration 9 Concept, the Inspiration 10 Concept is infused with retro styling, culled from classic speedsters and sculpted with modern design characteristics. Infiniti believes that the concept can serve as a springboard into the design of its future models. As such, the Inspiration 10 Concept is not expected to become a production model anytime soon.
What is the Cheapest Infiniti?
The cheapest Infiniti is the QX30 compact crossover with a starting price of $30,250 without any added fees and taxes. That’s the price of the QX30 Pure trim level that comes with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-pot that puts out 208 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque between 1,200 and 4,400 rpm. The engine is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that sends all of the power to the front wheels. There’s a $5,400 price gap in Infiniti’s range before you get to the second least expensive model, namely the $35,650 Q50. The only coupé Infiniti currently sales starts from $40,850.
What is the Sportiest Infiniti?
The sportiest Infiniti is the Q60 two-door coupé in its top trim level, Sport 400. The Q60 Sport 400 features a 400 horsepower, 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 under the hood. You can have it with either RWD or all AWD (for an extra $2,000 up from the $55,000 MSRP of the RWD version). The V-6 produces 350 torques that can make the P275/30R20 rear tires squeal if your foot is heavy enough on the loud pedal. The Q50 compact sedan can also be had with this potent V-6 engine as it’s available on the top-of-the-line Red Sport 400 (and the Red Sport 400 AWD) trim level and, actually, the sedan is cheaper than the coupé with a $51,350 sticker price for the RWD version (and the same $2,000 premium if you want AWD).
What is the Most Popular Infiniti?
The most popular Infiniti is the QX60 mid-size luxury crossover SUV. It’s no surprise that the most popular car from Nissan’s luxury division is an SUV but what may be unexpected is that the QX60 is the second-largest SUV on offer, costing $11,100 more than the compact QX30 that’s built in the U.K. Last year, Infiniti sold a total of 149,280 automobiles, down by 2.7% compared to 2017, when it sold 153,415 units. The QX60 established itself as the clear customer favorite in Infiniti’s lineup with 47,370 units dispatched in 2018, up by almost 7,000 units compared to 2017. To put it into perspective, the company’s runner-up best-selling car, the Q50 compact sedan, was sold in just 334,763 units while little under 26,000 QX50s found new customers in the U.S. in 2018.
What is the Most Expensive Infiniti?
The most expensive Infiniti is the QX80, the company’s flagship SUV. The QX80 is a $65,500 full-size, seven-seater, luxury SUV that’s a whole $13,600 more expensive than anything else that Infiniti has to offer. While it may seem cheap when you think that a Lincoln Navigator, one of the most popular full-size SUVs in the U.S., starts from $74,500, it’s still significantly more expensive than the next QX60 that starts from $44,350.
What is the Fastest Infiniti?
The fastest Infiniti is the Q60 Red Sport 400. It can go from naught to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds thanks to the 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 that makes 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Top speed is limited at about 150 mph but that’s respectable for a car that weighs over 3,700 pounds - which is actually more than the dry weight of the sportiest Q50 that also sports the same 400 horsepower engine under the hood. That one can reach 60 mph in about 4.9 seconds, although depending on the setup, you could probably match or even beat the time of the Q60 Red Sport 400.
Are Infiniti Cars Reliable?
Infiniti cars are reliable, as you can expect since they’re based on Nissan underpinnings and share components with Nissan models. J.D. Power announced in its 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study that Infiniti was among the brands that improved over the course of 2018 in comparison to the 2017 statistics, with owners reporting 15 fewer problems per 100 cars. Having said that, older models face electronics-related issues and some customers complain about the quality of the materials used inside and the fact that some of them age prematurely compared to the materials found in other luxury brands that are comparable in terms of price.