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2020 Infiniti QX50 Impressions - What's Changed from 2019?

2020 Infiniti QX50 Impressions - What’s Changed from 2019?

If you already liked it, it’s now a little better

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?

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2019 Infiniti QX50 - Driven

2019 Infiniti QX50 - Driven

A decidedly ordinary replacement for a quirky luxury crossover

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.

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2019 Infiniti QX50 - Driven

2019 Infiniti QX50 - Driven

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.

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2018 Infiniti QX50

2018 Infiniti QX50

The QX50 Concept has mutated into a pre-production prototype, but looks like it will have some common DNA

It’s no secret the QX50 hasn’t exactly lived up to the expectations that Infiniti set for it, ultimately prompting an intensive update for the 2016 model year. Come 2017, and we were staring the Infiniti QX50 concept in the face at the Detroit Auto Show. Only a couple months have passed since then, and now we’re looking at spy shots of the first prototype of the next-gen QX50 putting in work on public roads. While it’s heavily covered in camo and padding, we can still make out some styling cues, and as luck would have it, it looks like it will get at least some of the design DNA we saw in the QX50 concept. Of course, it won’t have those cool electronic door poppers and the overall styling will be toned down a bit, but it should be a huge departure from the current model and could very well give the SUV a chance at survival in an overcrowded market.

Now, before we go too far into it, the new QX50 will be based on a couple of different models. See, the next-gen QX50 is based on the QX50 Concept, which happens to be based on the QX Sport Inspiration Concept that was showcased at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show. So, as you can see, the next-gen QX50 will have some pretty significant DNA heritage when it finally disrobes. There’s no official timetable, so we can’t say for sure when it will make its official debut, but the Frankfurt Auto Show in September isn’t out of the question, with customer deliveries kicking off sometime in the first half of 2018. So, with that said, let’s dive on in and see what we can spot through all over the camo on this prototype.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Infiniti QX50.

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2017 Infiniti QX50 Concept

2017 Infiniti QX50 Concept

Previews the next-gen SUV and the world’s first production engine with variable compression ratio

Introduced back in 2007 as the company’s first compact crossover, the QX50 was known as the EX up until 2013. The renamed vehicle went on sale in the U.S. as a 2014 model and, for 2016, it received a new facelift and enhanced rear seat legroom. Although praised for its roomy interior and rich standard equipment list, the QX50 is often criticized for being nearly as expensive as its BMW and Mercedes-Benz competitors and for its somewhat dated exterior design. The latter will change starting 2017, when Infiniti is set to introduce the second-generation model.

But before the production model hits the streets, Infiniti introduced the QX50 concept.

Showcased at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, the QX50 concept is heavily based on the QX Sport Inspiration that the Japanese company launched in 2016. It features Infiniti’s recent styling language, but it’s enhanced by a range of new design elements that have yet to debut on other models. On top of the restyled body work, the new QX50 will also bring new technology to the market, including the brand’s first semi-autonomous drive system, as well as a new turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with variable compression ratio. The later is a first for the automotive industry.

"With the unveiling of the QX Sport Inspiration at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, we showed the future of Infiniti QX models. The new QX50 Concept evolves this concept further and shows how Infiniti could develop its future presence in the fastest-growing vehicle segment globally," said Roland Krueger, President of Infiniti.

There’s no word as to when the actual production model will make its global debut, but until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the production-ready concept.

Continue reading to learn more about the Infiniti QX50 Concept.

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2016 Infiniti QX50

2016 Infiniti QX50

Debuting at the 2015 New York Auto Show, Infiniti has applied an extensive refresh to the QX50 in the hopes of jumpstarting the SUV after it struggled to sell well in the highly competitive luxury crossover segment. A facelift, longer wheelbase, extra interior room and a few new gadgets all make the list of updates.

The Infiniti EX/QX50 was first introduced in 2008 as the funky-looking EX35 crossover SUV. In 2011, the model underwent its first name change to simply EX. For the 2014 model year, Johan de Nysschen — now the lead man at Cadillac, but at the time heading up Infiniti – decided to shake things up by renaming the entire lineup, resulting in the EX becoming the QX50 without any significant changes to the vehicle. Finally, two years after its latest rename, the QX50/EX/EX35 is getting its first overhaul for the 2016 model year.

The new QX50 will be offered as either a RWD or AWD model and comes with four available option packages. But will it be enough to inject some new life into the SUV?

Updated 09/18/2015: Infiniti announced prices for the new, 2016 QX50 which goes on sale in this month at Infiniti retailers nationwide. The new luxury crossover will be priced from $34,450 for the RWD version and $35,850 for the AWD version.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Infiniti QX50.

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2014 - 2015 Infiniti QX50

2014 - 2015 Infiniti QX50

Infiniti’s name change is starting to take hold with the QX50 and QX80 officially carry over from their previous nameplates aside from the new badges. The name change is hard to swallow. Let’s just get that in the open.

Not only are the new names confusing, but they ditch all the old short-hand for model and engine size. One upside I know from starting my career as an Infiniti dealer runner is to call the pronounce the name differently. QX4 became "Q by four" - and so QX50 could be called "Q by 50." Still not exactly peachy to say, but I digress.

The EX37 is now the QX50 for 2014, and comes in four flavors of trim and rear- or all-wheel-drive traction from about $35,000. Where does this model fit with the new Infiniti Q50 that is leading the brand?

Style-wise, the crossover QX50 was never really the centerfold of its first-gen FX cousins. Even so, it is an even closer replica of a G35 wagon that was never offered stateside. Near-perfect weight distribution, a 325-horsepower engine and a swanky seven-speed automatic are still the main benefits of this sporty crossover.

Quality and interior luxury is up there as well, but certainly not space, with no quoted figure for the seats-down luggage capacity, one has to fear the worst.

How does the 2014 QX50 stack up versus the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, the Audi A4 Allroad or the cute BMW X1?

Updated 05/22/2014: Infiniti announced today prices for 2015 QX50 which continues to offer the same features as the 2014 model year. The only change is the Bluetooth Hands-free Phone offered as standard feature on the base models. Prices for the 2-15 QX50 will start from $35,000.

Click past the jump for all the details from Infiniti on the freshly-renamed QX50.

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