Is the 2019 Infiniti QX50 a Good Car? We Spent a Year to Find Out

Occasionally, as a 12-month long-term test draws to a close, it can be hard to come up with new or interesting observations to put in our updates. And while that can be a problem from a writer’s perspective, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem with the car. Sometimes a car just has nothing to hide. The 2019 Infiniti QX50 is not one of those cars.

As I mentioned in our QX50 Arrival story, there were plenty of questions that needed to be answered. From powertrain performance to interior quality and even driver-assist technology reliability, there was a lot to figure out with Infiniti’s handsome new crossover. One year and more than 20,000 miles later, we have (most of) our answers.

The QX50’s fancy new engine, for example, has been a huge disappointment. It promised more power when you needed it and better gas mileage when you didn’t. What it delivered was a not-so-fuel-efficient 20.3 mpg. For comparison, our supercharged V-6 Jaguar F-Pace and Mazda CX-9 with a 2.5-liter turbo both managed 20.6 mpg, and our super- and turbocharged Volvo XC90 managed 20.5 mpg. Infiniti’s hinged conn-rods hardly seem worth the trouble.

And while the QX50 did best its most obvious rival, the Acura RDX in our acceleration tests, you’d never know it from behind the wheel. Road test editor Chris Walton probably described the powertrain’s shortcomings best when he said, “There are at least three things changing all the time—gear ratio, turbo boost, and engine compression—and they are each fighting over who takes the mic. They only all come together and agree what to do at wide-open throttle. What a mess.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean Infiniti should abandon variable-compression technology. There’s a lot of potential there. It just needs to a little more time in development and an automatic transmission with actual gears. While they’re at it, if Infiniti could learn a few handling and steering lessons from the Alfa Romeo Stelvio or even the Acura RDX, that would be great.

As I mentioned in my last update, interior impressions were much more positive. I personally prefer not to see suede in a car you’d never take to the track, but in combination with the quilted white leather seats, it at least helps the QX50 stand out. In fact, in part due to its impressive cabin, the Infiniti quickly became the default loaner any time a corporate executive needed a car.










































We just wish the wood trim matched. Apparently, this was an intentional choice, but it looks like a mistake. In fact, it was one of the first things editor-in-chief Ed Loh pointed out after borrowing my QX50 for a week. The lawyers may not let Infiniti change the the downmarket beeps the car makes, but it can’t be that hard to make the trim match, can it?

Comfort was also a huge plus. When we took the QX50 on a 2,000-mile road trip over Christmas, it didn’t just get us and our stuff from point A to point B. It made each day’s long drive a breeze. Even my 90+ minute daily commute was less stressful when I was driving the QX50.

Considering how terribly outdated the infotainment system is, that’s saying a lot. A recall did fix the glitches we experienced, but even then, the connectivity issues, lack of support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, low-resolution displays, and slow response times continued to be incredibly frustrating. Overly sensitive parking sensors that went off randomly in traffic only added to the annoyance. To be fair, we’ve had similar issues with other automakers’ parking sensors going off randomly, too. But still.

One feature that received almost universal praise, though, was Nissan’s suite of driver-assist technologies. I mostly used Distance Control Assist, but the steering assistance that’s paired with the QX50’s adaptive cruise control is also one of the best in the industry. That said, Throttle Out host Zack Counts thought it might almost be too good. “Mostly, it’s just good,” he said, but “occasionally it’s frightening in that it’s competent enough to woo the driver into daydreams.” If the system encounters a situation it can’t handle, that could be a big problem. So no texting while cruise-controlling, OK?

In terms of maintenance costs, the tires proved to be the most expensive part. Replacing a single tire after I hit a literal fork in the middle of the road cost $357.48, more than the $106 we spent on dealer service for the entire year. By comparison, our Mercedes GLC300 cost us $1,000, but many other competitors comp service for the first year or two. Since the display control unit was replaced as part of a recall, our only other costs (other than gas) were service visits every 7,500 miles.

In the end, I didn’t exactly grow to love the QX50, but I did learn to appreciate it. The QX50 looks great, and its combination of comfort and driver-assist technology made it a fantastic daily driver or road trip companion. But until Infiniti replaces the infotainment system and refines the powertrain, it’s going to be hard to recommend the QX50 over much of its competition.

Read more about our long-term 2019 Infiniti QX50:

2019 Infiniti QX50 (Essential AWD)
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD
ENGINE TYPE Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head
VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 120.2-121.9 cu in/1.970-1.997cc
COMPRESSION RATIO 8.0-14.0:1
POWER (SAE NET) 268 hp @ 5,600 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 280 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm
REDLINE 6,000 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 15.5 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION Cont variable auto
AXLE/FINAL DRIVE RATIO 5.85:1/2.24:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO 15.3:1
TURNS LOCK TO LOCK 2.5
BRAKES, F; R 13.0-in vented disc; 12.1-in vented disc, ABS
WHEELS 7.5 x 20-in cast aluminum
TIRES 255/45R20 101Y (M+S) Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 422 Plus RFT
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE 110.2 in
TRACK, F/R 64.4/63.8 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 184.7 x 74.9 x 66.0 in
GROUND CLEARANCE 8.6 in
APPROACH/DEPART ANGLE 17.2/23.9 deg
TURNING CIRCLE 36.4 ft
CURB WEIGHT 4,163 lb
WEIGHT DIST, F/R 58/42%
TOWING CAPACITY N/A (3,000 lb with a towing package)
SEATING CAPACITY 5
HEADROOM, F/R 40.0/38.4 in
LEGROOM, F/R 39.6/38.7 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 57.9/57.1 in
CARGO VOLUME BEH F/R 64.4/31.1 cu ft
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH </strong
0-30 2.4 sec
0-40 3.6
0-50 4.9
0-60 6.6
0-70 8.6
0-80 11.2
0-90 14.5
0-100 18.5
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 3.3
QUARTER MILE 15.1 sec @ 91.6 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 113 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.84 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 26.8 sec @ 0.65 g (avg)
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,750 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
BASE PRICE $46,145
PRICE AS TESTED $59,085
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes
AIRBAGS 8: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, front knee
BASIC WARRANTY 4 years/60,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 6 years/70,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 4 years/unlimited miles
FUEL CAPACITY 16.0 gal
REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 21.0/29.7/24.2 mpg
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 24/30/26 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 140/112 kW-hr/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.74 lb/mile
RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium

The post Is the 2019 Infiniti QX50 a Good Car? We Spent a Year to Find Out appeared first on MotorTrend.

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