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2019 Infiniti QX50: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 10/26/2018 U.S. News & World Report
a red car parked on the side of a road: 2019 Infiniti QX50© Nissan North America, Inc. 2019 Infiniti QX50

After a one-year hiatus, the Infiniti QX50 is back, and it's completely redesigned for the 2019 model year. Despite the overhaul, which brings lots of changes inside and out, the QX50 only finishes in the bottom half of our luxury compact SUV rankings.

The 2019 Infiniti QX50 is ranked:

Is the Infiniti QX50 a Good SUV?

Yes, the Infiniti QX50 is a good SUV, but it's not that impressive compared to its more well-rounded classmates. The QX50 has a strong, efficient powertrain that moves the vehicle well around town and on the highway. The inside looks and feels much more luxurious than the previous generation, and the front seats are some of the best in the class. The QX50 also has a lot of available driver assistance technology, and it provides more cargo space than almost every competitor.

But there are also some significant drawbacks. The 2019 QX50 doesn’t have the eager handling feel of the old model, and this redesigned version is less athletic than nearly every rival. The infotainment system's dual touch screens look high-tech, but in practice, the system isn't as good as most competitors'.

Should I Buy the Infiniti QX50?

The 2019 QX50 is not a great choice for most shoppers. There are certainly reasons to like this vehicle, and its below-average price is one of them. However, many features are only available in the top trim, and even then, you have to pay extra for them, so the QX50 isn't the terrific value it appears to be. If you're interested in this SUV, you should also check out the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. You might even want to consider a luxury midsize SUV like the Cadillac XT5.

Should I Buy a New or Used Infiniti QX50?

If you like the QX50 but you're reluctant to spend $36,000-plus for a new one, you might want to consider a used one instead. You can almost certainly find a 2016 or 2017 QX50 for less money (Infiniti skipped the 2018 model year). However, there are notable differences between the completely redesigned 2019 model and the previous generation.

The last generation's V6 engine is replaced by a turbocharged four-cylinder that's less powerful but more fuel-efficient, and the redesigned model doesn't have the playful handling of the old edition. The 2019 model features more cargo space, more standard driver assistance features, and more active safety features – like a head-up display and a semiautonomous driving feature – than the outgoing generation.

Deciding between a new and used QX50 comes down to whether you're willing to pay extra for the more luxurious, more practical 2019 model or whether you want to save some cash and get the more fun-to-drive, previous-generation QX50.

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How Much Does the Infiniti QX50 Cost?

The 2019 QX50 has a base price of $36,550. That's not the lowest price in the class, but it is below average for a luxury compact SUV. The top trim, the QX50 Essential, starts at $43,350, which is below average compared to rivals' top trims. The Essential offers several option packages, however, so you could easily pay more than $55,000 for a fully loaded QX50.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Infiniti dealer.

Infiniti QX50 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Infiniti QX50 or Audi Q5?

The Audi Q5 is one of our highest-rated luxury compact SUVs, and with good reason. It costs more than the QX50, but that extra money buys you arguably the nicest interior in the class, two rows of spacious, supportive seats, and lots of standard and available features – including things like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which the QX50 doesn't even offer. Unlike most rivals, the Q5 is within spitting distance of the Infiniti when it comes to cargo space.

The Q5 comes standard with all-wheel drive (the base QX50 is a front-wheel-drive SUV, while AWD costs extra), and it handles extremely well while delivering a smooth ride. It has two energetic engines available, including a 354-horsepower option. Regardless of what you want in an SUV, the Audi is a better choice than the Infiniti.

Which Is Better: Infiniti QX50 or BMW X3?

The BMW X3 is another class rival that easily outranks the QX50. The X3 may be the most fun-to-drive vehicle in the class. It has strong engines and buttoned-down handling. Inside, you'll find a richly appointed cabin and comfortable front seats, though the rear seats might be a little cramped.

There are plenty of features available for the X3, but some are expensive to add, particularly some driver-assistance options. The X3 doesn't have as much cargo space as the QX50, but the difference is only a few cubic feet. The BMW costs more than the Infiniti, but it provides more value, making it worth the money for most buyers.

Which Is Better: Infiniti QX50 or Cadillac XT5?

The Cadillac XT5 sits in the larger luxury midsize SUV class, but it's only a few thousand dollars more than the QX50. The XT5 has a little less cargo space than the QX50, but it has spacious seats and far more tech features than its Infiniti rival does. The XT5 has a more powerful but less fuel-efficient engine, and it delivers a cushioned ride. These two SUVs have similar strengths and weaknesses, but the XT5 is probably a little better overall.

QX50 Interior

How Many People Does the QX50 Seat?

The QX50 seats five. The front seats provide outstanding comfort and all-day support; they're better than many rivals' seats. The rear seats have ample space for all but the tallest passengers, though three adults will be a tight squeeze.

QX50 and Car Seats

This Infiniti has two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing car seats.

QX50 Interior Quality

In past years, many complained that the QX50 didn't look or feel like a luxury SUV. You'll have no such concerns with the redesigned 2019 model, which looks great and features premium materials throughout the cabin.

QX50 Cargo Space

The QX50 has more cargo space than nearly every competitor. Behind the rear seats, it provides more than 31 cubic feet of room, which is enough space for all your tailgating gear. Fold the rear seats down, and you have more than 64 cubic feet of room, which means this Infiniti might come in handy on moving day.

QX50 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the QX50 include a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, and the InTouch dual-screen infotainment system. Available features include a moonroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, navigation, and a 17-speaker Bose audio system.

Some people might like the dual-touch-screen setup, but there are a lot of issues with the QX50's infotainment system. For starters, it doesn't have smartphone connectivity options like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system also responds slowly to inputs, the dual-screen layout can be confusing, and the graphics aren't that sharp.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

QX50 Performance

QX50 Engine: There's Nothing Like It, but It Doesn't Feel Different

This Infiniti features a variable compression engine that's a first in a production vehicle (you can read more about what that means on the QX50's performance page). It's a 268-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder that delivers ample power and solid acceleration, and it doesn't feel any different from a regular turbo-four when you're behind the wheel. The engine is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The CVT helps fuel economy, but for driving enjoyment purposes, a dual-clutch automatic might have worked better.

QX50 Gas Mileage: Tough to Beat This Fuel Economy

The QX50 is more fuel-efficient than nearly every class rival. It earns 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The QX50's high fuel economy ratings mean you'll save about $150 per year in gas money compared to driving the Audi Q5 and about $300 per year compared to the BMW X3.

QX50 Ride and Handling: Don't Get Carried Away

This Infiniti isn't a handling dynamo, but it's not meant to be. It delivers a comfortable ride even over rough roads, and the cabin stays quiet at speed. The QX50's previous generation handled quite well, but this redesigned edition isn't up to aggressively tackling a winding road.

QX50 Reliability

Is the Infiniti QX50 Reliable?

The 2019 QX50 does not yet have a reliability rating from J.D. Power.

Infiniti QX50 Warranty

Infiniti backs the QX50 with a four-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

QX50 Safety

QX50 Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2019 Infiniti QX50.

QX50 Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and forward emergency braking.

Available features include a surround-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, a head-up display, lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, backup collision intervention, ProPilot Assist, and adaptive cruise control.

Which Infiniti QX50 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2019 QX50 is available in three trims: Pure, Luxe, and Essential. All trims feature a 268-horsepower turbo-four engine, a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and front-wheel drive. You can add all-wheel drive to any trim for $1,800.

For niceties beyond the QX50's standard features, you'll want the Essential trim, as it's the only one to offer most of this vehicle's advanced features. Even things like navigation are only available in the top trim. That's a bummer, too, because the Essential carries a nearly $7,000 price increase over the base trim, and that's before you add any option packages.

Infiniti QX50 Pure

The QX50 Pure has a base price of $36,550. In addition to the VC-Turbo engine, the CVT, and FWD, standard features include leatherette upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, forward emergency braking, and the InTouch dual-screen infotainment system. There aren't any notable option packages for this trim.

Infiniti QX50 Luxe

The QX50 Luxe has a starting price of $39,400. In addition to the Pure's features, the Luxe comes with blind spot monitoring and a moonroof. You can add heated front seats for $550.

Infiniti QX50 Essential

The QX50 Essential starts at $43,350. Standard features include leather upholstery, navigation, a surround-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, and tri-zone automatic climate control. Unlike the lower trims, there are plenty of options for the QX50 Essential. You can add a Bose audio system for $900, and there are several packages.

The ProAssist package ($550) adds adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, and backup collision intervention. The ProActive package ($2,000) adds ProPilot Assist, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, a head-up display, and Direct Adaptive Steering.

The Premium Heat package ($1,200) adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and more. The Autograph package ($2,000) adds improved styling and unique interior touches. The Sensory package ($7,500) adds climate-controlled front seats, a hands-free power liftgate, a Bose audio system, and the features from the Premium Heat package.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Infiniti dealer.

The Final Call

If you've spent time in a previous-generation Infiniti QX50, the redesigned 2019 model will look and feel different. Many changes are for the better, but the QX50 still doesn't match up with the elite vehicles in the luxury compact SUV class. That's why it finishes in the bottom half of our rankings and why it shouldn't be your first choice.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Read the full 2019 Infiniti QX50 review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.

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