By Matt Degen
KBB Expert Rating: 7.9
The 2017 Infiniti QX50 compact-luxury SUV tends to fly under the radar, but it isn't for lack of value or power. This 5-passenger crossover SUV brings both in spades, boasting a standard 325-horsepower V6 and a starting price just over $35,000. In addition to having more power and a lower starting price than better-known rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3 and Audi Q5, the Infiniti comes with a host of standard equipment like leather interior. The cherry on top is how the QX50 handles. Its rear-wheel-drive platform, taut suspension and powerful engine make this SUV behave more like a sports sedan. Aside from its battle for name recognition, the 2017 QX50 trails in fuel efficiency and lacks some amenities like a power tailgate.
The 2017 Infiniti QX50 is a hidden gem of power, value and features. It packs one of the most powerful engines in its class at one of the lowest prices. A long list of creature comforts and solid, sporty driving manners give savvy buyers more reason to smile.
If you prioritize fuel efficiency over power, most of the QX50's rivals offer more miserly powertrains. And while it may seem a quibble to some, the lack of a power tailgate could be a deal-breaker for others.
KBB Expert Ratings
After a revision last year that granted a much-needed dose of rear legroom and some styling updates, the QX50 sees little change for 2017. Among the few updates is a new 19-inch tire-and-wheel package.
... are several reasons for this. Chief among them is the 325-horsepower V6. If you desire more standard horsepower in this class, you'll have to step up to a Jaguar F-Pace that costs several thousands more. Beyond just power, the Infiniti puts it down in the right place if you're a sports-car purist: the rear wheels. Where most of its rivals use front-wheel-drive platforms, the QX50 is rear-drive (RWD), which grants it the feel of a performance car. Even all-wheel-drive (AWD) models are rear-biased. Rounding out the QX50's sporty feel is firm steering -- one of the dwindling few that remains hydraulically assisted vs. the more efficiency-minded electric power-assist types. It adds up to a sporty SUV that is nimble in corners but compliant enough for everyday commutes.
Small-luxury SUVs can have big-size price tags, especially when ladled with options. Compared to most rivals -- especially its German ones -- the Infiniti QX50 is a bargain. For well under $40,000 you get a luxury SUV with serious power and a surprising amount of amenities.
POWERED THIS, POWERED THAT
Among those aforementioned surprising amenities available are a power-adjustable steering wheel and power up-folding rear seats. That latter feature allows you to raise the rear seats from a folded position via the touch of a button, instead of wrestling with them after unloading cargo.
Last year's revamp gave the Infiniti QX50 something it needed: more rear legroom. By lengthening the wheelbase, this 5-passenger luxury SUV gained over 4.3 inches of legroom, making the rear seats livable for adults. Cargo room also increased, to 18.6 cubic feet. All seats are covered in leather. Those in the front-passenger seat may find their left leg crowded by a floor hump that usually indicates a differential housing in AWD vehicles, but it is present even in rear-drive QX50 models. Multiple buttons and dials populate the center dash below the 7-inch color display, though most are easy to see and use.
Even with its recent enlargement, the 2017 Infiniti QX50 retains its tidy proportions. At 186.8 inches overall, it's still not that large. With its long hood, tapered roof and flowing windowsill, Infiniti's small crossover SUV also retains its sporty profile. The recent makeover raised the QX50 slightly, giving it a stance more associated with an SUV than the tall wagon it looked like when it first debuted as the Infiniti EX. Aluminum roof rails, found on most variants, also add to the QX50's utility look and feel.
The 2017 Infiniti QX50 comes well equipped out the door with leather seating, power-adjustable and heated front seats, moonroof, dual-zone climate control with rear vents, rearview camera, and push-button ignition. Standard audio entertainment is brought to you by a 6-speaker AM/FM/satellite/CD player with auxiliary and USB, as well as Bluetooth wireless connectivity.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a QX50 without the Premium Package, and for only $700 it's a no-brainer to add. It includes 11-speaker Bose premium audio, power-adjustable steering wheel with entry/exit assist, aluminum roof rails, auto-dimming rearview mirror, HomeLink garage-door opener and advanced climate system with automatic filtration and the ability to close vents when exhaust fumes are detected. There are navigation with real-time traffic, power-up rear seats, bird's-eye-view rearview camera, and front and rear sonar parking aid. Safety highlights include lane-departure warning and prevention, blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning and intelligent cruise control. One glaring omission: a power rear tailgate.
Just one engine is offered in the 2017 Infiniti QX50, and it's a strong one: the tried-and-true 3.7-liter V6. It's good for 325 horsepower and is connected to a smooth, 7-speed automatic transmission with regular and Sport settings for livelier throttle response (there's also a Snow mode to help deal with such conditions). The QX50 is rear drive as standard, and can be had with AWD. One downside of this otherwise stellar engine is that it isn't as efficient as rivals' offerings. This one's rating tops out at 24 mpg on the highway, whereas the V6 in the Acura RDX is good for up to 28 mpg. Also, premium unleaded is recommended for the Infiniti.
325 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
267 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
With a base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $35,445, the 2017 Infiniti QX50 remains a stellar value among small-luxury SUVs. Most buyers will -- and should -- opt for the Premium Package, a screaming deal that adds only $700. Adding AWD is $1,800. Loaded to the gills, a 2017 QX50 still only breaches $45,000. The QX50 is significantly less than rivals like the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Audi Q5 and Jaguar F-Pace. Undercutting the QX50 is the smaller Lincoln MKC, while the Lexus NX, Acura RDX and new Buick Envision are more in line with the Infiniti's price. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their QX50. Despite flying under the radar, the Infiniti's resale value has tended to hold up well over the years.