New 2019
INFINITI QX50 SUV

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

The Infiniti QX50 compact-luxury SUV has been completely revamped for 2019, and the result is a far different and more relevant vehicle than its former self. Whereas the previous-generation QX50 (once known as the Infiniti EX) was a powerful but aging and rather inefficient SUV with sporty underpinnings, the all-new 2019 QX50 boasts the latest safety and driver-assistance systems, more creature comforts and a high-tech engine optimized for efficiency. With a starting price under $38,000, the QX50 also falls on the more value-oriented end of the premium-crossover-SUV spectrum. Once an outlier among 2-row/5-passenger luxury SUVs, the reborn QX50 is now a more capable competitor to better-known rivals like the Audi Q5, Acura RDX and Lexus NX.

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You'll Like This SUV If...

If you want a smaller luxury SUV with a great style, a high-tech turbocharged engine, a competitive price tag, and laudable safety and driver-assistance features, the Infiniti QX50 is worth a look.

You May Not Like This SUV If...

For all its fresh features, the all-new 2019 Infiniti QX50 lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. And while its sub-$38,000 starting price is enticing, to get features like leather seating and the ProPILOT driver-assist system, you’ll have to spend substantially more on a top-trim Essential model.

What's New for 2019

The Infiniti QX50 luxury-crossover SUV is all-new for 2019. Retaining only the same name as the former model, this revamped version is the world’s first production vehicle to use a variable-compression (VC) turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and comes with added safety and convenience features.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

If you ever drove the last QX50, you will find this all-new version completely different. Whereas the outgoing QX50, with its rear-wheel-drive architecture and powerful V6 engine felt more like a sports sedan, Infiniti’s new SUV is tailored more for efficiency and practicality. Like most of its rivals, the 2019 Infiniti QX50 is now front-wheel drive (FWD), with all-wheel drive (AWD) optional. This makes the QX50 feel less sporty than the past one, but less prone to sliding on slick roads – though if you live where it snows, we’d recommend adding AWD. For all its high-tech ability to instantly change compression ratios to suit power or efficiency needs, the new VC-Turbo 4-cylinder engine feels similar to other turbo-4 units. Though down on horsepower (268 vs. 325 of the prior model), there’s still enough juice for competent acceleration. Also new is a continuously variable transmission, or CVT. In ordinary situations you may not notice there are no set gears, but when driven aggressively the new QX50’s transmission drones. Steering feel, now switched from hydraulically to electrically assisted, is lighter but more numb compared to the previous QX50. Where the new model is light-years ahead of the old one is in the ProPILOT driver-assistance system, which we highlight below.

Favorite Features

PROPILOT ASSIST
The 2019 QX50 is the first Infiniti to get this system that bundles intelligent cruise control and steering assist. Meant for use on highways or in congested traffic, it enables the driver to rest hands on the steering wheel while the QX50 takes over acceleration, braking and steering.

ROOMIER INTERIOR
The previous QX50 was hampered by less interior space than its rivals. Infiniti has rectified that with this all-new version, granting it some of the best rear-seat legroom and cargo room in its class.

Vehicle Details

Interior

Infiniti’s new QX50 has been improved significantly thanks to more space. A class-above 38.7 inches of rear-seat legroom and up to 65.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity with rear seats lowered are two of the biggest stats. Beyond the roominess, the QX50’s cabin is a nice place to begin your journey, especially if you pony up for the Essential trim. With the other two – Pure and Luxe – you’ll still be sitting on faux leather and will have to pay extra for heated front seats. The central dash has a high-tech look thanks to twin touch screens, the upper being eight inches and the lower one seven inches. In addition to using the touch screen, functions for audio, phone, navigation and more can be controlled by supplementary dials. Cascading down the sides of the lower screen are even more buttons for fan speed, temperature, and the optional heated and ventilated front seats. It’s a refreshing departure from fully touch-based controls. What can be potentially confusing to use at first is the nub of a gear selector and the P button below it that needs to be pressed to put the vehicle in park.

Exterior

With its svelte new skin, the QX50 now has a similar visual pop as its siblings, the smaller QX30 and larger, 3-row QX60. Especially distinctive are a voluptuous hood and the boomerang-like chrome treatment of the C-pillar. Up front, Infiniti’s honeycomb grille is big and proud, with the Infiniti badge seeming to float in the middle. If you want roof rails, you’ll have to step up from the base Pure model to the midtrim Pure or topline Essential trim. The same goes for the panoramic moonroof. All 2019 QX50s come with 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels. Optional 20-inch rollers are available on the QX50 Essential. At 8.6 inches, the new QX50 has good ground clearance.

Notable Standard Equipment

Among the highlights that come with a base Infiniti QX50 Pure are a power tailgate, 8-way-power front seats, LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, and Infiniti’s Predictive Forward Collision Warning that can “see” two cars in front, along with automatic emergency braking. The base infotainment system is a twin-screen setup with 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/satellite radio audio system with Bluetooth and a USB input. Unfortunately, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t available on the new QX50, regardless of trim. Stepping up to the Luxe trim adds a power-operated panoramic moonroof, roof rails, LED fog lights, blind-spot monitoring and auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink universal garage-door opener.

Notable Optional Equipment

If there’s a catch with the new Infiniti QX50, it’s that you have to step up to the top-line Essential trim if you want some of the most coveted features. So, while all-wheel drive is optional on all trims and heated seats can be had on the midgrade Luxe, if you want leather interior, navigation, the nifty Around View bird’s-eye rearview camera system or even heated side mirrors, you’ll have to spend over $44,000 for the Essential trim. This model is also the only one that offers the optional ProPILOT Assist features. Also available only on this top trim are a head-up display, tri-zone climate control, a 17-speaker premium Bose audio system and, on the Autograph package, quilted leather seating and sophisticated blue Ultrasuede interior trim.

Under the Hood

Infiniti says its VC-Turbo 4-cylinder, at over 20 years in the making, could be “the world’s most advanced engine.” By variable compression, the automaker means this engine can change the stroke of its pistons, thereby varying compression as needed for the benefit of either power or efficiency. It’s complex technology, but thankfully everything happens behind the scenes. From a driver’s point of view, this engine feels much like any other turbo-4, with some instances of lag upon hard acceleration but good power otherwise. Infiniti is opting for this technology in a bid for greater efficiency, and the automaker estimates the QX50 will attain up to 27 mpg combined. Drivers most serious about fuel economy can engage an Eco mode via the drive-mode selector, but it has the uncomfortable tendency to add resistance to the accelerator pedal. Also in the name of efficiency, all models use a CVT automatic transmission that tends to drone upon aggressive acceleration. FWD is the standard setup, with AWD optional. Infiniti reps say this sophisticated engine can technically run on 87-octane gasoline, but premium grade is recommended. The 2019 Infiniti QX50 can tow up to 3,000 pounds when optioned with AWD and the tow package.

2.0-liter variable-compression turbocharged inline-4
268 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
280 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/31 mpg (FWD), 24/30 mpg (AWD)

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Pricing Notes

The 2019 Infiniti QX50 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $37,545 for a base, front-wheel-drive model. The midtrim Luxe model starts at $40,395, while the topline Essential begins at $44,345. All-wheel drive is an extra $1,800 for any trim. Most options are reserved for the Essential trim, so while at its base price the new 2019 QX50 undercuts rivals like the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3 and Volvo XC60, its value proposition dims when considering you must step up to the highest trim to get features like a leather interior and navigation. All-in, a loaded QX50 can reach over $58,000. Rivals with an even more accessible starting price are the Acura RDX, Lexus NX and Lincoln MKC. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new QX50. In the years ahead, our analysts predict the Infiniti QX50’s resale value will be competitive among its class.

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