Review: Infiniti QX50 (2013 – 2017)
Strong performance and good handling. Decent ride quality. Available with a V6 petrol or diesel engine. Very high standard equipment levels.
Only a handful of Infiniti dealers in the UK.
Infiniti QX50 (2013 – 2017): At A Glance
The Infiniti QX50 isn't merely a new car. It's one of a range of cars, previously unheard of in the UK, but very well known on the other side of the pond as Nissan's equivalent of Lexus - a high quality premium make that offers something different to the usual German makes. Originally called the EX, it was one of the cars Infiniti launched with when it entered the UK with in September 2009 and is the smaller counterpart to the more striking Infiniti FX
It was initially available only as a petrol and used a detuned version of the 3.7-litre V6 engine that can also be found in the Nissan 370Z. With 320PS it's very rapid and sounds great too, but economy is a shortcoming as it only returns 25.0mpg. What the EX desperately needed was a diesel engine. Luckily it didn't have to wait long and in July 2010 Infiniti introduced its first ever diesel - a 3.0-litre V6.
This means the QX50 now makes much more sense and its no surprise that Infiniti expects the majority of buyers to go for the diesel model. It's refined but punchy and actually feels quicker than the petrol in everyday driving thanks to its enormous torque reserves of 550Nm. But the best bit is average fuel consumption of 33.2mpg, making it far more affordable in terms if running costs.
In terms of categorising the QX50, that's not particularly straightforward. It's more of a 'crossover' than a 4x4 and although it does have all-wheel drive a standard, this is no off-roader. It's smaller than the BMW X6 and isn't as tall as an Audi Q5.
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Infiniti QX50 (2013 – 2017): What's It Like Inside?
- Boot space is 340–1175 litres
Interior quality is an area where choosing a premium make really makes a difference. The likes of Audi and BMW manage to create sophisticated and modern interiors that are not only stylish but also user-friendly. It's not always an easy feat to manage but the QX50 is pretty close. The quality of the finish and the high grade of the materials used is immediately obvious as soon as you get behind the wheel with leather trim and high gloss finishes.
There are quite a few switches and controls which may be familiar to you if you've ever driven a modern Nissan before, but they don't detract from the high-end feel. The design isn't especially adventurous but everything is easy to find and straightforward to use, it's just slightly lacking in the cohesion and sharpness of the German makes. But comfort levels are superb and the seats are some of the best around for plushness, although a bit more side support wouldn't go amiss.
There's decent rear passenger room too, although with the front seats pushed all the way back, rear legroom is pretty restricted. Head room is generous and the boot is usefully large too. But where the QX50 really has the edge over its rivals is standard equipment. It's absolutely loaded with kit, most of which would be (expensive) optional extras on other premium makes.
Equipment levels from launch (September 2009):
QX50 models in standard form all come with six airbags (driver and front passenger airbags, front hip-thorax side airbags and front-to-rear curtain airbags), rain sensor and light sensor, an auto dimming rear view mirror, cruise control, Isofix child seat mounting points in the rear seats, front and rear parking sensors with display, CD stereo with MP3 WMA compatibility and 2GB Infiniti Music Box, USB/iPod connectivity and AUX-in RCA, Bluetooth, I-Key with smart access, boot release and smart ignition, eight-way power driver's seat, four-way power front passenger seat, driver's manual lumbar support, a multifunction steering wheel, leather steering wheel and gear shift lever, dual zone adaptive climate control, powered (up and down) 60/40 folding rear seat back rests, 18-inch eight-spoke light alloy wheels, heated and electrically folding exterior mirrors, privacy glass for rear side windows and tailgate, xenon lights with Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), front fog lamps, LED rear lamps and Scratch Shield paint.
GT models add power reach and rake adjustment for steering column, leather seat facings, 10-way power driver's seat, eight-way power front passenger seat, driver's power lumbar support, memory for driver's seat, steering wheel column and door mirrors (linked to I-Key), heated driver and front passenger seats, integrated jacket hanger (on driver's seat headrest) plus tilt door mirrors while reversing.
GT Premium versions get the Lane Departure Prevention system (only with 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) with full speed range and Intelligent Brake Assist, a high resolution touchscreen central display with Infiniti Controller, the Around View Monitor (AVM), a 30GB HDD navigation with Michelin guides and 3D POI content, voice recognition for navigation system, a CD/DVD reader with MP3 WMA DivX compatibility and 10GB Infiniti Music Box supported by Gracenote music database.
Child seats that fit a Infiniti QX50 (2013 – 2017)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Infiniti QX50 (2013 – 2017) like to drive?
- Engines range from 3.0d to 3.7
All Infiniti models share the same basic chassis and it's a platform that was designed for sports cars. As a result the QX50 handles very well with impressive body control and great cornering ability - it certainly doesn't feel like a 4x4 usually does. The steering is a touch light and has a slightly artificial feel, but it's still very precise so tackling sweeping bends is enjoyable and the car deals incredibly well with quick changes of direction thanks to impressive agility.
The all-wheel drive system means there's excellent traction too, especially noticeable when pulling away from junctions in the wet or where there's loose gravel. The QX50 manages that rare feat of being flat in corners thanks to a firm suspension set-up, but still forgiving over bumpy and uneven roads. It's very comfortable and makes for a great long distance cruiser with very little wind or road noise at higher speeds and a cossetting feel in the cabin.
Originally just one engine was available, a 3.7-litre V6 petrol with 320PS that's actually a detuned version of the unit that powers the Nissan 370Z. It's very refined and silky smooth at a sedate pace but has a great turn of pace when you want it to. Accelerating flat out from 0-62mph takes just 6.4 seconds and the V6 sounds great pulling from low down.
It can feel quite strained at higher revs though, but the advanced seven-speed automatic gearbox that comes as standard means you can make the most of the power as it delivers incredibly quick yet smooth shifts. One disappointment is that there aren't paddles on the steering wheel allowing you to change gear yourself plus the the American style foot operated manual parking brake is very effective, but a bit outdated these days.
Most people choose the diesel-powered QX50 which was introduced in July 2010 and is a very welcome addition to the range. This is Infiniti's first ever diesel engine and the good news is that it's a real gem. It's hushed on start-up but you're always aware of that underlying V6 engine note while the exhaust system has been specifically tuned for the diesel to deliver a suitable sporty sound, especially when accelerating. On paper the 235PS covers the 0-62mph spring in a respectable 7.9 seconds - that's considerably slower than an Audi Q5 3.0 TDI - but its 550Nm of torque means that in everyday driving it feels quick enough.
In-gear acceleration is punchy and it really shows its strength from 50-70mph which is a much better measure of real world acceleration. You don't need to force the gearbox to kickdown either as it's responsive and pulls very well from a high gear anyway, although having seven-speed does seem a little pointless given the torque on offer. It's good on the motorway where it settles down to around 1900rpm at 70mph so you can barely hear it as you cruise along.
|3.0d||33 mpg||7.9 s||224 g/km|
|3.7||25 mpg||6.4 s||265 g/km|
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