3.7-litre V6 (325 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm, 267 lbs-ft @ 5,200 rpm
Seven-speed automatic transmission with Drive Sport mode, all-wheel drive
17 town / 24 freeway / 20 mixed (EPA Rating, MPG)
15 (Observed, MPG)
Base Cost: $35,850 (U.Utes.) / $37,900 (North america)
As Tested: $44,495 (U.Utes) / $50,080 (Canada)
All Ough.S prices incorporate a $995 destination fee. Just about all Canadian prices include $1,995 freight and PDI charges, and A/C tax when equipped.
From krill-hungry Lincolns to Predator-style Mercedes grilles, the automotive market is littered with luxury crossovers like rocks covering the scenery of my home province of Newfoundland. With couple of exceptions, they’re all ponderous boxes offering the driving dynamics of tapioca pudding. Including a sport package to these machines simply upgrades them to slightly warmer tapioca pudding.
The 2016 Infiniti QX50, though, shocked me … and I like surprises – for example, buying a new kind of beer and finding it to my liking, or having a tool work better than anticipated. These are all encounters that give me real joy. Heck, We even bought my personal first house mostly based on the fact it’s floorplan wasn’t what I expected.
The 3.7-liter V6 engine within the QX50 is the biggest shock, even though it appears within myriad forms within nearly every vehicle Nissan/Infiniti makes. The VQ V6 delivers 325 hp here; not a large amount of power compared to its competitors, however it sings a song up to its near-7,000 rpm redline.
The engine is positioned at the rear of the centre line of the front axle, contributing to the QX50’s positive handling characteristics and pleasant trip. The seven-speed automatic is really a welcome relief from droning CVTs, featuring a strangely petite shifter that’s perfect for Mr . trump or someone else gifted with small hands
Testing at my home in eastern Canada in 04 gives me an opportunity to sample the QX50’s all-wheel drive on snow-covered roads. A switch on the centre console, between the knobs for that furnace-quality heated front seats, allows drivers to switch into Snow Mode, thus blunting throttle reaction and adjusting traction control. Speaking of which –
– Nissan really doesn’t want you to turn off the traction control. The button for doing so is lower by the driver’s remaining ankle, well out of view of any biped with eyes in their mind and not their ft. I circled it within the picture above since it truly answers a good ergonomic question absolutely no driver has asked nor dreamed to ask, even during individuals drug experimentation years.
Space abounds in the QX50. It is big enough for this six-foot-six writer, even with its sunroof, and provides for a comfortable traveling position. Elsewhere, there are odd vertical wrinkles on the passenger side of the dashboard under which the airbag resides, a styling flourish which left many riders puzzled and became the butt of crass remarks comparing it to various parts of the human anatomy. Quality, soft leather addresses many touch factors, but there are some hard plastic pieces in a few locations where none should exist.
Oddly, given the insightful leg and headroom, the centre console is extremely cramped and fails to provide any practical real estate in which to lodge a phone being charged through the convenient USB interface. Sure, the cupholder can there be – notably included in a nicely actioned, leather-trimmed lid – but I refuse to get rid of my phone right into a well in which spilled remains of the past’s coffee may lay. The QX50’s centre console real estate is so tight that two big double-doubles cannot reside side-by-side in the cupholder. At least the covered storage underneath the center armrest is deep, if narrow.
The infotainment system triggered neither awestruck wonderment nor suits of rage. It had been simply … . Response occasions were adequate, screen resolution was adequate, and there was an adequate number of redundant control keys. Sensing a pattern here? Adequate.
As a personal choice, I do favour a black interior rather than the tan trappings of our tester, but that’s a very subjective opinion. Regardless of colour, the leather smells . Every vehicle has that new-car smell; the QX50 has the sumptuous, deep aroma of recent leather. I tried with no success to put the smell in a bottle using the intent of selling it at high-end boutiques: Eau d’Nissan.
For 2016, Infiniti stretched the QX50’s wheelbase by Three.2 inches, with all of that newfound space visiting the passengers, and most of this to rear seat legroom. It’s certainly noticeable, too. Space for legs is good both front and rear and the 18 cu. ft. of cargo space is well shaped, simple to load, and lighted from above by a light on the hatch. Why is this worth mentioning? Way up there on the hatch, the light won’t obtain covered by items in a fully laden cargo area. The fancy chrome handle on the cargo cover flops around like a newly caught carp when not secured.
Fuel economy was depressing, with the Infiniti swilling premium gas at a rate far exceeding its 17.Two miles per gallon city rating. Ignoring the positive on-board computer and using technology available to Wyatt Earp, I used a pen and determined a consumption of roughly 15 mpg. I am willing to chalk some of that up to a green motor, winter tires, as well as 100 km associated with rural driving, but there’s no escaping the three.7L VQ’s prodigious thirst whenever hauling around 4029 pounds of all-wheel-drive crossover.
Starting at $35,850, the QX50 AWD constitutes a good case by itself at that price point. The tester, continuing the actual Infiniti tradition of making customers to buy certain option packages in order to get other ones, was packed to the gunwales with $7,Six hundred and fifty worth of options and costs to ring the actual bell at $44,495. At that price, it’s value proposition is actually murkier.
A $2,000 Premium Plus package mainly delivers a navigation system and Infiniti’s trick About View Monitor, that allows a top down view of the vehicle during parking manoeuvres. Sadly, tasty saltine cookies are not included in the Premium Plus package. From there, the $2,400 Luxurious Touring package provides 19-inch alloys and HID headlamps that light up the actual dark side of the moon but have a strange and abrupt reduced beam cutoff point. The $2,750 Technology package includes lane keeping and other semi-autonomous driving features. This adds up quickly. The tester had the 3 packages, with slightly different content as well as pricing for the Canada market. I’d leave the trio of option boxes uncontrolled and drive aside for less than 40 great.
Infiniti has struggled using its identity since its rocks-and-trees advertising campaign that launched the brand in the late ’80s. Even now, its product offerings range from milquetoast convertibles to brawny body-on-frame SUVs. The actual QX50 surprised me, pleasantly, and I think the QX50 lives in the sportier side from the Infiniti showroom, offering an unpretentious alternative to the small crossovers from BMW as well as Mercedes.
Selling Points: siren of the engine, agreeable interior space, and that leather scents great
Deal Breakers: small centre console, alarming thirst for fuel, option prices by Prada
The Bottom Line: the crossover for those who would like more sport and less utility.
[Images: ? 2016 Matthew Guy/The Truth About Cars]
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