It’s not often that I get excited by the hood of a vehicle.
But, I confess, that was the case with the 2019 Infiniti QX50 Essential AWD mid-size crossover.
The longish clamshell hood with its sculpted surface and detailing, flows into deep, sharp-edged character lines that run along the sides of the QX50. It creates a sharper angle than its competitors’ and creates a distinctive visual signature.
In the big scheme, however, the hood hardly registers.
The QX50 is arguably the most compelling Infiniti to date, offering world-first technologies, enhanced interior space and an entirely new platform that provides a new level of versatility, efficiency and performance in this luxury category.
It comes in three trim levels: entry-level Pure, middle-of-the-road Pure and top-of-the-line Essential. A new 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine, the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine, delivers driving pleasure and efficiency in equal measure, while Infiniti Intelligent All-Wheel Drive and the new ProPILOT Assist technologies react discreetly to certain driving situations, supporting the driver with a range of empowering driver-assist features.
The engine delivers 268 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque, earning a 30-miles-per-gallon EPA rating down the highway. The QX50 seats up to five adults in a posh environment, with plenty of cargo space for gear and equipment. The engine is mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission. It is one of few vehicles in its segment to offer sliding second-row seats. The QX50 boasts rear legroom up to 38.7 inches – sufficient to let rear passengers cross their legs in comfort. And the trunk accommodates three golf bags, or a stroller situated length-wise, with space for additional cargo. Hidden under-floor storage compartments can be used to stow valuable items, or wet and muddy clothing.
Creature comforts are highlighted by a Bose sound system with 16 speakers, around and rear-view monitors, tri-zone climate control, panoramic power moon roof, navigation, leather heated and cooled front seats, ambient lighting, maple wood trim, four USB ports, power rear lift gate and much, much, more.
A four-monitor display supports the driver by showing information where it’s needed, when it’s needed. There’s heads-up display in the driver’s line-of-sight, eight-inch touchscreen for navigation, a separate seven-inch lower touchscreen for climate and entertainment controls, and an instrument gauge between the speedometer and tach that displays key driving information, safety messages and warnings.
Not surprisingly, the QX50 is loaded with the latest, greatest in safety technology. Again, too much to list. Highlights include direct adaptive steering, distance control assist, backup-collision intervention, predictive forward-collision warning, blind-spot warning and intervention, lane-departure warning and prevention and forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
Base Price: $46,145
Price As Driven: $59,085