Infiniti’s QX50 luxury compact SUV is updated for 2021 with an increase in special equipment. A Wi-Fi hotspot, rear seat side-impact airbags, automatic collision notification with emergency call, and acoustic laminated front side glass are now standard on all models. A new color called Mineral Black has been added to the paint selection.
The QX50 Luxe model gets heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, blind spot intervention, distance control assist, lane keeping assist, and ProPilot Assist, the company’s autonomous drive technology. An optional all-black Appearance Package is available for the Luxe, including 20-inch wheels.
Traffic sign recognition is a new standard feature on the QX50 Essential model.
Direct adaptive steering is added to the Autograph model, and its all-wheel-drive version gets a new Tow Package.
The Sensory model now sports a head-up display, and its previously optional Climate Package is now a standard feature.
There are five trim levels of the 2021 QX50: Pure, Luxe, Essential, Sensory, and Autograph, all available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
Pricing starts at $38,975 including a $1,025 destination charge for the Pure model with front-wheel drive. The top-level Autograph AWD is $57,875.
Standard features on the QX50 Sensory AWD model I tested that are optional or not available on lower trims are: 20-inch wheels, adaptive headlights, leather seats, driver seat memory, a 16-speaker Bose premium audio system, and a power tilt, telescoping and heated steering wheel.
Optional items on the tester are Climate, Cargo, and Accent packages, illuminated kick plates, and welcome lighting.
The QX50 is a beautiful and comfortable vehicle with seating for five inside a sumptuous cabin much roomier than its compact SUV designation implies. Its unique power source is a 2.0-liter four cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine that uses variable compression, continually adjusting the compression ratio to optimize power and fuel efficiency.
The engine is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and produces 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy ratings with AWD are 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. Premium gasoline is recommended.
Engine performance won’t fire up a driving enthusiast, but QX50’s striking good looks will attract those who favor aesthetics. There’s no shame in buying a car just because you like the way it looks. Some people even select spouses that way.
2021 INFINITI QX50 SENSORY AWD
Base price, including destination charge: $53,025
Price as driven: $54,920
Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.