The Infiniti QX50 has also been somewhat of an also ran in the brand’s lineup of crossover SUV’s even when it was originally introduced as the Infiniti EX35.
This is at least in terms of sales volume, because when it comes to specs and makeup, this mid-sizer has a lot going for it that still few people are aware of. To start with it’s a rear-wheel drive based crossover, sharing its underpinning and chassis DNA with the brand’s sport sedans.
That one thing puts the QX50 well ahead of any front driver in the field, and puts it square in the class of the BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC.
All the fawning aside, Infiniti however knew they had to get some attention and build value for this wallflower of their showroom. So for 2016 they’ve noodled the design here and there, added a full three inches to its wheelbase and added more interior features to boot.
The extended wheelbase is most noticed in the rear doors and in the rear seat where passengers will now enjoy one of the most generous dimensions in class with an additional 4.3-inches of leg room and 3.9 inches of knee room.
Revised trims and bits also flow through the interior but there isn’t a significant redesign here. There are a host of high-tech infotainment and connectivity features, navigation, Bose Audio and the like which are all still for the most part options.
The big news came to the outside which starts with a near 1-inch lift in ride height that increases ground clearance and gives it a more SUV-like stance. Styling changes for 2016 include a new front fascia, LED running lights and a new grille brings it in line with the rest of the showroom.
It still doesn’t have the sexy mug found on the new Q50 sedan, keeping its somewhat mammal inspired headlamps. New 19-inch alloy wheels are here though as is a redesigned rear fascia and rear bumper, all wrapped together with new trims down the sills.
Motivating the QX50 remains Nissan and Infiniti’s award winning VQ series 3.7-liter V6 engine, they tell us is the most powerful standard engine in class. It has its roots in the Nissan 370Z and other sport oriented cars and is indeed powerful with 325 horsepower.
It comes mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. It’s nice but the day the new 3.0 turbocharged V6 with up to 400 horsepower recently introduced in the Q50 sedan is brought here will be a good one indeed.
The 2016 Infiniti QX50 starts at a pretty reasonable $34,950 for the rear-wheel drive model and $35,850 for all-wheel drive. Option packages are where the price tag will take you well up to the mid-$40,000’s however.
Even here, the QX50 signs in quite a bit less than fully loaded competitors from Germany.