The 2019 INFINITI QX50 is a rapid departure from the previous model, moving from a sporty rear wheel-drive crossover to a front-wheel drive model that puts more emphasis on comfort and efficiency. Enthusiasts may decry the move, but they weren't exactly the ones buying the old model that was seriously long in the tooth. Rather than keeping with the old formula that wasn't winning any sales awards, INFINITI decided to mix it up a bit. They've introduced a engine that's seriously technologically advanced, balancing power and fuel economy while making the interior worthy of being called a luxury vehicle.

Best Value

The best value among the QX50 line up lies within the mid-range Luxe trim level. You get all of the features of the already well-featured Pure base trim, but it also adds a panoramic sunroof, LED fog lights, blind spot monitoring, and some sharp looking aluminum accent pieces for the interior. The Pure is a really good deal, but a panoramic sunroof is a very nice touch on a luxury vehicle.

Because we'd miss some of the fun of the last model, we'd spring for all-wheel drive to help wring out some of the sportier aspects of the QX50's new engine. Heated seats are basically a requirement in this price range so we would want to get the heated front seats as well. Despite our excesses, we'd still be out the door for less than $43,000.

  • Model: 2019 INFINITI QX50 Luxe
  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Output: 268 hp/ 267 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive ($1,800)
  • Fuel Economy: 24 city/30 highway
  • Options: Heated Front Seats ($550)
  • Base Price: $40,395 (including a $995 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $42,745

Performance

INFINITI QX50

The QX50 has a technological marvel under the hood. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is the first ever with variable compression ratios, meaning that it will fundamentally change the way it operates to meet the conditions it is facing. Cruising around town or on the highway? The engine will adjust to be more fuel friendly. Feeling a little feisty? The engine will adjust to give you a bit more power. Most who buy this car will probably never realize this witchcraft, and most sales people won't bother fully explaining the benefits, but it's cool nonetheless.

In other departments, the QX50 has moved to a front-wheel drive based platform which is naturally less sporty than rear wheel drive. Similarly, instead of a quick automatic with paddle shifters the new QX50 gets a CVT, which isn't as strange feeling as others that are out there, and there's a "manual" mode that fakes the feel of a standard transmission. The suspension follows the same story with a softer ride that smooths out the road with a tad of body roll in the corners. That's okay though, because the QX50 is supposed to be a bit more focused on comfort, kind of in the same vein of the Lexus RX 350. It's supposed to coddle you in a harsh world, not cut its way through it, and it does it's job well.

Interior and Exterior

The 2019 QX50 has been updated to reflect the rest of the brand's line up a bit better. It's a sleek look that feels fast even when sitting still, and the design elements on the side manage to add to the overall effect without looking too busy. All in all, it's a well executed design that INFINITI should be proud of.

Inside, the QX50 gets a fantastic looking interior with the ability to choose great looking and feeling materials like open pore wood and diamond stitched leather. The seats are very comfortable, filled with high density foam that will continue to comfort after a long day of driving. Passengers in the rear will be comfortable as well with lots of legroom, and the QX50 has plenty of room to spare for luggage with or without the back seats down. The QX50 is very well equipped for the price at all trim levels, but the real option customization doesn't come into play unless you spring for the top trim level. Be careful though, you can quickly find yourself in possession of a Monroney sticker that's hard to look at.

The Best and Worst Things

The best thing about the new QX50 is the new engine. It's a technological masterpiece that took some real brains to develop. It manages to be a chameleon for whatever mood the driver is in, working seamlessly in the background to be exactly what it should be in the moment. Most buyers won't think twice about it, but they will enjoy the effects.

The biggest flaw of the QX50 is the way the options are configured. Inexplicably, INFINITI groups some options together that are otherwise unrelated like driver assistance features and heated rear seats, forcing you to spend money on things you may otherwise skip. Additionally, some of the trim pieces look a bit cheap compared to the rest of the interior. This is a minor quibble though, and it isn't enough to bring our overall opinion down.

Right For? Wrong For?

INFINITI QX50

The QX50 is a great crossover for the average luxury crossover shopper. It's a little sporty, but not so sporty that it compromises day-to-day livability. It's everything that most people would want it to be.

It may sound strange, but the QX50 is not the right car for previous owners who are looking for more of the same. The new car is not the sporty crossover that the old one was, and if that's what they're looking for they may want to look elsewhere.

The Bottom Line

The new QX50 is significantly different from the previous model, but that's likely a good thing for INFINITI. This new model is friendlier to a much wider crowd, and will be a solid competitor against segment titans like the Lexus RX 350.