The 2016 Infiniti QX50 Review: Despite looking much like its predecessor, the new 2016 model adds 3.2 inches of wheelbase and 4.5 inches of length. Most of this increase is given to rear seat leg and knee room, so your passengers will be grateful, and you’ll get an extra 8 cubic feet of cargo space. Now the QX50 is considered a “small station wagon” by the EPA.
All QX50s come with Nissan’s tried-and-true 3.7-liter V6, mounted longitudinally (front-to-back) rather than transversely (sideways). It puts out a healthy 325 horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. of torque, enough to make short work of your trips between cities or out to the QuikMart. The two-wheel-drive model weighs in at 3,855 lbs.; if all four wheels are moving the car, it’s 4,020 lbs.
The EPA gives the QX50 fuel economy ratings of 17 City, 24 Highway, 20 Combined. I averaged 18.3 mpg. That, combined with Green scores of 5 for Smog and 4 for Greenhouse Gas, keeps this car from being a Sierra Club favorite, although there are some tall wagons that don’t do as well.
Over the years, Infiniti styling has varied, starting with the original Q45 flagship. It wore a samurai belt buckle in place of a grille, and debuted in TV ads with only rocks and trees (remember those?). Today’s cars wear organic, softly modeled proportions and real grilles. The QX50 fits right in, and my tester, a rear-wheel-drive example in a deep Midnight Garnet, was kind of pretty for the segment.
There’s a good bit of coupe in the body design, and a kink in the rear window line evokes BMW (a favorite industry-wide practice). The softly contoured sides show a little bit of a crease along the top for strength and an indentation along the lower door edges to add energy.
The grille is wide and filled with a rich-looking weave of chrome (Jaguar, anyone?). The oval vanishing point logo figures prominently at both ends. In today’s market, the QX50 is neither stunner nor overdone, so it should be easy to live with.
Inside, comfort prevails, and the black and “Chestnut” surfaces look all puffed up, conveying a soft pillow effect backed by a sense of strength. It’s kind of a fist in a velvet glove. The crossover challenge is to provide just the right balance between a “masculine” rugged feel and gently curved, nicely trimmed “feminine” luxury. That’s what distinguishes crossovers from the old truck-based SUVs of yore.
If you want to fold the second row up or down from the tailgate, there are neat little buttons inside the rear hatch to do it. That’s maple trim on the dash, thanks to the Premium Package (see below for details). The instrument panel type font in white on black is classy, and of course, there’s that analog center-mounted analog clock—an original Infiniti feature (widely copied today, which probably originated with a Rolls-Royce).
The powerful V6 moves the QX50 along quite effectively, but I was surprised to hear more wind and tire noise than I expected in an upscale vehicle. That may be the price for a firm suspension (independent on all four wheels, double wishbones up front, multi-link in the rear). It could be the tire choice (over optional 19-inch wheels), or perhaps it’s the handsome roof rack. Maybe it’s being at the entry point of a luxury brand rather at its pinnacle.
My tester started at $34,450, plus $995 for delivery. But it’s the add-on packages that turned up the juice. Here are some high spots. The Technology Package for $2,750 added Intelligent Cruise Control (keeps a steady gap between you and the car ahead), blind spot and lane departure warning, and aluminum pedals. The Deluxe Touring Package added $2,400 and brought 19-inch alloy wheels, high tech lighting, and power seats.
The Premium Package for $500 contributed the sweet-sounding Bose 11-speaker sound system and a host of other goodies. The Premium Plus Package for $2,000 added navigation, and the cool Around View monitor, which lets you see yourself from a bird’s eye view (how do they do that?). Illuminated kick plates for $440 complete the extras. The total MSRP price on the window sticker came to $43,535.
I’m not sure if the QX50 would be as nice without all of those packages, or if it’s even sold that way, but it’s one of the original entry-luxury crossovers, and with all the changes for 2016, it just keeps rolling on. By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net
The 2016 Infiniti QX50 Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
The Bottom Line: The 2016 Infiniti QX50 is considered a small station wagon and is actually one of the original luxury midsize crossovers. It’s part of a booming segment of today’s vehicle market. You get seating for five, a great view of the road, and plenty of room in back for your gear. And picking a new QX50 is easy. Do you want rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive? What color do you like? Then, just select from several appealing option packages and configure the car you want. And maybe, just for those reasons alone, you should “Drive one, Buy one, Today ©”. Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net - And remember: “You Are What You Drive ©”
Column Name: The QX50 is considered a small station wagon
Topic: The 2016 Infiniti QX50
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Series #: 2016- 18
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