2016 QX50 New Car Test Drive
The Infiniti QX50 features a longer body for the 2016 model year, dramatically enhancing its utility. Rear-seat riders can rejoice, because the 2016 QX50 excels in second-row accommodations.
Pre-2016 QX50 models (including the earlier Infiniti EX) were lauded for being focused on the driver, but the back seats were considered to be cramped.
By adding 3.2 inches to the wheelbase, the 2016 Infiniti QX50 is suitable for four adults. Total interior space has grown, along with rear-seat knee room. The front seats, as before, offer plenty of room, with snugly bolstered backrests.
Changes for the 2016 model year, though extensive, are not easy to spot. The added length, absorbed visually in the rear doors, makes the QX50 look better. The primary difference is longer rear doors. Up front, the grille has been restyled, coupled with new LED foglamps and daytime running lights. New door mirrors incorporate LED turn-signal indicators. Restyled 18- and 19-inch wheels are available. Ride height has been increased by four-fifths of an inch.
Built on a Q50 sports-sedan chassis, the Infiniti QX50 hardly ranks as rugged or off-road capable. What it offers is an abundance of driving dynamics, resulting in responsive road manners. More than most rivals, the QX50 handles like a sports sedan. Ride comfort and handling prowess don't quite match Infiniti's sweetly balanced Q50 sedan, but the QX50 isn't far off the mark, tilting favorably toward the sporty end of the spectrum.
Under the hood, a 325-horsepower V6 teams with an excellent 7-speed automatic transmission, providing quick responses. The transmission and engine work eagerly in unison, delivering a throttle-blip for rev-matching during downshifts. When pressed, the engine sounds loud and unrefined for a luxury vehicle.
Gas mileage is down slightly with the extended body, and isn't very good for its class. The QX50 is EPA-rated at 17/24 mpg City/Highway, and 20 mpg Combined. Those figures might be more appropriate for a bigger, three-row SUV.
Formerly offered in four trim levels, the lineup has been simplified into two basic versions: rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.
QX50 ($34,450) has rear-wheel drive. Standard equipment includes a rearview camera; leather upholstery; power driver's seat; cruise control; dual-zone automatic climate control; six-speaker audio with CD/MP3 capability, satellite radio, and Bluetooth hands-free phone; moonroof, pushbutton start, and universal garage door opener; and 18-inch aluminum wheels.
QX50 AWD ($35,850) adds all-wheel drive.
A $500 Premium package adds Bose 11-speaker audio, maple wood trim, and driver's memory. Several safety-tech features, including lane-departure and forward-collision warnings, plus intelligent cruise control, are part of a $2,750 Technology Package. A new $2,000 Premium Plus package adds navigation, parking sensors, and surround-view cameras (useful because visibility is limited by dramatic rear-end styling).