A well-equipped QX50 can be had for under $50,000.
The average transaction price for a new vehicle was $38,723 in September 2020, according to Kelly Blue Book. Needless to say, that puts many consumers on the outside looking in when shopping for a new car, truck, or SUV.
Surprisingly, Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti, has a pair of models, a sedan and an SUV, that start just below the industry average. We drove the QX50 SUV recently and were pleased to learn what you can get for the money. Indeed, with a price ranging from $37,950 to $56,850, plus a $1,025 destination charge, Infiniti’s five-passenger crossover gives shoppers looking for a luxury option a reasonable choice.
We’re fans of Infiniti’s design, which routinely includes a strong front fascia, muscular shoulders, sweeping lines, and pretty accent lighting. The QX50 checks all the important boxes and does so without wasting sheet-metal.
Inside, the cabin is bright and tidy. We don’t recommend carrying five people (four is best), except in a pinch. That said, the best seats are up front as they include high-density foam support, which is ideal for long road trips.
Move up the trim range and Infiniti swaps out imitation leather for perforated hides, adds textured aluminum trim accents, and offers suede trim. Our test model came with the works, including white semi-aniline leather with eye-catching blue piping accents.
The QX50 comes well equipped, although heated and ventilated front seats are an option. A power tilt-and-telescopic steering column, a heated steering wheel, and a panoramic moonroof with a power sunshade can be had if you want to pay for it.
Every 2021 Infiniti QX50 comes with one engine choice and it is a fantastic one. Chances are if you drive this vehicle, you won’t fully grasp what’s so significant about the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder sitting under the hood. It’s special because Infiniti uses variable compression technology to boost performance and increase fuel economy.
This engine makes 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and achieves nearly 30 mpg on the highway, impressive numbers all around. Power travels to the front or to four wheels utilizing a continuously variable transmission. Choose all-wheel drive and this model pulls up to 3,000 pounds.
Another technological curiosity with this vehicle is that there is no steering rack connecting the steering column to the front wheels on some trims. So, how do the wheels move? Through drive-by-wire technology, which means the SUV’s computer accurately gauges steering inputs to adjust wheel movement accordingly. If this sounds odd or even scary, it’s similar to the fly-by-wire systems pilots use to steer aircraft. For Infiniti, the technology replaces a component subject to much wear and tear (and a costly repair), while saving weight. From a safety perspective, if you’re involved in a serious front-end collision, an absent steering column doesn’t have the potential to maim you.
On the Road
We found the QX50 a likable performer with robust acceleration and ample passing power. The steering wheel moves easily and swiftly for a natural feel. Its turning radius is tight, making it easy to maneuver on narrow urban streets.
You’ll hear some noise inside, but what’s curiously absent is excess engine noise. Thanks to Bose noise cancellation technology, the system, which is always on, detects low-frequency engine sounds in the cabin and matches it with acoustically opposite sound waves to cancel the sound. When operating in sport mode, the sound volume amplifies.
Safety & Technology
For 2021, Infiniti makes more safety equipment standard. Items like blind-spot intervention, distance-control assist, lane-departure prevention, and adaptive cruise control are included.
Infiniti also supplies ProPILOT Assist, a system that supplies semi-autonomous driving, including the ability to keep this SUV centered on clearly marked roads. Activate the system and you’ll get a taste of what’s soon to come.
The QX50’s infotainment offerings include upper 8-inch and lower 7-inch touch-screen displays. Bluetooth, four USB ports, Wi-Fi access, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility, and Siri Eyes Free are standard. A 6-speaker audio system with a CD player is included.
Among the upgrades, which are typically available through various trims, are navigation, a head-up display, and a 16-speaker Bose audio system. An around-view monitor with moving object detection helps mitigate accidents involving small children and animals.
Without batting an eye, your cost can easily approach $50,000 if you choose one of the top of five distinct trims, a package upgrade, and all-wheel drive. But many of the desirable amenities, including safety features, are standard, which makes a $40,000 Infiniti possible for the wise negotiator.
Photos copyright Stumpwater Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kelley Blue Book: Average New-Vehicle Prices Rise 2.5% Year-Over-Year in September 2020, According to Kelley Blue Book — https://mediaroom.kbb.com/2020-10-01-Average-New-Vehicle-Prices-Rise-2-5-Year-Over-Year-in-September-2020-According-to-Kelley-Blue-Book