The Infiniti QX55 builds on the QX50 with a sporty, luxurious look.
Luxury maker Infiniti is on a roll with four new or updated utility vehicle models for the choosing. The compact QX55 is its latest SUV, a sporty derivative of the QX50. Along with the all-new QX60, Infiniti offers two strong and early showings for the 2022 model year.
Infiniti offers the 2022 QX55 in Luxe ($46,500), Essential ($51,600), and Sensory ($57,050) trims. Add $1,025 for the destination charge. This model seats five, comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and features standard all-wheel drive.
The QX55 is the sporty counterpart to the QX50. But that’s not a bad thing. The design differences are striking with the new model endowed with an oversized grille and a coupe-like roofline. Moreover, the latter is a design attribute common to certain European performance models.
More detailed lighting elements, pronounced lower air intakes, and large cutouts housing the fog lights are design changes of note. Black cladding on the wheel wells, sporty wheel choices, and the dual exhaust ports at the rear are other QX55 distinctives of note.
Inside, the QX55’s cabin is roomy and comfortable. Entrance and exit to the back seat necessitate bowing one’s head to avoid the door frame. Otherwise, the rear seat is comfortable with the roof falling just behind where heads are.
We’re always impressed with Infiniti interiors due mostly to the beautiful materials used and the careful placement of the same. The fit and finish is among the best we’ve seen in the industry and the QX55 does not disappoint.
The cockpit is clean with driver controls sensibly placed. Infiniti layers the dashboard, bisecting it with chrome trim that feeds out to the doors, creating an open, but unified appearance. The two-tone color scheme on the seats and center console area is a design flair we admire. The front seats are bolstered, yet comfortable with power adjustment, ventilation, and heating available. A massage function is the only missing ingredient.
Imitation leather seats on the standard model gives way to real hides elsewhere. Dual-zone climate control, heated front seats with driver lumbar support, and reclining side rear seats are included. A heated steering wheel, a power tilt-and telescopic steering column, and wood accents are among the many upgrades available.
The standard cargo space measures 26.9 cubic feet and that’s sufficient to hold enough luggage for a long weekend getaway for the entire family. Fold down the second-row seat and the cargo area mushrooms to 54.1 cubic feet. The available cargo organizer is ideal for holding groceries and other important things in place. It is an accessory item available through your dealer at the point of purchase.
Safety & Tech
Unlike the QX50 with its five trim levels, the QX55 has three. This also means the new model starts at a higher level of content, which explains the near $10,000 price difference between the two.
Infiniti loads the QX55 with generous amounts of tech features including wireless Apple CarPlay and connected Android Auto. Bluetooth, HD Radio, satellite radio, Siri Eyes Free, and standard Wi-Fi hotspot. An 8-inch display stacked on a 7-inch display occupies the center stack. Among the available upgrades are navigation, Sirius connected services, and a 16-speaker Bose audio system.
On the safety front, Infiniti supplies automatic emergency braking front and rear, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams. The trim level upgrades bring in adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and a head-up display. A surround-view monitoring system is available and does an excellent job of “seeing” around the vehicle where driver eyes are out of range.
The available ProPilot Assist package introduces elements of semi-autonomous driving. When activated, the system delivers steering inputs and keeps this crossover centered on clearly marked roads. As you keep your hands on the wheel, you may sense an invisible hand at work. This experience certainly takes getting used to!
Infiniti QX55 Performance
The QX55 comes with one powertrain choice: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable transmission. This one delivers 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque and is suitable for the task at hand.
The engine uses variable engine compression, adjusting to the needs of the moment. Notably, it is a unique arrangement that’s supposed to also bring in efficiencies, but with its average 25 mpg fuel economy, the edge isn’t there. Yet, we did find this crossover moves quickly with noticeable engine grunt and exhaust toot. The CVT, a gearless transmission, works almost unnoticeably in the background.
We found the QX55 benefits from direct steering, good handling, and a very welcome tight turning radius. Further, with standard all-wheel drive, the benefit is clear: better control on twisty and wet roads, and a strong performer entering and leaving corners. If there is any improvement we would like to see, then that would be a more powerful engine option to take on BMW M and Mercedes-AMG.
With standard all-wheel drive, you can’t go wrong with the base model. However, the only thing, though, is that at the lower price point you won’t have access to certain advanced tech features, which allow for semi-autonomous driving and a head-up display. These features, available with the middle trim, add $2,400 to your cost and push the final price above $55,000.
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