The 2023 Infiniti QX55 returns better equipped, but pricier.
Infiniti’s quartet of utility vehicles includes a pair of models that are more alike than different. New for 2022, the Infiniti QX55 is a derivative of the QX50. Both models are compact SUVs with room for five. Infiniti, though, takes an upscale approach with the newest model, adding design flair and a more robust package of standard equipment. Either model is worth considering, but the bulk of this review focuses on the QX55.
2022 Infiniti QX55 Review
For this review, we test-drove the 2022 QX55. However, given the timing of our review, the 2023s became available. Therefore, our pricing and some of the finer details of this model mention 2023 equipment.
For 2023, Infiniti offers the QX55 in three grades — Luxe ($49,150), Essential ($54,250), and Sensory ($57,800). That’s the same as last year. Add $1,195 for the destination fee. No factory package options are offered, although certain port upgrades can be had. Most models, though, come with paint scheme upgrades costing $695 or $900, respectively.
The cost for 2023, however, is $2,650 higher than the previous year. Most of that increase covers a greater amount of standard equipment. These features include 20-inch alloy wheels, power-folding and heated side mirrors, and rear doors with LED welcome lighting. Perforated-leather seats, four-way power lumbar adjustment for the driver, and a Type-C USB port for rear passengers are also included. Finally, Infiniti’s ProPILOT Assist technology is now standard across the model range.
The differences between the QX50 and QX55 become apparent once these models are placed side by side.
For the QX55, this SUV builds on the QX50 by supplying a bolder grille, larger lights, and a change to the roofline ornamentation. Specifically, regarding the latter, the snaking chrome embellishment on the rear roof pillar is gone. The look is tamer, although the overall appearance of the QX55 seems sportier.
Infiniti equips the QX55 with 20-inch dark-painted and machine-finished alloy wheels. They’re wrapped in all-season tires. LED lighting front and back, including fog lamps, comes standard. Power-folding and heated side mirrors, a power moonroof, and a power liftgate are included.
Move up through the grade range and features such as an adaptive front lighting system come in. Only the range-topping Sensory trim has a motion-activated liftgate.
The QX55’s cabin is roomy and comfortable. Four is the ideal arrangement, but this model carries five. The front seats are plush and supportive, the rear seat offers thick padding and decent thigh support. The rear legroom is impressive, nearly matching the front row.
Infiniti dresses the QX55 in leather, soft-touch materials, and chrome accents. The Sensory trim adds wood pieces. The layout is middle of the road – neither busy nor simple. The center console though includes a pair of stacked displays. There is ample storage space at the base of the stack, between the front seats, and in the doors.
The cargo space measures 26.9 cubic feet and that’s somewhat below average. Fold down the rear seat and 54.1 cubic feet become available.
Full power accessories, dual-zone climate control, and an 8-way power driver’s seat with 4-way lumbar support come standard. Rear heating ducts and rear HVAC vents are included. The Sensory grade gains tri-zone climate control and extended interior ambient lighting.
We were surprised to discover that the standard Luxe trim comes with a 6-speaker audio package. The other grades feature a 16-speaker Bose audio system.
All grades have five USB ports front (3) and back (2), Bluetooth, and satellite radio. Wireless Apple CarPlay and connected Android Auto integration are included. A Wi-Fi hotspot and a wireless charging pad are standard.
Infiniti supplies not one, but two screens for the center console. An 8-inch screen sits on top of a 7-inch screen to fill that space. The top screen is for the infotainment system, the bottom screen manages cabin controls. Supplemental buttons on either side of the screen and a center console control knob are included.
Operating the screen takes some practice, but it works. Nevertheless, modern competitors feature a singular oversized screen where all features are combined.
Infiniti equips the QX55 with a robust list of driver-assist safety technologies. Lane departure warning, lane departure assist, forward collision warning, and forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection are included.
Each model also features blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert. Rear automatic braking, blind spot intervention, and adaptive cruise control are standard. Newly standard this year is traffic-sign recognition. A head-up display is available.
Infiniti equips the QX55 with a 2.0-liter turbocharged variable compression four-cylinder engine. Power routes to all four wheels utilizing a continuously variable transmission. That’s the same arrangement as the QX50. However, front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional.
The engine develops 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, which are respectable numbers for this size. The variable compression technology is unique too. It is the only mass-produced engine featuring it. Specifically, the engine automatically adjusts compression based on driving habits. This means the ratio can adjust to enhance performance or elevate efficiency. Regardless, the QX55 delivers an average of 25 mpg.
We laud the engine for its succinct attributes. It is a strong engine, but it seems restrained at times by the CVT. Gearless transmissions often force the engine to whine, particularly under hard acceleration. Even with software to ease the droning, it was still apparent at times. We believe CVTs belong to budget models, not luxury vehicles such as Infiniti.
Credit Infiniti for developing a laudable suspension system that absorbs most bumps with ease. Encountering rough pavement, though, exposes the weakness inherent to any small SUV. The ride becomes much less comfortable as each bump is navigated.
Steering is not a strong suit, although the QX55 supplies excellent maneuverability and a light touch. But it lacks the sporty feel that one might think this flashier-looking model should deliver. The QX55 stays planted on turns, but it simply lacks excitement.
Infiniti QX55 Competitors
Several models are direct competitors to the QX55. These include the Acura RDX, Cadillac XT4, Lincoln Corsair, Lexus NX, and BMW X3.
Other models from Porsche (Cayenne), Volvo (XC60), Mercedes-Benz (GL-Class), Genesis (GV70), and Land Rover (Discovery) should be considered.
Infiniti QX55 Considerations
We believe the QX55 fulfills its mission, but its high price and relatively uninspiring drive make competing models the better choice. Especially the Genesis GV70.
Replacing the CVT with a 9-speed automatic transmission as found in the QX60 would allow the engine to work with precision. As it currently stands, the powertrain seems hamstrung, an unfortunate byproduct of a CVT.
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