Overview

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Overview (Final Score: B)

The 2017 Infiniti QX50 is now one of the oldest luxury crossovers on the road in terms of design, and it hasn't seen many changes since last year. Its primary points of appeal are its beautiful exterior, fast-paced and sporty nature, and excellent back seat experience.

The 2017 QX50 seats five and has an price of entry that's much lower than most of its competition can boast. The base model QX50 still includes enough excellence to keep most buyers happy, but option packages can boost the level of opulence to the expectations of even the most discerning buyers.

The QX50's sporty drive, saloon styling and powerful engine performance remain its primary selling points and we won't complain about that one bit. There are other offerings on the market that make a compelling choice in the segment, but the ups and downs of the 2017 QX50 are geared toward a specific buyer. If sport saloons and fast-paced sedans are your bent, you're likely that buyer.

What We Love About the 2017 Infiniti QX50:


  • Timelessly beautiful exterior

  • Excellent drive dynamics and sporty appeal

  • Wonderful interior experience with a large back seat


 

What We Don't Love About the 2017 Infiniti QX50:


  • Infotainment is very outdated

  • Below par fuel economy returns

  • Cargo space leaves a lot to be desired


 

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Exterior View (10/10)

The 2017 Infiniti QX50 is one of the sportiest of the luxury crossovers on the market and its exterior styling presses that point home. It's a beautiful, fast-paced, timeless look that incorporates ageless saloon styling that will never get old. The QX50 has a beautiful blend of sedan curves and crossover muscle for a more sinuous look than most of its competitors offer.

A simple, understated mesh grille begins the front end's look, lifting into a long, sloped hood that signifies the saloon's style. The front fenders are discrete in their bulge and their lines begin the beltline across the sides of the QX50.

The roofline and rising beltline both flow in a classic curve to create a nicely-shaped silhouette that terminates in a fastback-style rear end where the hatch curves somewhat to create a hint of trunk above the rear bumper. Thin headlights and tail lamps emphasize the sporty nature of the QX50 and a light bulge to the rear quarter hints at power driving this crossover forward.

The 2017 QX50 has a very good look that is unmatched in the luxury crossover segment for its classic styling and sporty nature.

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Interior Comfort, Quality, Ergonomics (7/10)

The 2017 Infiniti QX50 is marked with high levels of interior materials quality with a beautiful dashboard and seating design that harkens including words like "bespoke" in your vocabulary. The dashboard is a bit thicker in proportion than newer vehicles in this segment might sport, but its solidity is welcomed when the massive tunnel at the center rumbles with the sporty thrust of the QX50's engine. Seating up front is very comfortable and controls layout is smart. The instruments are good, though we would like to see more shading to the bezel, especially to the sides.

The rear seats of the 2017 QX50 benefit from the primary improvement made to the crossover last year. The 2016 Infiniti QX50 saw a lengthening of the chassis that increased rear legroom considerably. This makes the rear seat adult-usable that can comfortably seat two and, in a pinch, three. Taller adults will still find the rear roof to be low, with headroom becoming a premium.

Sadly, the chassis lengthening did not change the state of the cargo space in the QX50, which is a major weak point for the 2017 QX50. That stands at 16.6 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 50.1 with them folded. It's enough space for many daily tasks such as grocery hauling and common item carrying, but it will be difficult to stuff bicycles, snowboards, or other tall or lengthy items into the QX50.

Technology (7/10)

A very dated point in the Infiniti QX50 is its infotainment, which is becoming long in the tooth. The 7-inch touchscreen is small for the segment, and the interface, while easy to use, is less crisp and robust than is now expected. Bluetooth audio streaming is conspicuously absent with the QX50's infotainment. The old-school and ergonomically negative command knob for the interface pushes itself into the user's hands as a primary means of using the infotainment more often than it should.

Nearly all of the upgrades available for the QX50 are options packages and they can become pricey very quickly. Unlike other Infiniti models, the surround view (360-degree camera) for backing and parking is an upgrade, not standard in the QX50. It comes with the navigation system package.

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Fuel Economy (7/10)

Nearly every competitor to the QX50 returns better fuel economy estimates. With that said, the premium segment is not usually very concerned with MPG returns and the relatively sizable fuel tank that accompanies the 2017 QX50 means that the low fuel economy doesn't mean sub-300-mile ranges for each fill up.

The front-wheel drive model of the 2017 Infiniti QX50 is rated at 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway with 20 mpg combined overall. The EPA gives the all-wheel drive model the same combined rating with 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

In the real world, we saw a bit lower than those returns in our AWD model. It achieved just above 18 mpg overall in mixed driving at high altitudes and sometimes inclement weather.

Predicted Reliability, Initial Quality Ratings (7/10)

The J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study returns an "About Average" rating for the 2017 QX50. There have been no recalls for the crossover, as of this writing. We expect that the QX50 will continue with its overall expected reliability for this generation, so our ranking is scored accordingly.

Safety (8/10)

The 2017 Infiniti QX50 has only had a few of its crash test results published thus far. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has only published rollover crash test results, giving the QX50 four out of five stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has published three crash test results, as of this writing, to include top level "Good" scores for the moderate overlap front-test, side impact test, and rear crash protection. Last year, the QX50 did well on the small overlap front-test results so we expect that remains good this year as well.

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Performance (10/10)

The 2017 Infiniti QX50 is all about sporty driving and it delivers that at a level few other crossovers in the segment can match. Its excellent 3.7-liter V6 puts out 325 horsepower and 267 foot pounds of torque. A sport-tuned 7-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels in standard models or all four wheels in AWD models.

The chassis and suspension of the QX50 are tuned for sporty appeal with a tight feel and a lot of feedback from the road. Ride quality is still very good, but the steering wheel feel and road vibrations through the pedal may put off some comfort-oriented drivers. Those drivers aren't the QX50's market, as it's made to return the kind of performance-oriented appeal that sedans and coupes can. The QX50 is engaging and fun to drive, whether around town or out on the highway.

In everyday driving, the tight steering can become a bit fatiguing, but it's easy to get used to it if you enjoy the return it gives in road presence. Around town, the 2017 QX50 is solid, peppy and very maneuverable for its size. Out on the highway, the QX50 is quick and responsive with a good feel for the road.

Pricing and Value (10/10)

The entry-level price for the 2017 QX50 is low, but so are its inclusions in terms of amenities. The best bet is at the middle level where the price point and accouterments meet nicely. Still, the base model is not without its pluses, including a low price of entry for a crossover that still has a finely made interior and a sporty V6 under the hood.

For the segment, we feel that sport driving enthusiasts who need the higher versatility that a small crossover can offer will find their love in the 2017 Infiniti QX50. Value is good in this vehicle as a result and the price spread between the base model and the most-loaded option is wide enough that most can find their spot and be happy.

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Total Score and Competitive Comparison (66/80, 83%)

There are a lot of competitors to choose from in the luxury crossover segments, including the smaller segment where the QX50 resides. The 2017 Inifiniti QX50 is one of the more sporty options available, appealing to a market that is generally under-served by other options being offered. The BMW X3 and Audi Q5 are close competitors in this regard and are well worth considering if more European styling is your preference and price isn't a concern.

The 2017 QX50 offers a lot to the premium buyer, with a low price of entry for those looking for the look and interior appeal of a luxury crossover without all of the bells and whistles, and a good mid-point luxury choice for those who want the lux, but not the high price tag. If sporty driving is your primary need and a sedan is just too small for your requirements, the 2017 Infiniti QX50 is a solid choice.

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
SUV - AWD
AWD V6 AWD 36450
SUV - RWD
RWD V6 RWD 34650

Comparison of 2017 Infiniti QX50 with Similar Cars

2017 Infiniti QX50 MSRP Invoice
2017 Infiniti Qx50 $34,650 $32,225
Similar Cars to Consider MSRP Invoice Compare
2017 Ford Explorer $31,660 $30,553 2017 Infiniti Qx50 VS 2017 Ford Explorer
2017 Toyota 4runner $34,210 $31,473 2017 Infiniti Qx50 VS 2017 Toyota 4runner
2017 Acura RDX $35,670 $33,872 2017 Infiniti Qx50 VS 2017 Acura RDX
2017 BMW X1 $33,750 $31,890 2017 Infiniti Qx50 VS 2017 BMW X1
2017 Lincoln MKC $32,880 $31,236 2017 Infiniti Qx50 VS 2017 Lincoln MKC

Car Rankings

Interested to see how the 2017 Infiniti QX50 ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2017 Infiniti QX50 rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.

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