With the 2019 model of the QX50, Infiniti has pulled out all the stops with a totally new design, not only on the inside and outside but what powers the SUV also. The new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine dubbed a VC-Turbo is the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine, one of the most advanced internal combustion engines ever to be created.
We found all the wizardry that was included added up to a fun and exciting drive that kept us wanting more of the Infiniti every day. We took the opportunity to head to Salt Lake on Saturday night for dinner and a movie and found using the technology inside the QX50 as easy as pressing a button and telling the SUV where we were headed, and away we went almost like magic!
Along the way, of course, we hit some pretty heavy traffic coming into the Salt Lake Valley, but with the adaptive cruise control engaged the SUV took over the braking and accelerating so we didn’t have to worry at all. Also included was Nissan’s new ProPilot Assist that would help to keep the Infiniti centered in the lane of travel when engaged.
We first saw this system at work on the new Nissan Rogue and have been very impressed with how it responds, as long as the lane marks are clear on the sides of the road. It is not autonomous driving, but makes it driving in traffic or long-haul driving much less stressful. This system also came with a heads-up display that just served to top off what is already a huge enhancement to a great technology package.
Everywhere we turned there were new additions to the QX50 and — all of them for the best in our opinion. Inside there was luxury aplenty, with leather appointed seats straight from the Nissan engineers who have become some of our favorites in the industry, with the NASA-inspired comfort, making it easy to spend any amount of time in them.
New this year is a two-screen infotainment system that can be controlled by touch or a rotary dial on the center console. This is a new world for Infiniti (having two screens) and one we were super impressed with. It allowed us to have the navigation running on the top screen with the bottom one displaying other pertinent information. It is even possible to hook up phones via Bluetooth and display video from them.
In the center cluster, the driver display is a new LED screen that will display driving information; and new this year, it can also be used as a digital speedometer — oh and as a highlight it will also display all the wizardry happing with the new engine. Add the heads-up display and that is four separate screens all preforming different functions. Yes, a very hefty dose of technology for the QX50.
Inside there is now plenty for room for five adults, as the wheels have been pushed as far to the corners as possible with the new design — quite a feat for a SUV of this size. There is also room for three full-sized golf bags in the rear with the seat up — not like the first time years ago when we drove an Infiniti coupe that had instructions on the trunk for how to fit two golf bags in the small space.
Of course, the front seats were heated and cooled, along with a heated steering wheel that made driving in the early mornings much easier. And with the included remote start, the QX was more than ready when we were for a very comfortable ride.
We had to save the best for last as the new engine definitely turned out to be the most engaging part of our everyday drive in the new QX50. The new engine will continually transform, adjusting the compression ratio to optimize power and fuel efficiency.
This results of all this great technology will be that a now 2.0-liter turbocharged engine will have the torque and efficiency of an advanced four-cylinder diesel engine. Over the course of the week with the QX we found this to be completely true. Not only was there a huge amount of power and torque aplenty, it allowed us to manage a better than EPA estimate of 28 mpg combined.
Of course, the QX50 is equipped with different driving dynamic modes that are selectable from the center console. And with the new CVT transmission that mimics shift points as well as any we have driven to date, Infiniti has created the perfect combination for such a small SUV.
With new engine mounts and insulation in the firewall along with a 17-speaker Bose noise cancelling sound system, the ride was also probably the quietest we have had for the price point of the new Infiniti.
With this redesign, the folks at Infiniti have more than outdone themselves by changing everything inside and out, and more than that by changing all the rules we have become used to with them and their brother Nissan! This was truly a fantastic ride and should prove to be a leader among its peers in the years to come.
We found the new QX50 to be a great value. With all the added technology and abilities that have been added along with all the included safety features, one could not go wrong with this new SUV.
Base price: $45,150
Price as driven: $59,085