2019 Infiniti QX50 Long-Term Arrival: Luxury Makeover


Before its latest redesign, the Infiniti QX50 was a hard car to recommend. The 2016 refresh added some much-needed rear legroom, but the cabin and infotainment system still felt dated, and we never quite came around to the styling. Even though we appreciated the rear-drive layout and powerful V-6, fuel economy was far from competitive.

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The new QX50, though, is something completely different. It’s legitimately good-looking and boasts a standout interior. It’s built on a new front-drive-based platform. It comes with Infiniti’s latest suite of active driver aids and safety features. Oh, and it uses an ultra-advanced engine that changes its compression ratio to strike the right balance between power and fuel economy in any given situation.

In fact, the 2019 QX50 is so different, Keith St. Clair, Infiniti’s director of project strategy, called it the brand’s “most important launch ever or right up there with the Q45.” When an executive says something like that, you pay attention. Or in our case, you follow up a successful first test by adding one to the Motor Trend long-term fleet.

Once we decided to order a QX50, though, we had to figure out which one we wanted. The front-drive Pure starts at $37,545 and includes 19-inch alloy wheels, power-adjustable front seats, and keyless entry. The midlevel Luxe adds a panoramic moonroof, LED foglights, roof rails, a self-dimming rearview mirror, and blind-spot monitoring for $40,395. Topping out the range is the Essential, which starts at $44,300 and adds leather upholstery, navigation, front and rear parking sensors, a surround-view camera system, remote start, and three-zone climate control.

Ultimately, the desire to see the QX50 at its best won out over hypothetical frugality, so we ordered a QX50 Essential with all-wheel drive and loaded it up. It is a luxury vehicle, after all. But beyond that, it gives us the opportunity to figure out which options are worth the money and which ones we recommend skipping.

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