2017 INFINITI QX50

Change Year or Vehicle
$34,650–$36,450 MSRP range
SAVE
Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
Compare
Back to top

Key Specs

of the 2017 INFINITI QX50. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Front styling
  • Backseat legroom
  • Powerful standard V-6 engine
  • Pleasant ride and handling
  • Easy-to-use multimedia system
  • Excellent value

The Bad

  • Cabin switches and buttons outdated
  • Backseat doesn't recline
  • Large floor hump reduces backseat foot space
  • Cargo room comes up short
  • Unusual driving position
  • Limited connectivity options

Notable Features of the 2017 INFINITI QX50

  • New styling, longer dimensions for 2016
  • Five seats
  • 325-hp V-6, seven-speed automatic
  • Rear- or all-wheel drive
  • Forward collision warning available

2017 INFINITI QX50 Road Test

Aaron Bragman
The Verdict:

The 2016 Infiniti QX50 offers great value in a luxury SUV, with pleasant driving dynamics to boot, but buyers looking for the latest styles will want to shop other stores.

Versus The Competition:

It's not as big inside as its competitors, but it offers one of the most powerful engines in its class as standard equipment. It doesn't nickel-and-dime you for the most basic options, and it feels luxurious inside. The extra length added for 2016 makes the backseat tolerable, but cargo capacity and fuel economy still come up short.

Editor's note: This review for the 2016 Infiniti QX50 was written in January 2016, but little has changed for 2017. To see what's new, click here, or to see a side-by-side comparison of the two model years, click here.

The Infiniti QX50 is a compact SUV built off the company's entry-level rear-wheel-drive sedan, the Q50. It started life as the old EX35, then became the EX37 as its engine grew. Eventually, it ended up as the QX50 in Infiniti's new nomenclature, in which every SUV is a "QX" followed by a number not related to its engine size.

The QX50 never sold in great numbers in the U.S., thanks in part to its very cramped backseat, but that's been changed for 2016 with a longer wheelbase from a version primarily intended for the Chinese market. The rest of the SUV received only some minor changes; a slightly different front and rear treatment is the most notable alteration. Compare the 2015 and 2016 models here.

With these adjustments, is the Infiniti QX50 sufficiently new to keep it in the luxury SUV game — and can its better interior space draw in new buyers?

Exterior & Styling

The QX50 is not your traditional crossover layout. It's based on Nissan's FM rear-wheel-drive platform instead of a front-drive sedan setup, so its proportions look more wagon-like than truck-like.

The 2016 QX50 looks familiar. It hasn't changed all that much since its introduction, so it doesn't look much like the current face of Infin...

Editor's note: This review for the 2016 Infiniti QX50 was written in January 2016, but little has changed for 2017. To see what's new, click here, or to see a side-by-side comparison of the two model years, click here.

The Infiniti QX50 is a compact SUV built off the company's entry-level rear-wheel-drive sedan, the Q50. It started life as the old EX35, then became the EX37 as its engine grew. Eventually, it ended up as the QX50 in Infiniti's new nomenclature, in which every SUV is a "QX" followed by a number not related to its engine size.

The QX50 never sold in great numbers in the U.S., thanks in part to its very cramped backseat, but that's been changed for 2016 with a longer wheelbase from a version primarily intended for the Chinese market. The rest of the SUV received only some minor changes; a slightly different front and rear treatment is the most notable alteration. Compare the 2015 and 2016 models here.

With these adjustments, is the Infiniti QX50 sufficiently new to keep it in the luxury SUV game — and can its better interior space draw in new buyers?

Exterior & Styling

The QX50 is not your traditional crossover layout. It's based on Nissan's FM rear-wheel-drive platform instead of a front-drive sedan setup, so its proportions look more wagon-like than truck-like.

The 2016 QX50 looks familiar. It hasn't changed all that much since its introduction, so it doesn't look much like the current face of Infiniti. Despite the added length for 2016, it doesn't look longer than the old one unless you park them side by side. The extra length helps the wagon's proportions, making it look perhaps a little more substantial than the outgoing model. Sleek headlights stretch back to a shapely body that ends in LED taillights — pretty much the norm for the segment.

How It Drives

Powering the QX50 is an updated version of Nissan's venerable VQ engine, a 3.7-liter V-6 without any turbos or even direct injection. It still manages to produce a more-than-healthy 325 horsepower. That's more than enough to get the midsize crossover moving at a rapid pace, without any lag that might accompany a turbocharged engine. It's not hairy or temperamental, just smooth, sonorous power.

The engine is mated to a standard seven-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is optional. The QX50 is well-tuned for a good mix of athletic handling and a decently comfortable ride. It's not quite as sharp as some German SUVs, like the BMW X3, but it's not as ugly as the Lexus NX nor as soft as other Japanese models, like the larger Lexus RX or Acura MDX.

Overall, the QX50 feels balanced and enjoyable: It doesn't embarrass itself on twisty roads, and it won't beat you up on broken pavement, thanks to a well-damped ride.

There's only one engine available for the QX50, and it unfortunately requires premium fuel, which is the norm among luxury models. Fuel economy is only adequate, and it's the same regardless of whether you choose rear- or all-wheel drive: It's EPA-rated 17/24/20 mpg city/highway/combined. My week of driving a few hundred miles in the QX50 averaged the rated 20 mpg.

Competitors generally perform better: The BMW X3 is rated 21/28/24 mpg with its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder option and 19/27/22 mpg with the big twin-turbo inline-six-cylinder version. The torquey diesel version is rated an exceptional 27/34/30 mpg. The Audi Q5 rings in at 20/28/23 mpg with its standard turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder, dropping to 18/26/21 mpg for the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6. Like the Bimmer, it has high-mileage options, too, including a 24/31/27 mpg diesel and a 24/30/26 mpg hybrid.

Interior

While the exterior received some minor styling tweaks for 2016, the interior doesn't seem to have changed since the car's introduction. This is Infiniti's old-look interior, and while it's still pleasant and well-made, it's definitely dated. The materials are nice, with leather and wood that looks and smells rich. The switches, multimedia system and gauges, however, look old-school.

But they're not as unusual as the seating position. The more experience one has with the QX50, the more one realizes it feels more like a modified sedan than a purpose-built crossover. You sit high in the car on a seat that feels like it's out of an SUV, but the steering wheel and controls are low, creating the sensation of driving a bus. It feels like you're sitting on the QX50, not down in it. Visibility is good thanks to that high position, but it makes seeing stoplights a bit of a challenge, as they're obscured by the roofline.

The rest of the car feels like it's merely a wagon, so the odd positioning takes some getting used to. But there's plenty of room up front, and now there's adequate room in back, as well, thanks to that extra few inches of length for 2016. It's not overly spacious, but it's not uncomfortable anymore, and the tall roof ensures headroom is acceptable, as well.

Ergonomics & Electronics

As mentioned earlier, the QX50 uses the old Nissan/Infiniti-style multimedia system. It works well enough, but it's definitely not the most advanced system on the market. It has voice commands and supports traffic updates, but the reliability of the voice recognition system needs some work. The upgraded Bose premium audio system is impressive, however, with strong, clear sound.

Cargo & Storage

Being little more than a taller version of the Q50 sedan, the QX50 SUV's storage space isn't huge. You get only 18.6 cubic feet — one of the smallest cargo areas in the segment. It's expandable to 50.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, but that still falls well short of competitors. The BMW X3, another sedan-based SUV, has 27.6 cubic feet of cargo room, expandable to 63.3 cubic feet, while the Audi Q5 brings 29.1 cubic feet to the party, expandable to 57.3 cubic feet. The newly redesigned Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is more similar to the QX50, with 20.5 cubic feet, expandable to 56.5 cubic feet.

Safety

The 2016 QX50 does not yet have an overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but it's been given a four-star rollover rating (out of five stars), which is common in this class. The 2015 model earned good ratings (out of a possible good, acceptable, marginal or poor) from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in all but the small-overlap front test, to which it hasn't yet been subjected. In the tested categories, it's on par with competitors in this strong class. As of publication, 2016 results aren't available, but when they are they'll appear here.

With the 2016 update, the QX50 offers all the safety systems one would expect in a luxury SUV. Adaptive cruise control with autonomous braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist and forward collision alert are all newly available, but you'll likely find yourself shutting them off. The lane keep assist is ridiculously aggressive, and it serves more to annoy you with its beeps and intrusive steering corrections than to keep you safe. See all the QX50's standard and optional safety systems here.

Value in Its Class

The QX50's update may not be much more than skin deep, but it's still a compelling compact luxury SUV. It drives well, looks good and has plenty of content — and it's a decent value, too, starting at just $35,445 for a rear-wheel-drive model. That price brings you the most powerful standard engine in the class, heated front and rear seats, real leather upholstery and a power moonroof. Step up to the all-wheel-drive model for just $1,400 more. Load up your QX50 with all the technology and luxury packages offered, and you still won't top $45,000. That's a heck of a deal for a car this capable and well-equipped.

QX50 competitors tend to cost a lot more and not give you nearly as much standard equipment. The BMW X3 starts at $39,945 with rear-wheel drive, but you don't get nearly as much stuff at that price. The standard engine has much less power, and you'll have to pay for almost every extra, right down to another $550 for any paint color other than black or white and $200 for Bluetooth smartphone integration. To option up an X3 with the equipment that comes standard on the QX50 has it topping $46,000 right off the bat.

It's the same situation over at Mercedes-Benz, where the GLC300 starts at $39,875 but like the BMW comes with a much less powerful turbocharged engine. Mercedes charges you $720-$3,950 for paint colors other than black or white and features imitation leather as its standard upholstery. It charges extra for almost everything. Optioning up a GLC300 to the same level of equipment as a standard QX50 would cost you a minimum of $44,295, as doing so requires adding several option packages.

The Audi Q5 is a little better in that regard; even though it starts at $41,825, it includes Quattro all-wheel drive. Like the other Germans, it has less power than the QX50, but it does come with standard real leather interior, satellite radio, a 10-speaker audio system and bi-xenon headlights. Compare all four competitors here.


Latest 2017 QX50 Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

I love this car

by Bearze34 from Eureka,Ca on July 29, 2018

This QX 50 is just right. It is comfortable, reliable, and the electronics are user friendly. I woulook d highly recommend it to anyone that wants a car they will live. Read full review

(5.0)

Love it so far....

by psj from Greenville,SC on June 19, 2018

Great car, have only had it for a month but so far really like the drive, comfort and versatility of the car. A luxury ride with out huge price tag! Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2017 INFINITI QX50 currently has 0 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2017 INFINITI QX50 has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 60,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    72 months / 70,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by INFINITI

Program Benefits

Free Carfax report and 3 Year CARFAX Buyback Guarantee, first year basic maintenance, SiriusXM 3-Month trial, Infiniti Elite Extended Protection Plan available, 24-hour roadside assistance, lockout assistance, repair at authorized Infiniti dealerships or facilities and Infiniti courtesy vehicle.

  • Limited Warranty

    6 years / Unlimited mileage warranty

    Vehicles < 15K miles: 6 Yr./75K mileage warranty from the vehicle's original ISD. Vehicles > 15K miles: 6 Yr./Unlimited mileage warranty from the vehicle's original ISD. Vehicles > 15K miles and outside new vehicle warranty: 2 Yr./Unlimited mileage warranty from CPO sale date.
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 70,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 167 point vehicle inspection and reconditioning.

    See inspection details.

Change Year or Vehicle

0 / 0 0 Photos
0 / 0

Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The QX50 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker