Competes with: Acura RDX, Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
Looks like: Mostly the EX35-turned-QX30, around since late ’07
Drivetrain: 325-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 with seven-speed automatic transmission; rear- or all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Fall 2015
At first glance, the 2016 Infiniti QX50 looks like a snoozer of an update on what was originally the EX35 that debuted back in December 2007. Infiniti says there’s more than meets the eye, however. For starters, the compact SUV has outgrown its britches. Infiniti increased the wheelbase by more than 3 inches and most of that helps the once-cramped backseat. Both ground clearance and cabin volume have increased, too, and a few visual changes accompany the dimensional increases.
Related: More 2015 New York Auto Show News
Alongside the 2015 model, it’s easy enough to see the 2016 QX50’s updates. The front bumper gets a single opening versus last year’s bisected opening. Horizontal fog lights with busier-looking frames have replaced the circular lamps, and the grille has Infiniti’s “double arch” siding.
The extended wheelbase (the space between the front and rear wheels) adds 4.5 inches to the QX50’s overall length. Infiniti also updated the QX50’s side mirrors and rear bumper, but those aren’t as easy to pick out as the changes up front. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels and dual tailpipes are standard; 19-inchers are optional.
The dashboard’s dual-cowl shape and wraparound cockpit orientation carries over with few changes. A moonroof and heated seats are now standard and so are power-adjustable front seats and leather upholstery. Options include a power tilt/telescoping steering column, an eight-way power passenger seat (four-way power is standard) and a power-folding backseat.
Speaking of the backseat, passengers will appreciate the QX50’s longer dimensions, which add a much-needed 4.3 inches of rear legroom. Cabin volume increases about 8 percent to 115.4 cubic feet, and ground clearance grows 0.8 inches (0.4 inches with rear-wheel drive).
Under the Hood
Standard on the QX50 is Infiniti’s 3.7-liter V-6, which makes 325 horsepower and 267 pounds-feet of torque. It works through a seven-speed automatic transmission and rear- or all-wheel drive.
Standard safety features include six airbags and the required stability system. Safety options include blind spot and lane-departure warning systems, the latter with a preventative feature that attempts to keep the SUV in its lane. Forward collision warning with auto-braking and Infiniti’s 360-degree Around View Monitor are also optional.