QX55

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2022 Infiniti QX55 Test Drive Review

The new Infiniti QX55 draws inspiration from the past while looking toward the future.

7.3 /10
Overall Score

With the all-new 2022 Infiniti QX55 crossover SUV, the Japanese luxury brand takes design inspiration from, and pays homage to, the Infiniti FX of yesteryear. But the QX55's beauty isn't just skin deep; a luxuriously appointed, driver-centric cabin awaits inside. Add in standard all-wheel drive (AWD), a groundbreaking new variable-compression turbocharged (VC-Turbo) engine, and a surprising level of standard safety and connectivity features, and the new QX55 has what it needs to challenge its German rivals.

Look and Feel

7/ 10

Joining the ranks of BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche, Infiniti brings its own "crossover coupe" to market with the introduction of the new QX55. And while it is a new model for Infiniti, the automaker wasn't afraid to incorporate styling elements from a past design. Indeed, the QX55's roofline is reminiscent of the dearly departed Infiniti FX, complete with the slimline roof rails and "elegant" rear spoiler, to use Infiniti's word. Granted, the roofline on the new QX55 is much more sloped than that of the FX, but it's not hard to see the similarities.

Once you get past the QX55's coupe-like roofline, things start to look a little more familiar. Infiniti's signature origami-inspired, honeycomb mesh grille graces the front of the SUV, flanked by the brand's eyebrow-shaped LED headlights. The SUV has a clamshell hood and deeply sculpted body lines leading all the way to the rear, where they meet the vehicle's signature "digital piano key" taillights. A large Infiniti badge graces the back of the vehicle.

Our Sensory AWD test vehicle came equipped with attractive 20-inch dark-painted machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels and all-season run-flat tires.

Inside, the QX55 has an attractive, driver-centric cabin with quality soft-touch materials throughout. Our test vehicle had the sporty Monaco Red seating upholstery that contrasted nicely with the black maple wood interior trim accents. The standard leather-wrapped steering wheel was just the right thickness, and with few exceptions, all the interior controls were right where you'd expect them to be.

The heated and cooled front seats were comfortable, even on long trips, thanks to Infiniti's "zero gravity" technology. The ergonomically designed, NASA-inspired seats help reduce muscle fatigue by minimizing pressure on the back and hips, according to Infiniti.

Performance

7/ 10

The 2022 Infiniti QX55 features the same powertrain as its QX50 stablemate, namely a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with paddle shifters. The combination produces 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. The VC-Turbo/CVT powertrain combination is standard across the QX55's lineup.

The VC-Turbo engine is unique in that it features parent-company Nissan's variable-compression technology, which first appeared in 2019 on the Nissan Altima and Infiniti QX50. By constantly adjusting the compression ratio, the engine can adapt to maximize either power (low compression) or efficiency (high compression). It does this by adjusting the vertical position of the piston stroke within the cylinder, thus changing the compression ratio. The change is imperceptible to those riding inside the QX55.

The VC-Turbo engine works with the CVT to deliver smooth power, complete with artificial shift points that, while unnecessary, do add a sporty element to the drive. Droning—one drawback to CVTs of the past—is non-existent in the QX55, and it's evident that Infiniti has done its best to continually refine the transmission to improve the driving experience and gain wider consumer acceptance.

AWD is standard on the QX55, as is a drive mode selector offering Standard, Eco, Sport, and Personal modes. Depending on which mode is selected, the system changes the driveline's behavior, including shift points, steering force, and engine mapping, to produce the desired result. We didn't do any off-roading during our time with the QX55, but we did sample all the different driving modes.

Standard mode is ideal for everyday driving, offering a blend of economy and performance. Eco mode is a mixed blessing, offering excellent economy but a somewhat frustrating driving experience due to the sluggish acceleration and general feeling of insufficient power. Sport mode, with accompanying active sound enhancement (ASE), provides the most visceral fun. With ASE, more pronounced, sporty engine noises are transmitted through the cabin using the audio system during hard acceleration. If you allow yourself to forget the noise is fake, it will only add to the driving experience.

Thanks to acoustic laminated front side glass and active noise cancellation (ANC) technology, the cabin atmosphere is serene, offering Lexus-like levels of quietness. The ANC technology is particularly interesting because it uses microphones inside the cabin to detect unwanted frequencies and neutralizes them by transmitting phase-shifting noises through the audio system's speakers. It's an interesting concept—combating one kind of noise with another type of noise, all for the greater good.

Form and Function

7/ 10

Despite its relatively modest proportions, low-slung roofline, and driver-centric cockpit, the QX55 doesn't feel cramped inside at all. Forward visibility is excellent, and there's ample headroom and legroom in the front row. Front headroom measures 39.9 inches with the panoramic moonroof, 36.9 inches in back.

The rear bench seat accommodates two adults or three children comfortably. Like the QX50, the rear seats in the QX55 slide nearly six inches fore and aft to maximize legroom or cargo space, depending on the need. With the back seats in the rear-most position, there's 38.7 inches of legroom in the second row—enough to allow most people to cross their legs.

Cargo space in the QX55 is decent but significantly less than the QX50, measuring 26.9 cubic feet behind the second row and 54.1 cubic feet with the seat folded. This compares with 31.1 and 64.4, respectively, for the QX50 with a moonroof. If you take lots of road trips, like to camp, or need to schlep kids to and from school and sports, you'll want the QX50.

Our test vehicle came equipped with the optional Cargo package ($350), which includes a reversible cargo mat, cargo blocks, nets for both console and cargo, and a rear bumper protector. It also had a $925 lighting package that consisted of welcome lighting and illuminated kick plates—a nice touch, for sure, but a pricey one. The motion-activated liftgate on our QX55 also came in handy when carrying way too many grocery bags.

The QX55 also comes with Easy-Fill Tire Alert, which honks the horn to let you know when the tires have reached the proper inflation level.

Tech Level

7/ 10

The QX55 offers a surprising level of standard infotainment and advanced driver-assistance features, most of which are controlled via the Infiniti InTouch dual-display system with 8-inch upper and 7-inch lower touchscreens housed in the center stack. The system makes quick work of connecting to a smartphone via Bluetooth, enabling front-seat occupants to access wireless Apple CarPlay (a first for Infiniti) or wired Android Auto through any of four USB ports (one Type-C and three Type-A).

A suite of connected services is also available through InTouch, including navigation, entertainment and communications, convenience and concierge, and safety and security features. Additionally, every 2022 QX55 also comes standard with a 4G LTE compatible connection for the built-in WiFi hotspot, capable of supporting up to seven devices.

We would be remiss if we didn't mention the excellent 16-speaker Bose Performance Series audio system in our test vehicle. As with most other Bose systems we've tested, the sound quality is excellent whether seated in the front or second row, thanks to custom-engineered speakers placed throughout the cabin. We can't help but think the QX55's sloping roof benefits the sound-system acoustics, especially in the vehicle's rear.

Infotainment aside, the main attraction on the QX55's list of standard technology is Infiniti's ProPilot Assist advanced driving-assistance system. ProPilot Assist is a suite of electronic driver aids that combines adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability and lane-centering assistance to deliver a more comfortable ride in stop-and-go traffic or long-distance highway drives.

According to Infiniti, ProPilot Assist "helps to steer, brake, center the vehicle in its lane, and accelerate in certain conditions to help reduce driver fatigue and enhance comfort." Of course, that's simplifying things. In actuality, many systems are working behind the scenes. As great as ProPilot Assist may be, drivers still need to pay attention to what's happening around them as the system does not operate in all weather, traffic, and road conditions.

Safety

8/ 10

When you spend upwards of $50,000 (or more) on a premium crossover SUV, you expect a certain level of performance, luxury, and, yes, safety. The Infiniti QX55 covers the basics and exceeds expectations by offering a surprising level of standard safety features.

Indeed, the QX55 is endowed with a healthy list of standard safety features, including blind-spot warning, predictive forward-collision warning, forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic rear braking. Additional standard items include automatic collision notification, emergency call, a rear-view monitor, hill-start assist, and high-beam assist.

Optional on Essential trim and standard on Sensory models are blind-spot intervention, lane-departure prevention, and traffic sign recognition. Factor in the accessible pricing, especially on the base Luxe trim, and there's quite a bit of value there.

During our time with the QX55, all the safety systems behaved themselves, signaling nary a false warning or unnecessary panic stop. Our only gripe relates to a somewhat oversensitive lane-departure warning system. Also, while not associated with a specific safety system, rear visibility is a bit compromised due to the mail-slot-sized rear window—one drawback to having a sporty, coupe-like, sloping rear roofline.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2022 QX55 gets five out of five stars for frontal crash protection. The agency did not rate the SUV for overall crashworthiness. As of this writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not rated the QX55 for safety.

Cost-Effectiveness

8/ 10

The Infiniti QX55 is available in three trim levels: Luxe, Essential, and Sensory. All feature the VC-Turbo engine, standard all-wheel drive, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, along with the aforementioned safety equipment.

The base Luxe model ($47,525, including a $1,025 destination charge) features 20-inch dark painted machine finish alloy wheels, leatherette upholstery, dark aluminum interior trim accents, a six-speaker audio system, three-month trial subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, panoramic moonroof, Infiniti InTouch connected services, USB Type-A and Type-C connection ports, high-beam assist headlights, and a host of safety-related advanced driving-assistance systems.

Stepping up to Essential trim ($52,625) adds leather seats, a heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, an Around View Monitor with moving-object detection, navigation, five years of no-cost access to premium traffic and MapCare, and a 16-speaker Bose Performance Series premium audio system.

Highlights for the top Sensory trim ($58,075) include semi-aniline leather seats, black natural maple wood interior trim accents, intelligent cruise control, direct adaptive steering, a motion-activated rear liftgate, tri-zone auto climate control, ProPilot Assist with head-up display, cube-design LED headlights with auto leveler, and adaptive front lighting.

Two optional equipment packages are available on the mid-grade Essential trim. The ProAssist package ($800) includes cube-design LED headlights with auto leveler and AFL, intelligent cruise control, blind-spot intervention, and lane-departure prevention. Meanwhile, the Proactive package ($1,600) consists of the HUD, direct adaptive steering, ProPilot Assist, and traffic sign recognition.

According to the EPA, all trim levels of the 2022 Infiniti QX55 return fuel economy of 22 mpg city/28 highway/25 combined, matching the QX50, about average for the segment. Premium gas is required, per Infiniti, but that's not out of the ordinary for the class. With a fuel tank capacity of 16 gallons, expect to travel about 400 miles before refueling.

Updated by Jeff Youngs

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