2022 Infiniti QX55 - Review by Larry Nutson
Coupe du jour
By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
Sloping rooflines are what’s happening in the world of premium utility vehicles. And, Infiniti is right there in the mix with its all-new coupe-like QX55
Having arrived in U.S. dealers this spring, the QX55 is dramatically styled and comes standard with 20-inch wheels, all-wheel drive, a 268-HP turbo engine and wireless Apple CarPlay, all for your driving pleasure.
The QX55 is a new model in the Infiniti lineup, slotting in between the QX50 and QX60. It’s offered in three well equipped trims, Luxe, Essential and Sensory. All are powered by Infiniti’s unique, and world’s first, variable compression 2.0-L turbo engine paired with a CVT that has a manual shift mode.
The sleek look is enhanced by unique grille, headlight, taillight, and wheel designs, with an overall premium and quality appearance.
The 268-hp four develops 280 lb-ft of torque across a wide RPM range giving the QX55 decent all-around performance. The VC-Turbo engine consistently varies its compression ratio between 14:1 and 8:1 to provide needed power and efficiency to meet demand. Active Sound Enhancement provides a slightly different and yet throaty and engaging sound from this engine.
I’m not a big fan of CVTs—the continuous variable transmission. The unit in the QX55 did okay. As a matter of personal preference a traditional automatic with nine-speeds, like Infiniti uses in other models might just be a better match with the VC-turbo engine. However, probably for a majority of folk not a lot of thought is focused on the particular transmission in their car.
EPA fuel economy ratings are 25 mpg combined, with 22 city mpg and 28 highway mpg.
Ride quality is comfortable and smooth and yet when pushed the QX55 delivers confident and precise handling helped by Infinit’s Body Motion Control technology. The often rough surfaces of city streets didn’t prove too disturbing even with the low-profile 255/45 tires fitted to the 20-inch wheels. The cabin is nicely quiet benefiting from active noise cancellation and laminated acoustic front window glass.
The five-seat QX55’s stylish and sporty interior is nicely comfortable. Front seats provide good support. There’s decent room in the rear seat, although the sloping roof can make for headroom issues for tall folk. There is good rear-seat legroom. The second-row seat travels nearly six inches fore and aft to adjust between passenger or cargo space.
With the rear seat slid forward there’s 26.9 cu.ft. of cargo space behind the second row. Fold the rear seat and you get 54.1 cu.ft.
A dual-display system with 8-inch upper and 7-inch lower touch screens, Android Auto compatibility, wireless Apple CarPlay compatibility, Wi-Fi hotspot, four USB ports, Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning are standard on the QX55.
The Luxe trim has a $46,500 MSRP, Essential is $51,600, and Sensory is priced at $57,050. Destination charge is $1,025. All trims are very well equipped which makes it much easier when making a purchase selection. Majestic White, Slate Gray, or Mineral Black premium paint ($695) is the only across the board option. Dynamic Sunstone Red is a $900 option on Essential and Sensory trims.
For the Essential trim a ProAssist Package ($800) includes Intelligent Cruise Control, adaptive front lighting with cube design headlights, Blind Spot Intervention, and Lane Departure Prevention. Also for the Essential trim there’s a ProActive Package ($1600) with head-up display, traffic-sign recognition, adaptive steering, and ProPILOT Assist lane-centering steering assist with stop-and-go function added to the intelligent cruise control.
The SENSORY trim is equipped with all these features and is also uniquely equipped with natural maple open-pore wood, semi-aniline leather-appointed seats, and a motion-activated power liftgate.
More information and specifications can be found at www.infinitiusa.com
My drive experience in the QX55 was in a Sensory trim finished in the optional Slate Gray and had a total MSRP of $58,770.
If I were buying I would be hard pressed to decide between the Essential or Sensory trim. I would rule out the Luxe trim since it lacks some convenience and comfort features that I value and use regularly. I might just be okay with the Essential trim with the ProAssist package because it provides all that I would want and need to fit my driving usage pattern.
The “family car” continues to evolve in its looks and design. Certainly today there are many very functional choices on the market that make life easier compared to the days of the 4-door sedan doing it all. Along with e QX55 other coupe-like utilities such as the Audi Q5 Sportback, BMW X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe are available. Or, more upright and box-like utility vehicles, such as Infiniti’s QX50 or QX60 offer much more versatility. There’s something for everyone and none of them are bad choices.
© 2021 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy