2022 Infiniti QX55

PHOENIX — Infiniti, the luxury brand of Nissan products, has introduced a new crossover utility vehicle: the QX55. For those who think the QX55 is the sloped-roof offspring of the QX50 compact crossover, well, you would be partially correct. With a striking exterior design that features a bulging hood, swooping roofline and sharply styled rear end and LED piano key taillamps, the boldly sculpted QX55 borrows styling cues from the mid-sized Infiniti FX model that first appeared for the 2003 model year and continued until it bid farewell in 2013.

The new QX55 is built on the same platform as the QX50 and is powered by the same variable-compression 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that delivers 268-horsepower and 280 lb.-ft of torque, paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with manual-shift mode and downshift rev-matching plus a choice of drive modes: Standard, Sport, ECO and Personal.

The transmission is programmed to feel like a manual gearbox, right down to manual shifts. We found it a pleasing combination that delivers ample power and decent fuel economy, but you’ll need to fill it with premium unleaded fuel. And, unlike the QX50, all-wheel drive and 20-inch wheels are both standard on all three available trims: base Luxe, mid-level Essential, and our test vehicle, the top-shelf Sensory.  Oh, by the way, there is no spare tire.

My issue with the engine is the sound. It just doesn’t have the premium sounding engine notes you would expect from an Infiniti or others in its competitive class. It just sounds like a standard-issue four-cylinder, even though it has an active sound enhancement system. It just doesn’t work for me.

Inside, the cabin is well-equipped and is mostly a carryover that seems to be lifted directly from the QX50, but it foregoes the quilted leather upholstery in favor of a more minimalist look. Rather than aluminum patterned or carbon-fiber trim on the Luxe and Essential trim levels, our Sensory delights in natural black maple wood in a matte finish that begs to be touched. It looks fantastic.

The interior is especially roomy with 26.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, and up to 38.7 inches of rear seat legroom, thanks to a generous six-inch fore and aft sliding adjustment. Seats also recline and fold to a 60/40 split for additional cargo space.

Wireless Apple CarPlay is standard, along with wired Android Auto; there are four USB ports — three Type-A and one Type-C — and a dual touchscreen dashboard system. All three trim levels get 4G and WiFi hotspot support (for up seven devices, but there’s no wireless phone charging). There’s dual-zone climate control with rear HVAC vents, and our Sensory included a 16-speaker Bose Premium Audio System that will do your tunes justice. It also has blind spot warnings, rear cross traffic alerts, rear automatic braking, and high-beam assist. Oddly, there’s no panoramic sunroof, rather just a small, old-school roof over the front seats only.

We’re not fans of Infiniti’s infotainment and vehicle operation setup that uses two touch screens, one above the other. The system works ok, but is cluttered; icons are small with redundant buttons on the sides. There are also basic voice commands, and a console-mounted controller. There’s a lot of redundancy here, lots of buttons, plus touch and voice. I’m thinking it’s time Infiniti rethink and redesign their command center.

Our Sensory tester is upholstered in semi-aniline leather, covering the very comfortable zero gravity seats that are both heated and cooled. Sensory also includes tri-zone climate control with advanced filters. There’s extended ambient interior lighting, a 9-inch head-up display and a motion-activated rear lift gate. ProPILOT Assist is standard on Sensory – and available on Essential and Luxe for an extra cost — and delivers exceptionally well-done features combining steering assistance, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping and traffic sign recognition.

On the road, our Sensory delivered expected acceleration power with a zero-to-60 time of 5.5 seconds. It also has a steer-by-wire system which eliminates steering wheel vibration and does mostly a decent job of simulating some road feel but not a lot. It’s similar to vehicles equipped with electric power steering. The independent multi-link suspension system does a nice job of soaking up bumps, potholes and uneven pavement nicely. Body movements are managed well but don’t expect the QX55 to be a sports crossover. We’ll call it “sportish.”

Overall, high marks for a beautifully designed vehicle inside and out. The seats, ride and drive are comfortable, the cabin is fairly quiet thanks to laminated acoustic glass in the windshield and side windows. But stomp on the gas and you’ll definitely hear the engine. Infiniti gives the QX55 runway good looks, but buyers give up technological innovation and utility in order to get it.

Vital Stats
Base Price: $57,050
Price as Tested: $60,045
Engine/Transmission: 2.0-liter turbocharged 268-horsepower four-cylinder paired with a Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT)
Fuel Economy: 22/28/25 – MPG City/Highway/Combined -premium fuel
Seating: Five

Crash Test Safety Ratings: Overall highest possible five-star rating (frontal crash) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Where Built: Aguas, Mexico

Competes With:
Audi Q5 Sportback
Lincoln Corsair
Mercedes GLC Coupe
Volvo XC60

Fab Features
Stunning good looks
Excellent materials and craftsmanship inside
ProPilot Assist safety features