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2023 Infiniti QX50: A Comprehensive Review of the Luxurious Compact Crossover SUV

The 2023 QX50 is a compact luxury crossover SUV that is set to continue mostly unchanged from the previous model year. However, there is one notable addition to the lineup: the Sport model. This new trim level replaces the Essential trim in the middle of the lineup and offers some stylish exterior and interior features. This week I am reviewing the 2023 Infiniti QX50 Sport AWD, and share my impressions from the week-long test drive.

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The Infiniti QX50 is a luxury SUV that is smaller than the QX60 and the enormous QX80, Torque News reviewed reviewed in October 2022. The 2023 Infiniti QX50 sits as the entry-level option in Infiniti's SUV lineup. The QX55 is a variant of the QX50 that has a distinctive coupe-like roofline.

What's New in 2023 Infiniti QX50

The 2023 Infiniti QX50 is a compact luxury SUV that carries over from the previous model year mostly unchanged, but with a few updates to keep it fresh. The biggest change for the 2023 model is the addition of a new Sport trim level, which replaces the Essential trim in the middle of the lineup.

One of the main features of the QX50 Sport is its sporty appearance, with gloss-black exterior trim and dark-painted 20-inch wheels. The cabin also gets a boost with semi-aniline leather upholstery and a 12-speaker Bose stereo. While the Sport trim doesn't add any performance-enhancing features, it does give the QX50 a more aggressive look.

In addition to the new Sport trim, the rest of the QX50 lineup also benefits from a few new standard features. These include heated exterior mirrors, remote start, and a wireless smartphone charging pad. All models now also come with three years of complimentary scheduled maintenance, which is a nice added value for buyers.

Trims and Pricing

The new INFINITI QX50 is available in the Pure, Luxe, Sport, Sensory, and Autograph trim levels. The entry Pure trim starts at $41,495 MSRP, while the top Autograph trim is offered at $58,545 MSRP. The new Sport AWD trim, which Torque News is reviewing in this article is offered at $52,815 MSRP that also includes the $1,195 destination charge.

2023 Infiniti QX50 rear view

If you're in the market for a small luxury SUV that delivers big on value, the Infiniti QX50 should definitely be on your radar. Not only is it one of the most affordable options in its class, but it also comes loaded with a generous array of standard features. And even if you opt for a higher trim, you'll find that the prices are still more than reasonable. Value is definitely one of the QX50's strengths, and it's a major reason why it's worth considering for your next vehicle purchase.

Technology and Interior of 2023 Infiniti QX50

A number of small details are different from 2022, such as the addition of a USB-C port for rear passengers, standard power folding mirrors, welcome lights in the rear door handles and lumbar adjustment four-position electric driver's seat.

The biggest news in this update, however, is the increased availability of many active safety systems. Indeed, the ProPILOT suite of driver assistance technologies is now standard on all models, whereas it was not available on the entry-level QX55 Luxe last year.

This means that every QX55 will benefit from adaptive cruise control and lane centering assist, which can partially take control of the vehicle on the highway and in heavy traffic.

2023 Infiniti QX50 front interior

Additionally, the QX55 now features Blind Spot Intervention, which prevents collisions with vehicles in the blind spot by acting on the steering system to steer the vehicle back into its lane if it drifting without the turn signal being used.

The traffic sign recognition system and adaptive headlights are also available on more versions of the SUV this year. The Sport trim, that I am reviewing here has the adaptive headlights, which work pretty well.

The interior of the 2023 Infiniti QX50 boasts a number of luxurious features, including quilted leather seats, wood interior trim, and a faux-suede headliner. However, these high-end appointments are only available on the most expensive model. Even so, all versions of the QX50 offer a comfortable and quiet cabin that provides plenty of space for passengers, particularly in the spacious second row with its reclining seatbacks.

2023 Infiniti QX50 second row seat

In terms of cargo space, the QX50 offers 31 cubic feet of room behind the back seat and up to 65 cubic feet with the 60/40 split-folding rear bench folded flat. Car and Driver's review of the 2023 QX50 reads that, during the vehicle's testing they were able to fit nine carry-on suitcases with the seats up and 22 with them down, which is two more than the BMW X3 could hold.

Overall, the Infiniti QX50's interior is comfortable, spacious, and well-equipped, although some of the most luxurious features are only available on the top-tier model. Regardless of trim level, however, the QX50 provides a comfortable and quiet driving experience.

Performance and Engine

Since the changes are limited to technology and minor aesthetic tweaks (in addition to the new Sport trim), the 2023 Infiniti QX55 continues to be powered by the 2.0L VC-Turbo engine which features variable compression in order to be more powerful and more effective, depending on driver requirements and road conditions.

The Infiniti QX50 has undergone a redesign for the 2019 model year, introducing a number of new features and updates to the popular luxury crossover. One of the most notable changes is the adoption of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that utilizes variable compression technology, known as VC-Turbo.

This advanced engine delivers a solid 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that can send power to either the front or all four wheels. The VC-Turbo system allows the engine to smoothly switch between high and low compression modes, depending on driving conditions. While this helps to optimize fuel efficiency, it may not provide the most thrilling driving experience for those seeking a sporty crossover.

That being said, the QX50 prioritizes comfort and luxury, offering a smooth and compliant ride that handles rough roads with ease and provides a peaceful ride on the highway. The steering is light and accurate, although it may not provide as much road feel as some drivers may prefer.

One downside to the QX50's powertrain is the noticeable noise produced by the engine under heavy throttle, which is exacerbated by the CVT transmission. This can be particularly noticeable in urban driving environments.

Overall, the Infiniti QX50's VC-Turbo engine provides reliable and efficient power, although it may not be the most exciting choice for those seeking a performance-oriented crossover. Its focus on comfort and luxury make it a strong option for those looking for a smooth and relaxing driving experience.

The Drive

Hard acceleration kicks the turbocharger into high gear and triggers a drop in compression ratio to avoid knocking the engine. And when Sport mode is engaged, the CVT maintains its gear without much provocation, helping to keep the engine in its sweet spot.

The engine is very sensitive to throttle inputs, as inadvertent foot pressure will generate immediate thrust, even if you didn't mean to.

Although The QX50's engine is powerful enough when stepped on, the power delivery in typical driving isn't quite as gradual. Especially in stop-and-go traffic, as you go from high to low engine revs with just a little more throttle, so inertia propels you out of your seat.

2023 Infiniti QX50 rear exterior view

I feel like the turbo four offers good to fair acceleration, but it doesn't have good fuel economy.

The ProPilot system is wonderful. On the highway you just push the button and the car takes you driving as if it were autonomous, taking curves and facing other vehicles without problems. Sure, one has to have their hands and attention behind the wheel for any eventuality.

It felt very quiet both through turns and grades and at highway cruising speeds. The AWD system helped quite a bit on some rough roads where I was able to test it, but then again, it's an addition, not a thoroughbred SUV.

Overall, the 2023 Infiniti QX50 is a solid choice for those in the market for a compact luxury SUV. It offers a comfortable ride, a spacious and well-equipped cabin, and a range of features that make it a practical choice for both city and highway driving. While the new Sport trim may not add any performance enhancements, it does give the QX50 a more stylish look that will appeal to many buyers.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.

Reference: EcoloAuto, PurosAutos.

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