Today, I’ll let us know “What’s Revving?” concerning Infiniti’s new crossover for the 2020 model year, the Infiniti QX50.
But before we go into it, James will like to say a few words;
The whole world is on lock down, the Corona virus pandemic is causing more damage than we bargained for. Debilitating and disheartening as it might be, I’ll want us to know that through this, we have Jesus. He loves us, and He won’t allow harm to come to His own.
Let’s take care to carry out proper hygiene; to wash our hands, and isolate ourselves if we feel sick. My prayers are with all of us.
And it is also a good time for us to catch up on lost time with our study of cars… I’m sorry for staying away for so long, I’ll try to stay afloat this time. Let’s take it up from where we stopped, shall we?
And, back to the story!
Nissan’s luxury division, INFINITI, recently unveiled the new QX50 for the 2020 model year. Since its release, it has been receiving accolades from different organisations!
AJAC voted it the “best mid-size premium utility vehicle”.
It has a very elegant appearance and boasts of a very wide application of new technology and new specifications too.
Let’s see if it is good enough to win an award from iknowmotors.com too.
The exterior of the 2020 Infiniti QX50
The design of the 2020 QX50 is one that commands attention, you’ll just find yourself giving it a second glance unconsciously.
The design is bold and audacious, with lovely sweeping curves which aid aerodynamics, a magnificent D-pillar and beautiful LEDs which are all blended together to give it a sporty appearance, without compromising luxury.
From the front end, the first thing which will catch your fancy is the large QX50 front grille, which is characteristic of QX50s for the past few years, the only adjustment is that it is larger for the 2020 model year.
The chrome-tipped diamond mesh design and the large INFINITI logo harmonize and seem to make the statement “How do you like me now?”.
The hood has a “Clamshell” design. It vanishes beautifully into a sweeping curve on the side of the vehicle, and this design also allows the headlights to protrude. These details combined with the 19-inch rims which come as standard makes it a beauty to behold.
The rear is beautiful too, but at some point, it looks like they ran out of ideas. Still, I can’t seem to fault the exterior.
The 2020 QX50 has an impeccably alluring and luxurious cabin that will wow anyone, most especially in the “Autograph”.
We are talking of an interior listed among “Wards ten (10) best interiors“.
In the Autograph, you’ll quickly notice a retro design that involves the combination of high-quality brown leather, blue ultra suede, open-pore maple wood, chrome… all pieced together with intricate contrast stitching.
And to cap it all off, it has a beautiful brown suede headliner. With other trims, you’ll get black leather and carbon fibre looking plastic in place of open-pore maple wood.
Every bit just speaks LUXURY and feels the same too. A thousand kilometres in QX50 will be as relaxing as sitting in your living room sofa.
It comes with two large infotainment screens; the one on top is for the satellite navigation, while the second one is for media and climate control.
As standard, the 2020 QX50 comes with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, so that you can easily integrate your phone with the vehicles infotainment system.
Safety and Practicality
The QX50 is a practical 5-seater because it has a very roomy cabin and 16-way power-adjustable leather front seats and a booth space of about 900 litres.
Standard safety features include a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, front and rear collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and automatic high-beam headlights.
It has a safety rating of 9.6, and a critics rating of 7.5, which are very good.
With the QX50, if it is long-distance cruising or a practical family sedan for city shuttle, you can not go wrong!
Now, this is where I began to have reservations towards the QX50.
Infiniti has informed the public in past years of its ongoing development of a variable compression turbo engine. The engine debuted as the only engine option available for the 2020 QX50.
This engine is a 2.0L single turbo inline 4-cylinder, it produces 265 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque.
The small engine is a very smooth 4 cylinder engine with a lot of power and torque.
But, by looking at its operation, I can easily speculate how much pain it will cause its owners.
- In engines, the less moving parts the better; This engine has only succeeded in adding more moving parts into the combustion chamber, projecting unreliability. To know more about how engines work, click “here“.
- Despite it being a rave now in the automobile industry, we must know that the use of turbos in engines will only cause them to break faster. It is a case of trying to “eat your cake and have it”. Small engines (4 cylinders) are cheap to develop but do not produce enough power when compared to V8s and V6s. However, the use of Turbos ensures forced induction, causing excessive pressure in the cylinder. That pressure, coupled with a variable piston compression ranging from 14:1 to 8:1, is the perfect recipe for disaster.
- The engine was supposedly developed to produce very high power and optimise fuel economy while still running smoothly. But, though it runs very smoothly, I can’t say they got much out of the power and fuel economy.
- When compared to the Mercedes Benz GLC 500, which makes 255 horsepower, and 28mpg highway out of its 2.0L twin-turbo conventional 4-cylinder engine, you’ll see that developing a whole new engine, the VCT, which produces 265hp and a fuel economy of 30mpg, at best, yielded hardly noticeable results.
The biggest of concerns for me is this;
- this engine is new, the first of its kind,
- the engine is not yet tested, and can only be worked upon by INFINITI engineers that built it,
- will cost a fortune to repair, coupled with Nissan’s reliability issues in recent years.
I’ll say, this 2.0L variable compression turbo engine is the clog in the wheel for the 2020 QX50.
But then, no issues have yet to be reported.
The engine is mated to a seamless CVT (continuously variable transmission), and together they make the drive smooth and very comfortable. However, when you put your foot down on the gas, you don’t get a punchy response from the engine, and for performance-oriented people, that might be a downside, but, I bet you’ll be too comfortable to notice.
How does the 2020 Infiniti QX50 Drive?
The 2020 QX50 comes optional with an intelligent all-wheel-drive system that delivers all power to the front wheels on smooth terrain and sends 50% of the power to the rear wheels when it notices slipping, giving you traction and control when you need it.
It also comes with direct-adaptive-steering, which is, reputably, “The world’s first Digital Steering Wheel”. This system monitors the road ahead and makes numerous corrections to the wheels at a rate of about 1000 corrections per second, enabling it to take out all unwanted road vibrations caused by uneven road surfaces giving you an exceptionally smooth ride.
The QX50 also comes standard with three major drive modes; Standard, Eco and Sport. But it doesn’t end there… With the push of a button you can customise everything from your engine, transmission and steering settings anyhow you want it.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
- Pure: $38,275
- Luxe: $41,275
- Essential: $45,125
- Sensory: $49,925
- Autograph: $54,875
Infiniti increased the price cap on the 2020 QX50 with two new top-of-the-line models, but we think the mid-level Essential is the best choice.
Those who want all-wheel drive will have to dole out another $2000. Otherwise they can expect a decent amount of standard equipment, which includes a 360-degree camera system, heated front seats, front parking sensors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and more.
However, upgrading from the lesser Luxe model unlocks better options. We think the Convenience and ProAssist packages are worth the money. Together they add adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights, a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, enhanced memory settings, and more.
For a starting price of just about $38,000 dollars, a little more than the price of some Camrys and Accords, and cheaper when compared to some vehicles in its class, you get one sitting in your front yard.
Final Verdict on the 2020 Infiniti QX50
I find the 2020 Infiniti QX50 marvellous in a lot of ways, but the soul of a car is the engine and transmission.
My advise is that anyone interested to shortlist it and check it out with the competition before making your purchase and if you do buy it, you’ll probably get a handful of years out of it before it needs a swap.
Wow, that was a long read… I hope you had as much fun reading it as I did writing it (smiles).
For information I might have missed, check out car and driver .