A More Stylish QX That Comes With Very Little Compromise
Infiniti has been waging war with European luxury brands since the late 1980s. And, since coupe-style utility vehicles are the latest must haves for automotive Europhiles, it makes sense that Infiniti would join in, too. So, let’s find out more about this Infiniti QX55, and see if it’s a worthy contender.
While many people still have a hard time wrapping their heads around coupe-style SUVs, the bottom line is, if you’re trading in your luxury sedan for an SUV, you might as well get the best looking one you can, and there’ll still be much more cargo space inside than what you’re used to. So, for Infiniti buyers, that means taking a look at the 2022 QX55, a slant-backed version of their QX50 compact utility.
And the coupe-like shape is nothing new to Infiniti, as the QX55 bears much resemblance to Infiniti’s FX from the early 2000s; a coupe-styled SUV way before that was even a thing.
The wheelbase and most body panels forward of the B-pillar stay the same, but the 55’s thin roof line has much more of a downward trajectory as it heads aft; a new spoiler sits where the roof meets back glass, and the greenhouse comes to a sharp point in back, replacing the Infiniti zig-zag D-pillar look.
Rear seat headroom and cargo space both get sacrificed in the transformation, but not as much as some; losing only about 4 cubic-ft. of cargo space down to a still respectable 26.9; 54.1 with rear seatbacks folded. Rear seat legroom actually stays the same; though it’s still a little tight back there for taller folks. Front seats are quite comfortable and supportive, with plenty of width for a smaller SUV.
As great as all of that is, the thing that will ultimately decide the QX55’s fate is its luxury experience. And, rest assured, there’s no sacrificing for style here, as moon roof, heated seats, aluminum trim, 20-inch wheels, wireless Apple CarPlay, Active Noise Cancellation, and even all-wheel-drive are all standard. Plus the usual nicer leather, open-pore wood, ambient lighting, AroundView monitor, motion-activated lift-gate, and intelligent cruise control upgrades are all available.
Most everything up front is straight carryover from the QX50, including their latest InTouch Dual HD center stack display with navigation. Likewise, under the hood is Infiniti’s 2.0-liter VC-Turbo 4-cylinder, cranking out the same 268-horsepower and 280 lb-ft. of torque; matching CVT as well.
But, our Sensory trimmed QX55 weighs about 60-lbs. less than a comparable QX50; so off to Mason Dixon Dragway where, in our slalom course, it did indeed feel very light on its feet. There was a fair amount of body roll, but great balance with no excessive understeer or oversteer; and we were really flying through the cones much faster than the typical small SUV would allow. All enabled by Infiniti’s Direct Adaptive Steering, which we found very light and responsive.
As for straight-line work, the QX55 hooks up well off the line, but power delivery is more steady than aggressive. We hit 60 in a respectable 6.7-seconds, which is actually a few tenths slower than what we achieved in the QX50. This variable compression turbo engine has a unique growl to it that is quite pleasant, even with the continual high revving nature of the CVT. The ¼-mile passed by in 15.4-seconds at 92 miles-per-hour.
On public roads, we found the QX55’s ride to be quite plush, with an exceptionally smooth demeanor, despite the relatively short wheelbase and 20-inch wheels. And also very quiet, providing the overall luxurious driving experience people have come to expect from Infiniti.
Which brings us to an even more significant update. When Nissan first debuted this variable compression engine, we loved the tech behind it, but found it delivered power in a way that didn’t feel as refined as what we’re used to from Infiniti. Well, a software upgrade seems to have smoothed those rough edges a great deal.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 22-City, 28-Highway, and 25-Combined; we averaged an okay 23.3 miles-per-gallon of Premium. With an average Energy Impact Score; 13.2-barrels of yearly oil use, with 6.0-tons of CO2 emissions.
Pricing starts with Luxe trim at $47,525; top Sensory goes for $58,075, about 5-grand over the QX50 equivalent.
While there is no shortage of compact utility vehicles to choose from, there always seems to be room for another great looking luxury-minded utility. Especially if it comes with very little compromise and is as stylish as the 2022 Infiniti QX55.
Engine: 2.0L I4 Turbo
Torque: 280 lb-ft
0-60 mph: 6.7 seconds
1/4 Mile: 15.4 seconds at 92 mph
EPA: 22 City / 28 Highway / 25 Combined
Starting Price: $47,525