2022 Infiniti QX55 Essential AWD
Class: Premium Compact Crossover
Miles driven: 200
Fuel used: 9.6 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 20.8 mpg
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||B+|
|Power and Performance||B+|
|Fit and Finish||A|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide’s impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. “Big” rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, “Tall” rating based on 6’6″-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||268-horsepower 2.0L|
|Engine Type||Turbocharged, 4-cylinder|
Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 22/28/25 (mpg city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Regular gas
Base price: $51,600 (not including $1025 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: ProAssist Package ($900)
Price as tested: $53,425
The great: Quiet and upscale cabin, refined ride
The good: Roomy front-row seating accommodations
The not so good: Disappointing fuel economy for the class, wants for sportiness
For 2022, Infiniti is getting into the crossover-coupe game—a vehicle segment that it arguably heralded with the introduction of its sleek, sporty FX crossover for the 2003 model year. The QX55 is essentially a rakish-roofed version of the Infiniti QX50 compact SUV, which was redesigned—and completely re-imagined—for the 2019 model year.
In addition to its sleeker profile, the QX55 stands out from its QX50 sibling by way of a bolder grille-mesh design (Infiniti says the look was inspired by origami), a dark machine-finish wheel design, unique taillights with a distinctive “piano-key” lighting signature, and a license plate mounted in the rear bumper instead of the liftgate.
The QX55 model lineup ascends through Luxe, Essential, and Sensory trim levels, all of which come standard with all-wheel drive. The only factory options are premium paint colors, and a ProAssist Package and ProActive Package for Essential models. The ProAssist Package adds adaptive cruise control, adaptive LED headlights, Blind Spot Intervention, and Lane Departure Prevention. The ProActive Package brings a head-up display, traffic-sign recognition, adaptive steering, and Infiniti’s ProPILOT Assist lane-centering adaptive cruise control system with stop-and-go capability. (All of the features in these two packages are standard on the Sensory model.) Also available are port-installed accessories such as splash guards, illuminated doorsill kick plates, and welcome lighting.
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The QX55 roster parallels the model lineup of the QX50, though the QX50 offers an entry-level Pure trim and is available with front-wheel drive across its lineup. Though there are differences in standard-equipment levels, you’ll pay at least $3000 more for a QX55 Luxe over a QX50 Luxe, and at least $5000 more if you’re looking at the top-line Sensory model.
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The QX55 shares its 268-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with the QX50. The powerplant is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission and utilizes a sophisticated variable-compression-ratio system that Infiniti calls VC-Turbo. The engine can sound somewhat coarse at idle and when pulling away from a stop, and sometimes in around-town driving; depending on your preferences, you might find the aggressive tone intrusive or exciting. The exhaust note rises to a satisfyingly snarly growl in fast acceleration, and the CVT transmission does a good job of mimicking the stepped gears of a traditional sport-tuned automatic transmission. This eliminates the annoying high-rpm droning noise that some CVTs exhibit, and make the vehicle feel more athletic overall.
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The Sport drive-mode setting delivers a slightly snappier, more eager throttle response, and the transmission holds higher RPMs for a bit longer, but not so much as to be annoying. The Eco drive mode is too aggressive for our tastes—it significantly dulls throttle response, almost to the point of lethargy.
Infiniti has suggested that the QX55 is the spiritual successor to the midsize 2003-2017 FX/QX70, with its rakish roofline and focus on front-seat passenger comfort. And while the ’55 enjoys relatively overt styling, it lacks the avant-garde design and generally sportiness of the FX/QX70, as well as that vehicle’s sharp handling, big V6, or available V8 engine. Instead, the QX55 is a nicely finished, well-equipped fashion statement, and we’re okay with that.
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The QX55 is well appointed, refined under way, and arguably good looking. Whether or not this compact Infiniti crossover is worth more than the more conventionally styled QX50 is for customers to decided. But if good looks and a little exclusivity matter to you, we suggest you take a closer look.
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2022 Infiniti QX55 Essential Gallery
Click below for enlarged images.
First Spin: 2022 Infiniti QX55