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2021 Infiniti QX50 Review

The 2020 Infiniti QX50 finishes in the lower third of our luxury compact SUV rankings. It has adult-friendly seating and a lengthy list of standard features, but its below-average predicted reliability rating hinders its overall appeal.

Pros & Cons

  • Long list of standard features
  • Expansive passenger and cargo areas
  • Smooth ride
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating
  • Frustrating infotainment system
  • Unrefined transmission

New for 2021

  • Adaptive cruise control, heated front seats, and a Wi-Fi hot spot now standard
  • Shuffled features in higher trims

7.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.5
Performance: 6.8
Interior: 7.5
Safety:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 9.6 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Infiniti QX50?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Infiniti QX50 a Good SUV?

Yes, despite its low ranking, the Infiniti QX50 is a good luxury compact SUV. Inside its premium cabin, there's ample space for passengers and their cargo, as well as a wealth of standard safety and infotainment technology, including pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. This Infiniti also delivers balanced driving dynamics and good gas mileage figures.

There are a few downsides to be aware of, though. While the QX50's engine has sufficient power for most driving situations, the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) can cause the engine to drone at highway speeds. Also, its touch screen has dated graphics and slow menu responses, and its predicted reliability rating is among the lowest in the class.

Why You Can Trust Us: 16 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 16 Infiniti QX50 reviews, as well as performance specs, interior dimensions, fuel economy ratings, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

This 2021 QX50 review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2019.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Infiniti QX50?

The Infiniti QX50's expansive cabin and lengthy features list make it worth considering. However, there are more well-rounded vehicles out there, including the Acura RDX and Mercedes-Benz GLC. The RDX boasts a more capable powertrain, and the GLC has a more luxurious cabin.

2020 vs. 2021 Infiniti QX50: What's the Difference?

For the 2021 model year, Infiniti adds adaptive cruise control, heated front seats, and a Wi-Fi hot spot to the QX50's standard features list and shuffles some features in upper trims.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 QX50 »

Here are the key changes for the Infiniti QX50 over the last few years:

  • 2018: no model released
  • 2019: fully redesigned with additional cargo room, nicer cabin materials, and more standard active safety tech
  • 2020: gains standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as a few standard safety features; Sensory and Autograph trims introduced
  • 2021: adds some standard features; shuffles features in upper trims

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 QX50, 2019 QX50, and 2020 QX50 reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Infiniti QX50 Cost?

The 2021 Infiniti QX50's base Pure trim starts at $37,950. That makes it one of the most affordable vehicles in the luxury compact SUV class. Three midlevel trims are also available: Luxe (MSRP: $41,500), Essential (MSRP: $44,700), and Sensory (MSRP: $50,000). The top-of-the-line QX50 Autograph starts at $54,200. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is an additional $2,000 ($2,650 in the Autograph trim).

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Infiniti dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Infiniti deals page.

Infiniti QX50 Versus the Competition

Infiniti QX50 vs. Acura RDX

The Acura RDX is just as spacious, feature-filled, and comfortable to drive as the QX50, and its similarly priced. Both vehicles also have infotainment systems that are tricky to use. However, the Acura has one of the nicest cabins in the class, along with a massive cargo capacity that's about 15 cubic feet larger than the Infiniti's. Additionally, the RDX's 10-speed automatic transmission pairs better with its engine than the QX50's CVT does with its. The Acura is the better vehicle overall.

Compare the QX50 and RDX »

Infiniti QX50 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLC

The Mercedes-Benz GLC costs several thousand dollars more than the QX50, but it fares better in our luxury compact SUV rankings mostly because of its lavish cabin. The Benz also comes standard with a more user-friendly infotainment system that can be controlled with a massive 10.25-inch touch screen, voice commands, and gestures. The GLC also has a wide array of engines (with horsepower ratings ranging from 255 to 503), a hybrid variant, and two body styles (SUV and coupe).

Compare the QX50 and GLC »

Compare the QX50, RDX, and GLC »

QX50 Interior: Plenty of Space and Tech

QX50 Cargo Space

The QX50 has one of the largest cargo capacities in the class, with 31.4 cubic feet of space behind the second-row seats and 65.1 cubic feet with the second row folded down. A power liftgate is standard. A hands-free liftgate is standard in the top-of-the-line Autograph trim.

How Many People Does the QX50 Seat?

There's seating for up to five people in this luxury compact crossover. No matter which row you sit in, you'll be met with spacious, comfortable, and supportive seats. Front power adjustments are standard.

QX50 and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats.

QX50 Interior Quality

The QX50 has high-quality cabin materials, even in its base model. Standard features include synthetic leather upholstery and heated front seats. The upper trims have even nicer comfort features like genuine leather upholstery and ventilated front seats.

QX50 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The QX50 comes with Infiniti's dual-screen InTouch infotainment system, which has several faults. Its graphics look dated, some of the menus are poorly structured, and the system is slow to respond to user inputs. Also, it will take some time to get used to navigating the two touch-screen system.

  • Standard infotainment features: an upper 8-inch touch screen, a lower 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, six speakers, Bluetooth, four USB ports, satellite radio, and a CD player
  • Available infotainment features: a 16-speaker Bose premium audio system
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control, remote keyless entry, and push-button start
  • Other available features: a panoramic moonroof

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

QX50 Performance: Potent Engine Held Back by CVT

QX50 Engine

The Infiniti QX50 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 268 horsepower. It has enough oomph to get you where you want to go, but it’s held back by a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that fails to make the most of the engine’s power. The CVT also tends to make the engine drone when it's pushed hard.

QX50 Gas Mileage

Front-wheel-drive QX50s get an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, which is good for the class. Models with all-wheel drive see estimates dip by 1 mpg in both city and highway driving.

QX50 Ride and Handling

The QX50's suspension helps this luxury compact SUV deliver a comfortable ride, even when the pavement turns uneven. It also maintains composure when cornering. However, the vehicle may jolt when you brake due to an inconsistent brake pedal. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.

Read more about performance »

QX50 Reliability

Is the Infiniti QX50 Reliable?

The 2021 Infiniti QX50 has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five.

Infiniti QX50 Warranty

The Infiniti QX50 comes with a four-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

QX50 Safety

QX50 Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2021 QX50. However, the NHTSA gave the similar 2020 model an overall safety rating of five out of five stars, and the IIHS gave it the highest rating of Good in two crash safety tests.

QX50 Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Forward collision warning
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Adaptive daytime running headlights

Available advanced safety features:

  • Head-up display
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Lane keep assist
  • Front parking sensors
  • Surround-view parking camera system
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • ProPilot Assist (a partially automated system that keeps the SUV centered in its lane and at a set distance from other vehicles on the road)

Read more about safety »

QX50 Dimensions and Weight

The QX50 is about 15.4 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,838 to 4,178 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Infiniti QX50 Built?

Infiniti builds the 2021 QX50 in Mexico.

Which Infiniti QX50 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Infiniti QX50 comes in five trims: Pure, Luxe, Essential, Sensory, and Autograph. All trims come with a 268-horsepower engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Front-wheel drive is standard. All-wheel drive is available for $2,000 in the first four trims and $2,650 in the top trim. The base Pure trim is your best bet. It costs less than most class rivals, and it comes loaded with features.

Infiniti QX50 Pure

The base Pure trim (MSRP: $37,950) comes standard with an upper 8-inch touch screen, a lower 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, six speakers, Bluetooth, four USB ports, satellite radio, and a CD player. You'll also get remote keyless entry, push-button start, synthetic leather upholstery, and eight-way power-adjustable front seats. Lots of safety features are also standard, including rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive daytime running headlights.

Infiniti QX50 Luxe

Starting at $41,500, the Luxe trim adds heated front seats, remote start, a panoramic moonroof, LED fog lights, and the ProPilot Assist partially automated driving system.

Infiniti QX50 Essential

The Essential trim starts at $44,700. It gains navigation, front parking sensors, and a surround-view parking camera system. A Convenience package is available for $1,650. It includes leather upholstery and memory settings for the driver's seat, mirrors, and steering wheel.

Infiniti QX50 Sensory

The Sensory trim (MSRP: $50,000) adds leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, and a 16-speaker Bose premium audio system. A Climate package is a no-cost add-on that includes rear passenger sunshades and tri-zone automatic climate control.

Infiniti QX50 Autograph

The Autograph trim has a starting price of $54,200. It gains a hands-free liftgate and tri-zone automatic climate control.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Infiniti dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Infiniti deals page.

See 2021 Infiniti QX50 specs and trims »

The Final Call

Though the 2021 Infiniti QX50 is one of our lowest-ranked luxury compact SUVs, it still has some appeal. It offers a comfortable ride, abundant space inside its high-end cabin, and loads of standard safety and infotainment features. On the negative side, its transmission is unrefined, its infotainment system has a huge learning curve, and its predicted reliability rating is one of the lowest in the class.

Don't just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The 2021 Infiniti QX50 is one of Infiniti’s strongest luxury SUV/crossovers. … Under that skin is plenty of technology, performance and luxury, with pricing that could draw buyers away from the usual German contenders." -- Autotrader
  • "The … Infiniti QX50 is a 5-passenger luxury SUV that hopes to attract buyers with its racy styling, advanced engineering and sub-$40,000 starting price. Pitted against the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and a host of other compact-luxury SUVs, the QX50 stands out with a lengthy list of standard driver assists, an advanced variable-compression 4-cylinder engine and wide range of trims allowing buyers a bit more personalization choices." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The QX50 has an inspired design and innovative engine that separate it from luxury competitors. Unfortunately, these distinctive traits alone don't vault Infiniti's compact crossover into the most esteemed company." -- Car and Driver
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