2016 Infiniti QX50 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Infiniti QX50 was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.9

The 2016 Infiniti QX50 is a driver’s car, according to test drivers. They say it combines raw power with nimble handling into an athletic overall package. It accelerates eagerly, they add, and the automatic transmission delivers smooth, reactive shifts. Reviewers appreciate that the QX50 has both a supple ride and athletic handling.

  • "The quick-shifting seven-speed automatic transmission from Mercedes-Benz (Infiniti's new technology partner) helps the V-6 come alive, and the old-fashioned hydraulic-assist power steering reassures you in the corners." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The QX50 is the clear driver's car among its peers." -- Autoblog
  • "Among crossovers, only the Porsche Macan is perhaps sportier." -- Car and Driver

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 QX50 features a 325-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6 engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission. It earns an EPA-estimated 17/24 mpg city/highway, which is one of the worst ratings in the class. The poor fuel economy stems from having one of the most powerful base engines in the class.

Reviewers praise the QX50’s V6 for its potent acceleration and excellent power output. They add that the engine is responsive off the line. Critics say the transmission delivers silky shifts and downshifts willingly.

  • "The engine is one of the most powerful you'll find in the segment, shy of something like the far pricier Porsche Macan. Power comes on quickly from the V6, and the seven-speed automatic upshifts in a smooth, linear fashion while getting up to highway speeds." -- Autoblog
  • "The V6 creates a wonderfully satisfying sound to match its thrust as you near its 7,000-rpm power peak. It makes you really want to drive this crossover hard. And unlike some of the QX's competitors that can feel slow off the line, the response from this V6 is always immediate and crisp. Slide the transmission over to Sport mode and it will expertly downshift as you enter a corner, putting you in the right gear to fully enjoy the engine's power. Fun? It can be, yes." -- Edmunds
  • "For all this sensible appreciation of the QX50's merits, we actually like this vehicle best because you can drive it really, really fast." -- Automobile Magazine

Handling and Braking

Test drivers praise the 2016 QX50 for its nimble handling in both the standard rear-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive models. They say it corners well and delivers a quiet ride while maintaining an athletic feel. Critics report that the QX50 does a good job riding smoothly over road imperfections. Some note that the steering feels a bit heavy, but the extra weight to the steering adds to the QX50’s overall sporty feel.

  • "The steering is very direct and precise but it's also rather heavy at lower speeds. The increased ride height means the suspension will roll slightly when you're driving aggressively, yet the QX always feels composed and nimble. It's a quiet place to spend time, too, especially when driven through rough urban terrain." -- Edmunds
  • "The result indeed makes this crossover SUV feel more like an athletic sports sedan. The QX50 is agile in corners, its steering is on the heavy side, and the 7-speed automatic transmission is quick to get down to business, especially in the Sport mode. Driven back to back, the RWD QX50 felt slightly lighter, no doubt helped by its 165-pound weight difference compared to the AWD version." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Where the QX50 shines is its ride quality, relying on a fixed suspension well tuned for both ride quality and handling. During Infiniti's event, I drive both the all-wheel- and rear-wheel-drive versions of this small crossover, and it proves very capable on the twisty canyon roads. Not exactly a sports car, it does a good job emulating that type of performance." -- CNET
  • "Despite its sporty performance, refinement levels are high. The independent front, and multi-link rear suspension are tuned for comfort, with none of the rough asphalt we experienced on one stretch translating through to the cabin, even on our model's upgraded 19-inch, five-spoke wheels." -- Autoblog
  • "This package rides well and handles with composure well beyond many competing crossovers and SUVs." -- AutoTrader

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