2022 Infiniti QX55 Essential AWD
To classify: Premium compact crossover
Mileage traveled: 200
Fuel used: 9.6 gallon
Real-world fuel economy: 20.8 mpg
|Room and comfort||B+|
|Power and performance||B+|
|Fit and finish||A|
|Report card ratings are derived from a consensus of test rider ratings. All qualities are compared to other vehicles of the same class. The value rating is for a specific trim level rated and may not reflect the Consumer Guide’s impressions of the entire model range.|
|Great and great comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for the front seats only. “Large” rating based on a male tester weighing approximately 350 lbs., “Large” rating based on a 6’6″ tall male tester.|
|Engine specifications||268 horsepower 2.0L|
|Type of engine||Turbocharged, 4 cylinder|
|Drive wheels||all-wheel drive|
Engine mixture: 65% city, 35% highway
EPA Estimated Fuel Economy: 22/28/25 (mpg city/highway/combined)
Fuel Type: Ordinary gas
Base price: $51,600 (excluding destination fee of $1,025)
Options on test vehicle: ProAssist Package ($900)
Price as tested: $53,425
Great: Quiet, Premium Cabin, Refined Ride
Good: Spacious front row seating
The not so good: disappointing fuel economy for the category, lack of sportiness
For 2022, Infiniti is getting into the crossover coupe game, a vehicle segment it arguably heralded with the introduction of its sleek and sporty FX crossover for the 2003 model year. The QX55 is essentially a roofed version slender body of the Infiniti QX50 compact SUV, which has been redesigned and completely redesigned for the 2019 model year.
In addition to its sleeker profile, the QX55 stands out from its QX50 sibling with a bolder grille design (Infiniti says the look was inspired by origami), dark machined-finish wheel design, unique taillights with a distinctive “piano-key” signature light, and a license plate mounted in the rear bumper instead of the tailgate.
The QX55 model lineup moves up through the Luxe, Essential and Sensory trim levels, all of which come standard with all-wheel drive. The only factory options are premium paint colors, plus a ProAssist package and a 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 includes 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 features in both of these packages are standard on the Sensory model.) Port-installed accessories such as splash guards, illuminated door sill plates and welcome lighting are also available.
The QX55 roster parallels the QX50 model range, although the QX50 offers an entry-level Pure version and is available with front-wheel drive across its range. Although there are differences in standard equipment levels, you’ll pay at least $3,000 more for a QX55 Luxe than a QX50 Luxe, and at least $5,000 more if you look at the top-of-the-line Sensory model. .
The QX55 shares its 268 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with the QX50. The powertrain is mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission and uses a sophisticated variable compression ratio system that Infiniti calls VC-Turbo. The engine can sound a bit coarse at idle and when driving away from a stop, and sometimes in city driving; depending on your preference, you might find the aggressive tone intrusive or exciting. The exhaust note rises to a satisfying growl under quick acceleration, and the CVT transmission does a good job of mimicking the stepped gears of a traditional sporty automatic transmission. This eliminates the annoying high-rpm buzz noise that some CVTs exhibit and makes the vehicle feel more athletic overall.
The Sport drive mode setting offers slightly quicker and more eager throttle response, and the transmission holds higher revs a bit longer, but not to the point of being annoying. The Eco drive mode is too aggressive for our liking – it dulls throttle response considerably, almost to lethargy.
Infiniti has suggested that the QX55 is the spiritual successor to the 2003-2017 midsize FX/QX70, with its sleek roofline and emphasis on front passenger comfort. And while the ’55 benefits from relatively overt styling, it lacks the forward-thinking 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 well-finished, well-equipped fashion statement, and we’re okay with that.
The QX55 is well-appointed, refined in course and arguably handsome. Whether this Infiniti compact crossover is worth more than the more conventionally styled QX50 is up to customers. But if beauty and a bit of exclusivity matter to you, we suggest you take a closer look.
2022 Infiniti QX55 Essential Gallery
Click below for enlarged images.