Infiniti's QX55 could change your mind about crossover SUVs
I didn't expect to like the 2022 Infiniti QX55 very much. Too many compact crossover SUVs pair up the clumsy, ponderous handling of larger SUVs without the comfort of the bigger vehicle. They can tend to be underpowered and slow, without the crisp handling of a passenger car. So what's the point of getting something in between an SUV and a passenger car if you get none of the benefits of either one?
The Infiniti QX55 solves all that. This small crossover is comfortable, fast, nimble, and still remains useful for carrying people or up to 54 cubic feet of cargo. It's an altogether enjoyable vehicle that I'd be happy to drive every day.
The QX55 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, passed to all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission. If you're saying, "I hate those gearboxes" right now, consider that I drove this vehicle for a week and never noticed that it had a CVT. Infiniti has done a great job making the QX55 drive like a standard automatic. It's got paddle shifters and manual mode if you want to select your own shift points.
Engine output is rated at 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, which is plenty to make the QX55 peppy and quick. Some of that performance is due to the good programming of the CVT. You're also rewarded with good fuel economy at 22 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway.
In the cabin, you get the sporty luxury interior that characterizes all Infiniti products. In the mid-level Essential trim, the QX55 comes with perforated leather upholstery that is both heated and ventilated. Infiniti also uses a sort of idiosyncratic dual touchscreen setup for controls and infotainment, but it works. Features like the navigation map are up high, so you don't have to take your eyes off the road to see them, while other functions are lower down, in easy reach of the passenger. In the Essential trim, audio services are provided through a 16-speaker Bose system. Full Android or Apple phone integration is included, along with Infiniti's own InTouch system.
On the road, you'll notice the QX55's easy, predictable handling and excellent use of engine power. There's a full suite of standard safety features like automatic high beams, rear automatic braking, and blind spot monitoring, in addition to all the anti-collision features. For an additional $800, you can get adaptive cruise control, adaptive front LED lights, blind spot intervention, and more.
The base price on the QX55 Essential is $51,600. You can knock that down to $46,500 on the base trim model, but the features of the Essential trim are hard to resist. I'd certainly spend the additional money and get this SUV outfitted to please me for a decade or more. If you're shopping the coupe-style premium crossover SUV market this year, make sure to test-drive the Infiniti QX55 before you make your decision.
2022 Infiniti QX55 Essential AWD
Base price: $51,600
Price as tested: $54,120
Type: Compact crossover SUV
Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged (268 hp, 280 lbs-ft)
Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission
EPA estimated mileage: 22/28
Overall length: 186.3 inches
Curb weight: 4,021 pounds
Final assembly: Aguas, Mexico
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