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The Infiniti brand continues to redefine itself, slotting new models into new names as it ushers in a new generation of cars and crossover SUVs. The latest to join the fray: the 2016 Infiniti QX50.
Formerly known as the EX, the Infiniti QX50 is one of the more driver-focused crossover SUVs on the market today. And until now, that position's also made it one of the least useful vehicles, thanks to a cramped rear seat. This year, Infiniti has adopted a longer body style it already sells in other world markets, and for this crossover SUV, it makes all the difference in living up to the "utility" side of its sport-utility mission.
The QX50 shouldn't have any hardcore-SUV cues—it's built on proven sport-sedan underpinnings—and it doesn't, thank goodness. The shape cues up the right visual relationship with the Q50 and the five-seat QX70 crossover. The tall roofline looks low, thanks to some subtle sculptural surfaces on the body, and few cutlines and few unneeded details give the QX50 an especially clean look for its class. Big wheel wells and widely flared fenders taper into an arching roofline, all blending together to give it a bit more of a coupe look than most of its rivals.
While other luxury crossovers have been more content to coddle drivers, the QX50 (and before it, the EX) has staked its claim on handling prowess. Built on an architecture that also underpins the Nissan 370Z and Infiniti's own Q50, that's not an outrageous task at all.
But like the BMW X3, the QX50's found out that having a more capacious back seat doesn't have to kill all the driving joy.
The Infiniti QX50 is never short on power, thanks to its 3.7-liter V-6, which produces 325 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. That power is managed by a 7-speed automatic transmission that even throttle-blips when you downshift. It's a good match, and the QX50 performs with an eagerness that you wouldn't normally find in this segment, shy of BMW's turbocharged inline-6.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.