2024 Infiniti QX50 Is So Behind The Competition That It Hurts

By March 1, 2024Infiniti
2024 Infiniti QX50

The 2024 Infiniti QX50 is one of those vehicles that when standing alone, does many things absolutely alright. The problem is the moment you pit it against other vehicles in its class, you quickly realize how outpaced it actually is. After an entire week with it, the QX50 had me seriously wondering why Infiniti is even still trying with this thing.

2024 Infiniti QX50 Review: It Looks Good, Especially In Sport Trim

2024 Infiniti QX50I mean, the 2024 Infiniti QX50 does at least have some good things going for it. For starters, I still find this is a very good looking premium compact SUV. Just like its coupe twin, the QX55, the QX50 has a sensual, organic design theme to it that looks and feels adequately Japanese.2024 Infiniti QX50I also find it’s the right size in a world where everything seems to be getting bigger each year. My tester looked particularly dashing dressed up in this Sport trim, the second of three available versions. The “sport” is mostly cosmetic, though, adding a blacked out grille, blacked out body accents, blacked out logos and sportier wheels.2024 Infiniti QX50That Slate Gray paint job also gave my test unit a clean, mean look. Speaking of which, I must say, the quality of that paint is frankly excellent. All panel gaps are also neatly well squeezed together. This is a well put together crossover.2024 Infiniti QX50The 2024 model year doesn’t really bring anything new, except a new paint color called Black Obsidian. This is therefore the same QX50 that’s been around since the 2019 model year. Here in Canada, all versions come standard with all-wheel drive.2024 Infiniti QX50There’s also only one engine available, Infiniti’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, complete with variable compression technology, also known internally as the VC Turbo engine. Total output is rated at 268 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. That engine is bolted onto – you guessed it – a continuously variable transmission (CVT).2024 Infiniti QX50As for pricing, you’ll need to pay $54,582 before freight and dealers fees to access the darn thing. The Sport model you see here costs $61,082, while a top-spec Sensory AWD model will set you back $62,832, or about $3,000 more than an entry level BMW X3.

It’s Got The Moves, But…

2024 Infiniti QX50I must mention that while I had the 2024 Infiniti QX50, the province of Quebec was hit by a wild, climate-change prepared cocktail of rain, snow, ice and strong winds. This also happened during a week when I needed to drive into Montreal during more than one occasion. I now live out in the countryside, in the Eastern Townships region, close to the Vermont border. The drive into the city takes me about an hour and a half.Such conditions really had me giving the QX50’s driving dynamics a run for their money. From a chassis calibration and handling standpoint, this little SUV knows how to keep its four wheels on the road. It’s nimble, feels light on its feet and when attacking a corner quicker than you should, it does an impressive job of returning above-average chassis dynamics.Sadly, things starting falling apart when you punch the accelerator pedal. On paper, the VC Turbo engine seems promising thanks to the fact that it can switch its compression ratio on the fly. This means that when casually cruising on the highway, it’s supposed to return impressive fuel economy, but when you punch the accelerator pedal, it picks itself up and flies.Unfortunately, the QX50 does neither of that. The best fuel economy I pulled from this thing was a 10.1L/100 km average. I mean, what the fuck? I can do this with a V6-powered Honda Passport. Official Natural Resources Canada numbers aren’t necessarily better neither, boasting a lukewarm 9.7L/100 combined rating.But perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the way the 2024 Infiniti QX50 performs is that, not only is its straight-line performance only fine, that annoying CVT drains all the fun from the engine. It just makes the entire car feel like it’s low-rent due to the droning nature of these transmissions. It also feels like the turbocharged engine is held back, preventing it from performing the way it should.And then, there’s that interior, which, again, when evaluated on its own works perfectly fine, but when you’ve tried other vehicles in this class, you realize that the QX50 is really lagging behind. Mind you, the contrasting red on black from my tester did help spice things up, and to Infiniti’s defense, the build quality inside is just as good as on the outside.The problem, mostly, comes from its technology or lack thereof. The entire instrument cluster is analog in a world where everyone, including a simple Honda Civic, now comes out of the box with a fully customizable digital layout. It’s the same story for the dual-screen infotainment system. You’d think that Infiniti would have updated it by now, but nope! It’s still the same bipolar setup as before.What’s particularly worrying about this system is that both screens seem to be operating on different operating systems and powered by different processors. The lower screen looks a tad more modern, sharper and responds quicker, while the upper one looks and feels like something out of the early 2000s.The system lags, the graphic quality is only fine and cycling through the menus is tedious and distracting. Infiniti does put a physical knob dial at your disposal, but using it is painfully worse.But that cabin isn’t entirely useless. It’s at least spacious and comfortable, both front and rear. I had no issue squeezing my large frame in the rear, even with the front seat adjusted for my height. Cargo space is also a QX50 strongpoint, with a 1,843 liters of available cargo room when the rear seat is folded flat. That’s better, even, than the already spacious Acura RDX.But while it does have some endearing qualities, the harsh reality is that the 2024 Infiniti QX50 is swimming in a sea of seriously capable competitors. In this class, if you’re coming out with an annoying drivetrain and technology that feels like it’s a decade old, you’ll quickly turn off consumers that have a lot of choice at their disposal. If you want my honest opinion here, don’t even bother test driving the Infiniti QX50. You can get way better elsewhere at a similar price point.

Clavey's Verdict

Review of the 2024 Infiniti QX50 Sport AWD by William Clavey
Compact Premium SUVs

  • Attractive design.
  • Well put together and comfortable.
  • Class-leading cargo space.
  • VC Turbo engine doesn’t deliver.
  • Annoying CVT.
  • Technology that feels a decade old.

5 / 10

Clavey’s Corner is located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Prices and trim levels discussed in this article reflect the Canadian car market.

Special thanks: Infiniti Canada

Photography: Guillaume Fournier

Contact the author: [email protected]

William Clavey

About William Clavey

Automotive Journalist from Canada. Active collaborator at mainstream media outlets across Canada.

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