Why Infiniti’s QX55 is the cosmopolitan crossover of the day – Robb Report
The SUV category, once made up of high-function, small-footprint trucks converted for military and agricultural use, has fragmented over the past decades as automakers have begun to search for more specific demographics. . And the 2022 Infiniti QX55, dubbed a “luxury crossover coupe,” targets a hugely specific segment of the market, according to the company: single, childless, early adopter of everything from tech to travel.
It is therefore not surprising that the vehicle often looks like a smaller car. It’s certainly not a crossover that makes even a tame fire road excursion considered, let alone a true off-road adventure, but it is very enjoyable on a hill race or in city traffic – which, of course, is precisely what it was designed for. What was pleasantly unexpected was the QX55’s precision when navigating the canyon roads. The deft handling is due, in part, to the four-wheel independent suspension and the brand’s Active Brake Limited Slip system, which improves lateral athleticism by stopping the 20-inch wheels (dressed in all-season run-flat tires) individually, as needed.
The power delivery also impressed. With 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, the QX55 isn’t exactly a crawler machine, but for a vehicle weighing around 4,150 pounds, it’s good for a spirited commute. The 2.0-liter, variable-compression, turbocharged four-cylinder engine is mated to Infiniti’s continuously variable transmission and its cable-shifted gearshift configuration, ensuring the right dose of punch when needed , even at slower speeds, and a smooth response when shifting paddles in manual. Driving dynamics can be further refined using the four driving modes: Standard, Eco, Sport and Customizable Personal.
My pre-production model, painted in slate gray and complemented with Monaco red and graphite cabin accents, appeared to have all the exterior and interior polish of one of the showroom floor. But some of the tester’s ProPilot Assist suite driver aids, while intuitive enough to activate, did not work consistently, and even when they did, my confidence was not as high as it was. ‘with those of other brands; the steering assist and lane centering functionality, in particular, lacked the expected precision.
The QX55, offered in three trim packages and starting at $ 46,500, takes inspiration from the brand’s FX pivot model introduced almost 20 years ago. Manufactured until 2013, the FX became the brand’s definitive SUV and gained a passionate following.
“In the same way that the FX provided an instantly recognizable silhouette and helped put Infiniti on the map, the QX55 is, in many ways, our modern day provocateur,” said Infiniti President Peyman recently. Kargar. Robb Report.
“We’ve tried to make the entire profile as sleek as possible, and along with the side window graphics there’s that dynamic, clean arch,” says Taisuke Nakamura, global design manager at Infiniti. “This is one of the visual tricks to make the car sportier, while still retaining enough space for rear occupants and space for luggage.”
The real highlight of the car, however, is the interior. From the prominent line, reminiscent of the ink stroke of a calligrapher, flowing from the dashboard through the center console, to the open-pore maple trim, the interior exemplifies the thoughtful and artful aesthetic of Japan. . Plus, the dual touchscreen infotainment system and nine-inch head-up display rivals interior features found in some models that are twice as expensive; an optional 16-speaker Bose Performance Series audio system is also available.
The QX55 is featured in Luxe, Essential, and Sensory trim packages, with our leading Sensory example fully optional at $ 58,770. According to Infiniti, the entry-level model goes after Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque and Audi Q5, while the premium versions have the BMW X4 and even the Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe in their sights. After driving the Japanese automaker’s new version, two ideas became clear: why there is a demand for gentrified crossover coupes, and that Europe’s best should watch their backs.