This week I am behind the wheel of the beautiful 2022 INFINITI QX50 Essential edition SUV. The Essential is right in the middle of the five different trim levels offered in the QX50.
The exterior is all INFINITI with an aerodynamic design, angular headlights that blend into the INFINITI grill, a curved hood, 19” wheels, and from the side, just the right amount of chrome accents. A contoured spoiler and dual exhaust finish out the rear view.
Under the hood you’ll find a 2-liter variable compression turbo engine putting out 268-horses and 280-pound feet of torque. In simple terms, it’s like having two engines in one. It combines the power of a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with the torque and efficiency of a 3.5-liter V6.
It is mated to a continuously variable transmission, which I don’t love, but kudos to Nissan for simulating shifts that can be controlled from shift paddles. This one is all-wheel drive but is available in two-wheel drive as well.
For me, the real story is the interior. This Essential edition has beautiful pleated leather seats. It has brown stitched leather that flows from the dash to the door panels. Matching brown trims the edges of the seat.
There is a configurable driver info center in the middle of the dash and as you look into the windshield, there is an easy-to-see head-up display that has traffic sign recognition.
Moving to the middle, you have an 8” screen on top that shows your navigation screen, and a 7” screen on bottom to control all audio and to access the menu. Buttons run vertically beside the screen for both driver and passenger to control their own climate settings.
The center console houses a short shifter, you can turn on the auto hold, a round knob lets you zoom in on the nav system and change camera angles, including a front and overhead view. You can also change drive modes from eco, standard, personal, and my favorite of course, sport mode. There are USB ports and two large cupholders.
The back seats recline, they fold flat, and you can slide them forward and backwards. Cargo room is generous with 65-cubic feet of cargo. You can easily lower the back seats from levers in the cargo area. Back seat passengers get air vents, climate control, and their own USB port. There are also window shades to keep the back seat cooler.
This luxury SUV comes very loaded with standard features such as remote start, a huge panoramic sunroof, power lift gate, a 16-speaker Bose sound system, wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a cassette player, heated and cooled seats, and a tilt steering wheel.
On the safety side, it has forward collision warning with emergency braking, lane departure warning and prevention, blind-spot monitoring, rear automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, and rear cross traffic alert.
Ride and Drive
This SUV drives and handles really well. The all-wheel system gives you a feel of the vehicle being very planted to the road. It is ultra-quiet inside, and although I am not a huge CVT fan, this one is tolerable. Acceleration was surprisingly good, especially in Sport Mode.
Fuel economy is great for a 4000-pound SUV at 22 in town and 28 on the highway.
MSRP completely loaded is estimated at $49,825 which is a very good value by today’s standards.
A big thumbs up to INFINITI for the amazing interior in this Essential edition.
- What I Liked Most: The beautiful interior.
- What I would change: Would prefer a 9-speed automatic.
- MSRP: Base price: $48,800/Total with transportation: $49,825
- Official Color: Graphite Shadow.
- Fuel Economy: 22 city/28 highway/25 combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 600 miles.
- Weight: 4,100 pounds, GVWR 5,000 pounds.
- Spare Tire: Temporary Compact.
- Length-Width-Height: 185” long/75” wide/66” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 16 gallons with the filler on the driver's side.
- Towing Capacity: 3,000 pounds.
- 2022 INFINITI QX50 in a few words: A good driving SUV with an exceptional interior.
- Warranty: 4-year/60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance, 6-year/70,000 miles of power train coverage.
- Final Assembly Location: Aquas, Mexico.
- Manufacturer's website: INFINITI