2022 Infiniti QX55 Review
SAUGATUCK, Michigan – We almost didn’t take it. The 2022 Infiniti QX55 wasn’t our first choice for a long weekend getaway to the frozen shores of Lake Michigan. No slight against this sleek crossover – it’s just not that big. Especially for two adults, a preschooler, a golden retriever, and all the necessities for a winter vacation. The day before we left, in the Culver’s drive-thru line, we decided, “Hey, this stuff is really cool. Hope everything works out.
Bigger decisions were made with less thought, so the next morning I started packing the QX55. At 26.9 cubic feet, there’s actually more cargo space than coupe-style crossovers like the 2022 Audi Q5 Sportback, Mercedes GLC Coupe and BMW X4. Yet the graceful rooflines limit the storage capacity of all these items. In my mind, they’re more like commuter crossovers. If you need real space, you’ll opt for the more upright QX50 and its 31.4 cubic feet of cargo space.
But what is a cubic foot, really? Trunks and cargo areas are often as much about shape as they are about raw volume, and the QX55 proved to be surprisingly roomy. I packed a large Samsonite carry-on (19 inches long, 13.5 inches wide), a huge gym bag, a box of food and stuff, a crate of beer, a sled and a few more things, plus two heavy winter parkas on top. For the trip home, we stowed even more stuff in there, including a trash bag full of laundry and beer from the local brewing scene. On the way I could see out the back. On the way back, not so much. For more QX55 loading adventures, check out this luggage test.
It’s the tradeoff and something you’ll want to consider if you’re buying something like the QX55. You have to really like the style, and this segment includes looks like the X4, which are visually more compelling than their boxier brethren. The QX55 shares Infiniti’s variable compression turbo, which develops 268 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. So there’s no compelling reason for the powertrain to seek out the coupe version. Even though the 55 is stiffer than the 50, you really would have to be an engineer to notice the difference.
The steering is light and the suspension is tuned for comfort. If you’re looking for a driver, consider one of the German competitors first, although the VC turbo is an interesting engine with heart. Infiniti has invested in this technology and should be commended for using it across its lineup to deliver respectable performance and fuel economy (25 mpg combined). The CVT, unfortunately, numbs the powertrain’s potential, as we noted in our First Drive review last year.
As far as a travel vehicle goes, the QX55 is a mixed bag. It’s stronger at highway speeds than I expected, and the snow and then the rain made it worse. The cruise control systems worked well, maintaining distance and speed, although lane departure prevention was overly active to the point of being annoying. The black and gray interior is attractive and features a leather-wrapped steering wheel and seats. The 16-speaker Bose system sounds great and the cabin has an upscale vibe. That said, the “Infiniti InTouch Dual HD Display” and navigation system were difficult to use and had trouble finding basic locations, like parks and iconic restaurants. We finally figured it out and it’s average. Outside of intuitive systems like Stellantis’ Unconnect, it’s often easier to use your phone for in-car navigation, and Infiniti falls into that category.
My tester cost $53,425 in the mid-tier Essential version (learn more about the QX55 line in our 2022 buyer’s guide). It’s good value for money, especially compared to the segment. Price includes the $800 proassist package (LED headlights, smart cruise control and lane departure systems) and destination charges.
Infiniti likens the QX55 to the much-loved FX crossover of a decade ago. With powerful powertrains and dramatic styling, the FX was ahead of its time. The QX55 is simply in tune with the market. It’s a good value and looks sharp. As we discussed in previous reviews, it sits in the middle of the pack in a competitive segment. But we already knew that. The question posed here is: can you take an attractive commuter crossover and use it as a weekend warrior for the family? Of course, it is doable. I camped in a Chevy Tahoe and spent a week in the Upper Peninsula in a Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk 7, so I lived on both ends of the spectrum. Still, the QX55 was reasonably up to the task of hauling people and things (and a very large breed dog) over a 400-mile round trip. It makes me slightly rethink the notion of a commuter crossover.