Every now and then, you get to learn about a good comeback story, and in this case, the 2019 Infiniti QX50 is exactly that. The previous model was somewhat a mess when it was launched 9 years ago which finally was discontinued. But Infiniti did not throw in the towel just yet, instead, the went back to the drawing board and returned with a fantastically improved 2019 QX50.On the outside, it's now a looker, but visuals are only one chapter in this story as it's also loaded with some of Infiniti's latest tech.
The 2019 Infiniti QX50 is more handsome than you'd think at first glance, especially for a crossover. It has this subtle elegance that grows on you as time goes by. Sharp creases to the body lines set a conventional silhouette, while a descending roofline gives it an extra dose sporty looks. What I personally like is the zig-zag D-pillar which adds a bit more flare to the QX50s visual and adds a bit more spark to the rear quarter panel.
Our tester was packed with the top-of-the-line cabin trim and let us tell you, its a marvel. Plush leather and wood-trim welcome you to a well-organised cabin. The diamond quilted seats are aces too. Not only is it pretty, it feels well put together as any of its German competitors. The centre stack is dominated by two screens which give access to automatic climate control, and the controls for the excellent 15-speaker Bose system. A full-colour, seven-inch display in the instrument cluster displays trip and fuel economy information, as well as the status of the numerous driving aids and safety aids onboard the QX50. It even shows the current state of the variable-compression system as it runs. All to make sure the tech features of the car are front of mind for the driver, at all times.
Infiniti's most clever addition to the new QX50 is its new VC-Turbo engine. VC stands for variable compression, which allows the engine to change compression ratios between 8:1 and 14:1, prioritizing efficiency or power as the situation demands. Infiniti claims it provides V6-like power with the efficiency of a four-cylinder, and from our time with it, we can certainly back it up. With 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, it's down on power but up on torque compared to the old QX50's naturally aspirated V6, but yet somehow it feels much more usable in a daily environment and smoother to drive. The continuously variable transmission keeps things nice and smooth, with simulated gear changes in around-town driving to make it feel a bit more "natural."
No longer the black sheep in the segment, the 2019 QX50 strikes an excellent balance between new tech and proper luxury. It's a bummer that the best stuff is hidden behind insane amounts of then-mandatory options, and not all of its tech is a shining example of 21st-century achievement, but it's finally a competitive choice alongside some long-time segment stalwarts.