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2022 Infiniti QX55 Review | Looks great, drives meh

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Carmakers love calling them coupes, but as they have four doors, that’s still a tough sell for our dictionary. So, let’s go with fastback SUV for now, and say that the 2022 Infiniti QX55 is one of the best-looking examples of the growing bunch. Even if Infiniti wasn’t originally intending to lop off the back of its QX50 compact crossover, the afterthought project to turn it into the QX55 was nevertheless a successful one. When parked next to a BMW X4 or Audi Q5 Sportback, we know the QX55 would do the prettiest job sprucing up the driveway. It’s nicely proportioned and tastefully detailed with just a hint of Infiniti’s forever cool FX SUV at the rear. The interior is also interesting to behold and pleasing to touch.

Unfortunately, the QX55’s aesthetics are its main selling point. Driving it is a real letdown as its underwhelming handling and soul-sucking continuously variable transmission just aren’t up to snuff for a luxury model. It makes the QX55 feel like you’re driving a Nissan Altima. And even if you’re less concerned with a car’s driving dynamics, the QX55’s odd and antiquated tech interface is sure to be a put-off after seeing what BMW, Audi and Mercedes have to offer. Of course, all of this could be said of the QX50. At least the QX55 has aesthetics on its side.  

What’s new for 2022?

The QX55 is an all-new model, although the QX50 upon which it’s based has been around since 2019.

What’s the QX55 interior and in-car technology like?

The QX55 interior is a highlight. It’s lifted from the QX50, and that’s good. It’s just as flowy as the exterior, and on our Sensory trim level test car, it was fitted with sumptuous red and black leather on nearly every surface, plus some natural-finish wood trim across the dash and doors. Lower trim models aren’t quite as flashy but still feature the same attractive design. It’s all suitably elevated for a luxury car.

On the other hand, the dual-screen infotainment system is at best bizarre and at worst antiquated.  Most infotainment functions are accessed and operated via the touchscreen at the bottom of the stack. That placement makes it easy to reach but hard to see. The top screen controls the navigation system and Apple/Android integration, is of a noticeably lower resolution, and is controlled either by touch or with a control wheel on the center console next to the shifter. Basically, Infiniti has plopped its current and previous-generation infotainment systems into the same car, and it’s weird. On the plus side, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto controlled up top, the bottom screen can still be used for the radio as opposed to going back and forth with a single screen.

2022 Infiniti QX552022 Infiniti QX55

How big is the QX55?

The more rakish QX55 may have 0.1 fewer inches of headroom up front and 1.5 in the back than the sunroof-equipped QX50, but passengers won’t really suffer for it. They’ll even enjoy more space than the fairly tight accommodations found in many conventional luxury compact crossovers. A 6-foot-tall driver was able to comfortably sit behind himself with plenty of knee and headroom.

The cargo situation is worse when compared to conventional crossovers, including the QX50. There is 26.9 cubic-feet with the back seat up, versus 31.1 in the QX50. That figure is better than its Audi, BMW and Mercedes fastback SUV competitors, but we found that volume is significantly compromised by the shape of the tailgate. It was very difficult to fit all the bags of our standard luggage test inside, although they did all fit in the end.

2022 Infiniti QX55

What are the QX55 fuel economy and performance specs?

There is only one way to power the QX55: a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four that sends 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission. It returns 22 miles per gallon city, 28 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined. That’s essentially the same as the Audi Q5 Sportback and BMW X4, and only 1 mpg better than various other competitors, including the Mercedes GLC 300 Coupe. So basically, you have to put up with a CVT and still get the same fuel economy as everything else.  

What’s the QX55 like to drive?

It’s fine. When you’re putting down this much money, though, you should seek out something more than fine. The QX55’s indifferent steering and soft suspension don’t provide much communication or inspire much excitement. Infiniti’s “Direct Adaptive” steer-by-wire system option is even worse: light, utterly devoid of feedback and at times totally bizarre. At least the ride is comfy.

The worst offender, however, is the mandatory CVT. While the QX55 has one of the segment’s loftier outputs courtesy its genuinely innovative VC-Turbo engine, it’s utterly wasted by a transmission that just monotonously drones you up to speed. If you’ve just come out of five years in a Nissan Rogue, it’ll seem totally normal and that it’s actually improved by adding all that delicious extra power. If, however, if you’ve just been driving any other luxury SUV, performance-oriented or not, the QX55 transmission will make the powertrain seem unrefined.

What other Infiniti QX55 reviews can I read?

2022 Infiniti QX55 First Drive Review

Our first time behind the QX55’s wheel, featuring more impressions of the way it drives and how it differs from the QX50.

2022 Infiniti QX55

2022 Infiniti QX55 Luggage Test

We see how much stuff you can fit in the back of the QX55 and discover that its chopped tailgate angle makes for compromised loading. 

What is the 2022 QX55 price and what features are available?

Pricing starts at $47,895, including the $1,395 destination charge, for the Luxe trim level. We wouldn’t call it a stripper model, but the next trim level up, the Essential, delivers a ton of equipment for its starting point of $52,995. If you want leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a heated power steering wheel, navigation, a surround-view parking camera and a 16-speaker Bose sound system (up from a six-speaker no-brand system), this is where you need to start. To it you can add the ProAssist package (auto-leveling adaptive LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist) and ProActive package (all of the above plus steering assist and stop-and-go capability for the adaptive cruise control system, a head-up display and the Direct Adaptive Steering). These two packages are included on the top Sensory trim level which otherwise adds a variety of totally skippable upgrades for $58,445 (motion-activated liftgate and fancier leather, for instance).

What are the QX55 safety ratings and driver assistance features?

Every QX55 comes standard with forward and reverse automatic emergency braking (the reverse bit is rare), blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning, and lane-departure warning. The ProAssist package (optional Essential, standard Sensory) adds to those features automatic intervention for the blind-spot and lane-departure systems along with adaptive cruise control.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the QX55 five out of five stars for frontal crash protection, but that’s the only test conducted (or the only one fully transferrable from the QX50). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not tested the QX55, but the QX50 got the best possible scores in the moderate overlap front and side crash tests, as well as the top score for its automatic emergency braking system.

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