2022 Infiniti QX55 Review
Introduction - Find the best Infiniti deals!
Now that sport-utilities and crossovers have become the most popular types of vehicles among consumers, automakers are finding new ways to expand their appeal. One such creation is the sport-utility coupe, and the latest entrant is the 2022 Infiniti QX55. Essentially, the QX55 and other of its ilk adopt a "coupe-like" roofline and faster-sloping rear hatchback to replace an SUV's traditional squared-off and practical profile. The approach sacrifices some cargo space and rear-seat headroom, but the hoped-for trade-off is an uptick in curb appeal.
Infiniti bases the new 2022 QX55 on the QX50 premium compact crossover SUV. The resulting 4-door, 5-passenger SUV coupe is Infiniti's first since the automaker arguably invented the segment in 2003 with the stylish, impractical, and ultimately doomed FX35. It joins the growing ranks of SUVs with fast rooflines, including the new Audi Q5 Sportback, Audi e-Tron Sportback, BMW X4, BMW X6, Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, and upcoming Volvo C40 Recharge. Now that the public has taken a bite of the tasty SUV coupe apple, more are certainly on the way.
Aside from the faster-sloping roof and rear hatch, the new QX55 shares most of its bodywork and all of its powertrain, chassis, and interior fitments with the QX50. That includes the Infiniti's revolutionary variable-compression 4-cylinder turbocharged engine (a version of which is now available in the Nissan Altima), the first of its kind in production.
What Owners Say About the Compact Premium SUV Segment - Find the best Infiniti deals!
Photo: Ron Sessions
According to data collected from verified owners for the J.D Power 2020 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, 54% of compact premium SUV owners are male (vs. 60% industry-wide), and the median age of a compact premium SUV owner is 59 years (vs. 56 for the industry).
Owners say their favorite things about their compact premium SUVs are (in descending order) the:
- Exterior styling
- Driving feel
- Feeling of safety
- Interior design
Owners indicate their least favorite things about their compact premium SUVs are (in descending order) the:
- Driving comfort
- Getting in and out
- Setting up and starting
- Infotainment system
- Fuel economy
What Our Independent Expert Says About the Infiniti QX55 - Find the best Infiniti deals!
In the following sections, our independent expert gives an analysis of a 2022 Infiniti QX55 Sensory equipped with optional Dynamic Sunstone Red paint. The price of the test vehicle came to $58,975, including the $1,025 destination charge. All QX55s include standard all-wheel drive.
Getting In and Getting Comfortable
Photo: Ron Sessions
The new Infiniti QX55's cabin is warm and welcoming with high-quality materials and soft-touch surfaces. A horizontal themed dashboard sweeps seamlessly into the doors while the fully integrated center console cascades down from the center of the instrument panel.
Particularly comfortable in the test vehicle's top Sensory trim, the NASA-inspired "zero gravity" front bucket seats featuring optimum support during long slogs behind the wheel or quick hops while running errands. Heated, ventilated, and covered with soft Nappa leather, the Sensory trim's driver's seat combines with the heated power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel to provide an automatic entry and exit assist feature. Take care to warn a rear-seat passenger before you exit the SUV, and mind any cargo placed on the floor behind the driver's seat because it will get crunched when the driver's seat motors rearward.
In the rear seat, the QX55 offers competitive legroom and headroom when comparing to other SUV coupes. Two 6-foot-tall adults can sit back there comfortably. A smaller person can squeeze into the middle position when necessary, but for short trips only. The 60/40-split rear bench seat has reclining seatbacks and can slide up to half a foot fore and aft to accommodate differing rear-seat passenger and cargo area needs.
There isn't an abundance of storage in the cabin. The center console has a small cubby with a tambour door that's big enough to stash a USB-connected Android phone (Infiniti offers wireless connectivity for iPhones) as well as a pair of tiny cup holders that won't accept square iced-tea bottles or larger drinks. Aside from that, there's the glovebox, a covered bin under the center console armrest, and open compartments in the doors.
2022 Infiniti InTouch Infotainment System Review
Photo: Ron Sessions
Infiniti is one of just a few automotive brands that use a dual-display system for infotainment content. In the new QX55, that means you get an upper screen for navigation and backup camera displays and a lower screen for audio, phone, system settings, and some climate and seat control displays.
Having two screens means the driver can simultaneously view the audio display and the navigation map at full size instead of viewing a split-screen or switching between screens. There is no real downside to Infiniti's approach other than a dated look compared to the dash-top flat-panel displays in most competing models. And for those buyers who may still have more CDs than playlists, this Infiniti system includes a handy, in-dash CD player.
Elements of the Infiniti InTouch system include:
- Upper 8-inch color high-definition touchscreen display
- Lower 7-inch color high-definition touchscreen display
- Wireless Apple CarPlay
- Wired Android Auto
- Hands-free text messaging
- Bluetooth hands-free calling and music streaming
- Four USB ports (one data/media, three charging)
- Siri Eyes Free
- Voice recognition technology
- SiriusXM (by subscription after a free trial)
- 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot for up to seven devices (30-day or 1GB trial)
Both the upper and lower screens are within easy reach of the driver and front passenger. The graphics are vibrant with good contrast and are easy to read on the fly.
The lower display has good-sized on-screen tiles and virtual buttons for favorites and changing audio sources. Hard buttons live under the screen for selecting the home screen or swapping between audio and climate-control functions. Beneath that are a row of larger audio system buttons for station tuning and media access, as well as a rotary analog volume knob.
Flanking the lower screen on both sides are columns of climate-control buttons. At first, the approach may seem like button overkill, but the layout of hard buttons is logical and minimizes the amount of time otherwise spent scrolling through on-screen menus.
Aside from steering-wheel controls, there is also a console-mounted remote control wheel for accessing the system. It gives quick access to the navigation map, backup camera, and voice commands and has a handy back button.
The middle Essential and top Sensory trims upgrade the standard 6-speaker stereo to a rich-sounding 16-speaker Bose premium audio system. The Infiniti InTouch system in Essential and Sensory trims also adds:
- Embedded navigation with street and satellite views
- Mapcare updating, traffic, and connected search
- Expanded SiriusXM functions with weather, fuel prices, stocks, sports, parking locations, and more
- HD Radio
Wireless smartphone charging is not available for the Infiniti QX55.
What It's Like to Drive the 2022 Infiniti QX55
Photo: Ron Sessions
The QX55, like the QX50 it's based on, has an innovative engine under the hood. Unfortunately, most of its buyers won't notice or appreciate the engineering that's gone into the VC Turbo powerplant.
Nissan engineers spent years developing this variable-compression 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, the first of its kind to go into regular production. The VC Turbo's premise is a patented multi-link linkage inside the engine that allows it to vary the piston stroke infinitely. The engine can then operate in a high-compression mode for good fuel efficiency when cruising at light throttle and a low compression mode when accelerating to allow turbocharger boost to enhance performance without the detrimental effects of detonation and spark knock.
In theory, this engine supplies a mechanical solution that allows it to be powerful when accelerating and fuel-efficient when cruising. In reality, though the VC Turbo offers slightly more horsepower and torque than the turbocharged 2.0-liter engines powering competitors such as the Audi Q5, BMW X4, and Mercedes-Benz GLC 300, it's not quicker. The QX55 accelerates from rest to 60 mph in the same high 5- or low 6-second range as its German competitors. Also, based on the EPA estimates of the nearly identical Infiniti QX50, the new QX55 achieves roughly the same fuel efficiency as its principal German rivals.
The transition between low and high compression operation is so seamless that if it weren't for the gauge that displays what compression mode the engine is in (low or high with no numerical values), the driver would never know. What the driver will notice, however, is an engine that's eager to respond to any driving situation, whether it's cruising through town or merging onto fast-moving freeways and overtaking slower vehicles.
The VC Turbo pairs with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that can infinitely select gear ratios over a wide range to match varying engine speeds, road loads, and vehicle speeds. A pair of steering-wheel paddle shifters enable the driver to manually select simulated fixed ratios for sporty driving, complete with rev-matching downshifts.
An active noise cancellation system that uses the SUV's audio speakers offsets unpleasant low-frequency droning sounds when the QX55 is loping along at low rpm. Also, via the audio system, an active sound enhancement system adds in some sporty engine snarl when accelerating at wider throttle openings. Extensive soundproofing and an acoustic laminated windshield and front side glass help tamp down unwanted road, wind, and outside ambient noise.
On the road, the QX55 exhibits good body control with its conventional, non-adaptive shocks. The ride is on the firm side but is composed and never harsh, even with the 20-inch run-flat tires. The brake pedal gives firm top-of-pedal response and pinpoint control, stopping with confidence from speed.
All QX55s have standard on-demand all-wheel drive. That means under most driving situations with good traction, the system sends 100% of drive torque to the front wheels. If sensors detect front-wheel slip, the system can send up to 50% of drive torque to the rear wheels to aid traction. Also, when launching from rest, the AWD system momentarily splits drive torque evenly between the front and rear wheels to minimize the incidence of front wheelspin. The traction control system also can brake individual wheels from one side to another to stop a slipping wheel from spinning.
The driver can select from four drive modes via the console-mounted control button: Standard, Eco, Sport, and Personal. Each mode varies throttle response, transmission shift mapping, and steering heft.
The QX55 with Sensory trim features Infiniti's oddly named Direct Adaptive Steering, which, like a remote control mouse, has no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and steering gear at the front wheels. Despite no mechanical feedback from the steering gear and road, Infiniti has finessed this system to the point that it feels quite natural and offers a quicker ratio in the driver-selectable Sport mode than it does in Standard mode.
Infiniti QX55 Safety Features and ProPilot Assist Review
Photo: Ron Sessions
Infiniti doesn't have a fancy name for its total collection of safety and advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS). But the automaker offers a large number of them, and many standard, on the 2022 QX55. In addition to 10 airbags, standard features on all QX55 trims include:
- Forward-collision warning
- Automatic emergency (forward) braking with pedestrian detection
- Rear automatic braking
- Lane-departure warning
- Blind-spot warning
- Rear cross-traffic warning
- Backup camera with trajectory guidelines
- Sonar rear parking distance warning
- Automatic high-beam headlights
All but the base Luxe trim add standard:
- Sonar front parking distance warning (beeps faster the closer you get to obstacles)
- Around View Monitor (a 360-degree surround-view camera giving an overhead view of the Infiniti and its immediate surroundings)
Standard on Sensory and optional on Essential trim are:
- Lane-keeping assistance
- Lane-centering assistance
- Blind-spot intervention with steering assist
- Speed sign recognition
- ProPilot Assist (adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability and steering assistance)
- 9-inch head-up display (projects current speed, speed sign, navigation lane guidance, automatic emergency braking information onto the lower portion of the windshield ahead of the driver)
One nice feature of the blind-spot warning system is the size and location of the warning lamps that indicate when a vehicle is in the QX55's blind spot. Instead of a tiny triangle in a side mirror, the QX55's system utilizes a SIM card-sized amber LED that's about three times as large and located prominently on the triangular filler panel between the side mirror and the windshield post. When the blind-spot warning lamp comes on, it's hard to ignore.
Although its blue button on the steering wheel can be difficult to see in bright sunlight, the ProPilot Assist adaptive cruise control system works well on well-marked highways and interstates. When switched on, it seamlessly follows a preceding vehicle, steers to keep the QX55 centered in its lane, slows and stops behind a vehicle stopped in traffic, and quickly resumes the previously set speed with a tap on the accelerator or the cruise-control resume button.
ProPilot Assist's lane-centering function works better than most on straight highways with clearly painted lane markings, using subtle automatic steering adjustments. However, a solid white line angling off an exit ramp of the interstate can fool the system, gently and momentarily tugging the steering wheel to the right even if the driver has not signaled an intention to exit.
The QX55's lane-departure warning system is active even when the adaptive cruise control is not. If the driver wanders outside the lane marking, the system buzzes the steering wheel haptically, applies a small amount of corrective steering torque, and taps the brakes momentarily.
2022 Infiniti QX55 FAQ - Find the best Infiniti deals!
Photo: Ron Sessions
How much cargo space does the 2022 Infiniti QX55 have?
Despite the sloping, coupe-like roofline, there's more cargo space in a QX55 than you might think. Compared to the Infiniti QX50 SUV it's based on, the QX55's roof sits a couple of inches lower, but the QX55 also stretches 1.6 inches longer.
As a result, the QX55's cargo hold measures 26.9 cubic feet behind the raised 60/40-split rear seat and 54.1 cu.-ft. with the back seat folded down. That's 4.5 cu.-ft. and 11 cu.-ft. less than a QX50, respectively, but more than is available in competitors such as the Audi Q5 Sportback, BMW X4, and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe.
You access the cargo area via a power liftgate, with hands-free operation standard for Sensory trim. As the QX55 uses run-flat tires, there is no spare tire. So the space usually allotted for a spare under the cargo floor is considerable, and it's spacious enough for stashing everything from small valuables such as cameras and purses to tablets, laptop bags, and a small airport roller bag.
Does the 2022 Infiniti QX55 get good mileage?
As this review was published, neither Infiniti nor the EPA had finalized fuel-economy estimates for the QX55.
However, based on the fact that the QX55 is about the same size and weight as the existing Infiniti QX50 and is mechanically identical, it's likely that Infiniti's new sport-utility coupe will share the same 25 mpg combined-driving estimate as the all-wheel-drive version of the 2021 QX50. If that proves to be the case, the QX55 will offer comparable fuel economy ratings to competitive sport-utility coupes such as the 2021 BMW X4 (25 mpg combined) and 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC (24 mpg combined).
During a marathon 24-hour driving session of a pre-production 2022 Infiniti QX55, I drove 242 miles with 80% of that on interstates and secondary highways and 20% on city/suburban/residential streets. The onboard average fuel economy displayed an indicated 22.5 mpg. Based on the QX55's 16-gallon fuel tank, that would suggest a modest 360-mile driving range. Infiniti recommends premium unleaded fuel.
Is the 2022 Infiniti QX55 safe?
As of this review's publish date, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) had rated the 2022 Infiniti QX55 for crash safety. Looking at ratings for the 2021 QX50 won't serve as guidance, either, as neither organization had rated that model, either.
How much is the 2022 Infiniti QX55?
Prices for the 2022 Infiniti QX55 are $46,500 for the base Luxe, $51,600 for the mid-level Essential, and $57,050 for the top Sensory trim. The destination charge for all trims is $1,025. Every QX55 includes standard all-wheel drive.
What are the 2022 Infiniti QX55 competitors?
In the J.D. Power 2020 Initial Quality Study (IQS), the Cadillac XT4 was the highest-ranked model in the compact premium SUV segment for quality. The BMW X4 and Lexus NX were the next highest-ranked models.
In the J.D. Power 2020 Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout Study (APEAL), the BMW X4 was the top-ranked model in the compact premium SUV segment for overall appeal. The Lincoln Corsair and Porsche Macan were the next highest-rated models.
Other compact premium SUV competitors to the Infiniti QX55 include the Acura RDX, Audi Q5 Sportback, and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe.
Independent Expert Opinion - Find the best Infiniti deals!
Photo: Ron Sessions
Infiniti already had a luxurious, sharply styled, fun-to-drive compact premium SUV in the QX50. With the new QX55, the brand turns the sporty design volume knob up a few notches, reducing cargo room and erasing rear-seat headroom for even greater curb appeal.
The sport-utility coupe phenomenon, started by Infiniti itself in 2003 with the now-discontinued FX35 (aka the Bionic Cheetah), has worked well for Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz in recent years. Now, the new 2022 Infiniti QX55 aims to recapture some of the Bionic Cheetah's magic while giving premium compact SUV coupe buyers a new place to land other than with blue-blood European brands.
Ron Sessions is a seasoned vehicle evaluator with more than three decades of experience. He has penned hundreds of road tests for automotive and consumer websites, enthusiast magazines, newsletters, technical journals, and newspapers.
The opinions expressed in this review are the author’s own, not J.D. Power’s.
No portion of these reviews may be reproduced, distributed, publicly displayed, or used for a derivative work without J.D. Power’s written permission. © 2021 J.D. Power