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First Drive: 2022 Infiniti QX55 is a stylish puzzle missing a high-tech piece

The 2022 Infiniti QX55 is a solid offering, but is it good enough to keep up with the competition?

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Have you ever worked on a puzzle for days only to get to the end and realize that you're missing a piece or two? That's exactly how it feels to be behind the wheel of the 2022 Infiniti QX55.

Billed as the spiritual successor to the Infiniti FX, the QX55 proves that marketing speak doesn't always translate to real life results. Instead, Infiniti's "demand center stage" tagline is more appropriate for the model. It's an SUV for people who like to be seen in certain vehicles.

The exterior of the QX55 is all Infiniti with a giant double-arch grille, bulbous hood creases, and sleek side styling. Its best looking features are at the back where wing-like taillamp, made up of 45 individual LED bulbs, flank the car highlighting its premium appeal.

2022 Infiniti QX55 The SU's stylish rear turns heads. Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

With a Dynamic Sunstone Red paint job, the QX55 is striking. It literally tuned heads in parking lots and on the street while on a lengthy test drive.

Under the hood of the QX55 is the same four-cylinder VC-Turbo engine that's in the QX50. It is paired with a continuously variable transmission that makes 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. The powertrain is perfectly capable but not inspiring. Standard all-wheel drive gives drivers confidence.

Of the four drive modes, Standard allows to be little too comfortable wobbling in its lane. Sport mode does tighten up the mechanics and delivers shorter shifts, but it falls short of a truly sporty drive experience. Switching to Eco mode is best left to times when you're sitting in traffic.

2022 Infiniti QX55 The interior of the QX55 is very similar to the one in the QX50. Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

The interior of the QX55 is basically the same as what is in the QX50. In today's premium market, that's not good enough. The materials that make up the cabin appear high quality but not luxurious. Fit and finish is good.

Let's address the elephant in the room - the dual-screen (one 7-inch and one 8-inch) infotainment system. Though it was billed as the new-generation Infiniti InTouch system when it debuted in the 2020 QX50, the system's already-dated appearance and the screens' resolution has quickly put Infiniti behind the eight ball. The menus aren't arranged for easy use and the screens are slow to respond to inputs.

Thankfully wireless Apple CarPlay, a first for an Infiniti product, is available to fill the void. There's also four USB ports, which allow for easy charging when necessary.

Seating in the QX55 is comfortable. There is a good amount of rear-seat legroom and the front seats.

2022 Infiniti QX55 Wireless Apple CarPlay is standard on the model. Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Cargo room isn't anything to write home about, but it is good enough for the average owner.

Infiniti equipped the tester with ProPilot Assist safety and driver assist technology. The system is one of the best parts about the SUV and makes driving distances on the highway easier. The tech works exactly as it does in the Nissan Rogue and other Nissan vehicles.

The premium automaker has included a number of standard features in the QX55 that are usually gotten for an extra charge like all-wheel drive, heated front seats, a power-sliding tinted glass moonroof, active noise cancellation technology, 20-inch wheels, wireless Apple CarPlay, a power liftgate, Wi-Fi hot spot, and a long roster of safety features including high beam assist, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, and rear cross traffic alert.

Infiniti sells the QX55 in three trim levels: Luxe, Essential, and Sensory. The SUV has a starting MSRP of $46,500. The QX55 Essential comes in at $51,600 and the Sensory model is priced at $57,050. A few packages are available that bump up the cost of each model by a thousand dollars or so. Destination and handling charges add another $1,025 to the total.

2022 Infiniti QX55 There's plenty of cargo space in the QX55 for the average family. Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

To put it plainly, the Infiniti QX55 isn't any better than its closest competition. The Acura RDX stands out compared to the QX55 for its engaging drive, gobs of cargo space, and modern infotainment system, as well as its all-in price that's just $2,000 more than the starting price of the QX55.

Lincoln has given its 2021 Nautilus a new, elegantly refined interior and an available powerful V6 engine that delvers 335 horsepower. It starts at just $41,490.

Buick has redesigned its Envision for the 2021 model year giving the model an upgraded level of sophistication though its engine falls into line with what the Infiniti offers, but at a far lower price. It has a starting MSRP of $31,800.

The Lexus RX is also healthy competition for the model, especially because it comes in a hybrid variant and the QX55 does not. The Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is a more capable off-roader. The RS starts at $45,170 while the Evoque comes in at $43,300.

Infiniti has designed the QX55 to be attractive. It's easy to see how customers who like the Nissan Murano may be persuaded to choose the QX55 when they are ready for their next model.

The Infiniti doesn't go far enough. It isn't fun enough to drive. It isn't innovative enough. It isn't stylish enough. It doesn't have enough to pull customers away from other models if they're cross-shopping without bias. It will be up to Infiniti dealers to make the case of the car.

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder arrives on dealer lots this summer.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder doesn't have to be capable of rock crawling or deep water fording. What it has to do is service the needs of families in their daily life and give them the opportunity to competently go off-roading on rocky trails should they desire. The new, fifth-generation models does just that and adds in enough nifty features to make it among the most compelling choices for three-row SUV buyers.

The 2022 Pathfinder is thoroughly modern though not the boxy off-roader it once was. The SUV's styling harkens back to that time with a tilted, darkened C-pillar and a return to a more muscular body style. That styling makes straightforward visibility good but for shorter drivers seeing what is immediately in front of the grille is a challenge that necessitates using surround view camera technology (available only in upper trim levels) when navigating challenging terrain.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can easily handle the roads less traveled.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that offers up 291 horsepower and torque - plenty to do the job without complaint. The SUV's nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the continuously variable transmission (CVT) from the previous generation and delivers smooth shifts. Though low-end torque isn't as robust as I like it to be, once up over 35 mph, the Pathfinder's powertrain delivers smooth, powerful sailing.

The redesigned architecture and components underpinning the Pathfinder make it stable on the road and don't allow it to wallow on winding roads. Even off-road, the suspension provides the right blend of stability while the drive dynamics allowing the driver to feel engaged with their surroundings whether on freshly paved roads, city streets, or muddy trails.

Nissan has given the Pathfinder a 6,000-pound towing capacity and even when maxed out the engine's functionality is strong as ever. The transmission can get held up in a gear mid-range when performing this function, however, with 5,000-6,000 rpms registering on the tachometer but a quick release of the gas pedal recalibrates the offering bringing it down to a more traditional 2,000 rpm range.

The eight-seater Pathfinder clearly has the Toyota Highlander in its sights, with good reason. It's the top-selling three-row SUV in the country. Nissan boasts that three adults can fit across the rear bench seat of the Pathfinder and, as long as they're average size or smaller, the marketing talking point holds up. There is gobs more room back there than there is in the Highlander.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Nissan has given the Pathfinder ample cargo space.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Getting in and out of the third row is easy thanks to one-touch buttons on the outboard side of the second-row chairs that move the SUV's captain's seats forward creating enough room to get through to the back. Smartly, Nissan's engineers have put duplicates of these buttons on the back side of the same seats allowing third-row passengers to simply press the button to move the seat up.

The third row can also be accessed via a split between the captain's chairs as well, a space traditionally occupied by a center stowage bin/cup holders/arm rest. Owners can quickly remove the center console by opening a panel on the front and pulling the release mechanism. The one-handed operation takes seconds and the console can be easily stored in the under-floor trunk space behind the third row seat for ease.

Speaking of cargo space... The Pathfinder is one of the most spacious midsize SUVs on the market today for both passengers and cargo. There is a substantial amount of room behind the third-row seat and the under-floor storage area is nearly twice the size of the one in the Highlander. Plus, it has a feature that allows the area cover to be automatically propped up when pushed up by a user. This is especially help when carrying groceries or plants home and keeps them from being crushed.

The first- and second-row seats are suitably comfortable, even for extended periods of time and standard trig-zone climate control makes finding the right in-cabin mix easy. Bottle holders in the pockets of the front doors are exceptionally large, fitting even bulky water bottles.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder's front row seats are comfortable.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In front of the driver is a standard tachometer, speedometer, and 7.0-inch driver information display. Buyers can upgrade to a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and head-up display but they're not reason enough to upgrade to the top-tier Pathfinder Platinum on their own.

Nissan packs the new Pathfinder with a host of desirable features that make living with the Pathfinder easier including one-touch auto up/down windows, a wireless phone charger, grocery hooks in the rear cargo area, USB ports in all three rows, second-row sunshades, rear door keyless entry, wireless Apple CarPlay, and a motion-activated lift gate.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is priced to start at $33,410 for the two-wheel drive S base model and $35,310 for the four-wheel drive S base model. The model tops out around $50,000 with destination and delivery included, which seems fair when comparing the Pathfinder to other vehicles in the market.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If you're thinking of purchasing a Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, or Highlander, do yourself a favor and schedule a test drive of the new Pathfinder when it arrives at a dealer lot near you. You may just be surprised how seamlessly it fits into your daily life compared to the competition.

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The F-Type P450 cars replace the P300 and P380 as part of the Jaguar lineup.

Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Two new versions of the Jaguar F-Type are on the horizon. New versions of the model have been created to further the car's luxury proposition and both are powered by a roaring V8 engine. The new P450 variants replace the P300 and P380 models currently in the lineup. Jaguar is keeping the F-Type R around.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450

The 2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 will be available as a coupe or convertible in P450 RWD or P450 R-DYNAMIC AWD grades. All varieties come with a 444-horsepower supercharged V8 under the hood that achieves 428 pound-feet of torque. An electronic active differential is standard. In all configurations, the car gets from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and has a top speed of 177 mph.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 The car has received minor exterior updates from the 2021 model.Photo courtesy of Jaguar

In a nod to its suburban buyers, the F-Type has a Quiet Star mode that allows a more subtle roar out the back side of the car upon startup. Drivers who don't care about keeping quiet can switch the car in to Dynamic mode and let the rumble out.

Each F-Type P450 rides on 20-inch wheels, has larger brakes than traditional F-Type models, and has the switchable exhaust. Double J-Blade daytime running lights feature up front while new slender rear lights allow the body of the car to speak for itself.

Buyers who get the F-Type P450 R-Dynamic AWD get bespoke badging; a gloss black front splitter, side sills, valance, and venturi; auto-dimming, power- folding, heated door mirrors with memory; and 20-inch Style 6003, split-spoke, gloss Dark Grey with Contrast Diamond Turned Finish Wheels.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 The interior sports a refined appearance.Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Monogram stitch patterns on the car's seats and interior accents in Windsor Leather and satin-finish Noble Chrome enhance the interior. Additionally, there are "Jaguar Est.1935" markings on the center console finisher, glovebox release button surround, and seatbelt guides. Six-way electric power seats are standard on F-Type P450 RWD, while F-Type P450 R-Dynamic AWD adds 12-way electric memory front seats, electrically adjustable steering column with memory, Delta Aluminum Center Console, and R-Dynamic branded metal treadplates as standard equipment.

A 12.3-inch driver information display is standard.

F-Type P450 is available in 11 standard exterior colors, and can be ordered in over a dozen custom SVO paint finishes. It starts at $69,900 for the P450 RWD Coupe and $79,900 for the R450 R-Dynamic AWD Coupe.

2022 Jaguar F-Type R

The F-Type R is the pinnacle of the Jaguar lineup with torque on-demand all-wheel drive, Jaguar Intelligent Driveline Dynamics control technology, a double wishbone front and rear suspension, and electric power-assisted steering.

It can get from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph thanks to its 575-horsepower supercharged V8 engine. All-wheel drive is standard.

This model starts at $103,200.

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