One-Day Drive

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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Owners of 2020 and 2021 model year Infiniti vehicles will be eligible.

Infiniti

Apple CarPlay is a great feature that can add maps, streaming audio, and voice controls to even base model vehicles that would otherwise lack such technology. It also offers a standardized interface that works similarly to a smartphone's built-in software, so there's no confusion about how to operate the system. Until recently, users had to have their phones physically tethered to the vehicle with a wired connection, but many automakers have begun offering wireless connectivity. Infiniti is one of them, but in an unusual step, the company says that it will upgrade older model year vehicles with the technology at no cost.

Infiniti Wireless Apple CarPlay The upgrades will be free for owners.Infiniti

This means that if you own a 2020 or 2021 Q50, Q60, QX50, or QX80, you are eligible for the upgrade. Wireless Apple CarPlay became available for Infiniti vehicles starting with the 2022 model year, so it's a new feature for the automaker. The first model to support the feature was the 2022 QX55 and the new 2022 QX80 will offer the tech with its 12.3-inch touchscreen system. The 2022 Q50 and Q60 will both leave the factory with the feature, as will the upcoming QX60.

It's unclear how or if the upgrade will affect other vehicle systems, but it's a worthy move for anyone who owns a 2020 or 2021 Infiniti vehicle, if only to boost resale value down the road. Cars such as the 2021 Q50 came standard with a dual-screen infotainment system and wired Apple CarPlay, so the ability to go wireless would be a big bonus for some drivers.

Infiniti Wireless Apple CarPlay Owners have until March 31, 2022 to complete the upgrade.Infiniti

If you own a 2020 or 2021 Infiniti model, you have until March 31, 2022, to complete the upgrade. Infiniti says its dealers will perform the update at no cost to owners, so make your appointments now. The automaker has not announced plans to offer wireless Android Auto.

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New sports sedan

2022 Infiniti Q50 gets more standard tech

The car sees new tech and interior features for 2022.

Infiniti

The Infiniti Q50 is an aging but still-stylish sedan that offers value and power, but it hasn't quite kept pace with the crop of more engaging premium European cars. However, it's still worth a look, and to press that point further, Infiniti has updated the car for 2022 with a healthy list of standard features.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Exterior styling has not changed for 2022.Infiniti

Headline updates for the 2022 Q50 are wireless Apple CarPlay and newly standard Bose Performance Series Audio. There's now leather for every trim, but in the ways that count, the car is the same as the one we saw last year, the year before, and so on.

That's not to say that the car is bad. After all, it still offers a 300-horsepower twin-turbo V6 as standard and can be upgraded with a 400-horsepower version of the engine. And, despite its aging exterior styling, it's still a handsome car with smooth, sculpted bodywork. The seven-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive remain in place.

2022 Infiniti Q50 All-wheel drive is available for all models.Infiniti

Pricing for the 2022 Infiniti Q50 starts at $43,125, which includes a $1,025 destination fee. The car gets standard wireless Apple CarPlay, leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, and Bose Performance Audio. All-wheel drive is available for a $2,000 upcharge.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Wireless Apple CarPlay and Bose audio are standard.Infiniti

The mid-range Q50 Sensory starts at $48,825, and comes with 19-inch wheels, black open-pore wood interior accents, navigation, and an air purifier system. Stepping up to the top Q50 Red Sport 400 will run $56,975, and brings the more powerful V6 engine, semi-aniline leather upholstery, and Dynamic Digital Suspension, which adjusts damping settings depending on road conditions and driving style.

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