Infiniti and its parent company, Nissan, have seen more than their fair share of hurdles in the last few years. Between an ex-CEO facing prison time, plummeting sales, and a major restructuring, the automaker needs a big win to smooth out the recent turbulence. Enter, the all-new 2022 Infiniti QX55. It's a bold, stylish, and tech-packed SUV that takes cues from the discontinued FX (Infiniti's original crossover-coupe).
20 years ago, the first Infiniti FX pioneered the crossover-coupe segment which married sports coupe styling with the utility of an SUV. Although the crossover was rebadged as the QX70 before being discontinued in 2017, it remains an iconic piece of the brand's history. Today, Infiniti revives the spirit of the FX with the attractive and driver-centric QX55. "We set the stage nearly 20 years ago with the FX, and the all-new INFINITI QX55 brings us back, close to the soul of our brand — and it propels us forward," said INFINITI Chairman Peyman Kargar. "The inspired QX55 is an important step in our journey."
Setting its sights on German competitors like the Mercedes GLC Coupe and the BMW X4, the Infiniti QX55 sports a daring exterior and a modern, style-forward cabin filled with new tech. Infiniti is looking to capitalize on the growth of the coupe-crossover segment that is currently being driven by the mid-size Audi Q8. According to Automotive News, young families looking for both style and function from their SUV have spurred sales for the luxury crossover coupe segment which rose 34% last year.
Based on the compact QX50 crossover, the QX55 features the iconic coupe-style sloped roofline that curves boldly towards the rear. The crossover makes a striking first impression with a distinct geometric inner mesh grille that is inspired by the folds of Japanese origami. Highlighting the 3D grille are slim "human-eye" headlights that mimic the shape of the human eyebrow. The QX55's clamshell hood visually integrates with the A-pillar for a dynamic profile.
A lower stance gives the QX55 an aggressive look that's accentuated by standard 20-inch wheels and sculpted body-sides. The rear styling is sleek and minimalistic with a body-colored lower rear fascia, distinct digital piano key taillights, and a clean liftgate that sports an Infiniti logo which doubles as a power liftgate release.
Inside the cabin, drivers and passengers are welcomed with ample space and premium materials. Competitive cargo space of 26.9 cubic-feet and rear-legroom of 38.7 inches gives families the functionality they need, while the leatherette or genuine leather seats, dark brushed aluminum, and black Natural Maple open-pore wood trim create a high-style aesthetic. For a quiet and relaxing driving experience, the QX55 features laminated front side glass and Active Noise Cancellation with three microphones that detect unwanted frequencies and neutralize them with phase-shifting noises through the speakers.
The QX55 becomes the most connected Infiniti yet as the brand's first vehicle to feature wireless Apple CarPlay. Android Auto will also be available, but users will need a USB to connect. The INFINITI InTouch System is accessed through the crossover's double infotainment screens with an 8-inch top screen and 7-inch bottom screen. The larger top screen displays smartphone information and controls navigation while the bottom touch screen features climate control and other vehicle settings. Infiniti says the tech is designed to complement the styling of the interior and offer drivers an immersive experience.
Powertrain and Performance
Under the hood of the 2022 Infiniti QX55 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces a competitive 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. It beats the Mercedes GLC Coupe in both horsepower and torque numbers with the GLC's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine offering 255 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. The QX55 also packs more power and torque than the BMW X4 in xDrive30i trim which gets 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft.
The QX55's VC-Turbo engine is designed to provide optimal response, power, and efficiency and is mated to a shift-by-wire Continuously Variable Transmission. The CVT transfers driver inputs nearly instantaneously when in manual mode, and is complemented with selectable driver modes including Standard, ECO, Sport, and Personal.
Each QX55 model comes with standard AWD for driving confidence in all weather conditions. The intelligent AWD system distributes power to the front and rear axles in a 50/50 split initially and then transfers power completely to the front wheels if no slip is detected for increased efficiency. The crossover's Active Brake Limited Slip systems can brake individual wheels for better grip side-to-side when needed.
The U.S. and Canada will be first in line to get the Infiniti QX55 with the new model set to arrive in dealerships in the Spring of 2021. The QX55 will fill the empty small crossover slot left by the canceled QX30 and will come in 3 trim levels: Luxe, Essential, and Sensory. Each trim comes with Intelligent AWD, 20-inch wheels, dual-display infotainment system, Android Auto compatibility, wireless Apple CarPlay compatibility, Wi-Fi hotspot, and advanced safety features like Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection and Blind Spot Warning.