2021 Infiniti QX50 Autograph AWD
Class: Premium Compact Crossover
Miles driven: 147
Fuel used: 7.1 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 20.7 mpg
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||A-|
|Power and Performance||B+|
|Fit and Finish||A|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||268-hp 2.0L|
|Engine Type||Turbo 4-cylinder|
|Drive Wheels||All-wheel drive|
Driving mix: 55% city, 45% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 22/28/25 (mpg city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Premium fuel recommended
Base price: $56,850 (not including $1025 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Premium White Leather Package ($2000), premium paint ($695), illuminated kick plates ($485), Cargo Package ($285), welcome lighting ($425)
Price as tested: $61,765
The great: High-luxe cabin trim when properly equipped; eager acceleration
The good: Passenger and cargo room; long list of comfort and technology features; quietness
The not so good: Gets very pricey in top trim levels; disappointing fuel economy
More QX50 price and availability information
When Infiniti came out with a fully redesigned version of its QX50 premium-compact SUV for 2019, we at Consumer Guide took to it right away, naming it a “Best Buy” in the class. That hasn’t changed in the two model years since, even if a few things about the QX50 have.
The ’19 model we tested was an Essential, the highest of three available trim levels. Just a year later, though, the Essential was in the middle of the pack, exceeded by added Sensory and top-line Autograph versions. Plus, all QX50s got expanded standard safety equipment (blind-spot alert, lane-departure warning, high-beam assist, and rear cross-traffic alert) and a new infotainment system that incorporated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Now for ’21, rear side airbags, automatic collision notice, acoustic side glass, and a Wi-Fi hotspot are standard throughout.
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We’ve liked the QX50’s deft balancing of the sport/utility equation, and admired the performance of its intriguing variable-compression-ratio 4-cylinder engine (even if fuel economy lags that of class rivals). Now we’re getting to sample it for its highest level of luxury by driving an Autograph.
An all-wheel-drive Autograph has a starting price, with delivery, of $57,875. That puts it a considerable $4850 above an AWD Sensory, but buys a good number of performance and luxury items. From the former camp is Direct Adaptive Steering. Drivers select from “Heavy,” “Standard,” or “Light” resistance and response modes, and then the system uses makes continual digital adjustments to reduce vibration. The Autograph also gets a hitch for a 3000-pound towing capacity and a motion-activated liftgate.
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Passenger comfort is enhanced by console-mounted rear-seat vents for the tri-zone climate system, ventilated front seats, power lumbar support for the front passenger seat, and retractable sun shades in the rear doors. Look and feel are upgraded with a dark-paint finish for the 20-inch alloy wheels, semi-aniline leather upholstery, natural maple interior trim, Ultrasuede headliner, ambient interior lighting, and metallic cargo-area finishers.
Our tester wasn’t done there. Among the options that pushed its full price to $61,765 was a $2000 Premium White Leather Package option with quilting-stitched white semi-aniline leather with blue Ultrasuede highlights on the seats; blue Ultrasuede accents on upper doors, upper instrument panel, and console-box lid; and brown Ultrasuede headliner. It is a crisp and sophisticated look, but its appeal will probably be limited to strict “no eating in the car” types.
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Ride quality (a little on the firm side) and handling nimbleness remain on a par with our initial positive impressions of the QX50. The same is true for the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that makes the same 268 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. Even a partial stab of the accelerator is met with an eager response—this in a powerteam that includes a continuously variable transmission. However, we can’t seem to get near the EPA fuel-mileage estimates for the QX50—22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 25 combined with all-wheel drive. Individually, none of our testers met the city mark, and collectively we averaged just 20.7 mpg with 55 percent city-style driving. (We had only slightly better luck with the front-drive 2019 QX50.)
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In any form and fashion, the QX50 boasts fine passenger room in both rows, convenient in-cabin storage provisions, and uncomplicated climate and audio controls—not necessarily a given in all luxury-brand vehicles. The Autograph is one of the models that comes standard with ProPILOT Assist, the light-autonomy system with full stop-and-go adaptive cruise control and automatic lane-centering steering. There’s good cargo room for the size as well.
The Autograph certainly packs in extra luxury, but the recent additions of important features to all QX50s make any of them worthwhile, even if they don’t cost as much.
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2021 Infiniti QX50 Autograph Gallery
(Click below for enlarged images)
2021 Infiniti QX50