2023 Infiniti QX50 Sport AWD
Class: Premium Compact Crossover
Color: Graphite Shadow
Miles driven: 149
|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-horsepower 2.0-liter|
|Engine Type||Turbocharged Four|
Observed fuel economy: 23.9 mpg
Driving Mix: 65% city, 35% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 22/28/25 (mpg city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Premium gas
Snow Performance: N/A
Base price: $50,500 (not including $1195 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Illuminated kick plates ($485), puddle lamps ($635)
Price as tested: $52,815
The great: Roomy cabin
The good: Good power, decent fuel economy, upscale trimmings
The not so good: Nothing especially sporty going on here
Overshadowed by the redesigned—and vastly improved—midsize QX60 crossover, Infiniti’s QX50 compact crossover has slipped to number two on the brand’s best-seller list. That’s good news for Infiniti, a brand struggling to find its identity, as the QX60 boasts a clean modern design, and will likely serve as the centerpiece of the premium carmaker’s portfolio moving forward.
We’re big fans of the QX60, which you can read more about here. That said, we’ve always found the QX50 to be a fine vehicle, if a little on the vanilla side, this in a sea of rocky road and berry swirl competition.
In a class defined by crossovers including the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, the QX50 gets lost in the sea of power, performance, and European character exuded by competitive product. That said, the QX50 has its own charms, including affordability and general simplicity.
Though Infiniti boasts a nine-model QX50 lineup, in truth there are only five trim levels; Pure, Luxe, Sport, Sensory, and Autograph. The maker fleshes out that count by make AWD versions of the first four levels separate models. The Autograph comes standard with AWD.
Adding to the general simplicity is the QX50’s single powertrain, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four mated to a CVT automatic transmission. The engine, dubbed VC-T (for variable compression, turbo) boasts a stout 268 horsepower, though does require premium-grade gasoline.
And while there are no optional performance or handling upgrades available for the QX50, shoppers looking for a little bit of individuality are encouraged to have a look at the midlevel Sport.
Denoted by an “S” suffixed onto the QX50 badge on the rear hatch of the vehicle, the Sport goes some distance towards livening up Infiniti’s small crossover. Included as standard equipment are a unique black-finish grille, black 20-inch alloy wheels (up from the standard 19-inch units), additional black exterior trim, unique two-tone leather cabin upholstery, and black cabin trim elements. Also included is a premium Bose-brand 12-speaker audio system, and Infiniti’s “Around View” monitor.
The 2024 the Sport trim level starts at $4900 more than the Luxe, with AWD adding another $2000 on either model.
Consumer Guide recently spent a week behind the wheel of a 2023 QX50 Sport in Graphite Shadow. All told our test vehicle came in at $52,815. The QX50 is unchanged for 2024, and equipped as our test car is, a 2024 example lists for $53,365.
Here are five things we found especially compelling about the 2023 Infiniti QX50 Sport:
5 Cool Things About the Infiniti QX50 Sport
The Sport appearance upgrades work, and give Infiniti’s otherwise anonymous little crossover a welcome jolt of visual character. We appreciate the grille and wheels most, though the red-and-black cabin décor comes off as spiffy, too.
Plenty of Stuff
The QX50 is generally well equipped for the money, and we appreciate not having to pay for pricey option packages just to get basic safety gear (We’re looking at you, German luxury carmakers). Among the features standard on the QX50 Sport are the navigation system with traffic alert, satellite radio, Infiniti InTouch Connected Service (which includes in-cabin Wi-Fi), remote engine start, a mess of USB ports, and sunroof. And, the Sport’s 12-speaker Bose audio system is excellent. Note that lesser QX50 Bose systems include a 10-speaker setup, while the topline Autograph boasts 16 speakers.
Power and Fuel Economy
While the Sport trim level brings with it no actuall performance upgrades, the QX50 is a fundamentally premium vehicle and rides and handles at a reasonably elevated level. And, with 268 horsepower on tap, the QX50 Sports moves out with reasonable authority, and, nice surprise, returns decent fuel economy in the process. Over 149 miles, we averaged 23.9 mpg in mostly city driving.
Plenty of Room
Though the QX50 is architecturally similar to Nissan’s excellent Rogue compact crossover, the Infiniti enjoys almost five more inches of wheelbase, which translates nicely into bonus rear-seat knee and legroom. There’s plenty of front-row space as well.
As we have already noted, the QX50 isn’t especially sporty, even in Sport trim. But Nissan’s compact crossover is quiet and refined, and makes for an excellent highway cruiser. We especially appreciate the quiet cabin, refined ride quality, and supportive seats. And, on really long hauls, the excellent Bose audio system helps pass the miles.
2023 Infiniti QX50 Sport Gallery
Click below for enlarged images