May 1, 2017
Inside The 2017 Infiniti SUV Lineup
Infiniti is a brand that is known for building high quality vehicles that are technologically innovative, spacious, luxurious and reasonably sporty. While it does have several sedans as part of its line, the brand is mostly known for its impressive collection of SUVs. With five similar models of SUV to offer, it can be difficult to pick the right one.
Infiniti tried to simplify its vehicle selection with a model reshuffle in 2014, but its SUVs still run the gamut from the tiny subcompact QX30, to the titanic QX80, and there is significant overlap in features and specifications between the models. However, Infiniti has done a good job of balancing its line, and each of its SUVs has something interesting to offer.
In order to help you select the right SUV for your requirements, we’ve taken an in-depth look at each of the five Infiniti SUVs currently available and extracted the advantages and the disadvantages each one offers. We took into consideration the driving and overall lifestyle that is best suited for each model. For 2017, some of the Infiniti models remain the same, some get a few upgrades, and yet others are all new.
Below is the full scoop on each one.
The QX30 is a brand-new addition to the Infiniti SUV line for this year. It is a subcompact and, were it not for its raised ride height and available all-wheel drive, it could easily pass for a compact hatchback. It is the smallest and the least expensive of the Infiniti SUVs, but it is still nicely outfitted and equipped.
Despite its small size, it offers a very calm and cushioned ride, though it is not nearly as athletic as its exterior suggests. Leather upholstery, a navigation system, 10-speaker Bose audio, an active safety suite and other desirable luxury features are all available. Many of these features are optional or only standard at higher trim levels, though.
The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine feels quite responsive at 208 horsepower. It is also fairly efficient at 24 miles per gallon in the city, 33 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg combined. If you don’t need lots of space or powerful performance, the QX30 is a well-equipped and reliable vehicle, giving you lots of features and utility for your money.
- Excellent value for the price
- Sharp styling
- Good balance between power and efficiency
- Tight interior, which can feel cramped for taller drivers
- Some luxury basics not standard
- Not as sporty as the exterior suggests
With the QX50 – formerly the Infiniti EX – Infiniti has successfully hit on a winning formula; a car that combines the spaciousness and utility of a compact SUV, with the powerful engine and sporty handling of a sedan. It enters the 2017 model year unchanged from last year, when it received a new longer body and a substantially expanded standard feature list.
The QX50 is a joy to drive. If you are a performance enthusiast, then the responsive steering, agile suspension and the 3.7-liter, 325-horsepower V6 engine are sure to make you happy. The QX50 also makes for a good all-around family vehicle thanks to its large passenger space and supportive seating for five, as well as its low price relative it its competitors. The cargo area, however, is a little smaller than that of other vehicles in the class.
Also keeping the QX50 from being an all-around top pick is its aging design. Despite the 2016 refresh, the fundamental design of the car is, at this point, 10 years old, making it feel less refined than some of the newer compact SUVs. At 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined, its mileage falls somewhat behind the times as well.
- Sports sedan feel in compact SUV form
- Very competitive price point
- Beautiful exterior
- The loud and gas-consuming V6 engine is the only option
- Design due for a refresh
- Small cargo compartment
Where the QX50 is targeted at performance fans, the QX60 is a family vehicle through and through. Among its strengths you will find luxurious options like a giant panoramic sunroof, a large 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, Bose audio, and even rear-seat touch screen infotainment, along with three rows of spacious seating. All of this comes at a much lower price point than its three-row competitors as well.
The standard V6 engine gets a power boost of 295 horsepower this year, though it remains quite efficient at 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. There is also an available hybrid model that pushes the city economy up to 25 mpg while still delivering 250 horsepower.
That said, while both of the engines feel sufficient to haul the QX50 around fully loaded, it is clearly not a performance vehicle, as its soft suspension and loose steering will attest. The infotainment system can also be a touch tricky. However, if you need a luxury SUV to drive six kids or adults around in, the QX60 is a very compelling choice.
- Excellent fuel economy
- Adult-sized third row seats
- A full set of complementary luxury features
- Not a very refined drive
- Confusing infotainment
- Many similar vehicles to choose from
The Infinity QX70 – formerly known as the FX – is one of the oldest Infiniti designs still on the market, dating back to 2002. However, it is still a very effective vehicle, being essentially an SUV version of the performance-oriented Nissan 370Z. It is available as a rear-wheel or an all-wheel drive model, and both display excellent road manners.
Combined with the 3.7-liter V6 that produces 325 horsepower, it is an impressive performance vehicle. It also has a unique and distinctive visual profile that consists entirely of smooth curves. However, beyond style and performance, the QX70 rapidly loses its luster. It only offers two rows of seating and even the second row is not as spacious or comfortable as the front seats, which are very plush. Nor is there a lot of room for storage in the back. However, if you are in the market for a performance SUV, this one is a real contender.
- Very agile handling
- Unique style
- Rear-wheel drive performance
- Has not been updated for a while
- Lacks the newest tech features
- More well-rounded vehicles available at that price point
The QX80 is Infiniti’s big cruiser. It offers ample cargo and passenger space, all of the latest features and a mighty 400 horsepower engine. Despite that, it still has one of the lowest starting prices in its class. Its standard features include a leather interior, a 360-degree camera and navigation system. Adaptive suspension keeps the ride both composed and controlled, while the optional middle-row captain’s chairs make the journey a very comfortable one. The QX80 matches the standard model of the class-leading Cadillac Escalade in nearly every metric at a slightly lower price point, though it is not as spacious as the Escalade ESV.
However, the major downside is its fuel consumption. The rear-wheel drive model gets 14 mpg in the city and 20 on the highway, while the all-wheel drive model gets one less mile per gallon in both measurements. If that is not a problem, then the QX80 should sit near the top of your large luxury SUV shopping list.
- Impressive passenger and cargo capacity
- Solid V8 power
- Rich standard feature set
- Not very fuel efficient
- Third row could use slightly more space
- Lacks the brand prestige of a Mercedes-Benz G-Class or a Range Rover