The 2019 Infiniti QX50 is as quiet as a church mouse and as elegant as Mar-a-Lago. It gets excellent fuel economy and has impressive safety technology. Yep, there’s a lot to like about this mid-sized CUV from Infiniti.

It has heated and ventilated quilted seats, dual screens for infotainment and connectivity, a moonroof all the way back over the second row and plenty of room for five adults to be comfortable inside.

One of the best things about the QX50, however, is the thing that makes it go: a. 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that has variable compression technology. Basically, the engine changes its compression ratio to optimize power and fuel efficiency. In layman’s terms, that means it’s like the best of both worlds: combining the power of a turbocharged gasoline engine with the torque and fuel efficiency of a diesel engine.

The turbo-four develops 268 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque, which actually comes close to the power of some V6 engines. The engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission, not my favorite automatic but one that helps the QX50 take you 24 city miles and 30 highway miles down the road on a single gallon of gas. AWD is available, and I recommend it.

On the road, the QX50 is responsive, quiet and quick. It soaks up potholes and stays flat in hard cornering. I found steering linear and precise, and the QX50 just felt planted on the road, leaving me with a feeling of confidence behind the wheel.

The 2019 QX50 is available in three trims: QX50 PURE, QX50 LUXE and QX50 ESSENTIAL. The PURE has standard 19-inch aluminum wheels, LED headlamps and running lights, leatherette seats, an Intelligent Key with pushbutton start, a power liftgate, Infiniti’s InTouch dual display and safety technologies like forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection and forward collision warning.

The LUXE adds a panoramic moonroof, LED fog lamps and blind spot warning, while the ESSENTIAL trim includes quilted leather seating, navigation with InTouch Services, an Around View Monitor, moving object detection, remote start, heated outside mirrors and tri-zone air conditioning. My test QX50 was the top-of-the-line ESSENTIAL with AWD.

While the QX50 has new and impressive engine technology, the inside is what sells most cars. The Infiniti brand has always done well with interiors, and the QX50 is no exception. The cabin just feels hand-crafted, not like some robot stuck the parts together.

The head’s-up display is only four degrees from the driver’s line of sight, displaying critical information in a 9-inch area. Two touchscreens are on the center console. The 8-inch upper screen displays navigation and system messages, while the 7-inch screen below displays apps, climate control functions and infotainment.

Infiniti was the first automaker with an Around View Monitor, a brilliant concept that gives the driver a 360-degree view around the car. Optional Bose audio has 17 speakers tuned specifically for the QX50’s interior acoustics.

Headroom in the 185-inch-long QX50 is 41 inches (40 inches w/moonroof), and in the rear seat it’s 39.1 inches. Legroom in the sliding second row is 38.7 inches. Cargo space is 31.1 cubic feet with the second-row seats in place. Fold the second row down and cargo room in back jumps to 64.4 cubic feet.

Many automakers today have autonomous driving systems designed to keep the car between the lines with little to no driver input. Infiniti’s is Pro Pilot Assist, which takes over single-lane driving with the push of a button without the driver’s input on acceleration, braking or steering. It works on the open road as well as in stop-and-go traffic. Pro Pilot Assist is Nissan’s entry into an evolving world of autonomous driving. Look for more to come.

The 2019 QX50 has not yet been safety tested by the insurance industry, but has a range of sophisticated safety features like distance control assist, backup collision intervention, predictive forward collision warning, blind spot warning, lane departure warning and prevention, and forward emergency braking.

2019 Infiniti QX50 ESSENTIAL AWD


2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder


268/280 lb.-ft.


CVT automatic


$45,150 ($57,200 loaded with options)

EPA mileage estimates:

24 mpg city/30 mpg highway/26 mpg combined

Estimated highway range:

480 miles