2022 Infiniti QX55: Unpopular and It’s Easy to See Why

Strong points
  • Lovely looks
  • Smooth ride
Weak points
  • VC-Turbo engine isn’t so unique
  • Unpleasant CVT
  • Uninspiring steering
  • Outdated infotainment system
  • No performance model
Full report

Infiniti last year introduced a brand new model, the QX55, in a move to expand its SUV and crossover lineup, which already includes the QX50, QX60 and QX80.

Following a brief first drive in the spring, we got to spend a full week with the QX55 at the beginning of 2022. Below are our latest impressions.

Trendy Looks

Infiniti didn’t reinvent the wheel with this crossover, which uses the same coupe-like approach as many SUVs including the BMW X4 and Audi Q5 Sportback.

When you look at it from the side, the QX55 has a more swooping roofline and a slightly shorter rear end than the QX50. As you can imagine, the sportier profile affects cargo capacity (761 litres versus 895 litres) but not excessively so.

Is the QX55 attractive? No doubt. Is it trendy? For sure. On the other hand, we can’t say we have a crush on this vehicle. And judging by the sales numbers, it seems like few people do.

Photo: Marc-André Gauthier

What’s so Special About the Engine?

Similar to the QX50 and a number of competitors, the new Infiniti QX55 features a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. The key difference is variable compression technology, as introduced on the QX50 for 2019. Back then, the company lauded the engine’s combination of power and fuel economy, but the reality is that there’s nothing to write your mother about.

Performance is just about average (268 horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque), while the continuously variable transmission is a disappointing operator. Of course, we’re used to saying this about Nissan/Infiniti’s CVT. Whenever you push the engine, it feels like the transmission has no idea what to do. Definitely one of the biggest complaints we have about this vehicle.

Photo: Marc-André Gauthier

As for fuel economy, we’re not impressed, either. At the end of the week, our tester stood at just over 10 L/100 km. For the record, the official rating by Natural Resources Canada is 9.5 L/100 km. Oh, and on top of that, premium gasoline (91 octane) is required.

By the way, another thing we’re not fans of is the QX55’s steer-by-wire system, which feels completely disconnected from the road and puts a serious damper on the driving experience.

Outdated Infotainment System

The 2022 Infiniti QX55 may be all-new, but the cabin looks and feels like it is already a few years old. The dual-screen interface in the middle of the dashboard has redundant menus and the graphics on the upper screen are outdated. The company should have focused on a single display and made the infotainment system look sharper. This would have freed up space on the dashboard for additional storage.

Want another sign of ancient times? No digital instrument panel is available, leaving drivers with a pair of traditional gauges. Did we mention the QX55 hit the market less than a year ago?

Photo: Infiniti

Time to Push the Panic Button

Infiniti is going through some rough times. While most of the industry rebounded nicely from a disastrous 2020, Nissan’s luxury brand increased its Canadian sales a mere one percent in 2021. And with just 5,838 vehicles sold, it’s now a shell of its former self.

The QX55 was supposed to help somewhat, but only 484 people across the country bought one last year following its launch in April. If the executives at Infiniti haven’t pushed the panic button yet, their fingers must be all over it.

Don’t be fooled by the QX55’s good looks. It just doesn’t have what it takes to take on the big guns.  

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