The 2014 Infiniti QX50 carries over unchanged...more
In 2008, Infiniti introduced a new, small crossover based on the G sedan called the EX35. Even smaller than compact crossovers like the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5, the EX was available with rear-or all-wheel drive mated to a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. No one was really sure what to make of the of high-riding cross between a sport sedan and a hatchback ; it's hard to call the EX an SUV because it sacrifices utility for style and performance. The EX35 became the EX37 in 2012 with the addition of a larger, 3.7-liter V-6 that produces 325 hp through a seven-speed automatic transmission. Starting in 2014, the EX37 will be renamed the QX50. It slots below the QX60 (formerly the JX), QX70 (formerly FX), and QX80 (formerly QX56) models in Infiniti's crossover and SUV lineup.
The 2014 Infiniti QX50 is somewhat of an oddity in the crossover market, because it doesn't seem to be sure what exactly it is. It drives like an entry-level sport sedan with its 325-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 and rear-wheel-drive chassis shared with the previous-generation Infiniti G (now called the Q50), but it is also available with all-wheel drive and has a unique hatchback profile. It's just too bad that its crossover-like profile does not result in a spacious cabin. In fact, the QX50 has less legroom than its sedan counterpart, and the cargo area is severely compromised by the sloping rear roofline.
When the EX35 debuted in 2008, we kept one for a year as a Four Seasons test car. There were mixed opinions on the EX's styling and practicality. In fact, when commenting on the EX and its larger crossover sibling, the FX (now QX70), we said that, "Infiniti does a great job of taking the 'utility' out of 'sport-utility vehicle.'" One thing we agree on is that this unconventional crossover drives the way an Infiniti should, with a nice ride-and-handling balance and good highway manners. Our experience also showed the Infiniti to be reliable and durable, with not a single problem arising over almost 30,000 miles.
Having said that, it's still unclear whom the 2014 Infiniti QX50 is for. Infiniti says it is aimed at young single people who put more of an emphasis on style than on practicality, but the QX is starting to look slightly dated compared with some of its more recently updated competitors. Luxury crossovers like the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3 may cost more, but they ask the owner to make fewer compromises and drive every bit as well as the 2014 Infiniti QX50.
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