- landing gear
O without being extroverted, the body of the new Infiniti QX50 cuts itself out of the mass of SUVs with sharp edges and clear lines - Nissan's upscale subsidiary takes opponents like the Audi Q5, the Mercedes GLC, the B MW X3 and the Volvo XC60, in his sights, on the American market the Cadillac XT5 and Lexus NX are also driving towards him in significant numbers.
The cladding materials used, such as light, open-pored wood veneer and leather, are plentiful available - after all, even the lower area of the dashboard including the glove compartment lid is covered in leather. The workmanship is excellent, Infiniti attaches importance to the fact that, for example, the seams are laser-controlled poking into the leather - this is how precise seam highways run through the Infiniti leather world. Equally noticeable: Despite their love of technology, the Japanese rely on analog instruments for the QX50and the infotainment system in the center console with its two superimposed screens takes some getting used to. But a German customer doesn't have to get used to it, as a new generation of this system will take over the job at the time of market launch in this country. Speaking of German: The separation of the driving area from the front passenger with a curved, raised line on the center console is reminiscent of BMW interior solutions.
With 565 liters The QX50 offers the largest storage space in its class. This was made possible by a new platform in which Infiniti uses, for example, much more compact chassis elements that take up less space in the lower area of the interior. When the rear seat backrests are folded down, the trunk increases to 865 liters.
Steer- by-wire is the name of the game with the QX50 - there is no steering rod between the front axle and steering wheel, the steering signals are transmitted by cable to a servomotor, which ensures the correct steering angle and the correct steering resistance. Correct? From the middle position, the steering responds directly and the medium-length translation is also okay. When parking, the steering falls into a mode as if it could be blown in the desired direction, it is then so without resistance. The choice of driving mode influences the steering resistance: With Eco and Normal it is correspondingly lower than with Sport. And when driving at higher speeds, the steering is indifferent and leaves a feeling of artificiality. The chassis is tight enough to avoid too much body roll in fast bends, and in combination with the 20-inch wheels screwed under the test vehicle, it tends to rumble in the case of potholes and lateral grooves - the driving modes have no influence on the damping properties. And the brakes take it easy, require a slightly more powerful step, but then bring the SUV to a standstill in an easy-to-measure manner.
The highlight of the InfinitiThe QX50 is its engine: the predecessor was still on the road with a 3.7-liter naturally aspirated V6 that worked with a compression of 11 to 1 - the new unit works with four cylinders, a turbo charger and variable compression. Allegedly, the engineers worked on it for around 20 years, now the technology is ready for series production. An electric motor controls the piston stroke and thus ensures a displacement of 1,970 (compression 14 to 1) to 1,997 (compression 8 to 1) cubic centimeters. The adjustable valves are controlled according to the consumption-saving Atkinson principle. With a small displacement, consumption and performance decrease, with a large displacement, the full power of 272 hp is available with increased consumption. The system automatically determines the required cubic capacity; the Eco, Standard and Sport driving modes change the cubic capacity requirements accordingly. According to the development engineers, the lower and upper values of the displacement were not the problem, but the regulations during the displacement adjustment. So let's try out what this new technology feels like.
When starting and while driving, the engine sounds unspectacularly like four-cylinder - it sounds even less spectacular when you listen to it with the bonnet open. The engine rests on active anti-noise bearings and only filtered noises arrive in the interior - this soundscape cannot be modified using the driving mode switch. Infiniti installed the active bearings because there are many more moving parts in the new engine than in an engine without flexible displacement, which in turn leads to stronger vibrations. The anti-noise bearings skillfully keep the vibrations away from the interior.
The maximum torque of 380 Newton meters is already available at 1,600 rpm - not a bad value for a gasoline engine. Accordingly, the QX50 sprints lively and is always noticeably ready to perform. The all-wheel-drive version of the SUV accelerates to 100 km /h in 6.3 seconds - and nothing can be heard or felt from the displacement changes. To accelerate, the foot has to cover a long pedal travel; this cannot be changed using the driving mode switch either. The Japanese do not yet state the consumption - according to the on-board computer, we burned around eleven liters per 100 kilometers on city and country roads. For the standard consumption according to NFEZ there could be just over six liters, especially since the QX50 gets something in Europe that it is denied on the American market: a start-stop system.
The circuit in the Infiniti QX50 is always a CVT. The continuously variable gears popular in Japan cause sweat in Europe - after all, there is no relieving upshift and the agonizing upward turning never seems to end. Even virtual switching stages only reduce the degree of annoyance a little. So far. Everything is different with the QX50: Its eight fake switching stepsreally convince - the transmission actually seems to shift. The earlier “upshift” in normal mode and the somewhat later virtual upshift in Sport mode reinforce this impression. So this CVT is the best that has ever worked in one of our test cars.
Infiniti will not announce the German price for the new QX50 until 2019, the same applies to the market launch. So the Japanese SUV should get local asphalt under its wheels for the first time in mid or late 2019 - by the way, it runs off the assembly line at the joint Daimler-Nissan plant in Mexico. Prices in the USA for the front-wheel drive basic version start at around 30,000 euros with a driven axle, while the all-wheel drive version costs an additional 1,000 euros. The German customer will have to pay at least 40,000 euros for the well-equipped car. This means that the QX50 would be cheaper than comparable models from the German competition in terms of performance.