A compact new engine means it has more of a cab-forward look than its Infiniti SUV predecessors, and consequently more cabin space. The car comes across as premium, emotive and typically impeccably crafted inside and out with a surprisingly practical side.
Infiniti prides itself on its cabin designs and the QX50 looks especially enticing inside with its organic shapes and materials such as leather, nubuck, and open-pore ash wood. Infiniti has applied for a patent for the distinctive “dot quilting” of leather on door trims and seats. It’s like a Chesterfield sofa but more informal, says Infiniti, adding that the QX50 “seeks to bring a degree of elegance and artistry to a segment typified by an uninspiring, clinical aesthetic.”
For such a svelte five-seat, all-wheel drive machine there will be a hi-tech twist under the bonnet in the form of the world’s first variable compression ratio petrol engine. The production-ready VC-Turbo four-cylinder unit in 2.0-litre form is compact, powerful (at least 268bhp with 288 b ft of torque) and economical; Infiniti is targeting 27 per cent more fuel efficiency than a comparably powerful V6 petrol engine. The firm is touting variable compression technology – the CR can vary between 8:1 and 14:1 in just 1.5 seconds – as its alternative to out-of-favour diesel.