Next week at the 2015 New York Auto Show, Infiniti is going to debut an updated and stretched 2016 QX50. Wait a second, they still make this crossover? Well, yes, they do and if you had forgotten about its existence, I don’t blame you. One would expect us auto journalists to know about every vehicle in the market, but to my embarrassment, I had completely forgotten about this vehicle’s existence and I only realized this when I saw it on the company’s website today, oops.
With this minor embarrassment aside, it is time to checkout all the cool new things that are going to be offered in the 2016 Infiniti QX50, so lets get started, shall we?
The Infiniti QX50 was first introduced to the North American automobile consumers in 2008 as the Infiniti EX 35. At the time of its launch, it was the first true luxury crossover. Since then, the compact luxury crossover segment has blossomed to a very desirable segment in the U.S. and now includes awesome vehicles like the Porsche Macan, Range Rover Evoque and others. Unfortunately, due to the success of these models, the EX 35 cum QX50 was almost forgotten by the compact luxury crossover shoppers.
However, based on these press images of the Chinese-Spec Infiniti QX50, things are looking good and it finally will be capable of holding its own ground in this heavily competed segment in the U.S.
For 2016, there are no mechanical changes when compared to the 2015 model. This means that the 2016 model will still be powered by a 3.7 liter, naturally-aspirated V6, which produces 325 horsepower and 267 lb.ft. of torque. Again, like the 2015 model, all of the power is routed either to the rear wheels or to all four wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission.
It doesn’t matter if you choose rear wheel drive or all wheel drive because the EPA rates the Infiniti QX50 at 17 mpg in city and 24 mpg on highway, which is average for a vehicle in this segment.
For 2016, the Infiniti QX50 will be 3.2 inches longer than the 2015 model. For comparison, the wheelbase of the 2015 QX50 measures 110.2 inches. This stretch may not sound like a lot, but Infiniti engineers say that this modification has added four extra inches to the rear seat legroom and has marginally increased the cargo space behind the second row of seats.
Other than the stretching of the chassis, nothing much has changed between the 2016 and 2015 models. Mechanically, both cars are same. Interior wise, there are not a lot of changes, but when you sit in the backseat of the 2016 model, you will notice the additional legroom when compared to the 2015 model.
The stretched 2016 Infiniti QX50 has already been on sale in China for the past six months. The car will be making its North American debut next week at the 2015 New York Auto Show. As of this writing, the car is scheduled to launch in fall 2015 as 2016 models. Since a lot has not changed between the 2016 and the 2015 except for the additional 3.2 inches to the chassis, expect the prices to remain the same or slightly higher. For reference, the 2015 Infiniti QX50 has a starting price of $35,995 and a fully loaded model maxes out at $39,595, these prices obviously exclude tax, title and registration.
So, will the addition of 3.2 inches to the chassis be enough to attract new customers to their Infiniti dealership and especially the 2016 Infiniti QX50? Well, time will tell if this addition was enough to make this crossover standout in the heavily competed compact luxury crossover segment in the U.S. Considering the fact that Infiniti only manages to move 200 units of the crossover per month, any changes large or small, will be really welcomed.