2016 Infiniti QX50 Review: A Lean, Muscular, Crossover With a Place to Put a Handbag

A Girls Guide To Cars | 2016 Infiniti Qx50 Review: A Lean, Muscular, Crossover With A Place To Put A Handbag - Feautred Image Infiniti Qx50 Copy

All of the luxuries, none of the fluff; that’s what being toned is all about.

The Infiniti QX50 is a smallish, well-toned crossover that is filled with sublime luxury. With a nicely edited interior, a height that is easy to get in and out of (but sits at eye level with trucks on the road), a beautiful exterior design, a built-in place to put your handbag and a very approachable price ($44,900!) and the QX50 adds up to one of my favorite cars of the year.

Who This Car is For

  • Drivers who love a well edited selection of technology and luxuries
  • Buyers who love distinct design
  • Drivers who need a crossover with all wheel drive and a bit of height off the ground
  • Drivers who don’t need seating for more than 5 passengers
  • Aspirational buyers in the market for a first luxury car
  • Luxury car buyers who appreciate fine details
  • Buyers who want a built-in place to put their purse

Lean and muscular, this car makes me want to go for a run

When I think of the QX50 I think of my friend Dawj. She posted a photo on Facebook not long ago showing her body reshaped into a sleek, buff silhouette from high intensity interval training. And I think of my friend Rene, who, with dedication to training and proper eating, has a gorgeous, toned new look. You can see why these three remind me of each other.

2016 Infiniti Qx50

Fit and muscular! Rene Syler (l) and Dawj Sangster (r). Photo credits: Rene Syler, Dawj Sangster

2016 Infiniti Qx50

Toned, muscular, buff: The 2016 Infiniti QX50 in Hagane blue, pictured here on the Connecticut waterfront. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Talk about muscle tone! And that’s the trend in car design lately: exteriors that look as if sheet metal has been draped over a muscular body, and interiors that hold you tightly so that you’re one with the car as you drive. That is where the Infiniti QX50 starts: a tight, toned body and an interior that fits like a glove.

Then, the Infiniti QX50 takes care of your driverly needs:  enough push-button functions that you never need to strain to do anything, luxe features like heated seats, adjustable cup holders and a premium Bose sound system and top safety technology that not only keeps you safe but makes the drive experience better (keep reading for details.) The sport drive mode tops it off: you can drive like a normal person when you want, or when the road presents an opportunity to drive like a boss, you can do that too.

I can’t believe they thought of this!

 2016 Qx50. Infiniti

The head rest coat hanger is a perfect place to put your purse in the Infiniti QX50 (shown here in another model with the wheat interior). Photo: Scotty Reiss

CHECK THIS OUT. A place to put your purse, built right in!!! This might be the coolest feature of the Infiniti QX50—and it’s available on many models in the Infiniti lineup: a hanger that pops out of the rear of the driver’s headrest so you can put your purse there…and reach your purse. And it won’t spill, and it won’t fall over, and it won’t get dirty and it doesn’t take up a passenger seat. OK, it’s really a hanger for a jacket or sweater, but it is strong enough to hold your purse, too. I only have one criticism: there’s only one included in the car. It comes installed on the driver’s side but you can easily switch it to the passenger’s side. But that’s a mere detail that can be conquered; the idea is simply brilliant.

I’m a needy girl. I need color

2016 Infiniti Qx50

2016 Infiniti QX50 in Hagane Blue. I LOVE this color so much. Photo: Scotty Reiss

And this might be my other favorite feature of the 2016 Infiniti QX50 I test drove – the model we drove was a sublime, exquisite Hagane Blue. I had to look up Hagane – it’s a type of gear technology designed to sustain extreme use but still maintain integrity.  The more you use it the more you appreciate its strength.

I love that the name Hagane was given to this blue…the more I looked at it the more I fell in love with it. Sort of like falling in love with blue eyes; the more you look into them the more depth you see. You start to see the tinges of silver, you look again and again to catch the prisms of light. Pretty soon you can’t look away – you’re smitten. That’s Hagane Blue.

In all fairness, you can get Hagane Blue on many Infiniti models, but it looks particularly awesome on the muscly QX50. The model we test drove had a graphite gray interior. Personally, I’d buy this with the wheat interior – a lighter cream color (pictured with the purse hanger). Light colored interiors just make you happy.

OK, looks aren’t everything; what else does the Infiniti QX50 have to offer?

Yes, let’s not be shallow here. Beyond its stellar physique, the QX50 has a nicely edited interior: not too much tech or luxury — just the right combo to accommodate your time in the car so you’re comfortable, entertained and safe.

Safety Tech: Infiniti loves cameras. They are mounted behind the rear view mirror, in the logo on the front grille, in the lower part of the front grille, under the side view mirrors and on the rear hatch. There are also sensors that detect traffic and things around you. These cameras and sensors feed information to the lane departure warning, blind spot detectors, adaptive cruise control, park assist and surround view camera – which allows you to look at the space around the car when you’re idle or in reverse (you can also toggle through several views).

2016 Infiniti Qx50

Cameras, cameras everywhere: views around and behind the Infiniti QX50 are created by cameras (clockwise from upper left) under the side view mirrors, on the front grille in the logo, the back lift gate and a radar unit in the front grille. Photo: Scotty Reiss

2016 Infiniti Qx50

The-surround view camera system lets you see behind the car as well as front and side views. Photo: Scotty Reiss

2016 Infiniti Qx50

View from the driver’s seat in the 2016 Infiniti QX50. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Push button (almost) everything: We were surprised that there was not a power lift gate button on the key fob or the lift gate, but that was the only missing button we could find (unfortunately due to the design of the lift gate, a power button is not an option). There are buttons in the cargo space that put the rear seats up and down, buttons to put the seats up from the front seat, buttons that open and close a ‘floor’ in the cup holder so it can accommodate larger or small cups or bottles. And then, of course, there are buttons for climate, entertainment, navigation and more.

2016 Infiniti Qx50

Auto fold up rear seats; when the rear seats are folded down, you can put them back up again with the push of a button. Photo: Scotty Reiss

2016 Infiniti Qx50

A clever detail: the cup holders are adjustable to hold a larger cup or bottle. The open button lets you lower a shelf, creating more space; the close button puts the shelf back again. Photo: Scotty Reiss

2016 Infiniti Qx50

Buttons in the cargo area allow you to easily put the seats up or down. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Drive experience: With all that muscle tone, you’d think the QX50 would be a boss to drive, right? And, it is. It hugs the road, has plenty of pep and merges in and out of traffic beautifully. When I got the chance to pop the shifter into manual and shift through the gears, the engine was even more responsive. It’s kind of fun to rest your elbow on the arm rest and shift your way through curves and hills and feel the engine do what you tell it.

2016 Infiniti Qx50

The 2016 Infiniti QX50’s gear shift allows you to pop the transmission into sport mode and shift manually. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A cabin size that is just right: The front seats, of course, are comfortable. But so are the rear seats. In fact, the rear seat has more leg room than prior model years. And all that extra leg room adds up to doors that open wider, too – which is great for getting child car seats in and out, loading in large items like furniture, cases of paper towels or large electronics…or just getting in and out of the car without having to fold yourself like a yoga master.

Though, being a yoga master might just leave you as toned as this car. OK, I’m inspired. I’m off for a run now.

2016 Infiniti Qx50

Rear seats in the 2016 Infiniti QX50 offer ample pasenger space; the cargo space behind the rear seat is surprisingly roomy, too. The slope of the roof creates a number of rear blind spots, though; we found the rear view/surround view camera to be critical equipment. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What We Loved

  • That color! (Hagane Blue)
  • The built in purse hanger
  • Muscular exterior
  • Smaller size
  • All Wheel Drive with manual and snow driving options
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Leather seats
  • Push button fold flat rear seats
  • Plenty of cargo room, even with rear seats up
  • The price: about $44K
2016 Infiniti Qx50

Cargo space with the center seats down. Photo: Scotty Reiss for AGirlsGuidetoCars

What You Need to Know

  • Base price: $35,850; price of the model we tested: $44,900
  • Fuel economy: 17 MPG city/24MPG highway; we averaged about 19 MPG
  • No power lift gate option
  • Seating for five, though more comfortable for four
  • Touring package, which includes the head rest purse hanger, $2,400
  • Premium package with Bose sound system, $500
  • Premium Plus Package with around view camera, Bluetooth streaming and real time traffic and weather, $2,000
  • Technology package with blind spot monitors, adaptive cruise control and brake assist $2,750
  • Premium gas recommended
2016 Infiniti Qx50

2016 Infiniti QX50 Monroney

Disclosure: Infiniti loaned me the QX50 for this review; all opinions expressed are my own.


Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss