The badge on the hood may earn you the street cred, but everyone knows that the true party piece of any luxury vehicle is in its cabin. With thick leathers, contrast stitching, wood trim, and fancy audio systems, oftentimes luxury car and SUV cabins are nicer than our living rooms. But like with many things in life, the more you spend, the better quality you get. So what happens if you decide to save a few bucks and opt for a lower-level trim? Turns out in the 2020 Infiniti QX50 Luxe, you’re not missing out on much.
What does the Infiniti QX50’s interior look like?
Infiniti isn’t exactly known as a class leader when it comes to interior design, but the QX50’s cabin shows that the brand is serious about being considered with the likes of Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo in this space. The QX50 cabin builds on the themes first set in the Q50 sedan, with an interesting mix of surface details and materials that call to mind the QX50’s oceanic-inspired sheetmetal. Although it’s no Tesla, the most attention-grabbing feature on the inside of the QX50 is its stacked twin-screen infotainment display.
Tell me about technology: Does the QX50 have CarPlay? Android Auto?
The QX50’s stacked infotainment display (which has since been copied by Audi and Land Rover in its Range Rover line) allows you to dedicate each screen to a specific function. The top screen is capable of being used with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, radio or media functions, or navigation, while the bottom screen can handle climate control functions, settings, and radio or media functions. In practice, the two screens feel redundant; the most useful application I found was using Google Maps via Apple CarPlay and using the bottom one to display the track I was playing on Spotify, also via CarPlay. Functions like climate control would probably be better served by physical buttons
What’s the worst part about the QX50’s interior?
Which nicely brings us to our next point—the worst part of the Infiniti QX50’s interior is just how much Nissan there is in it. There’s the steering wheel (which to be fair is wrapped in nice black leather with white cross stitching), Nissan control stalks, Nissan HVAC and radio controls, and even a Nissan instrument cluster, complete with Nissan fonts. Quality is certainly an order of magnitude better than what you’d find in a Nissan-badged product, yet seeing so many obvious Nissan parts in what’s supposed to be a luxury SUV is a bit déclassé—you’d never catch Audi dead using obvious Volkswagen bits in its interiors.
The other negative about the QX50’s cabin is the metallic accents on the doors; due to the way they’re shaped, colored, and incorporated into the overall aesthetic of the cabin, they regularly reflect sunlight off the windows and into the sideview mirrors, negating their purpose.
Is the Infiniti QX50 roomy?
The QX50 in general is a good package. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, and the three-across rear bench is plenty roomy for adults. Although the wheelwells intrude slightly into the cargo area, the trunk is spacious, with a flat floor and lots of horizontal and vertical space.
What do I give up by not getting the loaded one?
Not much, truthfully. The thing we missed most in our midlevel QX50 Luxe tester compared to our departed QX50 Essential long-termer was its over-the-top interior trimmings. Although we found no fault with the QX50 Luxe’s vegan leather and understated trim, we really missed how ostentatious upper-trim QX50’s are. Our QX50 Essential, for instance, featured white quilted leather and a beautiful contrasting navy blue strip of suede that ran from the dash through the center console. Costs will obviously be cut on lower trim levels, but we’d still love to see more splashes of color and interesting textures across the QX50 line.
How much does it cost?
The 2020 Infiniti QX50 starts at $38,275. Our tester, however, stickered for $44,525. Our loaded former long-termer cost $59,085.