Thursday, January 28, 2016

My latest test drive was the 2016 Infiniti QX50, fully loaded with Navigation, Tech and the Premium package, bringing it in at about $47,900.

First impression… I didn’t fall in love with the exterior. It’s very average, plain looking. Perhaps designed for the “more mature” driver in mind. The new Hagane blue colour wasn’t my cup of tea either… basically it’s just a very pale baby blue. In my opinion there is no sex appeal when it comes to the outside of this SUV! Inside, it’s a bit dated looking with the fake wood panel and there’s a ton of buttons on the console. At first glance I found this a bit overwhelming.

However, once you press the start button and put your foot on the gas pedal, you’re in for a real treat! This vehicle has guts! I saw that immediately when I hit the gas, the 325 horse powers really came alive. Even though it’s a V6, it really wasn’t bad on gas at all. They say it gets 13.7/9.7 L/100 KM city/hwy. It’s a very quiet, solid ride, but I did find it to be quite bouncy going over bumps.

It handles well, nice and tight like a car, hugging corners. It felt solid on the road, not big and bulky, or hard to control like some larger SUVs. Nissan likes to put their blind spot alert on the inside because of our winters. I’m not a fan of it, I find the side mirror alerts catch my attention quicker. When you come close to the middle line an audio warning goes off. Parking is made easy with the back view camera that shares a split screen with an overview of the vehicle. An audio alert sounds off when you get too close. Pulling into a tight spot in downtown Toronto was a piece of cake!

The leather seats are really comfortable, dual climate and heated seat controls for the driver and passenger, electric seat adjusters for both, and even a memory function for the driver side. However, I found the seated heats too hot, even on the lowest setting, and I wasn’t impressed with the quality of the leather. I could already see creases forming on the driver’s seat.

It comes with a Bose 11-speaker stereo system, the sound is incredible! The moon roof is standard… but most new SUVs today have moved to a panoramic roof – I would have liked to have seen that. Maybe it would have given it more of a modern look.

Here’s something I really liked… the back seats fold down completely flat with a push of the button from the trunk area AND if you hold another button down you can bring them right back up! In most other vehicles you have to push the seats back up manually. It’s a 40/60 split. Unfortunately there was no power tail gate button to close the trunk, you have to shut it the old-fashioned way, but there was a luggage compartment, which was a nice extra.

After driving this vehicle for one week, I found I was no longer overwhelmed by the amount of buttons on the console. It was very easy to figure out how to do everything on my own and I really enjoyed the feel of this vehicle… even though it wasn’t as pretty as I like on the outside! I think it could be the perfect fit for the “more mature” driver.

Amanda Risser
Freelance Producer

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