Return of the Bionic Cheetah: 2022 Infiniti QX55 Review

The Infiniti QX55 is an all-new vehicle from the Japanese luxury car maker, based on the QX50; it’s the “two-door-coupe” version of that car, but thankfully Infiniti doesn’t go as far as calling it a “two-door coupe SUV thing”.

The QX55 is the spiritual successor to the Infiniti FX35/45, which could technically be called the original two-door coupe, and again, thankfully Infiniti never called it that. It was one of the original “sporty” SUVs, and it was quite the design hit at the time. The FX still looks modern almost 20 years later, which is not something you can say about many SUVs. I still remember the “Bionic Cheetah” name they used when it was launched.

Fast forward to 2021 and have a look at the all-new 2022 Infiniti QX55, the reincarnation of the bionic cheetah.

2022 Infiniti QX55

2022 Infiniti QX55 Canadian Prices

The 2022 QX55 is offered in three trims: the QX55 Luxe AWD has a starting price of $51,995, the QX55 Essential ProASSIST AWD starts at $56,998, and the top-of-the-line QX55 Sensory AWD has a starting price of $60,998.

Thankfully Infiniti has kept the trims simple without the need to add lots of additional packages. The only things customers need to choose are colors and a few accessories. Our review car was the 2022 Infiniti QX55 Sensory AWD with a price of $64,293, which included $1,200 for the triple clearcoat metallic paint and $2,095 for Freight & PDE.

Infiniti QX55 Styling

2022 Infiniti QX55 Sensory Review

This is subjective matter and the styling on most vehicles have lovers and haters. However, most people I talked to liked the design of the QX55, including me, which looked especially sharp in the bright red paint. Is the QX55 as revolutionary as the FX was? The simple answer is no, the sporty SUV was something new back in 2003 and it won lots of praise from consumers and car reviewers. “Sporty” SUVs are everywhere nowadays, so they don’t make as much of a splash as the original FX35/45 did back then.

That’s not to say the QX55 isn’t refreshing and sporty. It competes with the likes of the BMW X4 and GLC Coupe, but in my humble opinion, it is the best looking of the three. The design is aggressive, while still being elegant. It features quite a large chrome grill, with sharp looking headlights on each side. The hood is sculpted and curvaceous, which looks beautiful. The side profile is sporty but the C-Pillar isn’t as raked as its competitors, which is great for interior room and luggage holding capacity. The rear is clean looking with stylish taillights and exhaust tips integrated into the lower section of the bumper.

Engine/Driving

The Infiniti FX was equipped with two of the best sounding engine/exhaust combinations in the industry, short of exotic sports cars. I still love hearing the raspy note of the V6 on the FX35 and the rumble of V8 on the FX45.

Unfortunately, neither of those engines are offered on the 2022 QX55. The only engine offered on the QX55 is a variable compression turbo (VC-Turbo) 2.0 liter 4-cylinder with direct injection, producing 268 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 280 pound-feet of torque between 1,600 to 4,800 rpm. The 4-cylinder engine is mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission, sending power to all four wheels. According to Infiniti, the QX50 can do the 0 – 60 mph (96 km/h) sprint in 6.3 seconds and can reach a top speed of 230 km/h.

According to Infiniti, the QX55 should consume 10.5/8.3/9.5 liters/100 kilometers in city/highway/combined driving. We averaged 10.9 L/100 km in 60/40 city/highway driving.

The engine seems to produce more than enough power, but the CVT doesn’t have that sporty feeling. It does mimic gear changes but the combination of a small engine with a CVT and a heavy car doesn’t make for a fun time. Also, the exhaust note produced by the FX was something I could listen to all day, the sound produced the 4-cylinder in the QX55 is absolutely something you don’t want to hear, especially during heavy acceleration and even more so on a luxury vehicle.

The suspension on the QX55 is sorted out well, it’s sporty but not harsh. It behaves well on twisty roads and is comfortable for long drives and handles rough roads quite well. The steering feel is non-existent, thanks to the use of drive by wire. I know most new cars don’t have much road feedback, but the QX55 takes that to a new level of numbness unfortunately.

QX55 Interior

2022 Infiniti QX55 interior

Personally, I’m a fan of the interior on the QX55. The interior is nicely appointed, with soft touch materials and an overall luxurious feel. Like with other Infiniti vehicles, the QX55 comes with dual screens (8” top screen, 7” bottom screen), with the top screen for navigation output and the bottom screen for entertainment, climate control etc. The touchscreens are responsive enough; however, I think the graphics look outdated. This is an area Infiniti really needs to improve if it wants to compete with Lexus and the Europeans. The output from the cameras is also not up to par, the video quality is quite grainy, not something you’d expect in a luxury car.

I don’t mind the dual-screen layout; however, some people might find it confusing. I found the layout to be easy to use and it doesn’t take much time getting used to if you’re not familiar with Infiniti vehicles.

One of the small features I really liked was the placement of the stop/start button, which is placed in the most logical place I can think of (right next to the gear selector), but I still kept reaching behind the steering wheel to start/stop the engine, I think it will take a while for the muscle memory to not reach behind the steering wheel for this button.

The interior is roomy and a comfortable place to be in, it is generally quiet except for under heavy acceleration, during which the engine makes quite a bit of noise and it’s not the nice kind of noise the old FXes used to make.

The rear seats have plenty of leg and head room, even for taller passengers. I was not expecting there to be too much extra headroom in the back seats, but I was pleasantly surprised. The QX55 has a sporty shape but it doesn’t sacrifice rear passengers’ headroom and cargo capacity.

Tech/Convenience/Safety Features

The 2022 Infiniti QX55 is well equipped even in the base trim, with standard features like remote engine start, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED lights, and safety features likes Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Forward Emergency Braking, in addition to multiple airbags, and traction control and standard AWD. Below is a list what is available on the highest trim QX55.

  • Intelligent Key with push-button ignition
  • Remote Engine Start
  • Acoustic front side glass
  • 8-Way Power Adjustable Front Seats
  • 2-Way Power Lumbar
  • Heated/Cooled front seats
  • Memory seats, mirrors, and steering wheel
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Power tilt and telescopic steering wheel
  • Direct Adaptive Steering
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
  • Head-Up Display
  • Auto-dimming rear view mirror
  • Rain sensing front windshield wipers      
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control          
  • Rear climate controls                     
  • Auto on/off headlights                                  
  • Motion-activated liftgate
  • Blind Spot Intervention
  • LED Daytime Running Lights, Headlights, & Fog lights
  • Adaptive Front Lighting System
  • Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection
  • ProPILOT Assist
  • Active Trace Control
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Traffic Sign Recognition                                                                                
  • Traction Control System (TCS)                                    
  • Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC)                                 
  • Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)                                              
  • Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection                                  
  • Predictive Forward Collision Warning                                     
  • Lane Departure Warning                                              
  • Lane Departure Prevention                                        
  • Blind Spot Warning                                         
  • Blind Spot Intervention                                
  • Rear Automatic Braking                                                
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert                                 
  • RearView Monitor                                          
  • Cruise control                                   
  • Front parking sensors                                    
  • Rear parking sensors                                     
  • Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection                                       
  • Distance Control Assist                                 
  • Intelligent Cruise Control                                                                             
  • Steering Assist                                  
  • Intelligent Cruise Control with Full-Speed Range, Stop and Hold

Final Thoughts

I think the 2022 Infiniti QX55 is a great looking crossover, it looks really sporty and it does show its FX35/45 DNA in its styling. However, I was disappointed by the sound the engine makes and I would’ve preferred a regular automatic over a CVT, sporty vehicles like this need sporty transmissions.

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Faisal

When I'm not reviewing the latest cars, I'm busy checking out the latest gadgets and watches by the world's best manufacturers. Cars, gadgets, and watches... that's all a man needs to get through life.

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