We won’t judge you if luxury brand Infiniti doesn’t come to mind right away when asked to name one of their models. Infiniti has been in the doldrums as of late both in sales, as well as the current state of their lineup. Our last encounter with Infiniti was several years ago when we traveled out to California to check out the QX50. Since then, not much has happened, but that has all changed, with the luxury brand finally pulling the covers off of the 2022 QX55.
FX inspired attitude defines QX55 design
When it came to penning the lines that ultimately became the Infiniti QX55, Infiniti designers took their inspiration from the 2003 FX SUV for the basic shape. However, that’s where the resemblance ultimately ends, with the QX55 embracing curves, lines, and angles to help create a more cohesive look that Infiniti claims is supposed to be reminiscent of origami shapes.
The elegant paper folding technique also plays a prominent role in the mesh design of the front grille which has distinctive shapes intertwined within its mesh work. The sleek headlights also lend an aggressive character that flows onward to the side profile which has a performance tinged character to it. The rear fascia is a bit less expressive, but the taillights do have an elegant design that helps make up for this to a degree.
“We set the stage nearly 20 years ago with the FX, and the all-new Infiniti QX55 brings us back, close to the soul of our brand — and it propels us forward,” said Infiniti Chairman Peyman Kargar.
This soul is also found in some of the paint colors that are on hand here, with buyers being able to choose from eight different colors (Majestic White, Liquid Platinum, Graphite Shadow, Mineral Black, Black Obsidian, Slate Grey, and Hermosa Blue.) Our favorite hue though is the eighth color (Dynamic Sunstone Red) with the vivid hue being prominently featured in all of Infiniti’s press photography.
Luxury laden cabin enhances the ownership experience
The interior of the QX55 will be very familiar to those that have spent time inside the QX50, with the basic design and layout all being largely the same. This familiarity also extends over to the dual screen infotainment system, but Infiniti claims that updated software will make inputs much faster than they were before. Meanwhile, the dashboard has a driver focused design, and Infiniti is promising a number of two tone leather combinations will be available, including the show stealing black on red combination shown in the example the company showed off.
This cabin is a very commendable effort, but it will be very interesting to see if the QX55 can allow Infiniti to finally play in the same league as some of its luxury rivals. A highlight for us is the rear sliding bench which allows occupants an opportunity to stretch out and relax, while folding it down increases the rear cargo area to 26.9 cubic feet of space.
Variable compression engine delivers balanced performance in QX55
Performance for the QX55 is delivered exclusively by a 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder that brings 268 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque to drivers. Like the QX50, this engine comes equipped with Infiniti’s Variable Compression technology (VC) which supposedly delivers a refined balance between performance and fuel economy. All of this power is routed through a CVT to all four wheels through a trick all-wheel drive system.
This system will typically send 100 percent of the engines power to the front wheels during daily commuting, but in nastier weather (or aggressive driving) 50 percent of the power can actually be transferred to the rear wheels. This behavior is also seen in the QX50, and it should help the QX55 feel like the long gone FX in winding sweepers, or even on challenging backroads.
When can I buy a QX55?
Infiniti did not reveal final pricing information when it debuted the QX55, but it’s known that the shapely SUV will begin arriving in the U.S. and Canada this coming Spring. The model will face a bit of a hill to climb when it does, with the segment already crowded with a whole army of luxury SUV contenders. But we have seen upset victories in sports (especially boxing) and perhaps the QX55 can pull a few surprising moves of its own to help claw its way up the sales ranks.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.