Drive: 2022 Infiniti QX55 is a stunning ride packed with features

We knew we’d been behind the wheel of something special when a couple we didn’t know approached us in a home-improvement store’s parking lot and started raving about the car we were driving — a pre-production Infiniti QX55, new for 2022. They were particularly taken with the QX55’s color, Dynamic Sunstone Red.

Yes, Infiniti has turned out some stunning cars, crossovers and SUVs over the years, and the QX55 certainly qualifies. Behind its boldly sculpted hood stands a vehicle Infiniti calls a “coupe crossover” or “crossover coupe.” This nomenclature, which originated with the iconic FX 20 years ago, refers to its sleek, alluring body style blended with the qualities of a sport-utility vehicle, including all-wheel drive and substantial ground clearance.

Priced at $46,500 for the base Luxe model, the QX55 is a luxury coupe crossover powered by a 2.0-liter, 268-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The continuously variable transmission is up to the challenge of transferring the QX55’s considerable power to the road. The QX55 has room for five passengers and about 27 cubic feet for luggage behind the split second-row seat.

For people who want maximum room for luggage or cargo — and luxury, too — Infiniti’s QX50 has many of the same desirable qualities as the QX55. And it also has an edge of more than 10 cubic feet of space behind the rear seat.

Our test car, in top-of-the-line Sensory trim, had a sticker price of $58,975, was a full-blown luxury car, with safety and infotainment technology, creature comforts and loads of convenience features. Highlights included dual information screens, one for the navigation system and the other for the infotainment suite; tri-zone climate-control system; power liftgate; power tilt, telescopic and heated steering wheel; rear-seat slide, recline and fold-flat function; and wi-fi hotspot.

Despite its many attributes, the QX55 had a weakness or two. The steering feel was very light, though we were impressed with the car's ample turning radius when navigating suburban parking lots. The QX55’s “coupe-crossover” size and shape serve its driver well in tight quarters.

Road noise was discernible on the highway, probably owing to the 20-inch run-flat all-season tires, but there was little or no wind noise. Meanwhile, the advertised “fold-flat” rear seat is a bit of an exaggeration. The seatbacks remain at an angle when fully lowered, and the power front seats have to be moved forward to lower the seatbacks.

2022 Infiniti QX55 Sensory AWD

Price: $58,975

Engine: 2.0-liter variable-compression turbocharged inline Four, 268 horsepower, 280 lb.-ft. torque

Transmission: continuously variable automatic

Suspension: MacPherson strut front, multi-link rear

Ground clearance: 8.6 in.

Curb weight: 4,065 lb.

Wheels: 20-in. dark painted and machine finished aluminum alloy

Tires: P255/45R20, all-season

Seating capacity: 5

Luggage capacity: 26.9 cu. ft.

Maximum cargo capacity: 54.1 cu. ft.

Fuel capacity: 16 gal.

Fuel economy: 22 mpg city, 28 highway

Fuel type: premium unleaded gasoline (recommended)

Fuel economy ranges between 22 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway, and Infiniti does not offer a front-wheel-drive version —which would deliver better fuel economy. The engine, transmission and drive system are common to all trim levels. Infiniti recommends using premium unleaded gasoline.

The coupe-crossover segment is fairly lightly populated, so far. Leading contenders include the Audi Q5 Sportback, BMW X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe. These European models tend to cost more than the QX55, and come with less standard equipment.

Steven Macoy (semacoy@gmail.com) is a longtime car enthusiast and full-time editor who lives in Bethel, Conn.