Skip the Infiniti QX50 and Get the Lexus NX Instead

For a small SUV with everyday opulence, you might be interested in the Infiniti QX50. Critics recognize the QX50 for its smoothness and pampering cabin. But even with these qualities, there are few reasons why you might want to get the Lexus NX  instead. 

The 2021 Lexus NX is more refined than the 2021 Infiniti QX50

Infiniti QX50 up close
Infiniti QX50 | Infiniti

The QX50 leaves a little to be desired when it comes to performance. This small SUV features a turbocharged 268-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable automatic (CVT). It’s available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. 

On the bright side, the QX50’s turbo-four is powerful and quick. But as Consumer Reports notes, the QX50’s engine gets unpleasantly loud at higher speeds, and its CVT only makes this worse. Additionally, CR highlighted that handling isn’t the QX50’s forte. While it ultimately feels secure, it exhibits considerable body lean and can feel loose even as you take mild turns. 

A red Lexus NX on the track.
2021 Lexus NX | Lexus

Conversely, the NX provides a more refined driving experience. The NX has a turbo-four that produces 235-hp and six-speed auto. It may not have as much power as the QX50 does, but the NX has no problems accelerating swiftly. Plus, its engine makes for a quiet ride, and its transmission shifts smoothly. Furthermore, the NX gets more points for its sharp handling. 

The NX is also more fuel-efficient than the QX50. In CR’s road tests, the NX returned 24 mpg overall; the QX50 got up to 22 mpg. If fuel economy is a bigger priority for you, the NX is also available as a hybrid. The QX50 doesn’t have a hybridized option. 

The NX’s cabin has a few more modern touches than the QX50’s

A 2021 QX50 with faux leather upholstery.
2021 Infiniti QX50 with standard leatherette upholstery | Infiniti

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Both the QX50 and the NX have stylish appearances. The two are actually more similar with the cabin amenities that they offer. These SUVs can carry up to five people, and their cabins are well-insulated. They also both come standard with faux leather.

Keeping up with the similarities, the QX50 and the NX come with many advanced safety features, including forward-collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, and pedestrian detection. Additionally, they offer infotainment features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, the NX comes with gadgets, such as an Amazon Alexa app.

Driver's seat of the 2021 Lexus NX
Lexus NX F interior | Lexus

Neither the QX50’s or NX’s infotainment systems are the most user-friendly in the class. The NX’s has a computer-based setup instead of a touchscreen, so many drivers have to get used to it. With the QX50, you get a dual touchscreen setup that sounds cooler than it is. Car and Driver road testers were especially annoyed with the QX50’s infotainment system. It can be slow to respond, and other reviewers have complained that the graphics are outdated. 

The NX is more reliable than the QX50

A white 2020 Lexus NX driving down city streets.
2020 Lexus NX | Lexus

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A 2021 Infiniti QX50 begins at $37,950, and the 2021 Lexus NX starts at $37,610. Besides being a teensy bit cheaper, what makes the NX more attractive is its reliability ratings. CR considers the NX one of the most reliable cars for the 2021 model year and gave it a perfect rating for dependability. Oppositely, the QX50 got a below-average ranking for predicted reliability. The QX50’s low score reflects past problems with its body integrity and body hardware.