2023 Infiniti QX55 Sensory

The QX55 may be the overlooked middle-child in Infiniti's lineup, but it's rather stylish, especially in the right colour
The QX55 may be the overlooked middle-child in Infiniti's lineup, but it's rather stylish, especially in the right colour

by Imran Salam | August 8, 2023


Being a middle child is never fun. Often, you end up ignored and overlooked, despite trying your hardest. Your older siblings get all the new stuff and you get the hand-me-downs. Even your younger siblings get nicer things than you do. This is the 2023 Infiniti QX55 Sensory in a nutshell.

Despite a design language that has stuck around Infiniti for the better part of a decade, the QX55 manages to look handsome and surprisingly premium, with the grille being the most prominent and striking feature up front. The QX55’s overall coupe profile is rather beautiful, accentuated by the very unique tail lights, looking like they are lit by individual LEDs — it would have been a great opportunity to include a welcome light sequence, similar to what Audi does. The lift gate is adorned with a type-font Infiniti logo, which seems to have become the norm across the industry, while the “Dynamic Sunstone Red” paint on our tester stood out everywhere we took the QX55.


As nice as the silhouette is, the interior problems manifest from the outside in. Due to the severely sloping (but attractive) roofline, fitting a baby seat in the rear of this coupe-SUV was a bit of a challenge. We had to tilt the baby seat to get it to fit, suggesting this QX55 wasn’t designed for young families, but I imagine it would suit young couples and empty-nesters quite well. On the flip side, the trunk is surprisingly usable, despite offering less space overall than its non-coupe, QX50 sibling — 762 litres, vs. 880 for the QX50. Visibility out of the QX55 is also good, despite that coupe-like profile.

Our tester was fitted with the optional white leather, offering a nice contrast against the black accents and dashboard. The seats are comfortable if a little flat, offering little in the way of bolstering, but heating and ventilation for added comfort.  Interior materials feel simply okay, but we dealt with a creaking multimedia interface controller and a rattle from the dashboard.

The dashboard is where the hand-me-down, middle-child-syndrome started to manifest itself. The two-screen layout looked very dated, regardless of whether or not the screens were on or off.  Both screens are much too small (eight- and seven-inches) and offer very dated graphics. Aside from the icons and graphics, you have some strange UI experiences, like having (wired) Android Auto running on the top screen, but the bottom display having an input field for Infinit’s built-in navigation. Weird. It’s not ideal, and as much as I appreciate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto being included, it feels like it was pasted on top of an old UI with little attention paid to integration.

Fortunately, there are hard buttons around and below the second screen, which is a surprising benefit of a dated design. Sound is routed via a 16-speaker Bose audio system, which sounded pretty good to our ears, but still nothing like the Mark Levinson systems from Lexus, or even the Lexicon ones found in Genesis models.

Mechanically, the experience is a bit mixed, but positive overall. The suspension is well-sorted, providing a comfortable balance of ride and handling, never feeling like a floaty SUV. The drive-by-wire steering system is too light with poor on-centre feel, but I can’t imagine many people complaining.

The QX55 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Known as a VC-Turbo, it features a unique variable-compression system, producing 268 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 280 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. The purported benefits to variable compression means the engine can alter compression to prioritize power or efficiency as needed. Power is routed through a continuously variable transmission (CVT) to all four wheels.

Issues arise primarily with the CVT, where it will occasionally flip-flop personalities between being a CVT that mimics a conventional automatic by simulating shifts, and acting like a CVT that momentarily holds RPMs in one place to maximize power.  When it holds revs — seemingly at random — it feels as though the transmission is not shifting properly, like something is wrong. As a long-term owner it may be something you get used to, but in my limited time with the QX55, it’s not something I grew particularly fond of.  That being said, the CVT is worlds better than Nissan’s first-generation units.

The QX55 features Infiniti’s standard suite of active safety features, and you can enable them all with a touch of a button on the steering wheel. A 360-degree camera is standard fare on the highest Sensory trim, but unfortunately video quality is among the worst I’ve seen in years. This is unfortunate, as Infiniti was the first manufacturer to offer the so-called “Around View” monitor back in 2007.

Fully optioned, the QX55 starts at $58,440, with our Sensory model costing $63,595, including a rather shocking $1,200 charge for the red paint. It’s a solid offering, but hard to recommend against a strong competitor like the Genesis GV70 which offers up more power, luxury, and tech at a similar price point.

It’s unfortunate that the QX55 continues with its hand-me-down interior, while models — like the QX60, and even some Nissans — get on with much newer, prettier, and upscale-feeling interiors. Still, the 2023 Infiniti QX55 Sensory is sharp-looking, and that pricey but pretty paintwork will get you some much-deserved attention, especially if you also happen to be a forgotten middle child.

See Also

2022 Genesis GV70 2.5T Advanced Plus

2022 Volvo XC60 B6 Inscription

2023 Infiniti QX60 Autograph

Vehicle Specs
Compact luxury crossover
Engine Size
2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder
Horsepower (at RPM)
268 at 5,600 rpm
Torque (lb-ft.)
280 at 4,400 rpm
Fuel Efficiency (L/100km, City/Highway/Combined)
Observed Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)
Cargo Capacity (in L)
Base Price (CAD)
As-Tested Price (CAD)
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About Imran Salam

Staff Writer

Imran is a true enthusiast who you'll find at shows, local meets, Sunday drives or the track. He appreciates the variety the car industry has to offer, having owned over a dozen cars from different manufacturers. Imran is grateful to own one of his childhood poster cars and enjoys inspiring the next generation. When Imran is not behind wheel he is found playing basketball or spending time with family.

Current Toys: '13 Boxster S 6MT, '24 Integra Type S, '08 328xi