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Infiniti Project Black S previews the 2020 Infiniti Q60 Black S Coupe

What’s Hot And What’s Not in the 2019 Infiniti Lineup

What to Buy and What to Stay Away From When it Comes to Infiniti in 2019

Nissan’s premium division has always played second fiddle to Toyota’s respective counterpart. It’s even been recording inferior sales figures compared to Honda’s premium division, Acura. But, while the Lexus managed to market 305,229 vehicles in the U.S. during 2017, Acura’s sales fell to 154,602 units – their weakest result since 2011. This gives Infiniti the opportunity to take the second spot for itself, for Nissan’s premium division’s sales have actually been growing steadily since 2011. They’ve amounted to 153,415 units in the U.S. during 2017, which is just around 1,200 vehicles shy of Acura’s result for the same period. With 2018 slowly but steadily nearing its end, it’s now time to take a look at what the 2019 Infiniti lineup has in store for us.

Things have been rather predictable for Infiniti these past few years. They have been riding the crossover craze wave for quite a while now, which has incidentally also been their focus lately. Their somewhat neglected sedan lineup is now unable to hide its age despite the Q50 being their best-selling vehicle alongside the QX60 crossover. Infiniti crossovers, on the other hand, are going through some major changes. The venerable QX70, for instance, is being discontinued, while the completely redesigned QX50 enters the fray. The full-size QX80 SUV was also refreshed recently, which only leaves their best-selling vehicle in the segment without any noteworthy changes. Even the QX60 will be getting a new range-topping trim level for MY 2019 which should give Infiniti ample time to focus on their sedans and the Q60 coupe from then on. Here’s what to pay attention to when it comes to the 2019 Infiniti models.

What’s Hot in the New 2019 Infiniti Lineup

#05: 2019 Infiniti QX50

The second-generation 2019 Infiniti QX50 showcases exactly how important the SUV/crossover segment is in today’s auto industry. Sporting a fresh, sleek design, it’ll become a role model for the rest of the Infiniti lineup. Beautifully executed inside and out, it’d be a good act to follow as far as the rest of the brand is concerned. Although a compact, the QX50 offers plenty of space, but the emphasis is naturally on comfort, not utility. The cabin is quiet and refined, and the list of standard convenience and safety goodies is exactly as you’d expect from a crossover in the mid-thirty thousand range. However, the Infiniti QX50’s essence lurks under its hood. As mentioned above, it’s the heart that makes the QX50 so good.

Unlike the new Altima, where Nissan’s groundbreaking new variable-compression-ratio engine makes 248 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, the backbone of the QX50’s smooth and sporty ride generates as much as 268 ponies and 280 pound-feet of twist. Moreover, the engine manages to return 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway (30 mpg with all-wheel drive). Although not exactly class-leading figures, the fuel economy is still enough for a 30 percent increase over the outgoing model’s 17/24 mpg ratings. Considering all of the above, the 2019 Infiniti QX50 stands out as one of the better vehicles in its class. One of the precious few shortcomings is the fact that base models can’t be ordered with the top safety equipment gear which is exclusively reserved for upper echelon trims. Such safety equipment might include Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist system, which offers lane departure warning, steering assist, collision mitigation braking, and adaptive cruise control; all features can be controlled via the steering wheel.

2019 Infiniti QX50 3/4 view

#04: 2019 Infiniti QX30

The latest addition to the Infiniti lineup, the QX30 is only warming up in regards to its sales figures. Nissan’s premium division managed to market slightly north of 14,000 units of their subcompact crossover which is a fine enough result for a luxury vehicle’s first full model year. Although it would seem that 2018 won’t bring an improvement on that front, the 2019 Infiniti QX30 still has to be regarded as one of the Japanese automaker’s most interesting vehicles at the moment. The quirky subcompact offers a high level of refinement and available tech for its class while throwing a capable and efficient powertrain in the mix at the same time. It lacks in practicality though, as both passenger and cargo space – as well as outward visibility – leave a lot to be desired. Then again, that’s something we’ve come to expect when it comes to subcompact cars.

The engine in question is a Mercedes-sourced turbocharged 2.0L inline-four that develops 208 horsepower and a more than healthy 258 pound-feet of torque. Tied to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, it delivers smooth acceleration despite some turbo lag that doesn’t have any place in modern-day luxury cars. Still, the QX30 is generally more affordable than its competition, so that shouldn’t be taken as a serious disadvantage. Base units start from below the $30,000 mark, but fully equipped models tend to warrant stickers in the high forties with ease.

Infiniti QX30 side view

#03: 2019 Infiniti QX80

The full-size body-on-frame SUV might be a dying breed (especially in the luxury market), but that didn’t stop Infiniti from refreshing their only offering in this venerable segment last year. The 2019 Infiniti QX80 is still basically running on what’s almost a decade-old platform, but at least it now sports more stylish cues than its awkward pre-2018 predecessor. Most importantly, the buyers are responding and QX80’s sales are steadily increasing year in, year out. Considering the full-sizer offers an abundance of interior space for both the passengers and their cargo and a rather refined finish to boot, that doesn’t really come as a surprise. Yet, the QX80’s out-of-date demeanor shows on the inside as well. Apart from sporting an outdated infotainment system, it also lacks both the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity options.

A large 5.6L V8 has to be considered one of the 2019 Infiniti QX80’s strong points. Despite not doing much for the full-size SUV’s fuel economy (not even for a giant SUV), it still delivers a more-than-adequate 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough to give it a maximum towing capability of 8,500 pounds. What’s more, a smooth 7-speed automatic transmission helps to raise the powertrain unit’s overall appeal with well-timed, effortless shifts. But where the Infiniti QX80 really excels is the handling. For a cumbersome 6,140-pounder, the QX80 handles extremely well without too much trace of body roll. The starting prices of $64,750 for rear-wheel drive and $67,850 for four-wheel drive models might seem like a bit much at first glance, but luxurious full-sizers don’t come much cheaper than that. Plus, the QX80’s advanced safety options aren’t as expensive as is often the case with the competition.

Infiniti QX80 3/4 view

#02: 2019 Infiniti QX60 and QX80 Limited

The full-size QX60 might be the only Infiniti crossover that hasn’t undergone some notable changes in the past few years, but the Japanese have made sure to at least give it a new trim level. Not just any, but the range-topping Limited trim which the 2019 Infiniti QX60 will share with the aforementioned QX80. Both models were presented at the 2018 New York auto show, and are scheduled to appear in dealerships during Summer 2018. Needless to say, the QX60 and QX80 Limited will further increase the current level of interior refinement with amenities such as quilted half-leather seats in the smaller model and two-tone leather or Alcantara seats in the larger SUV. Both models will also boast wood dash accents and more refined headliners. Outside, the QX60 gets a custom 20-inch wheels, while the QX80 gets a larger 22-inch unit.

As far as their respective powertrains are concerned, full-sizers will be available with their standard engines. This means the 2019 Infiniti QX60 will stick to its 3.5L V6 with 295 horsepower while the QX80 continues with a 400-horsepower 5.6L V8. Transmission choices will remain unchanged as well, which means a CVT gearbox for the former and a 7-speed auto for the latter. Prices still haven’t been disclosed, but they’ll naturally be higher than price tags of fully-stacked currently available models.

2019 Infiniti QX60 Limited 3/4 view

2019 Infiniti QX80 Limited front 3/4 view

#01: 2019 Infiniti Q50

The compact executive Q50 sedan might be Infiniti’s best-selling vehicle with 40,739 models sold during 2017 (followed closely by the QX60 crossover which had found 40,444 new owners during the same period), but the Japanese haven’t exactly been proactive in their attempts to modernize a car that’s running on underpinnings unchanged since 2013. The 2019 Infiniti Q50 won’t be any different in that regard. To be fair, the Japanese did treat the Q50 with a mild facelift and trim shuffling for MY 2018. They’ve also updated the car’s suspension and steering, but haven’t done anything that would really stand out. Despite that, the Infiniti Q50 remains one of the best-looking cars in its class. Maybe that’s the main reason the Japanese are so reluctant to move on. Why change a winning team?

A reshuffling of trim levels means that only the new-base Pure trims get the Mercedes-sourced 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Luxe trims can either be ordered with a 4-cylinder or an optional 3.0L twin-turbo V6 which develops 300 horsepower. Sport trim, on the other hand, only comes with the latter, while the Red Sport mandates a 400-horsepower version of Nissan’s V6 mill. Starting from $51,000, the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport represents one of the most affordable ways of getting as much power and boost in a compact luxury sedan on today’s market. Finally, the lineup wouldn’t be complete without a hybrid option, which packs 360 net horsepower thanks to a trio consisting of a 3.5L V6, a 1.4-kWh battery, and a 50-watt electric motor. Regardless of trim and powertrain choice, every Q50 comes with a mandatory 7-speed automatic transmission.

Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 3/4 view

What’s Not in the New 2019 Infiniti Lineup

#03: 2019 Infiniti Q70

The mid-size Q70 luxury sedan has been in production since 2013, and much like the smaller Q50, it hasn’t seen too many updates. The most recent restyling was conducted in 2016, and the 2019 Infiniti Q70 will continue, more or less, exactly where its predecessor’s journey had come to an end. Although still not at a level showcased in its German counterparts, interior refinement and sublime exterior design are what make the Q70 what it is. Of course, more advanced features like the infotainment system are somewhat outdated, and some newer additions to the market are nowhere to be seen despite the Q70’s flagship status.

The same can probably be said about its powertrain options since a 330-horsepower 3.7L V6 and a 420-horsepower 5.6L V8 don’t exactly feel like they’re contemporary options. Although quite potent, both of them struggle with fuel efficiency. The former only manages 20 or 21 mpg combined depending on a chosen drivetrain configuration, while the latter returns either 19 or 18 mpg combined. Luckily for prospective Infiniti Q70 buyers, the mid-size luxury car also offers a hybrid model which pairs a 3.5L V6 with an electric motor for 30 mpg combined. One possible downside is the fact that hybrids aren’t available with a longer wheelbase which is exclusively reserved for traditional internal combustion models.

Infiniti Q70 3/4 view

#02: 2019 Infiniti QX60

Despite running on a platform that’s basically unchanged since 2013 like most Infiniti cars, the full-size luxury crossover still manages to stand out as one of the Japanese automaker’s two best-selling units. This trend is unlikely to change regardless of Infiniti’s efforts focused on the QX60’s modernization, but a change would still be welcome. Especially considering the fact that competition barely sleeps in the crossover segment. Yet, despite the aforementioned Limited trim, the 2019 Infiniti QX60 will be largely carried over. A new range-topping trim might affect the prices of currently available models, though, and they could be seeing a slight drop in value.

As is currently the case, the 2019 Infiniti QX60 will remain a single-engine option affair after the low-volume hybrid got the ax. A 3.5L V6 with 295 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque is competent enough to allow towing of up to 5,000 pounds. A mandatory CVT gearbox does its job admirably, but an optional fully-fledged automatic would have been nice. Given both rear and four-wheel drive models return the same 22 mpg combined, fuel economy isn’t exactly one of QX60’s strong suits. The next-gen will likely switch to a lower-displacement turbocharged engine in order to counter this issue, but the 2019 Infiniti QX60 won’t live to see that day.

Infiniti QX60 side view

#01: 2019 Infiniti Q60

The second-generation Infiniti Q60 made its debut in time for MY 2017 which makes it one of the fresher Infiniti cars overall. Despite sporting an aggressive design well-worthy of its class, the 2019 Infiniti Q60 carries over virtually unchanged. That’s one of the reasons we deem the coupe unworthy of excitement, although it actually is every bit as exciting as the next car. The other reason is the upcoming Black S version of the luxury coupe which is set to appear in 2020, and draws inspiration from the recently presented Project Black S concept car. The 2020 Infiniti Q60 Black S will be built in order to compete with the likes of BMW M4 and Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 Coupe. Hopefully, you now understand why we think it’s better to skip the 2019 Infiniti Q60 altogether and wait out for the real deal that’s just around the corner.

The 2019 Infiniti Q60’s lineup of engines consists of a 208-horsepower 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder and a 300-horsepower 3.0L twin-turbo V6. There’s also the Red Sport 400 model which uses an uptuned 400-hp version of the latter mill. The 2020 Infiniti Q60 Black S coupe, on the other hand, should be offered with a highly advanced 500-horsepower version of the same engine which gets help from the Renault Sport Formula One team’s hybrid system. Not only that, but it’ll also be riddled with various high-performance body and chassis upgrades as well, and we wouldn’t take it any other way.

Infiniti Project Black S previews the 2020 Infiniti Q60 Black S Coupe

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Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much.

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