Auto123 makes the2020 Infiniti QX50 long-term test. Today, the first part.

As I began my journey in the Infiniti compact SUV, my first test was one devoted to endurance. Like that of a marathon runner or a telethon host. Because no sooner had I been given the keys to the 2020 Infiniti QX50 than I packed it with clothes and food, books and DVDs, not to mention my desktop computer and even a printer.

I was relieved to find that all this stuff was neatly stowed away on the floor of the tailgate and on the lowered backrests of the 60/40 bench seat without even forcing me to remove the luggage cover and therefore without harming the visibility provided by the interior mirror.

I wanted to quantify this amazing cargo capacity. By consulting the specifications of the QX50, I learned that its cargo space is equivalent to 895 liters when the backrests are kept at attention (and the rear seats sliding – and reclining, please). , a measure which swells to 1822 liters once the said files are lying down.

Quickly like that, a comparison with three competitors tells us what? If we examine the Lincoln Corsair (782 to 1631 liters), the Volvo XC60 (505 and 1432) and the Mercedes-Benz GLC (550 and 1600, less for the coupe), we see that the capacity of the QX50 exceeds by far from those of the elegant trio.

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Under the rain
The next day, around noon, my mount and I set out on a 1330 kilometer trip, which is the distance from my home to the AirBnb apartment I had booked in Hackkets Cove, Nova Scotia. I had planned a long time ago to stay there for a month in order to shake up my routine.

Pandemic or not, I wasn't going to change my plans.

That’s the wonderful thing about freelance work, by the way: you can take it with you anywhere. This is its main asset, the one that compensates for minor shortcomings such as the lack of regular income or retirement pensions. These irritants fade in the face of the freelance's freedom of movement, on condition, however, that you really have a freelance soul. I know several who tried to find her and threw in the towel.

I had divided my trip into two stages, the first being only 484 km, just enough to spend the night at Notre-Dame-du-Portage. A village renowned for its main street which borders the St-Laurent. It is rare that people who discover this romantic avenue for the first time do not fall instantly in love with it.

But before judging for myself, it took me five hours of driving in constant, often pouring rain, my vision and my progress very often hampered by hordes of trailer trucks who had decided the same day of invading highway 20.

As a baptism of the road behind the wheel of the Infiniti QX50, we couldn't ask for better!

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First a blessing …
I love testing semi-autonomous driving programs, all of them without exception. I wasn't going to deprive myself with the QX50's ProPILOT system.

I have activated it very often. Under the rain ? Especially in the rain! Even when I was surrounded by belligerent mammoths. Even when the spray of water forced the windshield wipers to work at the speed of flybird wings. The system has never wavered.

It wasn't that long ago that a little dirt on the radar sensors was enough to mess it up. This inconsistency has diminished, at least as long as slush or sleet does not interfere. The QX50 seemed to know where the lines of the road were better than I did, even in soggy turns. I only had to let a palm hang over the saddle, the system still requiring the driver to touch the steering wheel after a few seconds without physical contact.

In short, without the ProPILOT, those five hours of driving would have been even more trying.

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… then a question
Initially, the QX50 is a front-wheel-drive luxury compact utility. Our American neighbors can buy this configuration, but we cannot, as Infiniti Canada has found it preferable to equip all five available versions as standard.

As I progressed as best I could under a downpour on the Jean-Lesage highway, I told myself that this was a corporate decision that met with my full approval. Even more the months when this kind of deluge turns into a snowstorm!

Moreover, the QX50 was the first Infiniti vehicle to benefit from a small technological miracle: the insertion under its sexy hood of a VC-Turbo engine.

Basically, this implies that the turbocharged four cylinders see their compression ratio vary (hence the VC for "Variable Compression") from 8: 1 to 14: 1. To imitate the CVT, which is also “variable” (Continuously Variable Transmission)? No. Rather to get the power of a 6 but the consumption of a 4.

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Nissan engineers say they have worked on this new machine for 20 years. For my part, I have read several arid texts describing the perlimpine powders and the incantations they used to extract the rabbit from the hat and I confess that I am still scratching my ciboulot. Fortunately, AJAC colleagues who are much more skilled in mechanics than I have understood the feat better, as they awarded the VC-Turbo the Best New Green Technology award last year.

What I did understand, on the other hand, was Nissan's promise that this little marvel, combining 268 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, was going to reward me with a consumption of 7.8L per 100 km on Highway. However, you might as well reveal it to you right away, at the end of my 1,300 km, consisting mainly of expressways, the on-board computer announced an average of 10 liters. What's more, high octane fuel as recommended by the manufacturer.

Several times during the trip, I made sure that I had instructed the drive mode selector to ignore the Personal, Sport and Standard programs and focus on Eco.

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The only explanation I have been able to find to date concerns the posted speed limit in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia: 110 km / h. When I saw that, of course, I applauded. Then I thought hard: since we know that our own 100 km / h limit in Quebec means that we can go 118-119 km / h without firing a shot, you can see the kind of scholarly calculations I am making from here. am delivered to determine my leeway in the Maritimes. Which could explain the relative greediness of the VC-Turbo. Plus the many slopes to climb.

I promise you more news on this when I bring the QX50 to towns and cities. In short, to be continued …

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