|All smiles on the PCH with the Infiniti QX50|
When a teenager first gets her driver's license, she celebrates her autonomy. Likewise, an aging parent or grandparent doesn't want to give up his license, or car, because of the loss of independence.
|The Auto Hold button lets you take your foot off the brake|
|Plenty of back seat room. And check out that quilted seat!|
But it's the steering that can take your breath away. You can take your hands off the steering wheel for 10 seconds - enough time to police a sibling spat in the back seat, or open a water bottle if you don't have a sport top.
|Looking at the new La Peer hotel through the panoramic sunroof|
Luxury and comfort -head of the classThe leather seats are comfortable and you can set the driver's seat to automatically recall two settings. What a great feature for those who share driving!
The back seat is surprisingly roomy. No cramped knees if adults are in the back. And with the panoramic sunroof, there is no claustrophobia, either. The trunk space has more room than any other compact SUV in its class.
The fully loaded Infiniti QX50 I drove had 16 Bose speakers, and music sounded fantastic. There is no Apple CarPlay - yet - but it's easy enough to play your phone's music through Bluetooth, or listen to the Sirius XM radio.
Stop and Go from Malibu to West Hollywood
|One of the 16 Bose speakers|
Keeping an eye on fuel economyInfiniti engineers developed a turbo charged variable combustion engine that gives the SUV power while keeping the vehicle fuel efficient. Expect about 27 miles per gallon, less if you chose the sport mode. The eco mode was fine for tooling along the Pacific Coast Highway, but in the windy canyon roads, the sport mode made turns more responsively. And more fun.
|Luxury and style|
Who is the Infiniti QX50 for?According to Infiniti execs, the small SUV was designed with families and empty nesters in mind. The QX50 starts at $37,545 and goes up to $61,995. For those well-heeled buyers, the fully loaded version has lots of luxury touches, like a soft touch ultra suede trim. But that trim, while sensors to the touch, looks lovely, it might not be the best choice for families with small children, who bring stickiness and grime everywhere. For that matter, shedding dogs would wreak havoc on the interior.
|The Pro-Pliot assist|
If you are one of the targeted empty nesters, you can easily bring your friends with you.