The Infiniti Q50 ticks all the right boxes for those looking for a classy, intelligent, athletic sports sedan.
The car boasts a sleek exterior of flowing lines based upon the Essence concept car Infiniti debuted four years ago to celebrate its 20th anniversary. After a 2016 update, it features potent engines to match the sleek shape. The base engine is a direct-injected, 208-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0L, which also produces 258 pound-feet of torque at just 1,500 rpm. Also available is a 3.0L V6, which benefits from twin-turbocharging. In standard tune, it makes 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, while the high-output version delivers 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet.
The Q50 Hybrid benefits from a 3.5L V6 with Infiniti Direct Response, which combines a gasoline engine with a lithium-ion battery and 50 kW electric motor. The result is 360 total horsepower. A 7-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control and manual shift mode is standard on all engines.
The Q50 is available with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, though the base trim only offers rear-wheel drive.
The Q50 comes in three flavors -- Base, Premium and Sport -- while the Hybrid is available in Premium and Sport only. The base trim includes 17-inch alloy wheels with run-flat performance tires, speed-sensitive power steering, auto on/off LED headlights with LED fog lights, zero-lift front and rear aerodynamics and remote-open windows. Inside can be found creature comforts such as dual-zone automatic climate control, one-touch up/down windows all around, aluminum appointments, 8-way power driver and passenger seats, a 6-speaker audio system with twin USB ports and steering wheel-mounted controls, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and dual Infiniti InTouch LCD displays.
Q50 Premium models add pleasantries such as a power tinted moonroof with one-touch open/close functionality, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, and a 14-speaker Infiniti Studio on Wheels Bose audio system. Finally, Q50 Sport models include 19-inch alloy wheels with ventilated aluminum sport disc brakes and a sport-tuned suspension, leather front seats with improved bolstering and 10-way power adjustability on the driver's side, and magnesium paddle shifters. Both Q50 Hybrid models add regenerative braking, which captures energy normally lost during braking and uses it to help recharge the lithium-ion battery.
A number of packages are available on Premium and Sport models. The Leather Package adds leather seating front and rear, with driver's seat 2-way power lumbar, while the Deluxe Touring Package includes maple wood trim, 60/40 split-fold rear seat, rain-sensing wipers, and Direct Adaptive Steering, which allows independent control of wheel angle and steering based upon driving conditions. Two technology packages add auto-leveling adaptive headlights, a blind spot warning and intervention system, intelligent cruise control to help reduce the chances of a rear collision and a lane departure warning system.
In automotive terms, theis ancient, dating back to 2014 in its current form, though the car's foundations are much older than that. Sure, changes and improvements have been made along the way, but the Q50 hasn't really kept pace with its ever-evolving competition. Yet despite some significant shortcomings, I still appreciate this four-door's smooth, responsive powertrain, sumptuous styling and premium interior, especially in Signature Edition trim. The Q50 may fall short of rivals, but in other ways it's proof you can cheat Father Time.
Even though it's basically a senior citizen in automotive terms at this point, the Q50 still looks graceful; more attractive (at least in my opinion) than some other luxury sports sedans likenew or the . This Infiniti's long hood, sumptuous curves, alert headlamps, large but not Lexus-size grille and flowing bodywork still look great. Setting it apart from other trim levels, this Signature Edition tester features a dark chrome grille surround and 19-inch wheels treated to the same smoky finish. Four curated paint colors are offered on this new trim, including Grand Blue, which is the one you see here. Curiously, there's an upcharge for each of these exterior hues.
Inside, the Q50 continues to impress -- mostly. Signature Edition variants come with upscale saddle-brown leather, which looks nice and feels good. You also get black, open-pore wood accents as well as a standard 16-speaker Bose audio system. The car's prominent center stack and sweeping dashboard design still make a statement, while the attractive soft plastics and meticulous assembly quality remain competitive today. Comfort is another area where the Q50 excels. Like otherand vehicles, the front bucket seats are super comfortable, soft yet supportive, plus the rear seat is plenty spacious and quite relaxing, thanks to the position of the lower cushion and a nicely angled backrest.
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