Infiniti's 2014 Q50 isn't just a completely new model for the brand; it's also the start of a whole new naming system. From now on, all "Q" titles will denote passenger cars, and all "QX" titles will refer to SUVs. The Q50 may be new, but it takes its queues from its predecessor, the G37, which means it's excellently designed inside and out. From its smooth curves to its well-appointed cabin, this is a luxury sedan that aims to impress.
The Infiniti Q50 is all-new, and will serve as the upgraded version of the previous G37 sedan. Infiniti has also introduced a Hybrid Q50 to provide optimal fuel economy for budget-conscious and environmentally-conscious shoppers.
The body of the Q50 is curved and sculpted in all the right places, with a unique grill design and powerful build. There is plenty of legroom for passengers, and a good amount of trunk space.
The Q50 provides a hefty list of standard features starting with the base model. Particularly appealing are eight-way power seats, InTouch electronic touchscreen, and smartphone connectivity. The Q50 premium brings a vastly enhanced sound system and sunroof, while the Sport model adds more performance and design tweaks. Buyers interested in the Hybrid Premium or Sport will find nearly all of the same options as their conventionally-powered counterparts. As expected, a series of upgrade packages -- mostly for Premium and Sport trims -- throw in even more advanced features.
Under the Hood
All Q50s house a 3.7-liter V6 that puts out a healthy 328 horsepower. A seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. Fuel economy for rear-wheel drive Q50s comes in at 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway for a combined 23 mpg. All-wheel drive drops the numbers a bit, yielding 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway for 22 mpg combined.
Opting for the Hybrid provides a 3.5-liter V6 coupled to a 50-kilowatt electric motor. Rear-wheel drive Hybrids get an estimated 29 mpg city and 36 mpg highway for a combined 31 mpg, and with all-wheel drive the estimate drops to 28 mpg city and 35 mpg highway for 30 mpg combined.
The Q50 is a sporty luxury vehicle, and in many ways it performs like one. A Premium model rockets buyers from zero to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds, and the V6 engine provides plenty of power, along with very capable handling. The ride over bumpier terrain is less refined, however, and traction around curves could be improved.
Right from the start, the Q50 provides drivers with a good mix of standard features. Comfort is covered with leatherette upholstery, eight-way adjustable power front seats, and automatic climate control.
A variety of tech features such as a six-speaker sound system and iPod input keep passengers entertained, and a new innovation, the InTouch interface, provides touchscreen features and built-in app configuration. Infiniti even throws in a rearview camera, an item often available only as an upgrade for competing models.
Upgrading to the Premium trim throws in amenities such as a sunroof, coming home device, compass, garage door opener, multimedia display, and an impressive 14-speaker Bose sound system. Optional features include larger summer tires (for rear-wheel drive models only), a navigation system, and leather upholstery.
Two upgrade packages are available: the Deluxe Touring and Technology. The Deluxe Touring package provides adaptive steering, memory settings, front and rear parking sensors, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. The Technology package adds adaptive headlights and automatic high-beam configuration, lane departure and blind spot warning systems, and adaptive cruise control.
The top-tier Sport is outfitted very similarly to the Premium, although it is slightly more focused on performance than luxury. Several tempting items available for this trim include a sport driver's seat and a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch summer performance tires, and paddle shifters.
Even though performance is a priority, the Sport doesn't neglect to throw in extra comfort features, such as leather upholstery. And like the Premium, it can also take advantage of the optional Deluxe Touring package and Technology package.
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|Build & Price|
Beautiful interior design, good handling, but backseat and trunk space are limited
Powerful engine, comfortable seating, but handling is less responsive
Tech-savvy, well-made, but design is somewhat bland
Very customizable, smooth ride, but high price and small interior turn some customers to other similarly equipped luxury sedans