Redesigned and renamed in 2014, the INFINITI Q50 doesn't have the pedigree of its rivals from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, or Audi, but it does offer a balanced, likable approach to both performance and luxury. Its aggressive look, sporty powertrains, interior style, and handling prowess ensure that it means business. Now, the freshened 2018 model is here to solidify the Q50’s presence as a true sports sedan with even more athletic touches.
What's New for 2018
For 2018, INFINITI has revised the sedan's look with a few new alterations. The entire lineup of Q50 sedans benefit from the automaker's signature double-arch grille, LED headlights, and slim LED taillights. Specific models get bigger changes, including the 3.0t Sport and Red Sport 400, which get a revised front fascia that has a wider, lower bumper and larger air intakes that are integrated lower on the bumper. The rear end of the sedans also received new touches, which includes dark metallic trim near the bottom of the rear bumper.
The Q50 Red Sport 400 also obtains bespoke 19-inch wheels, while the rest of the lineup, with the exception of the base Q50 2.0t Pure model, get a moonroof and heated exterior mirrors as part of their standard features.
The interior of the Q50 gets some new touches, as well, with leather-like materials with double stitching surrounding the instrument panel, while new wood trim is adorned on the dashboard. The sedan also received some sportier touches that the vehicle borrows from the Q60 coupe. There's a new steering wheel that has positions for the driver's thumbs and steering-wheel mounted gear-shifter paddles. A new leather-wrapped shift knob continues the double-stitched theme and is surround by a new piece of chrome trim.
While the Q50's powertrain has gone unchanged for 2018, INFINITI has revised the sedan's front and rear stabilizer bars, while adaptive shock absorbers, which the automaker calls Dynamic Digital Suspension, is available on the Q50 3.0t Sport as part of the Performance Package and is standard on the Red Sport 400 model.
Lastly, the Q50 lineup now features a new naming structure: Pure, Luxe, Sport, and Red Sport 400.
Choosing Your INFINITI Q50
Just like last year, buyers have three powertrain options for the Q50 sedan. Entry-level models are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that generates 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired to a seven-speed automatic transmission that helps return 23 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and a combined rating of 25 mpg.
The twin-turbo 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 models churn out 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The engine is matched to an upgraded seven-speed automatic transmission, helping this more potent Q50 score 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, which results in a combined rating of 23 mpg.
The range-topping Q50 Red Sport 400 has the same 3.0-liter V6 engine, but generates 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. With a more powerful engine, the Red Sport 400 loses some fuel economy over the other V6-powered models, as the sedan gets 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway that results in a combined rating of 22 mpg.
The Q50 is available as a hybrid (listed separately). There are five trims for the gas-only variant. All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option across the board.
While the Q50 is lauded as a sporty luxury sedan, opting for the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 is a must for consumers interested in doing any type of spirited driving. While the larger engine takes care of the sporty side, the 3.0t Luxe trim and the Sensory Package should provide a good amount of luxury. For drivers looking for one of the hottest sedans on the road without the expense or compromises of an ultra-high-performance BMW M or Mercedes-AMG, the Q50 Red Sport 400 provides a wonderful balance.