300-horsepower V6 now standard. The 2020 INFINITI Q50 drops the former base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Instead, a 300-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine is standard. Last year’s turbo inline-four was rated at 208 hp.
The change may seem like a small one, but it helps the Q50 have one of the most powerful standard engines for the class. Unfortunately, while power has gone up by 92 hp, fuel economy has dropped.
The old base 2.0-liter achieved 25 miles per gallon combined, according to the EPA. The newly-standard V6 is rated at 23 mpg combined. While lower than before, a two mpg drop in combined fuel economy for nearly an extra 100 hp is worth it.
If outright power is what you want, INFINITI still offers the Q50 Red Sport, which features a 400-hp version of the V6. That engine provides effortless performance and can hold its own against similarly equipped competitors. But with a 0-60 mph time of roughly five seconds flat, it still has plenty of oomph.
Tricky dual-screen infotainment system gets an update. Every Q50 comes with INFINITI’s InTouch infotainment system that’s comprised of two screens. The top touchscreen is an 8-inch unit, while the lower one measures in at 7 inches. Since the system’s debut, we haven’t been huge fans of it. It’s finicky, distracting, and difficult to use. But for 2020, INFINITI added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
The addition of both smartphone compatibilities helps greatly, but it’s still not the easiest in the world to use. The top screen now displays Apple CarPlay and Android Auto applications, as well as navigation, if the vehicle is equipped with it. The lower screen still handles climate control settings, controls for the audio system, and vehicle settings.
We still think INFINITI would be better off coming out with a whole new system, but smartphone integration makes it easier to use.
Lower trims offer excellent value. With a starting price tag that’s under $38,000, the base Q50 Pure represents excellent value. The trim comes with 17-inch wheels, remote keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, leatherette upholstery, and six audio speakers.
With the addition of the twin-turbo V6 engine as standard, the Pure is now a better value option than ever.
Comfortable seating for four. As a sedan, the Q50 offers consumers with things that matter the most: comfort and spacious seating for four. While it has five seats, things are much more comfortable if there are only four passengers in the vehicle. Those in the front are treated to some of the best seats in the segment, as they’re supportive and supple.
In the back, passengers are treated to 35.1 inches of rear legroom, which is great for the segment. If there’s one thing we wanted to see in the Q50, it’s USB charging ports in the back. Still, thick padding ensures that rear-seat passengers will be comfortable on long journeys.
With a trunk that measures 13.5 cubic feet, the Q50 is just average for the segment. With the introduction of more upscale fastback models, like the Kia Stinger and the Audi A5, the Q50’s cargo area isn’t all that impressive.
Final thoughts. Despite the standard V6 engine and the strong list of standard equipment, the 2020 INFINITI Q50 fails to stand out in the segment. It mainly comes down to age, as the current generation dates back to 2014. It’s clearly time for a major redesign, but with automakers moving toward SUV-heavy lineups, it’s difficult to say whether one will actually come.
Our main gripes with the Q50 lie with its tricky dual-screen infotainment system, outdated interior design, and failure to stand out among better competitors. It’s not that the Q50 is a bad sedan, it’s just average, and that doesn’t fly in the cut-throat class.
If you’re shopping for a compact luxury sedan that isn’t from Germany, there are a few other options. The Genesis G70 is a standout because of its performance, upscale design, and more intuitive infotainment system. The G70’s trunk is much smaller than the Q50’s though.
The Volvo S60 was recently redesigned and comes with a trio of turbocharged engines that are more fuel-efficient. The S60 is also offered with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, has a much more upscale interior, and has one of the better infotainment systems on the market.