The Infiniti Q50 is a decent offering among small luxury sedans, but it’s not on most people’s radar. It offers sleek looks, peppy V6 powertrains, and a roomy cabin at a competitive price, but the interior isn’t as upscale as competitors and the infotainment system is clunky.
Base Price: $56,250
As Tested: $57,645
Mileage: 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway/22 mpg combined
Nissan’s upscale brand introduced the Q50 for the 2014 model to replace the G37 sedan. There’ve been some updates since then. Most recently for 2020, the Q50 loses the four-cylinder engine option and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay become standard.
The five-passenger Q50 comes in five trims: Pure, Luxe, Edition 30 (a special edition trim to mark Infiniti’s 30th anniversary), Sport and Red Sport. The Pure trim starts at $36,400 which is less than most competitors with V6 engines. The Red Sport trim starts at $54,250. Rear-wheel-drive is standard and all-wheel-drive is available on any trim for $2,000.
Two powerful engine options are available. Every trim except the Red Sport gets a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. This makes the Q50 the most powerful entry-level small luxury sedan. The Red Sport gets a beefed-up version of the V6 that generates 400 horses and 350 pound-feet. Both engines come standard with a seven-speed automatic transmission.
My Red Sport tester can hustle! It’s quick off the line and effortlessly accelerates for merging and passing at freeway speeds. Shifts are smooth but not always as quick as you’d like, especially when shifting to lower gears. You can use the paddle shifters on the steering wheel for manual control. Steering is responsive but there’s little feedback. The Q50 stays planted when cornering and is very comfortable as a cruiser. Some road and wind noise is noticeable in the cabin.
Fuel economy is below average for the class. EPA ratings for my tester are 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway with a combined rating of 22. I got 22 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
While the interior is pleasant, it could use an upgrade. It looks more like a Nissan than an Infiniti and is not as upscale as what you’ll find in many rivals. The cabin is roomy, and seats are comfortable and supportive. Passengers in both rows have decent leg- and headroom. Two adults will fit comfortably in the backseat.
Standard features include keyless entry, push-button start, rearview camera, synthetic leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, Infiniti InTouch dual-screen infotainment system, six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, CD player, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking.
Available features include real leather upholstery, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, 16-speaker Bose audio system, navigation and a Wi-Fi hot spot.
Available driver assistance technologies include a surround-view camera system, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, and adaptive headlights with automatic high beams.
The InTouch infotainment system has two screens and takes some time to figure out. There’s an eight-inch touchscreen at the top of the dashboard for navigation, and a seven-inch touchscreen below that for audio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and other settings. While it’s handy to have two screens for separate functions, the system is cumbersome and graphics look dated. Thankfully there are physical buttons and knobs for common functions, and the system responds quickly to voice and touch commands.
The Q50 has 13.5 cubic feet of trunk space which is about average for the class. A pass-through can accommodate long items. Split-folding rear seats are available.
Powerful V6 powertrains
Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Interior not as upscale as rivals
Clunky two-screen infotainment system
Less fuel efficient than competitors
My tester starts at $56,250. Splash guards are $225. Rear USB charging ports are $145. Destination charge is $1,025 bringing the grand total to $57,645.
If you’re looking for a small luxury sedan, the Infiniti Q50 is worth a look for its athletic handling, roomy interior, and relatively low price among rivals with V6 engines. However, the less upscale cabin and cumbersome infotainment system are drawbacks in this competitive class, so you’ll want to shop around.