2021 Infiniti Q50 Signature Edition AWD

2021 Infiniti Q50 Signature Edition AWD

The Infiniti Q50 is the small sedan from Nissan’s luxury brand. It boasts sleek styling, lively handling, and a comfortable, roomy cabin, all at a decent price for the segment. However, some rivals have better fuel economy, more luxurious cabins, and more user-friendly infotainment systems.

Base Price: $50,200
As Tested: $52,800
Horsepower: 300
Mileage: 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway/22 mpg combined

The Q50 was introduced for the 2014 model year and has had some updates since then. For 2021, two new trims are introduced and a Wi-Fi hot spot becomes standard.

The five-passenger Q50 comes in five trims: Pure, Luxe, Sensory, Signature Edition and Red Sport. The Sensory trim was added for the 2021 model year, while Signature Edition went on sale this spring. Starting prices range from $36,600 to $57,750. Rear-wheel-drive is standard and all-wheel-drive is available on all trims.

The engine is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet except in the Red Sport trim where it produces 400 horses and 350 pound-feet. The engine is paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Acceleration is brisk with little turbo lag. There’s plenty of power, too, when speeding up to merge or pass on the freeway. The seven-speed shifts smoothly and quickly and always finds the right gear. The ride is on the firm side and you will notice bumps and rough roads. There’s also a fair amount of road and wind noise. Visibility is good to the front and sides but limited to the rear.

Fuel efficiency is below average for the class. EPA ratings for my AWD tester are 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway with a combined rating of 22. I got 22 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.

The interior is attractive with mostly high-end materials. However, it’s not as luxurious as some rivals. Seats are roomy, comfortable, and supportive. Even two adults will be comfortable in the second row.

Standard features include proximity keyless entry, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, infotainment system with dual touchscreens: one eight-inch and one seven-inch touchscreen, HD Radio, satellite radio, voice recognition, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, two USB ports and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Available features include remote start, surround-view camera system, real leather, sport leather, or semi-aniline leather upholstery, front sport seats, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, driver’s seat power lumbar adjustments, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 16-speaker Bose premium audio system, navigation, two rear USB ports, moonroof, ambient interior lighting, adaptive headlights, and memory settings for the driver’s seat, steering wheel, and outside mirrors.

Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning and forward automatic emergency braking.

Available driver assistance technologies include lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, reverse automatic emergency braking, and rear parking sensors.

The Q50 has a complicated infotainment system that takes getting used to. It has two screens in the center stack that look good but aren’t very user-friendly. The upper screen is used for navigation, or for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Menus aren’t always logically arranged. At least there’s a volume knob and buttons to adjust climate settings.

The Q50 has 13.5 cubic feet of space in the trunk which is pretty good for the class. The large trunk opening is handy but the wheel wells eat up some of the space.

The good:

Zippy handling

Comfortable and roomy cabin

Lots of standard and available features and tech

Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Decent trunk space for the class

The not-so-good:

Cumbersome infotainment system

Below average fuel economy

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $50,200. The Cargo Package is $270 and includes a carpeted trunk area protector, cargo net, first aid kit and shopping bag hook. The Rear USB charging ports are $145. Infiniti Radiant Exterior welcome lighting is $465. Premium paint is $695. Destination charge is $1,025 bringing the grand total to $52,800.

Bottom line:

The Q50 offers lively performance, a roomy and comfortable cabin, and lots of standard and available features. However, there are a lot of worthy contenders in the small luxury sedan class so you’ll want to shop around before you make your choice.

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