When you think about small luxury sedans, the Infiniti Q50 is not one that immediately comes to mind. This sports sedan from Nissan’s upscale brand debuted for the 2014 model year but has had a tough time breaking out from under the shadow of its rivals, even when sporty luxury sedans were the in thing.
Base Price: $50,350
As Tested: $53,775
Mileage: 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway/22 mpg combined
The Q50 is now the only remaining sedan in the Infiniti line-up and has not been redesigned since its introduction. For 2023, the Q50 only gets a few tweaks including a Saddle Brown interior option on the base trim, and an available illuminated Infiniti emblem on the grill on the middle trim. And all Infiniti models now come standard with a three-year complimentary maintenance plan with unlimited mileage.
The five-passenger 2023 Q50 comes in three trims: Luxe, Sensory and Red Sport 400. Starting prices range from $42,650 to $58,500. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel-drive is available on all trims for an additional $2,000.
The powertrain is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that makes 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. This set up generates 400 horses and 350 pound-feet in the Red Sport 400.
Acceleration is spry, whether you’re launching from a stop or increasing speed to merge or pass on the freeway. The transmission shifts quickly and smoothly, and you can also use the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The Q50 is eager to go, whether you’re running errands in the city or cruising some country back roads. Steering, though, is rather numb and the ride is stiff. You’ll notice bumps on all but the smoothest roads, and the ride is downright jarring on rougher roads. And there’s a fair amount of engine and road noise, which shouldn’t be as noticeable in a luxury vehicle. Visibility is good to the front and sides but limited to the rear.
Fuel economy 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 21 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. The Q50 takes premium gas.
The cabin is much the same as it was when the Q50 was first introduced and shows its age. While materials are upscale with a nice fit and finish, the layout looks dated. On the plus side, seats are comfortable, spacious and supportive. There’s room for taller adults in both rows of seating; two adults will be comfortable in the back seat even on long drives.
Standard features include keyless entry, push-button start, surround-view camera system, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, infotainment system with eight-inch- and seven-inch touchscreens, 16-speaker audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Wi-Fi hot spot, automatic high-beam headlights, and a moonroof.
Available features include semi-aniline leather upholstery, black open-pore wood interior trim, navigation, and ambient lighting.
Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, lane-departure with lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors.
There are no optional driver assistance technologies.
The InTouch infotainment system needs updating. There are two screens: an eight-inch touchscreen on top with a seven-inch touchscreen below it. The screens have different looks and fonts, graphics don’t look sharp, menus aren’t logically laid out, and the system doesn’t always respond quickly to touch or voice commands. At least there are some physical controls which are handy for common functions.
Trunk space is about average for a small luxury sedan. The Q50 has 13.5 cubic feet with a large opening that makes it easy to load larger or bulky items. However, the wheel wells eat up some of the storage space.
Decent passenger and cargo space
Lots of standard and available features and tech
Rivals have better handling
Cabin not as luxurious as rivals
Cumbersome infotainment system needs updating
Below average fuel efficiency
My tester starts at $50,350. Infiniti radiant exterior welcome lighting with logo is $675. Infiniti radiant grille emblem is $485. The Cargo Package is $270 and includes a carpeted trunk area protector, cargo net, first aid kit, and shopping bag hook. Splash guards are $225. Rear USB charging ports are $195. Premium Saddle Brown interior is $500. Destination charge is $1,075, bringing the grand total to $53,775.
The 2023 Infiniti Q50 is a nice upscale sedan with handsome looks. But it’s not as luxurious nor does it have the sporty handling of its rivals. It could really use a full redesign to be competitive.