2014 Infiniti Q50 – Infiniti knows that even luxury car buyers can appreciate saving some money, especially when they can get the company’s latest mid-sized sports sedan effort for $900 less than the outgoing G37.
Sometimes, even at a price discount, change is not warmly welcomed. The Q50, as the G37 before it, benchmarks BMW’s class leading 3 Series sedan. Where the German car has led, Infiniti has apparently followed, even if staying put might have made more sense for Infiniti.
2014 Infiniti Q50 Sedan
The 2014 Infiniti Q50 comes in two main variants: Q50 and Q50 Hybrid. The regular Q50 comes in base, Premium and Sport trim levels. The Q50 Hybrid comes only in Premium and Sport trims. All-wheel drive (AWD) is available for every trim.
The base Q50 comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, LED foglights, keyless ignition/entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel (heated on AWD models). Standard electronic features include Infiniti’s new “InTouch” electronics interface (with twin touchscreen displays and smartphone app integration), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and two iPod/USB audio interface ports.
The Premium adds a sunroof, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 14-speaker Bose sound system and a multimedia monitor/display. Springing for the Sport adds a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels with summer performance tires, leather seating, a sport driver seat (with power lumbar and additional bolster adjustments), aluminum pedal trim and paddle shifters.
The Q50 Hybrid versions of the Premium and Sport are also nearly identical. Leather upholstery comes standard on the Hybrid Premium, and all Hybrids have Infiniti’s Direct Adaptive Steering (which offers four different steering responsiveness settings) and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.
Options are mostly offered for the Premium and Sport trim levels, as the base Q50 can only be equipped with the optional sunroof. On the non-hybrid Q50 Premium, you can add the 19-inch wheels with summer tires (rear-wheel drive), leather upholstery and a navigation system. The navigation system is also optional for all Sport models.
With those two items in place, the non-hybrid Q50 Premium and Sport models can be enhanced with the Deluxe Touring package that includes adaptive steering, auto-dimming sideview mirrors, a 360-degree camera parking system, front and rear parking sensors, the power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver memory settings, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat with pass-through.
The Technology package (which requires the Deluxe Touring package) features adaptive headlights with automatic high beam control, blind-spot/lane departure warning and intervention systems, an upgraded climate control system with an air purifier, adaptive cruise control, and forward and back-up collision warning and prevention.
2014 Infiniti Q50 Specs
An updated version of Nissan/Infiniti’s widely used 3.7-liter V6; and a Direct Response Hybrid, which combines a 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy V6 (and compact laminated lithium-ion battery design) with an innovative one-motor/two-clutch motor control. The hybrid’s V6 is rated at 302 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, while the advanced 50 kW electric motor is rated at 67 horsepower and 214 lb-ft of torque. Net power for the hybrid is 360 horsepower, and in our tests provided strong acceleration with lean fuel economy: We were able to get around 31 mpg in mixed highway/city driving. The gas-powered model didn’t fare as well at the pump – guzzling in the low 20s mpg. Whichever your preference, both engines are powerful and deliver the goods every time you punch the accelerator. There’s no question the Q50 is a far more refined, better equipped and better performing vehicle than its predecessor.
The Q50 is unique in that it uses Direct Adaptive Steering, Infiniti’s version of a drive-by-wire electrical steering system, to initiate course corrections instead of dragging a brake. And when all the systems are engaged, the car is capable of automatically keeping itself a safe distance from the vehicle in front, stay centered in a lane, and even navigate around sweeping curves, without any input from the driver. We were able to drive safely for 35 miles without using hands or feet – didn’t touch the steering wheel, depress the accelerator, or tap the breaks, even once.
It’s still not foolproof, however. For instance, it can only navigate around a certain radius of turn (which isn’t consistent) before the system requests that the driver grab the steering wheel and take control. We also thought the vehicle hugged the lane markers a little too closely or too long for our comfort before maneuvering back to the center of the lane. We tried it on the busy streets of Boston and in some quaint New Hampshire and Maine suburbs. More often than not, we wound up in oncoming traffic, or hurdling toward a ditch, gulley, or guardrail rather than driving straight down the thoroughfare. For this reason, the system is only suitable for highway driving, and not precise or reliable enough for crowded city or suburban driving. Still, the Q50 is the best sports sedan that Infiniti has ever built and fully capable of competing with the top players – the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, and Lexus IS – in the market.
2014 Infiniti Q50 Price
When it goes on sale this summer, the all new Infiniti Q50 will be base priced at just $36,450, and the expected to be most popular trim level, the “Premium,” featuring an optional, navigation system is expected to come in at $40,700.
With new technology, sexy styling, Infiniti has a solid product on its hands; one that hopefully won’t get lost in the brand’s confusing new naming strategy.