2021 Infiniti Q50 review: Cheating Father Time

The Q50’s styling has aged gracefully. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

In automotive phrases, the Infiniti Q50 is historic, relationship again to 2014 in its present type, although the automobile’s foundations are a lot older than that. Sure, adjustments and enhancements have been made alongside the way in which, however the Q50 hasn’t actually stored tempo with its ever-evolving competitors. Yet regardless of some vital shortcomings, I nonetheless respect this four-door’s clean, responsive powertrain, luxurious styling and premium inside, particularly in Signature Edition trim. The Q50 could fall in need of rivals, however in different methods it is proof you possibly can cheat Father Time.


  • Comfortable seating
  • Handsome styling
  • Premium inside

Don’t Like

  • Weird infotainment system
  • Anesthetized steering
  • Questionable tech

Even although it is principally a senior citizen in automotive phrases at this level, the Q50 nonetheless seems swish; extra enticing (not less than in my view) than another luxurious sports activities sedans like Acura’s new TLX or the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. This Infiniti’s lengthy hood, luxurious curves, alert headlamps, massive however not Lexus-size grille and flowing bodywork nonetheless look nice. Setting it aside from different trim ranges, this Signature Edition tester contains a darkish chrome grille encompass and 19-inch wheels handled to the identical smoky end. Four curated paint colours are supplied on this new trim, together with Grand Blue, which is the one you see right here. Curiously, there’s an upcharge for every of those exterior hues.

Inside, the Q50 continues to impress — principally. Signature Edition variants include upscale saddle-brown leather-based, which seems good and feels good. You additionally get black, open-pore wooden accents in addition to an ordinary 16-speaker Bose audio system. The automobile’s outstanding middle stack and sweeping dashboard design nonetheless make a press release, whereas the enticing gentle plastics and meticulous meeting high quality stay aggressive at present. Comfort is one other space the place the Q50 excels. Like different Nissan and Infiniti autos, the entrance bucket seats are tremendous snug, gentle but supportive, plus the rear seat is lots spacious and fairly stress-free, due to the place of the decrease cushion and a properly angled backrest.

One space that could possibly be improved, nonetheless, is cupboard space. There’s valuable little room within the middle console for stashing stuff, only a tiny cubby forward of the shifter and a small bin beneath the middle armrest. As for the trunk, it clocks in at 13.5 cubic ft, lower than you get in mainstream sedans like a Honda Accord or Kia K5. For added versatility, the break up rear backrest folds down, revealing a modestly sized passthrough.

Where the Q50’s grey hairs actually begin to present is whenever you test the tech. Standard security options embrace computerized emergency braking, forward-collision warning and one thing known as Predictive Forward Collision Warning, which ingeniously retains tabs on the automobile that is in entrance of the automobile or truck you are following, so you possibly can preemptively hit the brakes if they begin slowing down. Opt for a higher-end Q50 and you will get a 360-degree digicam system with shifting object detection, blind-spot monitoring, computerized excessive beams and adaptive headlights, options that ought to most likely all be commonplace on this phase. Adaptive cruise management is included on all however probably the most fundamental mannequin, and it really works OK. It’s not the smoothest system round, however it’ll sluggish the Q50 right down to a cease in heavy visitors, it simply will not maintain the automobile there. After a second or two, the system beeps and the automobile begins rolling ahead. Curiously, lane-departure warning is commonplace, however lane-departure prevention just isn’t supplied on the Signature Edition Q50; it is solely obtainable on top-shelf Red Sport 400 fashions.

The tech ain’t nice, however this automobile’s inside remains to be snug and welcoming. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The Q50’s InContact infotainment system is an odd duck. It options two separate touchscreens: an 8-incher up high that handles navigation capabilities and 7-inch unit on the underside, which is the place the audio system and automobile settings stay. This multimedia array seems prefer it was designed by two completely different groups on reverse sides of the planet. The person interface is disjointed and never instantly intuitive. I have to say, nonetheless, this method’s efficiency is kind of good. It responds promptly to inputs and pinch-to-zoom on the navigation map is fast and clean. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each commonplace, as are two illuminated USB ports (one Type-A and a Type-C). Also, for 2021, a Wi-Fi hotspot is included within the Q50 at no additional value.

Hauling this automobile round is a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6. As refined as granulated sugar, its 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque present first rate, if not explosive, acceleration. Red Sport 400 fashions function the identical fundamental engine, however thanks to a couple technical tweaks, they’re endowed with a further 100 hp and a heaping serving to of additional torque. The commonplace drivetrain is completely superb, however in the event you can swing it, seize a Q50 with the extra highly effective engine. It will not disappoint.

No matter the mannequin, this Infiniti comes commonplace with a tried-and-true seven-speed computerized transmission. Quick-witted and clean, this gearbox will get the job executed with little drama. You can shift your self by sliding the selector lever over to the guide gate, however curiously, my Signature Edition tester doesn’t have paddle shifters, which is a peculiar omission in 2021, particularly for a luxurious automobile.

This twin-turbocharged engine supplies a fair 300 horsepower. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The Q50’s experience is unquestionably on the agency facet, however these stiff suspenders maintain the physique nicely managed over undulating pavement. There’s little roll in corners, minimal squat or dive and nil float. As for the brakes, they’re highly effective and the pedal is simple to modulate, extra progressive than Bernie Sanders. Unfortunately, the tires aren’t afraid to let their presence be identified. This instance’s P245/40RF19 Dunlop rubbers broadcast the roadway in excessive constancy. Red Sport 400 fashions provide a Dynamic Digital Suspension, which routinely adjusts the shock absorber valves for various highway situations.

The tire noise is a bit disappointing, however unquestionably this Infiniti’s best weak point is its wonky energy steering, which is sort of a CIA agent: sworn to secrecy. The commonplace setup (I’m not even speaking in regards to the Direct Adaptive Steering system you will get on Red Sport 400 fashions, which has its personal points) telegraphs zero data to your fingers about what the entrance tires are doing. Toss the Q50 right into a nook and there is not any sensation of weight switch, the wheel would not get heavier as you flip in additional aggressively, all of it simply feels fully artificial, such as you’re steering the automobile with a video-game controller. Another downside: The Q50 additionally tends to wander. The automobile would not have an excellent sense of straight forward, requiring small course corrections on a regular basis.

A combined bag, that is a great way of summing this automobile up.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The 2021 Infiniti Q50 begins at about $38,000 together with $1,025 in vacation spot charges, which isn’t a foul value as of late. As it sits, although, the high-end, all-wheel-drive Signature Edition mannequin you see right here checks out for round $52,000, a determine that is a bit tougher to justify.

If you are one of many half-dozen or so folks nonetheless all in favour of driving a luxurious sedan as an alternative of an SUV, there are many good selections on the market, although the Infiniti Q50 is not essentially one among them. I respect this automobile’s fashion, consolation and agreeable drivetrain, however there are just a few vital weaknesses that detract from an in any other case nice package deal. If you do not want the newest tech, can stay with anesthetized steering and respect uncommon infotainment methods, give it a shot. If you need a automobile that is a bit extra fashionable, contemplate one thing else.

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