By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.0
The 2014 Infiniti Q50 carries forward all that we loved about the G37 and wraps it in a seductive new skin fitted to a choice of gasoline or gasoline/hybrid models. When it comes to performance, the Q50 continues to gun for the gold standard BMW 3 Series, but there's also a softer side to this sedan, one clearly aimed at Audi and Mercedes-Benz. More luxury features and a host of advanced electronics push the Q50 in a new direction. Some will love the changes while others, especially purists turned off by overly-complex touch-screen controls and electronic driver assists, will lament them. No one, however, will quibble with the Q50's sub $40,000 starting price. That's why we named it one of the 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000 for 2014.
If you're all about handling and speed, but you also desire comfort and luxury when you're not tearing up the twisties, the Infiniti Q50 offers the best of both worlds.
Enthusiasts won't like the omission of a proper manual transmission. Those easily flustered by overly complex touch-screen controls may not enjoy the Q50's double LCD setup.
Besides its new name, the Infiniti Q50 sedan offers bold new styling, a powerful hybrid model and a host of new features including dual LCD touch-screen controls, Direct Adaptive Steering, Active Lane Control and Predictive Forward Collision Warning.
Driving Impressions We've always been pleased with any Infiniti vehicle powered by the company's 3.7-liter V6, and the Q50 is no exception. More interesting is the 3.5-liter V6 teamed to an electric...motor in the Q50 Hybrid. With a combined output of 360 horsepower, this is one hybrid that won't become the punch line of anti-environmentalist jokes. Both cars enjoy the option of all-wheel drive (AWD) for improved handling on both wet and dry pavement, as well as Infiniti's new 4-mode Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS). DAS allows independent control of tire angle and steering input, telegraphing the driver's intent to the wheels quicker than any mechanical setup. Even on its most comfortable setting, DAS offers surprisingly heavy steering feel. Standard on Hybrid models, DAS further snuffs the stereotype that such mileage-maxers must sacrifice performance for fuel economy. Sport models feature unique sport seats with manual thigh extenders and, on the driver's seat, adjustable side bolsters.
ACTIVE LANE CONTROL
This camera based lane-departure warning system not only corrects for lane drift, but looks ahead for possible unintended lane drift. It can also make minor course adjustment based on the effects of road surfaces and crosswinds.
STUDIO ON WHEELS BY BOSE AUDIO
Great tunes are an integral part of any great road trip and the Q50 sedan's 14-speaker Studio on Wheels by Bose system delivers. USB inputs for iPod and standard HD radio further expand the listening experience.
The highlights of the Q50's interior are the dual LCD touch-screen panels that operate both primary and secondary functions. Replacing most of the cabin's traditional knobs and switches, the system is divided into two sections. The larger 8-inch upper screen is where the most-used functions are controlled, including navigation and audio. The two screens work in conjunction, so, for example, while the upper screen is showing the navigation map, the lower screen can be used to input destination data or points of interest.Exterior
The 2014 Infiniti Q50 sits low and wide, touting Infiniti's new double-arch front grille making a bold statement. LED bulbs make up the front headlights, fog lights and daytime running lights as well as the rear taillights. Standard 17-inch wheels look sharp, but the upgraded 19-inchers really set up the Q50's flowing lines and sports car stance. Cameras mounted in the grille, side mirrors and rear deck give a 360-degree view when equipped with the optional AroundView monitor.
Standard equipment on Infiniti's 2014 Q50 sedan includes leatherette seating surfaces, power-adjustable seats for the driver and front-passenger, Infiniti InTouch dual-screen display, Intelligent Key entry and push-button start, 6-speaker audio with HD radio and CD player, two USB and one auxiliary input, rearview monitor, Bluetooth with voice recognition, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic temperature control, and the center-console-mounted Infiniti controller. The Premium trim adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, a power glass moonroof, rear trunk pass-through, and Bose audio, while AWD models gain a heated steering wheel.
A fully-loaded 2014 Q50 includes leather upholstery, Adaptive front lighting, Intelligent Cruise Control, front sport seats with manual thigh extension and driver-side adjustable side bolsters, AroundView 360-degree monitor, Advanced Climate Control with Plasmacluster air purifier, power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, voice-activated Infiniti InTouch navigation, Direct Adaptive Steering, Active Lane Control, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, and Lane Departure Warning. Due to the placement of the battery pack, the hybrid models exclude the rear-seat pass-through.
For 2014, the Infiniti Q50's all-aluminum 3.7-liter V6 employs dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) and a sophisticated variable valve timing and lift system designed to deliver peak power without compromising fuel efficiency. The Hybrid model uses a slightly older but still potent 3.5-liter V6 teamed to an electric motor and 50kw lithium ion battery pack to deliver up to 36 mpg on the highway. Both cars offer only one transmission choice: A 7-speed automatic with rev matching and manual shift mode.
3.7-liter V6 (Q50)
328 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
269 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 19/27 mpg (AWD)
3.5-liter V6 + electric motor (Q50 Hybrid)
360 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/36 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 28/35 mpg (AWD)
The 2014 Infiniti Q50 sedan has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $37,500 for the base model, just breaking $40,000 for the Premium trim, and topping out around $54,000 for a loaded Sport trim. All-wheel drive adds another $1,900 to the bottom line. The Q50 Hybrid runs from just over $44,500 to a high of $51,000. For comparison, the Audi A4 with a 4-cylinder turbo and continuously-variable automatic transmission starts around $34,700, while the Cadillac CTS 3.6 Luxury starts closer to $42,000. Less expensive but also less status oriented choices might include the Hyundai Genesis and Chrysler 300C. Meanwhile, the G37 lives on as a lower-priced and less-feature-rich sedan than the new Q50, with a starting price of $33,455. To make your best deal on a Q50, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price that shows what others in your area are paying for their cars. As for resale, we expect the Q50 sedan to retain the same traditionally excellent long-term value held by its G37 predecessor.
By clostridium on Tuesday, January 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "performance, tech features, fuel economy, looks"
Cons: "some tech glitches, either love or hate the DAS"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have a Hybrid Premium AWD and really enjoy the car. It gets mixed reviews particularly from the traditional automotive press largely because of their dislike for the steer by wire system (DAS). It seems like reviews either love or hate the car. Do yourself a favor and just drive the car and see what you think. If the steering doesn't bother you don't worry about the reviews. I like the steering just fine and it allows you to tweak things more to your liking if you choose. The performance is great and the ride good though I found the Sports models to be a bit firm of a ride (those 19" RFTs are stiff!). The Sports seats were nicer but unfortunately can't be had as an a la carte item. It has a bunch of tech in it - probably more than just about any other car on the road - and they are still tweaking it with updates. It works just fine but will work even better over time. I don't understand the guy who said it doesn't have sonar, it has that option and still comes in cheaper or competitive with similar configs from other makers. I marked it down for reliability and quality just because of the computer glitches they are patching up but these really don't take much from the car. You just have to like the steering - if you don't you won't like the car either. And it is pretty nice that you can average 30 mpg in a car that goes 0-60 in 5.1 seconds yet can plow through poorly cleared winter roads but still pamper you."
6 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By jomik99 on Monday, January 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive. good milage for big engine."
Cons: "Close to $60K w/ext warrentee & maint. agreement"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Love the car. Computer in dash slow and not intuitive. Can't see display most of the time. Needs dark windows. Rides HARD. Feel every bump due to runflat tires. Still love the car."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By GPIndy on Friday, January 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Price , driving pleasure , power , electronics"
Cons: "needs improvement in touch interface"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We test drove BMW 3 series and A4 . But after driving Q50 premium, i'll never go back to the Germans .I think they have to do lots of catch up in providing driver comforts . When compared to Q50 they both look way behind . So far enjoying every bit of it . Even received compliments on the looks ( chestnut bronze + Wheat leather )."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By mjbcarguy on Sunday, December 08, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "good looking inside and outside"
Cons: "brakes, steering, computer system"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I own the sport hybrid version. The steering and braking are very odd as many car reviewers have noted. Things that have not been noted is the lack of sonar of a 50K car, directional lines on the backup camera that are non functional (can take over 2 minutes to come on due to very slow processor), computer system that needs frequent rebooting and so far.. over 50 "upgrades" to the computer system. This car in my opinion is not ready for primetime."
9 people out of 16 found this review helpful
By Tom on Friday, November 29, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "stylish, fun to drive, great technology,"
Cons: "i wish the package deals were more flexible"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought the Q50S with the deluxe and touring package about 2 months ago. I have enjoyed my commute to and back from work more than ever in my life. The lane guidance system, and various other safety features are a great plus, especially when you are tired driving home after a long day at work. The strong pick up and changeable driving modes (sporty, eco modes, etc) are very handy. The Q50 is very quick/fast and should be careful if you are not used to the acceleration, but very enjoyable and handy to maneuver through traffic in a safe manner as well. A truly remarkable automobile, with very stylish design and makes you want to keep looking at the car, again and again. A great choice if you are in the market for a sporty sedan."
12 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By Richard on Monday, November 04, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "The best sports sedan in the less than 50k price."
Cons: "none thus far"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My lease just came up on my 2011 Cadillac CTS. The CTS was a base car, no sunroof, heated seats, leather seats, etc.. I leased the deluxe 2014 Q50, this is by far the nicest car on the market in this price range. Plenty of extras that I am trying to get used too. If you are in the market for a sports sedan, do yourself a favor and test this baby. Wonderful car for the bucks."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful