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 Kez on Friday, August 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This car is beautiful and a piece of art. The technology (navigation, menu) needs to be simplified and syncronized. It takes me twice as long to figure things out as it did with my Lexus. Driving a Lexus is like dating the good looking girl with an awesome personality. Driving an Infiniti is like dating the hot chick who has some issues..."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By db26 on Thursday, July 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good Handling, Seat Comfort and Room, Well-Built"
Cons: "DAS, InTouch, Trunk Space"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"The Q50 has the potential to be a terrific choice in the rear-wheel-drive sport sedan segment. The handling of the "S" model in particular is pretty good for a sport-tuned vehicle, with great cornering and a flat ride that’s not too stiff. With the standard steering system and not the Direct Adaptive Steering, aka “steer-by-wire” (more to come on that), the steering is precise and has a nice weighted feel to it. If you were to buy a base model or “S” model without any option packages, then I think you will be a happy owner and consider this as a 5-star car. It’s the extra features that ruin the Q50. If you read most negative reviews of the Q50, you will notice the great majority of them complain about the Q50’s tech features like the Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS) system or the InTouch infotainment system. Those reviews are right on. Both systems have flaws and it is obvious Infiniti should not have put in a production vehicle quite yet. I’m not going to elaborate too much on the issues since others have already said them, and I can confirm that I experience the same issues as others have written about. Unfortunately, InTouch is standard on all Q50 cars, so even the base Q50 model comes plagued with issues in regards to the audio system or climate controls. Also, Infiniti has structured their option packages in such a way that to get some simple options like memory seats or a fold-down seatback, you HAVE to also get DAS. One other negative that I haven’t seen mentioned is the trunk space. Again, Infiniti poorly designed the trunk that the spare tire (an extra option) takes up a significant amount of the trunk’s depth. As a result, the trunk is very shallow and can barely fit large items like a large suitcase. I’m fortunate that I leased my 2014 Q50 and am already looking forward to returning it next year. If Infiniti can make the DAS a truly optional feature (and not tied into any option packages), plus resolve the issues with InTouch and make it stable then I would consider leasing another Q50. Otherwise, I will be moving to a different brand."
15 people out of 26 found this review helpful
By Bob K on Thursday, June 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great design, great car to drive"
Cons: "Electronics is very slow"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I love my Q50 AWD and think it's a great car. The problem is that Infiniti did not finish the project before they started selling it. The electronics were a disaster. My steering went out 3 times during sub-zero weather and the updates for the very slow touch system are slow in coming. The manual has things the car can do but they still can't. Should have been a wish manual. Electronics very slow and re-boots every time you start the car - at about 90 seconds a crack. I'm pretty sure the 2015 will be better."
4 people out of 9 found this review helpful