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.
You'll Like This Car If...
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.
You May Not Like This Car If...
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 the Q50
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.
2014 Infiniti Q50 Details
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.
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.
Under the Hood
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.
3.5-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.
"I remember reading Popular Mechanics as a child. The two predictions I remember were flying cars and magnetic strips in the roads to keep cars in the lane and at a safe distance. Forget the first one but the Infiniti Q50 delivers on the second. I researched all the cars in its class, along with those lower and higher. I first test drove it months ago and thought about the same as the others. I was waiting to test drive the new Maxima and after I did I got serious about the Q50. I drove to the dealership 72 miles away and arrived at 0900. After a meet and great I spent an hour in the car with the AC on (Phoenix) and I learned the electronics. There are 3 steering settings:sportscar 12:1; Standard 16:1 and Soft @ 20:1. I chose sports car. The time came for the test drive. We turned right onto Bell road with its traffic and traffic lights. I accelerated and seeing an amber light ahead my natural instinct was to ease off the gas and be ready to brake. But, the salesman told me "Keep your foot on the gas." Not believing but figuring I have a seat belt an airbag and it's not my car I complied. Then as if an move by an invisible hand or foot I felt the accelerator push back on my foot and without touching the brakes the car came to a stop! Onward to I17N and the experience of Intelligent Cruise where I set it at 80 but the truck in front of me was doing 75 so automatically we slowed down. I tried to move into the left lane but the cr bumped me back into my lane. The collision warning system detected a car too close. After that I turned on my turn signal and moved into the left lane. To my surprise the car resumed 80 MPH all by itself. Then the salesman told me "Take your hands off the wheel." To my amazement the Q50 drove 4 miles north on I17 without me touching the wheel. I was concerned about the trunk size but since this comes with run flats Infiniti has designed the trunk so when you remove the spare you don't need the floor folds down and trunk space becomes comparable to the competition. The test drive took an hour. I didn't leave the dealership until 1600 hrs. This car is 5 years ahead of its competition. But unless you engaged the beyond the state of the art electronics you won't know it. When it came time to pick up the car my wife spent and hour setting it up for her seat, her steering, and her stations for a grand total of 96 separate settings. This is what is really neat. I spend hours learning and she gets all the advantages in one hour. Now she drives a luxury car and I drive a sports car and it's all the same car! As if the amazement couldn't stop, I learned from my insurance agent that this Q50 with a MSRP $13,000 greater than my 2012 Max is actually cheaper to insure. Will wonders ever cease?"
Cons: "fuel consumption, yet good for 6-cylinder engine"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Have driven Q50S for 4 weeks, changed from A4, and appreciate smoother acceleration, better downshifting, more comfortable seats, superior power with only downside being slightly worse fuel consumption, but overall you get way more car and value for the money with Infiniti than competing brands"
"While I was attracted to this car for it's gorgeous design, I am thoroughly disappointed in the lack of attention to detail. The car has been back to the dealership numerous times for some minor annoyances (door lock issues, loud gas door actuator), etc. It has been in most for a major annoyance that doesn't seem to have a fix: the In Touch infotainment system. The system is extremely slow to respond, slow to load (or sometimes doesn't load at all). The dealer installs software updates but it doesn't seem to be a software issue; when starting the car it takes 60-90 seconds for the system to load, during which time the radio station and volume cannot be adjusted, the distance lines on the backup camera aren't available all while a "loading..." message appears on one of the 2 large touch screens. Aside from the horrible infotainment system, the car drives well enough and is somewhat comfortable. The gas mileage isn't stellar, and even driving very conservatively in ECO mode, I still struggle to achieve the low end of gas mileage reported on the sticker- on average 20 mpg. Compared to other luxury cars I have owned this one is on the very bottom of the list."