2018 Infiniti Q50 Exterior Image

Starting Price: $34,200

Similar: Lexus IS, BMW 3 Series

Above Average: Power, style, value

Below Average: Driving feel, snootiness

In Short: The Q50 doesn’t have it all, but it has more for less

The 2018 Infiniti Q50 is a better luxury sport sedan than almost any segment shopper needs, even if it doesn’t offer everything everyone wants. If you’re a stickler for nuanced driving feel or you’re mostly in it for the badge, the Q50 isn’t going to set your heart aflame. But if you like the idea of a gorgeous and comfortable 4-door with more power and lower sticker prices than its more famous European competitors, we recommend moving the Q50 to the top of your test-drive list.

What’s New For 2018

2018 Infiniti Q50 Photo Comparison

The current-generation Q50 debuted for the 2014 model year, but it has undergone a steady stream of significant enhancements since. Exterior updates this year include revised front and rear styling along with new taillights across the board, with 3.0t Sport and Red Sport 400 models getting a more aggressive front fascia, as seen above. Interior changes include a new steering wheel, new shift knob and more stitching. The trim grades have also been rethought, now defined by Pure, Luxe, Sport and Red Sport 400 versions. Oh, and you can now get your Q50 swathed in a Mocha Almond shine. Finally. 

Driving It

2018 Infiniti Q50 Exterior

Unless you’re big into carving canyons and demand an unfiltered, telepathic connection between you, the car and the road, the 2018 Infiniti Q50 is plenty sporty for you. And while it also tips the scales a couple hundred pounds heavier than the segment’s legendary driver’s car, the BMW 3 Series, the Q50 3.0t significantly overpowers its closest competitors with its 300-horsepower rating.

Daily driving highlights -- in addition to the effortless and confidence-inspiring acceleration afforded by all that power -- include terrific seats and soft touchpoints that create a palpable sense of luxury. To sit in the Q50 is to sink into it, but just enough to enhance the sense of both comfort and control.

RELATED: See all the new and redesigned cars of 2018

Our first taste of the updated 2018 Infiniti Q50 took place near the automaker’s U.S. headquarters in Tennessee, where we drove 400-horsepower Q50 Red Sport 400 models exclusively. The Q50’s 2018 update included few dynamic changes, so the car felt familiar. While the added power is entertaining and addictive, the overall performance driving experience isn't particularly satisfying. Our test vehicles were equipped with Infiniti's Direct Adaptive Steering, a technically and functionally impressive setup that does more for lower-speed drivability than higher-energy jaunts. 

No, the sweet spot in the 2018 Infiniti Q50 lineup is the 3.0t, an excellent blend of luxury, performance and value, and the best-selling model in the bunch. 

Interior

2018 Infiniti Q50 Interior

Soft, high-quality materials, a performance-themed gauge cluster and a digitally enhanced, dual-screen center stack all come together in a passenger cabin that’s rich, sporty and contemporary at once. It’s an appealing combination that’s not easy to pull together.

There isn’t a whole lot of personal storage up front -- a common theme across the category -- but the cupholders are decent in size and placement and there’s a useful bin under the center armrest.

The Infiniti Q50’s rear seat is among the roomier such accommodations in the category, and backseat drivers would be much happier barking suggestions from the back of the Q50 than from the rear quarters of the Lexus IS, for instance. Trunk room is similarly on par with the category, while buyers looking for added cargo flexibility should consider the available 60/40 split-folding rear seat backs.

Technology and Infotainment

The 2018 Infiniti Q50 is strong in tech overall, but it’s showing its age in the infotainment department. The lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is quickly becoming a bigger shortcoming as the list of competitors that offer a couple of our favorite features grows to include the Acura TLX, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and others (Lexus IS notwithstanding). And while the dual-screen setup is visually impressive, it’s more compelling on paper than in practice. With that said, we like the high-resolution touchscreen and find it easy to perform most functions.

Other highlights include an impressive 16-speaker Bose audio system and an Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection. Using cameras on each side of the vehicle, Infiniti’s Around View Monitor gives you a simulated bird’s-eye view of the vehicle and its surroundings, making it easy to park like a pro. It also gives you a warning if the cameras detect a moving object nearby.

Also on offer is a long list of expected niceties like heated seats (and heated steering wheel), keyless entry and push-button start, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, navigation and connected services. 

2018 Infiniti Q50 Rear

Pricing and Resale Value

One of the 2018 Infiniti Q50’s key strengths is offering more features for less money, especially compared to European entries like the A4, 3 Series and C-Class. In addition to a sticker price advantage, the Infiniti Q50 typically has been offered with more competitive lease rates and other incentives. Resale values have typically been in the bottom half of the segment, but the difference is often more than offset by the lower purchase and lease prices.

2018 Infiniti Q50 2.0t
Starting Price: $34,200
Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder
Horsepower: 208 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 1,500-3,500 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD, +$2,000)
RWD Fuel Economy: 25 mpg combined (23 city, 30 highway)
AWD Fuel Economy: 24 mpg combined (22 city, 28 highway)
Base Curb Weights: 3,671 lb (RWD), 3,803 lb (AWD)
Base Wheel: 17-inch aluminum alloy

2018 Infiniti Q50 3.0t - Most Popular Model
Starting Price: $38,950
Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged V6
Horsepower: 300 hp @ 6,400 rpm
Torque: 295 lb-ft @ 1,600-5,200 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD, +$2,000)
RWD Fuel Economy: 25 mpg combined (23 city, 30 highway)
AWD Fuel Economy: 24 mpg combined (22 city, 28 highway)
Base Curb Weights: 3,671 lb (RWD), 3,803 lb (AWD)
Base Wheel: 18-inch aluminum alloy

2018 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid
Starting Price: $50,600
Engine: 3.5-liter V6 + electric motor + lithium ion battery
Net System Horsepower: 360 hp
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD, +$2,000)
RWD Fuel Economy: 29 mpg combined (27 city, 32 highway)
AWD Fuel Economy: 28 mpg combined (26 city, 30 highway)
Base Curb Weights: 4,015 lb (RWD), 4,187 lb (AWD)
Wheels: 19-inch aluminum alloy

2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400
Starting Price: $51,000
Engine: High-output 3.0-liter turbocharged V6
Horsepower: 400 hp @ 6,400 rpm
Torque: 350 lb-ft @ 1,600-5,200 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD, +$2,000)
RWD Fuel Economy: 22 mpg combined (20 city, 26 highway)
AWD Fuel Economy: 22 mpg combined (19 city, 26 highway)
Base Curb Weights: 3,840 lb (RWD), 3,993 lb (AWD)
Wheels: 19-inch aluminum alloy (staggered width on RWD models)

2018 Infiniti Q50 Shared Specs
Warranty: 4 years or 60,000 miles (10,000 more miles than most competitors)
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating: 5 Stars
Wheelbase: 112.2 in
Overall Length: 189.6 in
Overall Width: 71.8 in
Overall Height: 57.2 in (3.0t RWD: 56.8 in)
Turning Circle: 36.7 ft (RWD), 37.4 ft (AWD)
Final Assembly: Japan

2018 Infiniti Q50 Performance, Safety and Assist Technologies

Without a fixed mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels, the Q50’s available Direct Adaptive Steering system can adjust to deliver the ideal steering weight and ratio (but not steering feel) for the situation. The available Dynamic Digital Suspension features adjustable dampers that allow you to choose between a more comfortable ride and sportier handling. Infiniti has developed a reputation for introducing innovative technologies, for which the 2018 Q50 is a rolling showcase. Here are some examples:

Direct Adaptive Steering
Dynamic Digital Suspension
Drive Mode Selector
Active Lane Control
Active Trace Control
Intelligent Cruise Control
Distance Control Assist
Backup Collision Intervention
Blind Spot Warning and Intervention
Lane Departure Warning and Prevention
Forward Emergency Braking
Predictive Forward Collision Warning

Photo Gallery: 2018 Infiniti Q50 Interior, Exterior, Details

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