2019 INFINITI Q50 Review

Q50

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2019 INFINITI Q50 Overview

The INFINITI Q50 is a premium compact sport sedan, putting it in the same category as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac ATS, and Lexus IS. It debuted in 2015 and received significant updates for 2018. This year’s version features a simplified, yet enhanced, lineup.

You’ll find the Q50’s lineup split into 2.0t and 3.0t variants, which refer to the basic engine package. The Q50 2.0t includes a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine producing 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. By default, it’s rear-wheel drive (RWD), though all-wheel drive (AWD) is available. There’s also an advanced 7-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode and downshift-rev matching, start-stop functionality, and a standard Drive Mode Selector. RWD models return fuel economy of 23 mpg city, 30 highway, and 25 combined. AWD models see a slight dip with 22, 28, and 24.

The Q50 2.0t comes in one trim called PURE. The base PURE trim is better equipped than most competing sedans. It bundles 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels; LED headlights, fog lights, and tail lights; keyless access and start; front-door-handle courtesy lights; dual-zone automatic temperature control; two USB ports; leatherette upholstery; a 6-speaker audio system; 8-way power front seats; satellite radio compatibility; a dual-screen infotainment system with an 8-inch upper display and 7-inch lower display; and voice recognition. There are no packages or options available for the PURE trim.

Meanwhile, the 3.0t variant makes up the rest of the Q50’s lineup. It offers a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine. It’s available in two versions: one with 300 hp and 295 lb-ft, and a brawnier version rated for 400 hp and 350 lb-ft. You’ll get the same 7-speed automatic transmission as with the 2.0t engine, but with dual-transmission coolers installed. RWD comes standard while AWD is optional. The first of the two engines, when paired with RWD, will return 20 mpg city, 29 highway, and 23 combined. With AWD, it dips by 1 mpg. The brawnier of the two engines returns 20 city, 26 highway, and 22 with RWD. With AWD, city mpg drops slightly.

You can select from LUXE, SPORT, and RED SPORT 400 grades for the 3.0t setup, each nicer than the last. The LUXE trim includes everything from the 2.0t PURE grade, plus 18-inch wheels, maple wood interior trim, a power sunroof, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The SPORT trim gets unique 19-inch wheels, Sport-design front and rear ends, leather-upholstered seats with manual thigh extensions, and a Bose 16-speaker sound system. The range-topping RED SPORT includes the 400-hp engine, unique front- and rear-end design, exclusive 19-inch wheels, red brake calipers, and dark chrome interior accents with red paddle shifters. The Essential package, optional on the LUXE trim and standard on the SPORT and RED SPORT trim, incorporates navigation, telematics service, a satellite radio subscription, 60/40 split-folding seats, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and remote engine start.

As far as safety, every Q50 benefits from a standard reversing camera. A comprehensive suite of features is optional: blind-spot monitoring, a surround-view camera system, front and rear parking sensors, reversing-collision mitigation, rear-cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot intervention, and adaptive and automatic high-beam headlights. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the Q50 quite favorably in its most recent crash testing.

The INFINITI Q50 blends a sporting pedigree with good looks and more bang-for-your-buck than competitors, virtues that should ensure its place on the shortlist of any potential customer.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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