The Q50 is Infiniti’s best-selling mannequin, even besting its standard QX60 crossover. It is out there in no fewer than 12 totally different fashions with 4 powertrain selections, and the choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. You will get a no-nonsense commuter with simply over 200 horsepower, and even an all-wheel-drive V6 hybrid. However should you like your sport sedans to pack a correct wallop, you will wish to try this Q50 Pink Sport 400.
Pink scorching, however there’s an issue
In Pink Sport 400 guise, the Q50 makes use of a three.Zero-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that throws 400 horsepower to the rear wheels — nice for testing alongside my super-secret again roads exterior Oakland, California. With a complementary 350 pound-feet of torque (which comes on low from simply 1,600 rpm), energy is robust and at all times out there. With its adaptive suspension set to Sport Plus, the Q50 willingly dives into tight turns and blasts out with unimaginable poise.
But, one thing’s a bit… off. My check automotive has Infiniti’s Direct Adaptive Steer system, nonetheless the one digital steer-by-wire know-how available on the market. In contrast to different steering setups, there isn’t a mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the Q50’s entrance wheels. As an alternative, steering inputs are fed to a pc, which then tells the wheels what to do. The benefit right here is faster response to inputs, higher isolation from harsh impacts like potholes, and a richer set of driver’s aids, which I am going to get to in a minute. The disadvantage is an entire lack of analog suggestions. You simply do not do not know precisely the place the tires are or how a lot grip they’ve organically, you solely have simulated suggestions. Some drivers in all probability will not discover a distinction, however fanatics nearly actually will. Steering really feel is likely one of the most essential traits of a efficiency automotive, and it is an space the place this Q50 dearly suffers — even after quite a few makes an attempt to repair this distinctive know-how.
The EPA charges the Q50 Pink Sport 400 at 22 mpg metropolis, 26 mpg freeway and 20 mpg mixed. Via my week of testing, I see a mixed readout of 20.7 mpg, which is not nice, however contemplating all my backroad antics and heavy proper foot, it is also nothing to complain about.
Nice tech, however there’s one other drawback
The Q50’s suite of obtainable driving help techniques may be very wealthy. Heading again into San Francisco, I allow adaptive cruise management, which retains the Q50 at a constant distance behind a lead automotive, even bringing it to a cease and pausing briefly earlier than taking off once more. An additional bit of obtainable help comes through Infiniti’s Distance Management tech, which slows the Q50 down if I am following a lead automotive too carefully. In stop-and-go site visitors, it allows one-pedal driving. Coupled with lane-keep help shepherding me into the middle of my lane, it is easy to breeze by means of the toll plaza and out onto the San Francisco Bay Bridge.
Howdy there, pretty!
Whereas on the bridge, my cellphone buzzes with a textual content message. And whereas I would usually be capable of have it learn aloud through Apple CarPlay, the Q50 does not characteristic this smartphone-mirroring know-how, nor does it have Android Auto. That is an enormous ding in opposition to the Q50’s InTouch infotainment system, although removed from its solely drawback.
There are two screens contained in the Q50: an Eight-inch prime show for navigation, and a 7-inch unit under that for car menus and controls. Each are touchscreens, although the highest could be managed by steering wheel buttons or a multicontroller on the middle console. The decrease display has default shortcut buttons for audio, local weather and residential screens, and solely features through contact response.
Since this tech hasn’t been considerably up to date for fairly a while — particularly the highest display — I am caught with outdated graphics and a ton of menus and submenus. There are some attention-grabbing options inside the InTouch system, like a driving efficiency display with a g-meter and eco-drive report card, however the entire interface might use an intensive rethink.
Snug and classy
Thank goodness the remainder of the Q50’s inside is beautiful. The eight-way adjustable seats are supportive and supply 4 ranges of warmth, good for a cold-all-the-time gal like myself. There’s high-quality leather-based in all places, and the cabin’s design is modern. You possibly can match 4 adults in right here simply superb, although keep in mind that this can be a smaller sedan, so it is in all probability not the most effective should you ceaselessly put adults within the rear seats, particularly for greater than quick jaunts.
A snug cabin makes commuting straightforward.
My Q50 Pink Sport 400 tester has the beautiful Dynamic Sunstone purple paint, which is tremendous wealthy and completely well worth the $800 premium. The Pink Sport mannequin will get a number of design tweaks that separate it from decrease trims, however it takes a eager eye to identify them. The air intakes are barely totally different and the entrance bumper is a little more aggressive in its form. Darkish-finish trim items spherical out the outside adjustments, and all-in, I feel this automotive appears nice.
How I would spec it
The 2018 Infiniti Q50 begins at $34,200 for a base, 2.Zero-liter mannequin with rear-wheel drive. The Pink Sport is available in at $51,000, and if you’d like all-wheel drive, add one other $2,000 to that.
Since I dwell in California, I would in all probability cross on the all-wheel drive. And whereas I wish to spring for the $2,700 Proactive Bundle, which incorporates all of the cool driving aids like adaptive cruise management and Distance Management, it additionally bundles the aforementioned Direct Adaptive Steering, which I hate. Moreover, the Proactive Bundle requires the acquisition of the $2,650 Sensory Bundle, which provides a 16-speaker Bose sound system. With no efficiency upgrades in both of those choices, I would doubtless stick to straightforward Pink Sport spec.
Good, however flawed
The Q50 is only one choice in a crowded sport sedan phase. The BMW three Sequence begins at a comparable value and could be optioned with a guide transmission. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class provides a bit extra customary energy and has a extra premium-feeling cabin, however it prices extra. In case you’re searching for a relative discount by comparability, strive the Kia Stinger — the GT mannequin is sort of as highly effective because the Pink Sport, however it’s extra capacious and it begins over $12,000 much less.
Ultimately, it is robust to decide on the Q50 over its many opponents. It is fairly and opulent, and comes near being an ideal sport sedan. The engine is robust and its characteristic set is spectacular. If it weren’t for the InTouch infotainment system and that awful steering setup, it would be a lot simpler to advocate.