New & Used Infiniti Q50: In Depth
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The Infiniti Q50 is officially the replacement and newly renamed model for the outgoing G37 -- although, confusingly, that former car continues as a new nameplate, the Infiniti Q40. The Q50 is filled with new technology and competes with the Lexus IS, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-CLass, and the Cadillac ATS.
The Q50 was the first new Infiniti to adopt a new naming convention. Rejecting the past, the badge numbers no longer correspond to engine displacement, but instead to position in the lineup.
See our 2014 Infiniti Q50 page for more information, including photos, news, and driving impressions.
Moving to a new nameplate actually makes the least sense here. The G37 already had quite the reputation—for being one of the best-steering, best-handling sport sedans, as well as one of the most dynamically satisfying driver's cars. In the past, we've noted that it's not all that roomy or quiet.
As for the new Infiniti Q50, it's clearly an evolution of the G37; but striking sheetmetal, an attractive profile, and an expressive new cabin styling all add up to one of the most visually appealing—and cohesive—new sport-sedan designs. At the center of the dash is a new infotainment system that aims to rival Cadillac's CUE, MyFord Touch, and the latest iDrive interfaces; with twin screens over two levels of the dash, it aims to separate out important and frequently used functions and place them on the upper-display.
For its first year, the Q50 will come with two quite different V-6 powertrains, and a choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. First, there's a 328-horsepower version of the company's tried-and-true 3.7-liter V-6—with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Then there's a hybrid model, featuring a 3.5-liter V-6 with an electric motor system, two clutches, and a lithium-ion battery pack—essentially what's been previously installed in the M35h hybrid—altogether making an output of 354 hp. We've felt in prior model years that the 3.7-liter can be a bit too raspy for luxury sport sedan duty, but in the Q50 active noise cancellation helps damp road and powertrain noise.
The G37 Sedan already had a reputation for being one of the best-steering, most nimble sedans in this class; now Infiniti is introducing a new Direct Adaptive Steering system in the Q50, allowing four different steering settings, each with its own weighting and ratio. Overall, based on what we've experienced now over a couple of drives, we can say that the Q50 takes no step ahead in steering or handling.
Inside, the Q50 builds on a G Sedan–sized package—meaning that rear legroom may still be on the tight side for adults—although Infiniti has pushed the B-pillar slightly forward to allow for easier entry in back. And while we've thought of the aggressively bolstered seats in the outgoing G37 to be among the best in the class for long-distance or performance driving, Infiniti says that it's redesigned these front seats for more comfort. The Q50 comes with run-flat tires in all its variations, which helps free up more cargo space. Hybrid models will lose some cargo space nevertheless, but there's quite a bit of space in either model (14.1 cubic feet for the hybrid, versus 18.0 for the others). Trims build on the plush, modern look of the M sedans, with new 'Kacchu' aluminum and maple wood detailing.
Expect the Q50 to build on the G37's already-great reputation for incorporating active-safety technologies without too much interference for the driver. Look for Intelligent Cruise Control with a full speed range, plus the world's first application of predictive Forward Collision Warning, as well as Blind Spot Intervention, Back-up Collision Intervention, Active Lane Control, and other accident-avoidance aids. A rear-view monitor and an Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection are also standard across the model line.
The Q50 offers a new InTouch infotainment system, with dual touch screens and gestural support; and it's the first Infiniti model to offer Infiniti Connection—a security- and concierge-related telematics service that has a companion smartphone app and provides remote monitoring (for teen drivers, for example), SOS call and collision notification, and a personal assistant service.