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2020 INFINITI Q50

Consumer Reviews
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2020
The Car Connection
2020
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
July 2, 2020

Buying tip

With V-6 power and smartphone tech now standard, there’s not much reason to choose anything but the base Q50.

features & specs

3.0t LUXE AWD
3.0t LUXE RWD
3.0t PURE AWD
MPG
19 city / 27 hwy
MPG
20 city / 29 hwy
MPG
19 city / 27 hwy
MSRP
$40,850
MSRP
$38,850
MSRP
$38,400

The 2020 Infiniti Q50 has drifted from view in the face of newer rivals, but it’s still sleek and satisfying.

The 2020 Infiniti Q50 is often forgotten among luxury sedan buyers, but it’s not without merit. Good looks, impressive powertrains, and decent value in the right form warrant a rating of 6.0 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

For 2020, the Q50 gets a twin-turbo V-6 power as standard, improving the aging sedan’s value proposition. The infotainment system also gets an update to include standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, at long last. It’s sold in Pure, Luxe, Sport, and Red Sport editions.

That the Q50 looks this good so long into its life is a testament to the original design, emphasizing sleek curves and thoughtful details over straight lines. Even base models look upscale, and top-tier Red Sport 400 models check all the right sport sedan boxes. The interior is dated, but it’s still neatly organized and attractively composed.

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Though we had no qualms with the 2.0-liter turbo-4 that powered the base Q50 last year, it’s now no more. Instead, all 2020 Q50s get a standard twin-turbo V-6 with 300 horsepower, making it the most powerful entry-level compact luxury sedan. A 400-horsepower version of the same engine is available in the Red Sport 400 model, and both rear- and all-wheel-drive are available. Other competitors are slightly more engaging to drive, but with optional adaptive dampers and massive power as standard, our complaints are limited. Skip the steer-by-wire system, though.

With an improved infotainment system that finally includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Q50 is a more enticing value proposition than ever at the low end of the range. Standard equipment also includes synthetic leather upholstery, automatic emergency braking, power front seats, and two USB charge points for $37,425.

Full safety data is unavailable but those crash test results that do exist are positive, and additional active safety tech like adaptive cruise control and rear automatic braking are available.

Fuel economy suffers this year with the loss of the most frugal engine. Average figures range from 22-23 mpg combined, depending on how much power and how many driven wheels you choose.

6

2020 INFINITI Q50

Styling

The 2020 Infiniti Q50 is undeniably handsome, if getting up there in age.

The 2020 Infiniti Q50 is a familiar face by now, but familiar faces can be handsome too. We give it 6 out of 10 for styling. 

A sharply creased hood, curvy, confident lines, and the right sport sedan proportions make the exterior of the Q50 one of our favorites in the class. Pure and Luxe trims get chrome and statelier accents, while the Sport and Red Sport versions dial up the track-ready look with black accents and more flourish.

The interior is comparably dated, but most Infiniti cabins look old compared to the hyper-contemporary Germans. Quality is great though, and touches like a stitched dashboard and the dual-screen infotainment system set it apart well enough.

We’re waiting for the next-generation Q50 to see if Infiniti’s design team can keep the magic going, but for now, the old Q50 holds its own.

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7

2020 INFINITI Q50

Performance

The 2020 Infiniti Q50 gets a big bump in standard power but stick to the less advanced suspension and steering systems for best results.

Though we had no quarrels with the old base engine, the 2020 Infiniti Q50 now gets its optional engine as standard, making for the most powerful entry luxury sedan. We give it a 7 out of 10 here, with extra points for its acceleration and its ride and handling.

In an effort to improve its already impressive value, the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 from mid-tier Q50 models last year is now standard. It’s rated at 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel drive and a 7-speed automatic are the base configuration, but all-wheel drive is optional.

That power figure is tops for a base entry-luxury sedan, putting the Q50 in closer competition with the BMW M340i and Mercedes-Benz AMG C43 than garden-variety cars.

Red Sport models bump the power output to 400 hp and 350 lb-ft from the same stalwart engine, and power is absolutely effortless in this form. Still, we’d stick with the less potent V-6 for the mild fuel economy benefit, since it still has plenty of grunt.

While the Q50 isn’t as dynamically precise as some rivals, it handles confidently and competently, and while adaptive dampers are available, the standard springs are plenty capable of delivering a well-composed ride.

Infiniti uses an optional steer-by-wire system on some Q50s, and we’re not convinced it’s superior to good old power steering. Though the weight savings and benefit for active lane control are noticeable, it removes nearly all character from the steering system. We’ll happily take some “sport” with our sport sedan, thank you very much.

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6

2020 INFINITI Q50

Comfort & Quality

The 2020 Infiniti Q50 puts front-seat comfort at the top of its to-do list.

The 2020 Infiniti Q50 offers what matters most in a sedan: comfort and space for four adults. Its age is showing, but for its excellent front seats, we give it 6 out of 10. 

Infiniti’s thickly padded front buckets are some of our favorites of any automaker. Supple and supportive, the front pair are perfect for long journeys. 

Rear passengers fare well too, with 35.1 inches of leg room in the Q50, enough for a pair of adults but not really comfortable enough for a fifth. One thing missing is rear USB charging ports, but the back seat is otherwise comfortable for most short journeys.

A 13.2-cubic-foot trunk is on par for the segment but is indicative of why buyers are switching to SUVs en masse. Its small-ish opening and lack of vertical storage space leave us wanting a crossover when more hauling capability is needed.

Fit and finish is up to snuff for luxury vehicles, with entry-level models sporting synthetic leather and top-tier versions wearing semi-aniline hides. If we’ve got one gripe, it’s the relative age of the design, but an improved infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto serves to bring things reasonably up to date.

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2020 INFINITI Q50

Safety

The 2020 Infiniti Q50 lacks complete safety information but offers standard automatic braking and other optional active features.

The 2020 Infiniti Q50 lacks complete crash test scores, so we’re unable to give it a rating in this category. 

The only federal score that exists for the 2020 Q50 is a five-star rollover rating. The IIHS has given the Q50 “Good” scores in four categories and an “Acceptable” score for the optional headlights, but without complete ratings, it’s ineligible for award status.

Infiniti fits the Q50 with standard automatic emergency braking. Blind-spot monitors, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, rear automatic emergency braking, and a surround-view camera system are all available on mid-tier models and above.

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7

2020 INFINITI Q50

Features

The 2020 Infiniti Q50 is great value at the bottom of the range but gets less enticing as prices climb.

The 2020 Infiniti Q50 was already an impressive value proposition in the past, but expanded and improved standard features make this year’s model more enticing than ever at the low end. We give it 7 out of 10 here, with extra points for its standard equipment and for its infotainment system.

Base models are given the designation Pure, and include eight-way power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, 17-inch wheels, synthetic leather upholstery, automatic emergency braking, and an updated dual-screen infotainment system that finally includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. With the twin-turbo V-6 now standard, it’s a better deal than ever at less than $38,000—and our pick of the lineup.

Luxe models get chrome details on the front fascia, a power sliding moonroof, 18-inch wheels, and aluminum interior trim.

The Sport trim gets 19-inch wheels, leather upholstery, satellite navigation, Bose audio, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, blind-spot monitors, a surround-view camera system, as well as improved brakes, adaptive suspension, and unique interior trim bits like paddle shifters.

Finally, the top-tier Red Sport 400 gets an improved version of the boosted V-6 with 400 horsepower, as well as semi-aniline leather, metal pedals, contrast stitching, a unique exhaust system, and the full range of active safety features available.

All-wheel drive is an extra $2,000 for every trim, and a few packages are available to add luxury and safety features to lower and mid-tier models.

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4

2020 INFINITI Q50

Fuel Economy

The 2020 Infiniti Q50 is less efficient than last year at 22-23 mpg combined thanks to a more powerful base engine.

Its thriftiest engine is no more, so the 2020 Infiniti Q50 suffers in the fuel economy department. We give it a 4 out of 10. 

Rear-wheel-drive 300-horsepower Q50 sedans manage 20 mpg city, 29 highway, 23 combined, a figure that falls significantly short of the base models of other entry luxury sedans. 

Adding all-wheel drive drops those numbers to 19/27/22 mpg, while the Red Sport 400 in rear-wheel-drive form makes 20/26/22 mpg. The all-wheel-drive Red Sport 400 gets just 1 mpg less on the city cycle than its rear-wheel-drive counterpart (19/26/22 mpg).

Premium fuel is required for all models, and average annual fuel costs range from $2,100 to $2,200.

Review continues below
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$36,400
MSRP based on 3.0t PURE RWD
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6.0
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 6
Safety N/A
Features 7
Fuel Economy 4
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