2021 INFINITI Q50

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor
December 19, 2020

Buying tip

Stick with the Q50 Luxe for the best balance between driver assistance tech and value.

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
$43,700
MSRP
$41,700
MSRP
$38,600

The 2021 Infiniti Q50 is a sleek, entertaining sedan, but it’s lagging behind newer rivals in comfort and handling.

What kind of vehicle is the 2021 Infiniti Q50? What does it compare to?

The 2021 Infiniti Q50 is a sporty compact sedan that squares off against rivals from Germany—think BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class—plus the Volvo S60 and Cadillac CT4. 

Is the 2021 Infiniti Q50 a good car/SUV?

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With plenty of underhood punch, the Q50 is a fun sedan with a spacious interior. Its tech shows its age, however, and sportier versions can be pricey against rivals. We rate the Q50 at a 6.0 overall. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2021 Infiniti Q50?

The Q50 is an aging design that sees a slight trim level adjustment this year with the addition of a new Sensory grade toward the top of the lineup.

All Q50s are sedans; a Q60 coupe is available for those who don’t prioritize practicality. The Q50 is curvaceous and it draws on the lines of its G35 and G37 predecessors in a generally pleasing manner. Inside, the dash features twin screens that do some things better than just one, though they can be sensory overload (hence the new trim level name, perhaps). 

Underhood, the rush of twin-turbocharged V-6 power puts 300 to 400 horsepower to either the rear or all four wheels for an extra $2,000. Handling is balanced, but steering and pedal feel can be quirky thanks to a trick drive-by-wire system we’re not quite sure was ready for market.

The Q50 has done well enough in what crashes have been performed, and it comes standard with automatic emergency braking. All but the base trim include a full suite of gear including a particularly good adaptive cruise control system.

How much does the 2021 Infiniti Q50 cost?

Infiniti wants around $38,000 for a base Q50, or a hefty $5,000 more for the Luxe trim that adds a sunroof, 18-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, heated seats, and a few other features that we expect most luxury buyers will want. 

From there, the lineup’s value equation degrades considerably, though the 400-horsepower allure of the Red Sport 400 may be worth at least a test drive. Just don’t look at the $57,000 sticker price. 

Where is the 2021 Infiniti Q50 made?

In Japan.

6

2021 INFINITI Q50

Styling

Swoopy on the outside, the Q50 is yesterday’s news inside.

 

Is the 2021 Infiniti Q50 a good-looking car?

We like the Q50’s curvy lines and subtle hints of sportiness enough to award it 6 points here. 

The exterior channels the now-classic G35 in all the right ways, adding attractive complexity to its lighting, wheels, and details. Red Sports up the ante a little with more pronounced intakes and bigger wheels, but even the base car is attractive for a design that has been around for a few years.

The Q50’s cabin, on the other hand, shows its age against more imaginative designs from Europe. The twin-screen infotainment system takes up a lot of real estate but is mostly easy to sort through, and materials choices match the prices Infiniti charges.

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2021 INFINITI Q50

Performance

There’s nothing wrong with 300 horsepower in base Q50 form, but that’s where we’d stop shopping.

 

Is the Infiniti Q50 4WD?

Infiniti charges a reasonable $2,000 for all-wheel drive on all trim levels.

How fast is the Infiniti Q50?

Besting its rivals by at least 30 horsepower in standard form, the 2021 Infiniti Q50 is a performance machine with dressy duds. We toss in an extra point for a composed ride, and some versions boast great handling as well. The Q50 is a 7 on our scale.

The base engine puts 300 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque rearward through a 7-speed automatic (or to all four corners for $2,000 more), which puts the sub-$40,000 Q50 more in line with rivals costing $15,000 more.

Red Sports grab another 100 hp and 35 lb-ft from the same engine, but they’re not as good a value overall. Skip the Proactive package that adds direct adaptive steering, a drive-by-wire system that sucks the fun out of the tiller.

On standard 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels, the Q50 has a composed, firm ride. Up the ante to the 19-inchers on Sensory and higher grades and the ride becomes flinty due in part to run-flat tires with short sidewalls. The adaptive dampers fitted at the top of the line quell those taut tires a smidge, but we still think the best money spent here is on a relatively low-specification car. 

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2021 INFINITI Q50

Comfort & Quality

The 2021 Infiniti Q50 has comfortable front seats and a quality feel.

Front-seat riders are treated the best in the 2021 Q50, which we score 6 out of 10 thanks to thickly-padded thrones with tremendous adjustment. These seats are among the best you’ll find in a car at this price point. 

Rear-seat riders have decent leg room—a smidge over 35 inches—but the bench isn’t wide enough for three adults for more than a quick zip to lunch. The small trunk offers 13.2 cubic feet of space and a tight aperture.

Materials and finish are good for the price. Synthetic leather comes standard and is reasonably convincing, while real hides—plus softer semi-aniline leather—are optional extras. 

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2021 INFINITI Q50

Safety

We’re waiting on full crash-test results, but wider availability of more collision-avoidance tech this year is a good sign.

How safe is the Infiniti Q50?

Until the NHTSA and the IIHS finish evaluating the 2021 Q50, we’re left guessing here.

At least what we do know is mostly good. The IIHS has performed some of its crash tests on the Q50 and found “Good” scores overall—top marks. 

All versions come with automatic emergency braking, while adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, and active lane control are standard on all but the base car. The Red Sport offers a more advanced system that can nudge the Q50 back into its lane,but it’s unfortunately paired with the drive-by-wire steering system we don’t recommend. Nissan’s ProPilot suite of driver assistance isn’t offered.

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2021 INFINITI Q50

Features

The 2021 Infiniti Q50 is a good value in some configurations, but pricey in others.

 

Overall, we score the 2021 Q50 lineup at 7 out of 10 points for its features. Base cars aren’t missing too much, while the mid-level Luxe adds items we figure most buyers will want. 

Which Infiniti Q50 should I buy?

We suggest bypassing the base Q50 Pure for the Q50 Luxe at around $42,800. Though not inexpensive, it comes with a sunroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, dual touchscreen displays with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a slew of active safety tech. Leather seats and Bose audio are paired for a not unreasonable $2,500 if you feel like spoiling yourself.

This year’s new Sensory trim comes with leather and Bose, plus 19-inch wheels, navigation, and a few design bits, but the nearly $49,000 Infiniti wants for one is too much for us. 

How much is a fully loaded 2021 Infiniti Q50?

The Q50 Red Sport ups the ante with more power, softer leather, and adaptive dampers. Add the Proactive package with its drive-by-wire steering system and pay up for special paint and you’ll be on the hook for around $61,500.

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4

2021 INFINITI Q50

Fuel Economy

All that power means hefty fuel consumption.

 

Is the 2021 Infiniti Q50 good on gas?

Infiniti doesn’t offer an electrified or eco-friendly version of the Q50, so plan on lots of fuel stops. The greenest version is a rear-drive car with the 300-hp engine, which slurps premium at a rate of 20 mpg city, 29 highway, 23 combined according to the EPA. All-wheel drive slices those numbers to 19/27/22.

The 400-hp Q50s are thirstier, but not by that much. Figure around 20/26/22 mpg, or a smidge lower with all-wheel drive. 

Review continues below
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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$36,600
MSRP based on 3.0t SIGNATURE EDITION AWD
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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
Compare the 2021 INFINITI Q50 against the competition
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2021 INFINITI Q50 Pricing Insights

  • 2021 INFINITI Q50 is available
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