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Infiniti Q50 is a luxury four-door sedan that competes with the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac ATS, Lexus IS, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
The Q50 was launched as an all-new model for the 2014 model year and replaced the Infiniti G37 sedan. Little else has changed for the 2015 model year except that the 2015 Infiniti Q50 offers a new Performance Wheel Package with 19-inch superlight forged aluminum-alloy wheels with 245/40R19 front and 265/35R19 rear summer tires.
The Infiniti Q50 features sophisticated design, a powerful V6 engine, and comes loaded with technology. The Q50 delivers sporty handling, a benefit of its rear-wheel drive. It isn’t quite as sharp as a BMW 3 Series sedan, but the Q50 is more engaging to drive than a Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
The Q50 comes standard with a 328-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 and is available in Q50, Q50 Premium, and sporty Q50 S models. The Q50 Hybrid combines a 3.5-liter V6 with a 50-kilowatt electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack for a net output of 360 horsepower. Both standard and hybrid Q50s are available with all-wheel drive, and all models come with a 7-speed automatic transmission.
Q50 delivers quick acceleration performance, especially in Sport mode with the Q50S, and the brakes are confident. Handling rivals that of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class or Lexus IS, particularly around town, though the steering lacks feedback and feels numb and when pushed hard in corners, it slides and leans.
Fuel economy for the Infiniti Q50 with rear-wheel drive is EPA-rated at 20/30 mpg City/Highway, 20/29 mpg for Q50 Premium and Q50 S models. That’s comparable to the efficiency of the V6-powered competition. With all-wheel drive, fuel economy drops to 19/27 mpg City/Highway. Hybrid Q50 Premium models achieve 29/36 mpg City/Highway, while Q50 S hybrids get 28/34 mpg. Fuel economy dips to an EPA-estimated 28/35 mpg for Q50 Hybrid AWD and 27/31 mpg for Q50S Hybrid AWD.
Interior execution is well done, with a simple and elegant cabin design. The Q50 interior looks cleaner than a BMW 3 Series interior, and feels more inviting than the Audi A4’s stark, Bauhaus-style cabin. Seats, however, are good for large males but are a little large for an average-size female.
The Infiniti InTouch infotainment system uses two large screens in the center stack. One displays the map, and another controls audio, navigation, phone, apps and vehicle settings. This setup lets users access other information while still being able to see where they are on the road. The interface is a combination of touchscreen, hard buttons, and a round control knob on the center console. For the most part, it’s easy to use, though we found some functions laborious to access, and voice recognition was mediocre at best.