With its latest offering, it’s evident that Infiniti wants to maintain its mantra as a “driver’s car.” It’s done a complete overhaul on its popular G37 sedan to produce the Q50, sporting many improvements throughout the vehicle.
Infiniti launched a brand-wide change by renaming all its cars “Q” and all its SUVs/CUVs under “QX” to create a stronger brand hierarchy; the first model to use this is the Q50. Regardless of the name change, performance and driver engagement remain atop the priority list.
My tester, the Premium AWD model, had a 3.7-litre V6 motor under the hood that kicks out 328 horsepower and 269 lb. ft. of torque. The Q50 strikes a great balance between elegance and muscle and has an aggressive, clean and strong stance with a sleeker look than its predecessor.
There’s a nice growl when engaging the push-button start. Once you bring the car to life and start moving, the power is impressive and the drive is smooth. Acceleration is responsive and energetic due to the seven-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive comes standard, with all-wheel drive as an available option on higher trim models.
The front seats hold you securely in place as you take corners and the leather is quite comfortable. The ride is quiet with very little road noise. Additionally, it’s been engineered to feature zero front and rear lift—which means all four tires will stay on the ground if you brake hard or take a turn too fast.
All the latest and greatest in safety technology options are here, including active lane control (which uses cameras to keep the car in its lane), adaptive cruise control, Direct Adaptive Steering, auto-levelling headlights, blind-spot warning, predictive forward collision warning, lane departure warning and auto emergency braking. You can select your specific drive mode via a good ol’ fashioned rocker switch: Standard, Sport, Eco, Personal and Snow. I would suggest Sport mode, as it provides the highest level of response, although Standard still offers an exhilarating ride.
Body-wise, the Q50 is two inches wider and a deceptive 0.4 inches shorter—but it looks a couple of inches shorter than the outgoing G37. The Q50 retains the same wheelbase as the G37. Seventeen-inch wheels are standard, but the sport trim gets 19-inch performance summer tires. The headlamps, fog lights, turn indicators, brake lights and rear lights are all LED. The trunk is 13.5 cubic feet, so there’s plenty of room to put groceries and golf clubs.
The tester was equipped with a 14-speaker Bose sound system, providing a remarkable listening experience. I love live versions of songs, and during my winding drive through the Caledon Hills, I felt like I was actually at all those concerts.
My mother drives a 2012 G37, and while her interior is gorgeous, the Infiniti Q50 has managed to raise its own bar through attention to detail in its distinctive design layout. The heated, leather-wrapped, three-spoked steering wheel has audio, phone, cruise and dashboard controls, plus tilt and telescopic adjustment options, all of which are easy to use.
The dashboard is laid out nicely, with two large dials for the speedometer and tachometer, two smaller dials beneath them for fuel and engine temperature gauges and a digital screen between them with a few visual options such as tire pressure and a compass.
The centre console, however, is the pièce de résistance. It’s the Infiniti advanced InTouch multimedia system: two touchscreens in a stacked console. Both are easy to navigate, are very responsive and provide a wealth of information for the driver. In fact, the system even goes as far as measuring your g-force on turns. The upper eight-inch screen is for the advanced navigation/map function and features “pinch to zoom, swipe to move” action, so you can manipulate the map image to your personal preference. There’s also a rotary jog dial that provides secondary access to the map; this is conveniently located just behind the gear shift.
The lower seven-inch screen is where you’ll find all your infotainment options, driver settings, car settings, climate
control, fuel economy figures and a host of connectivity options including email, phonebooks and text messages. There’s even an option to download other apps that can be stored in InTouch.
Infiniti hasn’t forgotten about traditionalists, though: hard-touch buttons are still available for climate controls, located on the left and right borders of both screens. Beneath the two high-resolution screens are three convenient quick buttons for audio, menu and climate, and below that is a small bar of touch buttons that control the audio options. A beautiful piano-black trim accents the centre console, giving the finished product a classy modern look.
The previous model had an analog clock, and it’s noticeably absent from the Q50, but it’s available digitally via a few touches of the lower screen. Housed in the armrest console is a 12-volt power outlet, plus auxiliary input jacks and two USB ports. A nice leather trim where your right knee rests provides added comfort.
Prices range from $37,500 to $56,450. There is also a hybrid offered with 360 horsepower produced by a 3.5-litre motor joined with a 50-kilowatt motor, starting at $47,000.
This vehicle is a great debut for Infiniti’s new Q line, signifying the next step forward in the evolution of their luxury sedan segment. There’s plenty of attention to detail (even the interior door handles are carefully sculpted and contoured to your hand), cutting-edge technology, strong build quality in a beautiful package and competitively priced, but most importantly—it’s an exciting car to drive!