Test Drive Notes Library
- Visibility. We could actually see out of the back of this car. That’s unusual these days. You know what that tells us? This car is getting old and is due for a redesign! If it had been designed more recently, like most of its competitors, we’d look back over our shoulders and see nothing but headliner. If the poor rear-ward visibility of modern sports sedans bothers you, though, the Q50 is worth a test drive. Front visibility is good, too.
- Power. The 300-horsepower, 3.0L turbocharged V6 is a powerful engine. And at the $52K price point at which our test car arrived, it offers a V6 close to the price at which Audi and BMW are still giving you four-cylinders. Of course, those are pretty good, modern four-cylinder engines. But if you want the extra pop of a V6, and 50 or 60 more horsepower, the Q50 provides some value. You can also get a four-cylinder engine in the Q50, but it’s quite a bit less powerful than BMW’s and Audi’s base engines.
- Handling. It’s a sporty handling car. It feels low to the ground, and rides and handles firmly. AWD is there for those who live in places with "weather.” It’s fun to drive.
- Available safety. While we like to see this stuff standard, at least you can get the good stuff on the Q50, even on the models with four-cylinder engines. There’s pre-collision warning and automatic emergency braking available as part of the $2,250 Driver Assistance Package. Our $52,000 test car did not have it.
Test Drive Notes Library
- Harshness. It’s a tad noisy. The engine has a not-unpleasant growl, which some may consider a plus. But there’s more road noise at highway speed than we’d expect in a high-end sports sedan.
- Back-seat room. Like most of the cars in this category, back-seat room is not commodious. With the front seat pushed back for a tall driver or front passenger, it feels tight. That said, the same is true for its direct competitors. And the Q50 might even be a bit better than they are.
- Lack of technology. While Audi’s got its virtual dashboard, and a very modern looking interior, the Infiniti looks and feels a little old —and not quite as luxurious — by comparison. It’s got two touch screens — one that lets you select the menu you want, and then the main touchscreen above it for the navigation map. The smaller, harder-to-use lower screen made the system less easy to use than others we’ve tested in the last year. It feels slower, too.
- Interior. Likewise, the interior feels plenty comfortable, but doesn’t quite cross the bar into “Wow!”
- Fuel economy. Our mostly city testing delivered just under 16 mpg overall. EPA suggests you can get 22 mpg overall, which is less than those four-cylinder competitors.
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