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#16

in Upscale Midsize Cars

MSRP: $44,400 - $48,600
Invoice: $41,292 - $45,198
MPG: 29 City / 36 Hwy
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Infiniti Q50 Hybrid Performance

According to auto writers, the 2015 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid isn't particularly engaging to drive. Though critics appreciate its composed ride and strong acceleration, many say its handling is limited by numb steering and inconsistent braking power. The Q50 Hybrid gets high fuel economy for a six-cylinder hybrid.

  • "The Q50S with a conventional, gasoline-powered 3.7-liter V6 received straight-'A' grades for its athleticism as well as for its good manners in everyday driving. In stark contrast to that, we gave the Q50S Hybrid a grade of 'D' in the same categories." -- Edmunds
  • "So what's the problem? Well, aside from the usual hybrid slow-speed refinement issues incurred under regenerative braking, it's the much-ballyhooed Direct Adaptive Steering that leaves us cold." -- Autoblog (2014)
  • "Like I said, it's better than the soulless robot-car steering I was expected, but if I had this as an option, I think I would come to hate it eventually. Its goal is to divorce the driver from the road, and it succeeds. Can such a car really be called a driver's car?" -- Jalopnik (2014)

Acceleration and Power 

The 2015 Q50 Hybrid comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine and an electric motor that make a combined 360 horsepower. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard. According to the EPA, the Q50 Hybrid gets up to 29/36 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for an upscale midsize car and very good for a six-cylinder midsize hybrid.

Reviewers agree that the Q50 Hybrid delivers strong acceleration. Some also say it transitions smoothly between gas and electric power, but others argue that the power delivery is uneven.

  • "The Hybrid is slightly quicker [than the non-hybrid Q50] in testing, but in daily driving the drivetrain is prone to unsettling and unpredictable stumbles and lurches." -- Edmunds
  • "Despite the 3.5-liter's 360 hp in the hybrid, it isn't as much of a powerhouse as its gas-only sibling. It's still strong, but not nearly as smooth; shifts feel much more abrupt." -- Cars.com (2014)
  • "You may demand my Jalop card after you read this, but I liked the hybrid version better. It's seamless in its transition from electric to gas, and it can run on pure EV mode at low speeds and on the highway. All it really does is add a bunch of power and improve fuel economy, and if you turn off the energy display menu on the screen above the steering wheel, you never know it's there." -- Jalopnik (2014)
  • "We don't really have any qualms about the Hybrid's powertrain – quite the opposite, really. It's actually more powerful. … It also feels good, with power all over the rev range and the ability to start off under electric-only motivation, not to mention the ability to sail under battery power on slight freeway descents." -- Autoblog (2014)

Handling and Braking

The 2015 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid comes standard with rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is optional. All Q50 Hybrids come with Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS), which filters out road vibration and allows you to customize the car's steering effort with Light, Standard or Heavy settings. Most test drivers say that the Q50 Hybrid's steering feels lifeless and poorly weighted, no matter which setting it's in. Some critics also note that the Q50 Hybrid's regenerative brakes provide inconsistent stopping power, especially compared to the brakes on the non-hybrid Q50, which can make it hard to stop the car smoothly. However, auto writers think the Q50 Hybrid has a comfortable ride and remains composed while cornering.

  • "Braking is also divergent, with the gas-only Q50 benefitting from consistent and confident results, while the Hybrid suffers from a noticeable lack of smoothness and stability. In our test track panic stops, the Hybrid's pedal would sometimes go all the way to the floor." -- Edmunds
  • "While the steer-by-wire setup delivers what it promises in adjustability and isolation from vibrations, something starts to feel like it's missing during higher-speed corners, as though the system can only fabricate so much feedback until the car's physics catch up with the electronics." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "We have no trouble believing that a driver comfortable with DAS may actually turn in a slightly quicker lap time on a roadcourse. But we'll happily give up those few tenths for better communication, as this system just doesn't offer the feedback of even a good electronically assisted rack. Nor did we find a happy personalized setting for weight, which varies from light and overassisted to leaden." -- Autoblog (2014)
  • "Dynamically speaking, there's no drop off from the excellent body control and quick reflexes of the G37, but the real news is how a better-dampened ride and more coddling cabin conspire to create a feeling of consummate luxury that was absent before." -- Left Lane News (2014)
Review Last Updated: 3/16/15

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