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#9

in Upscale Midsize Cars

MSRP: $37,150 - $45,450
Invoice: $34,550 - $42,269
MPG: 20 City / 29 Hwy
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Infiniti Q50 Performance

While test drivers report that the all-new 2014 Infiniti Q50 offers a powerful V6 engine and brisk acceleration, a few reviewers write that the Q50 falls a bit short of the agile handling they’ve come to expect from a sport sedan. Auto writers suggest avoiding the Q50’s optional adaptive steering system, which they say makes the Q50 feel disconnected from the road. 

  • “As for the rest of the 2014 Infiniti Q50, it's what we've come to expect from the Infiniti G37: a quite good sport sedan with a well-balanced, rear-wheel-drive chassis; a very strong, 328-hp V-6 that's well mated to a seven-speed automatic; and an attractive exterior and interior." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The powerful V6 moves the car with impressive authority, but a disappointing switch to all-season run-flat tires on most trim levels equates to subpar handling when the car is driven enthusiastically through turns." -- Edmunds  
  • "We spent the majority of our time in a fully loaded all-wheel-drive Q50S Hybrid model, but we also snuck some time in a lower-spec rear-drive gas-only car. We much, much preferred the latter, but the trim you fancy will depend on what you value in a car: engagement or comfort, tech and economy." -- Autoblog 
  • "But due to the lack of low-end torque, the unwilling-to-perform automatic gearbox, computer-simulated sport steering, its too-quiet engine, and maybe even a lack of soul, the Q50 is never going to be a car you look forward to hooning. It's not a car that makes you want to take the long, twisty way home from work." -- Jalopnik 

Acceleration and Power 

The 2014 Infiniti Q50 comes standard with a 328-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6 engine, which is paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. The 2014 Q50 gets an EPA-estimated 20/29 mpg city/highway, which is about average for a V6-powered upscale midsize car.

Test drivers say that the Q50’s engine offers ample power, and that the Q50 accelerates quite quickly for a V6-powered car. Most reviewers also approve of the transmission, saying that it shifts smoothly, and is quick to react when more power is needed for highway passing maneuvers. Still, a few auto writers say that the transmission could downshift more quickly to give the Q50 a sportier feel.

  • "Neither Q50 models are slouches: The internal combustion 328-hp 7-speed lineup produces brisk acceleration and smooth shifts. …" -- AutoTrader 
  • "Acceleration from the 2014 Infiniti Q50's V6 is so strong that you might mistake it for a V8. The finely calibrated automatic transmission is also on point, quickly stepping down a few gears when you need a burst of power to merge swiftly onto a fast-moving freeway or pass an 18-wheeler on the highway." -- Edmunds  
  • "The smooth and responsive seven-speed automatic transmission returns for 2014. It teams nicely with the 3.7-liter; prompt and gentle shifts make for seamless transitions. We're lucky it's so good, as there's no manual transmission option this year." -- Cars.com  
  • "I can't really say I was a fan of the slushbox. Downshifts are only moderately quick, and upshifts take even longer. The car never feels terribly sporting with this transmission, especially since the paddles don't move with the wheel and the manual upshift/downshift is the incorrect ‘up for up, down for down’ layout." -- Jalopnik 

Handling and Braking

While some reviewers say that the all-new Q50 offers athletic handling and a comfortable ride, some note that competitors like the Cadillac ATS and BMW 3-Series are more agile on a winding road. The 2014 Q50 comes with standard rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. Two steering systems are available, which include a conventional hydraulic system and an optional Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS) system, which allows drivers to dial-in steering effort and the Q50’s turning radius to their preferences. Reviewers generally prefer the standard steering system, noting that while DAS is highly-adjustable, it also feels artificial and disconnected from the road. 

  • "In theory, steer-by-wire technology allows engineers to infinitely fine-tune the steering, and Infiniti product planners hint that a special Vettel-tuned performance package might be in the works. Given his efforts in tuning Direct Adaptive Steering so far, perhaps Seb should stick to F1 garages, because in its current iteration, the steering feels artificial, disconnected, and even unpredictable." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "The Q50 drives with a secure, surefooted and swift grasp of the road. But real driving enthusiasts will want to skip the electronic steering and stick with the standard hydraulic system." -- AutoTrader 
  • "All versions of the Infiniti Q50 except the Sport are fitted with standard all-season run-flat tires, and they offer such meager amounts of grip through turns that the car feels noticeably less entertaining on back roads than rivals like the 3 Series and ATS." -- Edmunds 
  • "Better yet, the Q50's front double-wishbone and reworked rear four-link multilink suspension doesn't beat you up on pockmarked roads, even though it comes with standard 17-inch all-season runflats (our photo car was equipped with optional 19-inch summers). The ride is simply more composed than what BMWs have taught us to expect with this sort of rubber, even if ultimate grip isn't all that it should be (a proper set of conventional summer tires would help)." -- Autoblog 
Review Last Updated: 5/15/14

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