Everyone needs twin turbo in their life
Infiniti had big shoes to fill with the much revered Infiniti G35/G37 series that served the company so well from 2003 to 2015. The current Q50 is varying trims is a nice, capable vehicle, but the redesign falls short of the excitement of the all new 2003 model.
I drove this 2017 to a weekend trip to Georgia to visit the fam and immediately fell in love with the 300hp twin turbo V6. There’s a negligible amount of turbo lag when you floor it which makes freeway merging effortless. The engine shows no struggle all the way up to the 7200RPM redline. Since I’m an accommodating person, I happily obliged that upper RPM range frequently!
The grille is unmistakably Infiniti with it’s distinctive headlights, humongous logo, and trapezoid-ish intake. The bottom fog lights were surprisingly bright for their size, although how many times a year do you really NEED fog lights? They obviously add to the aesthetics of the car since lesser trimmed models would just have unsightly plastic blanks in place otherwise.
The center stack was very well thought out with (GASP!) clearly labeled buttons for sound system and HVAC controls. What a concept! Me, being behind so much in technology was relieved to see an old school CD-player in the dash. The gear shifter was very comfortable in the event you desired to manually shift the 7-speed auto.
After a few hundred miles in the Q50, I noticed how well the A/c dispersed the incoming cold air. In most cars the vents have very concentrated air flow, but this was an amazing change from the norm; cooling the cabin much more uniformly.
Spacious deep trunk, but not very wide – it could be a challenge to get a golf bag back there.
The dashboard is of obvious Nissan descendant, but with an Infiniti twist. The purple/blue gauges are prominent throughout the entire Infiniti line-up and very easy to read in all levels of sunlight or lack thereof. The speedometer made me chuckle at the 180mph display as it is governed to 150mph, but it sure does look impressive on the dash! We’ll call it a cousin of the GT-R, but 180mph is impossible as it sits.
The rear end looks . . . as it should. Well executed, not too much chrome, no garish styling faux pas, LED brake lamps, smooth lines, and chromed twin exhaust. It’s not memorable, which could be good or bad depending on perspective.
The backseat is comfortable, but no where near the legroom of the Volvo S90 I reviewed a few weeks ago. The back seats look more like a bench in a 1970’s pickup and not much to look at, but were supportive where they should. It’d be a tight fit for 5 grown adults for much more than a trip across town, but great for 4 or less.
Things of note:
It’s not a looker, not bland, and Liquid Platinum Metallic paint doesn’t help it stand out.
32.4mpg on my highway road trip was expected with the EPA stated 20CITY/29HWY.
About $40,000 new, but buying a well maintained used one could be a great deal.
550 miles on a single tank of gas at constant freeway speeds wouldn’t be difficult.
Buy it? Rent it? Avoid it?
There’s so many choices in the high $30’s to low 40’s luxury sedan category from Acura to Volvo, so I firmly believe looking into the distant future on long term maintenance costs will be of upmost importance. It’s always a good idea to scope out common part prices before buying a higher end vehicle of any kind, especially when a simple labor intensive alternator swap could cost 4-figures. I wouldn’t mind another 700-mile trip in a Q50, but next time I’d like to see how the 2018 has improved.
Infiniti if you’re listening . . .
Q50 is a capable competitor in a field of Benz’s, BMW’s, and Audis, but setting it more apart from a loaded Nissan Altima would help a lot with brand identity.
On a scale from 1-100: (1- I’d buy it for a dollar – 100- I’d buy it for double retail)
Buy it now – 30
Buy it later at half the current price – 70
F.E.D. (Fun, Efficiency & Desirability) – 70
Oooh and ahhh factor – 55
Recommended – (50 to buy / 75 to rent)
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