The saying of how a fine wine gets better with age holds true for many things in life, but most of those things receive the proper and often required attention to make them better over time. However, when it comes to the Infiniti Q50 sedan, it may have started off as a fine wine but somehow it hasn’t managed to get much better with age as it appears to be stuck in a time vacuum. Though, the Q50 hasn’t necessarily turned bad, it’s just the fact that Infiniti has kept the lid shut tight on a vehicle that I think would have much more potential if it were given much-needed attention and refinement.
The Infiniti Q50, now nearly 10 years old for the generation of a sedan that was once somewhat of a benchmark for its segment, is now showing its age. Having a successful run during its decade of existence carrying the torch initially lit by the Infiniti G35/G37 of the past, the Infiniti Q50 is much needed of some updates where the recent addition of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto only do so much for an aged platform. The Q50 has stood the test of time and still looks the fitting part of a modern-day luxury sedan, but at this point, we’re anxious to see what is next on the horizon for Infiniti, which will more than likely be an electric vehicle. Until then, the Q50 is still offered with a proven platform with a few trim levels, two decent engine choices, and the availability of all-wheel-drive in place of the standard enjoyed-by-enthusiasts rear-wheel-drive setup.
At this point in the Q50’s life, there’s not much else to highlight in its driving character as it proves to be a decent performer in its aged body. The choice of two twin-turbo V6 engines is a respectable offering and attributes to the Q50 remaining somewhat relevant in today’s lineup of competing vehicles. The standard engine in my middle-range Q50 Sensory AWD test vehicle, a 3.0-liter turbo V6 that outputs 300 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, is an eager powertrain that doesn’t exhibit turbo lag and does well to keep the Q50 on pace with others. The proven 7-speed automatic transmission does all it can to bang through the gears, but it too has shown its age as there’s many more advanced offerings to choose from out there. However, overall performance is good, and there’s much to praise about how the Q50 handles itself as an easy-to-drive vehicle and one that retains a sporty appeal to attract enthusiasts.
There’s not much of an advanced or dynamic approach to the Q50 as its platform could use some polishing, and not having adaptive dampers in my test vehicle the suspension system places it in the middle of the row for its athleticism. Ride quality is good and handling is mostly assuring, even with the performance run-flat tires. Moving up to the Q50 Red Sport 400 trim, there’s a much more dynamic feeling, as I’ve talked about many times in my several reviews of the Q50. Zero to 60 mph takes place in 5.3 seconds, having the less-powerful turbo V6. That time is much improved in the Q50 Red Sport 400 thanks to its 400-horsepower hitting 60 in about 4.5 seconds.
The fuel mileage falling well short of the competition is another aspect of the Q50 showing its age. While the fuel consumption estimates of 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway are primarily consistent and match real-world driving, they fail to impress for what today’s advancements have done for other comparable vehicles.
Based on fundamentally being the same vehicle that was introduced in 2013 as a 2014 model year, the Q50 hasn’t received many updates other than subtle improvements to its dual-screen infotainment system with the 8-inch upper and 7-inch lower touchscreens. Such a system has been somewhat controversial over the years, but now being based on the merit of the system being a proven piece of tech, there’s not much to complain about other than its aged interface and quirky operation. The integration of Apple CarPlay and Android auto keeps the system relevant but doesn’t do much to remove the complications and quirks of the system even though it is responsive and has a relatively short learning curve – because it just doesn’t have that many features in comparison to the competition.
There’s a welcomed simplicity to the Q50 when you look at it still utilizing an older gauge cluster setup and lacking a digital speedometer. Some buyers will appreciate this simplicity and no-frills approach, but it only does so much to keep the Q50 in the sight of new consumers in the luxury market.
The seating proportions remain agreeable and surprisingly spacious for a compact luxury sedan, and the perforated heated leather seats up front remain to be exceptionally comfy as Nissan and Infiniti continues to use variations of their zero gravity seats inspired by NASA. The rear seating is also mostly accommodating, even though legroom is quickly cut short with the front seats adjusted back for average to tall-sized adults. There’s a large range of power adjustments in the front seats, which is another welcomed aspect of the Q50 remaining relevant in today’s automotive landscape.
Infiniti keeps up with advanced safety tech in giving the Q50 most of the expected active safety features as standard equipment, including adaptive cruise control, but with the exception of an advanced lane keep assist feature.
Where the Infiniti Q50 adds to its ability to remain relevant in its aged platform, the pricing scale is competitive, starting at just $42,650, which gets you 300 horsepower in a sporty luxury sedan. My mid-trim level Q50 Sensory AWD test vehicle comes in at a price of $53,550, with a $1,075 destination charge. To quickly note, the loaded-up 400-horsepower Q50 Red Sport 400 AWD trim will cost you just under $60,000, which is a modern-day bargain for that level of power in a luxury vehicle.