2024 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 AWD Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, Infiniti, Test Drives

The Infiniti Q50 remains the brand’s last sedan (car), which has held up well over its ten years, evolving from the well-praised G37 and original G35. I’ve had my fair share of experiences with the Infiniti Q50 in its many trim flavors, witnessing the attempts to keep the vehicle relevant to other evolving luxury sports sedans. However, such efforts have run their course, and the Q50’s time is limited as we’re not certain if it will soon receive a complete redesign or go the expected way of being electrified in some form with a new platform. Interestingly, there’s no word of such plans, and we could very well be seeing the last couple of years of a vehicle that was once at the top of its game, but due to the natural progression of others, it’s a left-behind product.

What remains to shine in the Infiniti Q50 for its top-level Red Sport 400 trim is its engine, a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, which you will find in the new Nissan Z. The engine remains to be the most advanced part of the Q50 while it feels hampered by its antiquated but smooth-shifting 7-speed automatic transmission. While most of the Q50 is tried and true, it is also aged, which is shown in the lagging dynamics of the sedan.

Not to take much away from the fundamentals of the Q50, but it just matches the advancements of other luxury sports sedans in many areas apart from its respectful performance, thanks to the twin-turbo engine. I’ve given the VR-series twin-turbo V6 many praises in countless previous reviews of the Q50 Red Sport 400 and its now-gone Q60 Red Sport 400 Coupe counterpart. Such an engine begs to have an updated chassis and transmission to play with, which you can now get in the new Nissan Z. Unfortunately, for the Q50, there’s nothing new under the sun, but somehow, such a vehicle continues to impress with its respected power output at 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, good enough to hit 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds. At such a performance level, there’s a little price to pay at the fuel pump, with the EPA estimates landing at 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway for the Q50 Red Sport 400 AWD.

The respected power output from the sweet twin-turbo engine and all-wheel-drive system is possibly where the ‘modern’ leaves the Q50, as everything else is clearly dated. In a way, the Q50 was so far ahead of its segmented game ten years ago that its older age still plays well amongst those who aren’t used to driving or riding in new direct competitors. The seats remain extremely comfy, taking a page from Nissan’s zero gravity seat designs, and the interior space is just as accommodating as any other small sedan.

Infiniti has also managed to keep some of its techs updated through an older dual-touchscreen infotainment system setup with wireless (and USB-connected) Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, the age of the Q50 rears its head with the lower resolution quality of the touchscreens and just the overall aesthetics throughout the interior. From the analog cluster gauges with a smallish center color LCD screen to a somewhat busy ride quality and somewhat jiggly body that doesn’t play well with what appears to be a decent adaptive damper suspension setup, the Q50 is quite mature at this juncture.

The fundamentals of active safety are present but also suffer from being aged in their operation, lacking features like a modern lane-keeping system. However, you still get adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitor, lane departure warning/mitigation, forward collision warning, and automated emergency braking.

Fundamentally, the Infiniti Q50 has aged with grace and kept on its literal pace to still run with competitors. With a base Q50 coming with a twin-turbo V6 at 300 horsepower and the Q50 Red Sport 400 getting 400 horsepower, it remains a worthy contender for the brand’s only sedan. The Q50 remains a good value for the lower trims with pricing that starts at $43,050 – it all seems like a good deal. Though, at the high end of things, with the Q50 Red Sport 400 AWD at $60K+, you start to wonder what else is out there at such a price that has more of a modern flavor.


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