2021 Infiniti Q50 is great to look at, but not to drive

    The Q50’s styling has aged gracefully. 
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    In automotive phrases, the Infiniti Q50 is historical, courting again to 2014 in its present kind, although the automobile’s foundations are a lot older than that. Sure, modifications and enhancements have been made alongside the best way, however the Q50 hasn’t actually stored tempo with its ever-evolving competitors. Yet regardless of some important shortcomings, I nonetheless recognize this four-door’s easy, responsive powertrain, luxurious styling and premium inside, particularly in Signature Edition trim. The Q50 could fall in need of rivals, however in different methods it is proof you may cheat Father Time.

    LikeComfortin a position seatingHandsome stylingPremium inside

    Don’t LikeBizarre infotainment systemAnesthetized steeringQuestionable tech

    Even although it is mainly a senior citizen in automotive phrases at this level, the Q50 nonetheless seems to be swish; extra enticing (a minimum of for my part) than another luxurious sports activities sedans like Acura’s new TLX or the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. This Infiniti’s lengthy hood, luxurious curves, alert headlamps, massive however not Lexus-size grille and flowing bodywork nonetheless look nice. Setting it other than different trim ranges, this Signature Edition tester encompasses a darkish chrome grille encompass and 19-inch wheels handled to the identical smoky end. Four curated paint colours are provided on this new trim, together with Grand Blue, which is the one you see right here. Curiously, there’s an upcharge for every of those exterior hues.Inside, the Q50 continues to impress — principally. Signature Edition variants include upscale saddle-brown leather-based, which seems to be good and feels good. You additionally get black, open-pore wooden accents in addition to an ordinary 16-speaker Bose audio system. The automobile’s distinguished middle stack and sweeping dashboard design nonetheless make an announcement, whereas the enticing mushy plastics and meticulous meeting high quality stay aggressive right this moment. Comfort is one other space the place the Q50 excels. Like different Nissan and Infiniti autos, the entrance bucket seats are tremendous snug, mushy but supportive, plus the rear seat is loads spacious and fairly enjoyable, because of the place of the decrease cushion and a properly angled backrest.

    One space that may very well be improved, nevertheless, is space for storing. There’s treasured little room within the middle console for stashing stuff, only a tiny cubby forward of the shifter and a small bin beneath the middle armrest. As for the trunk, it clocks in at 13.5 cubic toes, lower than you get in mainstream sedans like a Honda Accord or Kia K5. For added versatility, the break up rear backrest folds down, revealing a modestly sized passthrough.Where the Q50’s grey hairs actually begin to present is while you verify the tech. Standard security options embrace computerized emergency braking, forward-collision warning and one thing referred to as Predictive Forward Collision Warning, which ingeniously retains tabs on the car that is in entrance of the automobile or truck you are following, so you may preemptively hit the brakes if they begin slowing down. Opt for a higher-end Q50 and you may get a 360-degree digicam system with shifting object detection, blind-spot monitoring, computerized excessive beams and adaptive headlights, options that ought to most likely all be normal on this phase. Adaptive cruise management is included on all however probably the most fundamental mannequin, and it really works OK. It’s not the smoothest system round, however it’ll gradual the Q50 all the way down to a cease in heavy visitors, it simply will not maintain the automobile there. After a second or two, the system beeps and the automobile begins rolling ahead. Curiously, lane-departure warning is normal, however lane-departure prevention just isn’t provided on the Signature Edition Q50; it is solely out there on top-shelf Red Sport 400 fashions.

    The tech ain’t nice, however this automobile’s inside continues to be snug and welcoming. 
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    The Q50’s InContact infotainment system is an odd duck. It options two separate touchscreens: an 8-incher up prime that handles navigation capabilities and 7-inch unit on the underside, which is the place the audio system and car settings dwell. This multimedia array seems to be prefer it was designed by two completely different groups on reverse sides of the planet. The consumer interface is disjointed and never instantly intuitive. I have to say, nevertheless, this method’s efficiency is kind of good. It responds promptly to inputs and pinch-to-zoom on the navigation map is fast and easy. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each normal, as are two illuminated USB ports (one Type-A and a Type-C). Also, for 2021, a Wi-Fi hotspot is included within the Q50 at no further value.

    Hauling this automobile round is a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6. As refined as granulated sugar, its 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque present respectable, if not explosive, acceleration. Red Sport 400 fashions function the identical fundamental engine, however thanks to a couple technical tweaks, they’re endowed with an extra 100 hp and a heaping serving to of additional torque. The normal drivetrain is completely wonderful, however for those who can swing it, seize a Q50 with the extra highly effective engine. It will not disappoint.No matter the mannequin, this Infiniti comes normal with a tried-and-true seven-speed computerized transmission. Quick-witted and easy, this gearbox will get the job achieved with little drama. You can shift your self by sliding the selector lever over to the guide gate, however curiously, my Signature Edition tester doesn’t have paddle shifters, which is a peculiar omission in 2021, particularly for a luxurious automobile.This twin-turbocharged engine supplies an excellent 300 horsepower. 
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    The Q50’s trip is unquestionably on the agency aspect, however these stiff suspenders hold the physique properly managed over undulating pavement. There’s little roll in corners, minimal squat or dive and nil float. As for the brakes, they’re highly effective and the pedal is straightforward to modulate, extra progressive than Bernie Sanders. Unfortunately, the tires aren’t afraid to let their presence be identified. This instance’s P245/40RF19 Dunlop rubbers broadcast the roadway in excessive constancy. Red Sport 400 fashions provide a Dynamic Digital Suspension, which routinely adjusts the shock absorber valves for various highway situations.The tire noise is a bit disappointing, however unquestionably this Infiniti’s biggest weak point is its wonky energy steering, which is sort of a CIA agent: sworn to secrecy. The normal setup (I’m not even speaking concerning the Direct Adaptive Steering system you may get on Red Sport 400 fashions, which has its personal points) telegraphs zero data to your palms about what the entrance tires are doing. Toss the Q50 right into a nook and there isn’t any sensation of weight switch, the wheel does not get heavier as you flip in additional aggressively, all of it simply feels fully artificial, such as you’re steering the automobile with a video-game controller. Another drawback: The Q50 additionally tends to wander. The automobile does not have an excellent sense of straight forward, requiring small course corrections on a regular basis.A blended bag, that is a great way of summing this automobile up.
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    The 2021 Infiniti Q50 begins at about $38,000 together with $1,025 in vacation spot charges, which isn’t a nasty value as of late. As it sits, although, the high-end, all-wheel-drive Signature Edition mannequin you see right here checks out for round $52,000, a determine that is a bit tougher to justify.If you are one of many half-dozen or so individuals nonetheless excited by driving a luxurious sedan as a substitute of an SUV, there are many good selections on the market, although the Infiniti Q50 is not essentially one in all them. I recognize this automobile’s type, consolation and agreeable drivetrain, however there are a number of important weaknesses that detract from an in any other case nice package deal. If you do not want the newest tech, can dwell with anesthetized steering and recognize uncommon infotainment methods, give it a shot. If you desire a automobile that is a bit extra trendy, think about one thing else.

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