Saturday Road Test – Infiniti Q50 AWD

                              Infiniti Q50 AWD

                         Now For Something Different   

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By Ron Amadon

Damascus, Md. – This is one sleek and almost sexy design aimed at luxury car buyers who look down the street and see a lot of the Q50’s rivals.

 Since this is the age of change in our land, allow me to suggest that a test drive in the Q50 should be high on the list of those who want something distinct.

 Now that you are pondering differences, here is something the Q shares with a rival. That is the base engine, a 208 horsepower turbo four with 258 lb-ft of torque from Mercedes. In the Infiniti, the turbo was matched to a smooth and fast acting 7-speed automatic including a manual shift mode with rev matching that added a sporty touch.

 Economy wise, the combination with AWD is EPA rated at 22 mpg city, 28 highway for a combined 24. In mostly suburban and interstate travel I clicked in at 26 mpg for the week’s test.  

 The Q50’s base engine won’t exactly pin you back into the seat when you floor it, and the sound it makes at high end rpm’s is raspy. But, on the other side of the coin, there are potential buyers who will find the four exactly what they are looking for and equate 0-60 as something related to the preparation of an egg.

 And there is always the next upgrade, the 3.0-liter, 300 horsepower turbo 6, or the hold on to your hat Gertrude, 400 horsepower V6.

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 The interior was very nicely finished off and riders will know that you opted for a luxury car. Of particular note were the very comfortable multi-adjustable seats. It may take a bit of time to find that “exactly right” adjustment, and when you do, the Q50 will be the car for that long ride to Grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving. Two adults will be cosseted in the rear seats.

 Kudos to the Bose audio system with no less than 14 speakers sprinkled here and there that made up the “surround sound” package.

 The test Infiniti came with a $2,150 “Premium Plus Package” that brought many items that some would consider standard such as memory seat settings, power lumbar support, Navi, as well as heat for both seats and steering wheel. One feature will automatically heat the front seats on cold mornings thus eliminating the chance you arrive at work with a cold bottom. That brought the MSRP to $42,705.

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 It will take a while to figure out what the dual screens accomplish in the center stack. They can dish out multiple bits of information but finding them can be a chore. Suffice to say that navi functions live on the top screen but some of its controls live on the bottom screen. A demerit for the lack of support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

 Frankly, I would opt for the next engine choice up the line, the 3.0 V6 turbo with all-wheel drive for the added acceleration and with a view toward Old Man Winter who is already raising havoc in the Midwest.  

 You would end up with a luxury car that turns heads with its exterior styling, yet sends a message that you are not joining the crowd on the block when it comes to car shopping.

 With the turbo six there’s lots to like in Q50. There is a reason it is Infiniti’s best-selling brand.  

 Some specs for model year 2017:

 For 2017, new 2.0t Sport and 2.0t Sport AWD models are added, along with a new Design Package for V6-equipped Sport models. In addition, Red brake calipers and red “S” side fender badging are added to Red Sport 400 models

Models/grades

Q50 2.0t, Q50 2.0t AWD, Q50 2.0t Premium, Q50 2.0t Premium AWD, Q50 2.0t Sport and Q50 2.0t Sport AWD, Q50 3.0t Premium, Q50 3.0t Premium AWD, Q50 3.0t Sport, and Q50 3.0t Sport AWD, Q50 Hybrid Premium and Q50 Hybrid Premium AWD

Options/Packages

Moonroof, Spare Tire, Leather Seating, Premium Plus (2.0t, 3.90t, 3.0t Sport, 2.0t Sport), Direct Adaptive Steering, Technology, Maple Wood Accent, 19″ Sport Tire & Wheel, Design

Powertrains

2.0-liter inline turbo 4-cylinder (208 hp), 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo (300 hp), 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo (400 hp), 360-horsepower (net) Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid™ System with 3.5-liter V6, 50 kW electric motor and Lithium-ion battery

Transmission

7-speed automatic with Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) and manual shift mode with Downshift Rev Matching

Drive configuration

Rear-wheel drive or Infiniti Intelligent All-Wheel Drive System

Suspension

Independent double-wishbone front, multi-link rear, available sport tuning; available Dynamic Digital Suspension

Fuel economy

City/highway/combined

2.0: 23/31/26 mpg (RWD), 22/28/24 mpg (AWD)

3.0 – 300 hp: 19/29/23 (RWD), 18/28/22 (AWD)

3.0 – 400 hp: 20/26/22 (RWD), 19/26/22 (AWD)

 Technology & Safety

Available second-generation Direct Adaptive Steering,  Blind Spot Warning, Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Prevention, Intelligent Cruise Control, Backup Collision Intervention, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Forward Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection.

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