2014 INFINITI Q50 Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Many high-tech electronic and safety features
  • nicely detailed interior
  • excellent fuel economy from available hybrid model
  • muscular V6 engine
  • roomy trunk.
  • No option to get a frugal four-cylinder engine
  • disappointing handling when pushed
  • ride quality isn't as smooth as expected
  • hybrid version's odd steering and braking dynamics.
Other years
List Price Range
$15,553 - $21,367

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The new 2014 Infiniti Q50 is stylish and packs plenty of features and technology. But the driving experience is disappointing as entry-level luxury sport sedans go.

Vehicle overview

The 2014 Infiniti Q50 is not only the new generation of the company's popular entry-level luxury sport sedan, it also serves to herald Infiniti's new naming strategy. Infiniti passenger cars will have "Q" designations, while SUVs all have "QX" in their names. The Q50 might use a different name, but it is essentially the latest generation of the car we knew and loved as the G37 and G25.

With a bolder-looking snout, smoother curves, subtle character lines and available 19-inch wheels, the 2014 Q50 looks like a proper evolution of the Infiniti G series and every bit a luxury sport sedan. As before, there's a welcoming, well-trimmed cabin that this year has things kicked up a notch in terms of luxury ambience.

The Infiniti Q50 comes standard with a 3.7-liter V6 that sends 328 horsepower to the rear wheels; all-wheel drive is optional. For the first time, there's a hybrid version as well, and the Q50 Hybrid boasts 354 hp and a very impressive 31 mpg combined fuel economy EPA estimate.

The Infiniti Q50 also features a variety of new technologies. Direct Adaptive Steering is an optional (standard on hybrid), all-electric steering system that Infiniti says allows for quicker responses, improved steering feel and four different driver-selectable settings. In practice, however, we didn't care for it due to its artificial and inconsistent feel. There's also Active Lane Control, which can sense changing road surfaces or crosswinds and then automatically make minor steering corrections, thus reducing driver effort and fatigue. Finally, the Q50 features a new, twin-touchscreen electronics interface as well as added collision-prevention-based safety systems.

Amid all that change, the 2014 Infiniti Q50 mostly retains the spirited personality of the G series line. We say mostly because dynamically it's a mixed bag. The powerful V6 moves the car with impressive authority, but the use of all-season run-flat tires on most trim levels equates to subpar handling when the car is driven hard through turns.

Opting for the Sport trim level sadly doesn't make much difference, as the conservative stability control system still keeps cornering limits on the low side for a sport sedan. The hybrid version is also disappointing due to its strange steering and braking action, as well as its lower than expected fuel economy during our testing. Another downside: Infiniti doesn't offer the Q50 with a frugal four-cylinder engine, meaning its starting MSRP is a little higher than most competitors.

Overall, the 2014 Q50 could still merit consideration among rivals such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac ATS and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. More serious driving enthusiasts will be disappointed in the Q50's ultimate handling capabilities. But if you mainly want a well-built entry-level luxury sedan boasting plenty of advanced technology features, the Q50 should easily satisfy.

2014 INFINITI Q50 models

The 2014 Infiniti Q50 comes in two main variants: Q50 and Q50 Hybrid. The regular Q50 comes in base, Premium and Sport trim levels. The Q50 Hybrid comes only in Premium and Sport trims. All-wheel drive (AWD) is available for every trim.

The base Q50 comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, LED foglights, keyless ignition/entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel (heated on AWD models). Standard electronic features include Infiniti's new InTouch electronics interface (with twin touchscreen displays and smartphone app integration), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and two iPod/USB audio interface ports.

The Premium adds a sunroof, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 14-speaker Bose sound system and a multimedia monitor/display. Springing for the Sport adds a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels with summer performance tires, leather seating, a sport driver seat (with power lumbar and additional bolster adjustments), aluminum pedal trim and paddle shifters.

The Q50 Hybrid versions of the Premium and Sport are also nearly identical. Leather upholstery comes standard on the Hybrid Premium, and all Hybrids have Infiniti's Direct Adaptive Steering (which offers four different steering responsiveness settings) and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.

Options are mostly offered for the Premium and Sport trim levels, as the base Q50 can only be equipped with the optional sunroof. On the non-hybrid Q50 Premium, you can add the 19-inch wheels with summer tires (rear-wheel drive), leather upholstery and a navigation system. The navigation system is also optional for all Sport models.

With those two items in place, the non-hybrid Q50 Premium and Sport models can be enhanced with the Deluxe Touring package that includes adaptive steering, auto-dimming sideview mirrors, a 360-degree camera parking system, front and rear parking sensors, the power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver memory settings, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat with pass-through.

The Technology package (which requires the Deluxe Touring package) features adaptive headlights with automatic high beam control, blind-spot/lane departure warning and intervention systems, an upgraded climate control system with an air purifier, adaptive cruise control, and forward and back-up collision warning and prevention.

Instead of those packages, the Q50 Hybrid Premium and Sport models offer a Deluxe Technology package. It bundles the features from the Deluxe Touring and Technology packages.

2014 Highlights

The 2014 Infiniti Q50 is an all-new model. It essentially supersedes the G37 sedan, bringing with it new styling and new technology features. (Infiniti will continue selling the G37, however). A hybrid-powered Q50 is also new.

Performance & mpg

The 2014 Infiniti Q50 is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 with 328 hp and 269 pound-feet of torque. The Q50 Hybrid has a 3.5-liter V6 that joins forces with a 50-kilowatt electric motor fed by a lithium-ion battery pack for a combined output of 354 hp. All Q50s come with a seven-speed automatic, as there's no manual transmission option. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional.

Fuel economy for the rear-drive Q50 is an EPA estimated 23 mpg combined (20 mpg city/29 mpg highway). Choosing all-wheel drive lowers those numbers slightly to 22 mpg combined (19 mpg city/27 mpg highway). The rear-drive Q50 Hybrid earns 31 mpg combined (29 city/36 highway), while the AWD version comes in at 30 mpg combined (28 mpg city/35 mpg highway). In our testing, however, the Hybrid struggled to meet these numbers.

In other Edmunds testing, a rear-wheel-drive Q50 Premium accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a swift 5.5 seconds, while the hybrid did the same sprint in just 5.2 seconds.

Safety

Every Infiniti Q50 sedan comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is standard on all Q50 trims. The Infiniti Connection service includes roadside assistance, automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle reporting and remote door unlocking.

Available safety features (grouped in various packages) include a 360-degree parking camera system, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot/lane departure warning and prevention, and forward/back-up collision warning systems (which can automatically apply the brakes if a collision is deemed imminent). There's also Active Lane Control which can sense changing road surfaces or crosswinds and automatically add minor steering corrections, thus reducing driver effort and fatigue.

In our testing, we recorded a 60-0 mph stopping distance for a Q50 Premium of 123 feet, which is about average for cars in this segment wearing all-season tires. A Q50 Hybrid Sport with its summer tires performed the feat in 117 feet -- longer than average for a sport sedan wearing summer performance tires.

In government crash tests, the 2014 Infiniti Q50 earned an overall rating of five stars with four stars in front crash tests and five start in side crash and rollover tests. In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety the Infiniti Q50 earned a Top Safety Pick with an overall rating of "Good."

Driving

Acceleration from the 2014 Infiniti Q50's V6 is so strong that you might mistake it for a V8. The finely calibrated automatic transmission is also on point, quickly stepping down a few gears when you need a burst of power to merge swiftly onto a fast-moving freeway or pass an 18-wheeler on the highway.

Although the hybrid version is even quicker, it doesn't seem nearly as smooth. In normal driving, its transition from electric to gas propulsion at lower speeds can be heard and felt. Although not jarring by any stretch, this is still not something we'd expect in a premium hybrid sedan when the same process goes by virtually unnoticed in a Prius.

When the road throws the Q50 a few curves, the jock personality that Infinitis have long been known for is largely missing. All versions of the Infiniti Q50 except the Sport are fitted with standard all-season run-flat tires, and they offer such meager amounts of grip through turns that the car feels noticeably less entertaining on back roads than rivals like the 3 Series and ATS. And although the Q50 Sport is fitted with high-performance summer tires, ultimate cornering ability is still subpar.

The hybrid version is simply odd in terms of dynamics, as its electronically actuated steering feels inconsistent, as does its braking action. The steering lacks feedback and, in Sport mode, is just too stiff. The brakes can get grabby while coming to a stop, despite the driver's smooth pedal modulation.

Ride quality is similarly mixed. The Q50's suspension dispatches truly bumpy pavement well, but the sedan feels slightly fidgety on roads that aren't perfectly smooth. It's not that the Q50 rides poorly, it's just that the choppiness never quite goes away on highway drives. We'd be prepared to accept this trade-off in a focused performance sedan capable of carving up twisty roads, but in non-Sport trim, the Q50 is more of a luxury sedan than a sporty one and ought to provide a more forgiving ride as a result.

Interior

The Q50 continues Infiniti tradition with a cleanly styled cabin that features rich materials (with a choice of genuine aluminum or wood accents), supportive seats and ample room front and rear. The Sport model's front seats also provide power-adjustable bolsters to further tailor lateral support.

The biggest interior change this year is the handsome, down-sweeping center stack that houses a new large central touchscreen. Actually, the new InTouch electronics interface utilizes two stacked displays (8-inch and 7-inch) that offer drivers the ability to display and customize different information on each screen. The touchscreen interface works pretty well, as do smartphone app integration and the redundant controller for the navigation system. In our experience, though, the screens can wash out in direct sunlight.

Thankfully, InTouch continues Infiniti's philosophy of providing user-friendly infotainment interfaces. There are redundant hard buttons for both the climate control and audio systems arranged logically around the lower touchscreen. We wish the radio also had a traditional tuning knob rather than a rocker switch, but overall we like the touchscreen's large virtual buttons and ease of smartphone integration.

Trunk capacity for non-hybrid Q50 models measures 13.5 cubic feet, which is pretty roomy for this class of car. The Infiniti Q50 Hybrid's battery pack and related components reduce that number to 9.4 cubes.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2014 INFINITI Q50.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Don't let the reviews scare you!
Ashley,03/24/2016
Premium 4dr Sedan (3.7L 6cyl 7A)
I was in the market to purchase a Q50, the reviews were scary. Look, the infotainment center is a computer! Just like any desktop computer, it is going to take a minute to boot up & become responsive. So if you are expecting super fast touch screens, do not look at this car. For me, It is quick enough, I never complain about it because I look at it as a computer and interact with it as such! I Love the car and all the features is offers! The ride is smooth, the car is quick & coming from a Hyundai Sonata the difference in quality all around is massive! I bought this car for a long term daily drive & am a happy camper!
Ordinary driver's review after 2 months
jpat0973,02/28/2015
Hybrid Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7A)
I'my not a professionally trained driver looking to evaluate this car on how many Gs it pulls. I'm an ordinary guy who commutes 100 miles per day and bought this car to drive it like most people will - on traffic filled highways and streets with stop lights, not hairpin turns. It is whisper quiet on the highway, faster than anything else you'll see on the road, and sips fuel. Technology is beyond what I need, but has nice features. I didn't get the deluxe technology package because I am more than capable of staying in my lane and hitting the brakes. Bottom line, this is a really nice sedan (it's not a sports car). Extra note, it's great in the snow.
Almost perfect
uttim75,12/21/2013
This car is nearly perfect. It has a combination of looks, power, and technology that's unbeatable in its class, except for one thing: it bundles features that should be standard into expensive packages. I was ready to purchase the Q50 AWD Premium with navigation and leather. But in order to get memory seats and a reverse tilt down mirror, you have to move up to the Deluxe Package (another $3,100). This is unacceptable. I do NOT want the Direct Adaptive Steering that's part of this package. Really disappointed Infiniti would force its customers to buy this new technology that many do not want.
Three years and still an Awesome vehicle
imrgaff,03/20/2014
Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 7A)
After three years this is still the best car I have ever owned. I have not had one problem with it and it has just been a joy to drive. I almost dread turning it in for a new lease. This is my third Infiniti - G35, G37S and now the Q50. I have loved all of them but this is by far the best of the bunch. Everything about this car is great including the technology, which is amazing. The handling and the ride are better than both of the previous cars.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2014 INFINITI Q50 features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover9.7%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2014 INFINITI Q50
More About This Model

Coming up with clear automotive model nomenclature is a thankless job. Names are hard to conjure up and nearly all the letters in the alphabet are taken.

Infiniti was at a point where its current system had become unsuitably awkward, so it binned the whole approach and started over. This is why the 2014 Infiniti Q50, while bearing a brand-new badge on the rump, is a mix of new and familiar parts.

The Q50 is effectively the next-generation G37, but it's not that simple. Infiniti feels like the Q50 is actually a modest step up from the G37 in terms of refinement, style and equipment. "It's the finest sedan we've ever built," company officials like to say.

So it's not a direct replacement in the traditional sense, but a whole new idea of what the company's midrange sport sedan should be.

2014 Infiniti Q50

Major Changes to a Familiar Car
Like the G37, the Q50 will be offered in rear- or all-wheel-drive variants, now separated into three trim levels (base, Premium and the zoomier S). New wrinkles in the G/Q transition include the availability of the Q50 Hybrid, and the fact that no Q50 configuration will include a manual gearbox.

Blame for the latter can be spread equally among consumers and Infiniti. For their part, buyers shunned manual-equipped Gs. On the flip side, Infiniti offered them half-hearted manual gearboxes that only soured the people that did give them a shot.

Our Q50 test car was a rear-wheel-drive Premium model equipped with only two options, leather seating and navigation. Infiniti said this was a typically equipped configuration so its sticker price of $42,805 is close to what you'll see at dealers.

Tiresome Tires
The Q50's overhauled body is 2 inches wider and rides on the same wheelbase as the G37. It's also underpinned by a new rear suspension and wider rear track. Both are notable changes, yet it's the decision to adopt run-flat tires across the board that arguably has the most influence on the way the Q50 drives.

In our case, the Q50 rolled on 225/55/17 all-season Bridgestone run-flats that were hopelessly overmatched by the chassis. There is so little grip that it's as though somebody accidentally mixed clay into their carcasses instead of silica. As a result, when given the mere suggestion of spirited cornering, the front tires protest audibly and early before washing out into understeer. This lack of enthusiasm was reflected in its meager skid pad performance of 0.79g and lackadaisical 60.9-mph slalom result.

2014 Infiniti Q50

Curiously, the Q50's ride quality dispatches truly bumpy pavement well, but is slightly fidgety on roads with prominent irregularities. It's not that the Q50 rides poorly — it doesn't — it's just that the busy-ness never quite settles out on freeway drives.

This would be a totally reasonable ride-handling tradeoff were this a red-blooded sport sedan capable of demolishing back roads with impunity. But the Q50 in non-S trim like our test car is not that car, and the reason hinges largely on its tires. If you want summer tires — and our experience indicates that you should — you need to step up to the Q50S.

Outstanding Powertrain
So, our Q50 tester gives up more handling than it gains back in ride quality. But it's still quite a pleasant car in which to spend time. The hydraulic steering (Infiniti's Direct Adaptive Steering steer-by-wire system was not present on our test car) is wonderfully precise and builds effort naturally as you turn around center, even if its effort overall is a shade light. Noise levels have also been dialed back on every front.

2014 Infiniti Q50

Its 3.7-liter V6 and seven-speed automatic powertrain, while largely carried over, remains a standout. The V6 boots the 3,603-pound sedan forward with such authority that you might mistake it for a V8. It's tremendous. The stats alone of 328 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque don't sufficiently convey its hugely flexible power delivery, or the rapid rate at which it turns that truck lumbering in your lane into a dot in the Q50's mirror.

That power is backed by a sharp, capable transmission calibration that's not afraid to drop a few gears and tap into the engine's ability to rev. In our testing the Q50 finished the 0-60-mph sprint in 5.5 seconds (5.2 with one foot of rollout like on a drag strip) and ran the quarter mile in 13.7 seconds at 102.8 mph.

The brake pedal is slack-free and offers excellent modulation around town. Drop the anchors as hard as possible and you'll discover another limitation of its all-season tires — the Q50's stopping distance from 60 mph is 123 feet, a far cry from the 107 feet of the summer-tired G37S we last tested.

Looks Better Than Ever, Inside and Out
Outside, the styling trades the soft, amorphous forms of the G37 for a far more sinewy stance that recalls its M — soon to be called Q70 — stablemate. To our eyes, the new sheet metal is a big step forward and its tip o' the hat to the Essence show car, one of the dead-sexiest show cars in quite some time, was wisely considered.

The cabin, too, sees upgrades in materials and presentation which make it a more noticeably more luxurious space. There's a bit more shoulder room inside as well, a result of the Q50's greater width. Six-footers can sit in back comfortably without brushing their heads, so it remains a true five-passenger sedan.

2014 Infiniti Q50

There's a new center stack that features a double touchscreen interface, one below for the audio/climate controls and one above for the navigation screen. Both are responsive and fairly intuitive, but neither can avoid the usual touchscreen drawbacks of suspectibility to fingerprint smudges and washout on sunny days. Thankfully, there are hard buttons along the side of the screens if you prefer more traditional controls.

The layout is simple, elegant and easy to get comfortable with. Our only real gripe was the standard seats. The base seats of our test car were short of lower thigh support, and the flat bottom induces road butt in just a couple of hours. Upgraded sport seats come with the "S" trim and are likely a noticeable step up.

Almost There
The sticker on our Premium test car was $2,850 more than the base Q50 which undercuts the current G37 Journey by a hair. Suffice it to say that prices have crept upward but not drastically. In the bargain, EPA fuel economy sees an improvement to 20/30 city/highway mpg, a gain of 1 and 3 mpg respectively over the G37.

2014 Infiniti Q50

There are a lot of reasons to like the Q50, as it brings tangible improvements to an already excellent car in virtually every area. Comfort, space, refinement and efficiency have all stepped forward, and the powertrain is terrific. That word "virtually," though, has our curiosity piqued for the S version which promises to put all of the pieces together in a more convincing fashion.

Used 2014 INFINITI Q50 Overview

The Used 2014 INFINITI Q50 is offered in the following submodels: Q50 Sedan, Q50 Hybrid. Available styles include Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 7A), Premium 4dr Sedan (3.7L 6cyl 7A), 4dr Sedan (3.7L 6cyl 7A), Sport 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 7A), Sport 4dr Sedan (3.7L 6cyl 7A), Hybrid Sport 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7A), Hybrid Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7A), 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 7A), Hybrid Sport 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7A), and Hybrid Premium 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7A).

What's a good price on a Used 2014 INFINITI Q50?

Price comparisons for Used 2014 INFINITI Q50 trim styles:

  • The Used 2014 INFINITI Q50 Premium is priced between $15,553 and$20,998 with odometer readings between 24853 and94611 miles.
  • The Used 2014 INFINITI Q50 Base is priced between $17,995 and$17,995 with odometer readings between 47236 and47236 miles.
  • The Used 2014 INFINITI Q50 Sport is priced between $18,988 and$18,988 with odometer readings between 44359 and44359 miles.

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Which used 2014 INFINITI Q50s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2014 INFINITI Q50 for sale near. There are currently 9 used and CPO 2014 Q50s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $15,553 and mileage as low as 12426 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2014 INFINITI Q50.

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Should I lease or buy a 2014 INFINITI Q50?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out INFINITI lease specials
Check out INFINITI Q50 lease specials