2018 Infiniti Q50

2018 INFINITI Q50 Review

You don't need to buy European to get sport and luxury. The Q50 has enough of both.
author
by Dan Frio
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

Strong performance, plenty of premium features and a competitive price give the 2018 Infiniti Q50 a well-earned seat at the table with other refined and accomplished luxury sport sedans.

The Q50's interior design continues to age gracefully, but age it does. It's the same basic design used since 2014, and it feels a bit behind the more modern, elegant environments in Audi and Mercedes rivals. But don't let that end your consideration. The Q50 is still a joy to drive. If you're looking for power, consider one of the Q50's turbocharged V6 engines. They deliver a jolt of pony car-esque thrill each time you dig into the pedal, especially in the Red Sport top trim. Infiniti also packs in plenty of standard features for you money.

Overall, the 2018 Infiniti Q50 isn't quite as polished as some rival sedans, but it stands as a desirable and stylish alternative to the status quo.



What's new for 2018

For 2018, Infiniti has simplified the Q50's trim level names and shuffled some features and options. The front and rear ends also receive subtle exterior styling and interior trim changes.

We recommend

The 2018 Infiniti Q50 with the 3.0t engine delivers strong performance and comes with a lot of standard features at a reasonable price. Choosing between the Luxe or Sport trim depends on your driving style and appetite for nicer features (although many Sport features are available as options). If nothing else, the Luxe gives you a little more flexibility with options that aren't exorbitantly priced, but do come bundled in large packages.




Trim levels & features

The Infiniti Q50 luxury sport sedan is available in five main trim levels: 2.0t, 3.0t, Red Sport 400 and Q50 Hybrid trim levels. Infiniti also offers three subtrims, Luxe, Pure and Sport.

The Q50 2.0t starts with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (208 horsepower, 258 pound-feet of torque) paired to a seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional. From there, the 2.0t Pure come with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and foglights, automatic wipers, selectable drive modes, keyless entry and ignition, power-adjustable front seats, simulated leather upholstery, automatic dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, dual touchscreen displays (8-inch upper and 7-inch lower), and a six-speaker CD player with two USB ports and satellite radio. The 2.0t Luxe variant adds 18-inch wheels, a sunroof and maple wood interior accents.

Moving up to the 3.0t brings a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 (300 hp, 295 lb-ft of torque). all-wheel drive is again optional. The 3.0t Luxe is equipped similarly to the 2.0t Luxe trim while the 3.0t Sport adds 19-inch wheels, performance tires, leather upholstery and additional front seat adjustments.

The Red Sport 400 picks up where the 3.0t leaves off and adds a more powerful V6 (400 hp, 350 lb-ft of torque), unique 19-inch wheels (slightly wider in the rear), adjustable suspension settings, transmission paddle shifters, quilted leather upholstery, dark chrome and red stitching interior accents, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, remote engine start, a 60/40-split folding rear seat and a navigation system. The Red Sport 400 also offers a host of driver aids, including a top-down parking camera system, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking.

The Q50 Hybrid Luxe comes in one trim level similarly equipped to the 3.0t Luxe, but it also borrows from the Sport and Red Sport 400 features. Some extra features, including adaptive cruise control and a premium Bose audio system, are also standard on the Hybrid.

Many of the extra features found on the Red Sport are available as options on the lower trims. Depending on the trim level, other key options an adjustable suspension, additional driver aids and a premium audio system.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our first drive of the 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Sedan (turbo 3.0L V6 | 7-speed automatic | RWD).

Driving

The Q50 is a highly competent luxury sedan that's enjoyable to drive. It drives like a smaller, sportier car. The Q50 Sport trim demonstrates its true capability thanks to additional grip, while the Red Sport 400 is nothing short of a refined road hooligan.

Acceleration

The turbocharged four-cylinder engine's 208-hp output is subpar for the class, but real-world acceleration is certainly adequate. Both of the Q50's turbocharged V6 engines offer strong and satisfying power.

Braking

The brakes have a good feel and are easy to modulate, delivering consistent distances at the track. Panic-stopping distances are about average for summer-tire-equipped cars in this class.

Steering

The steering feels quick and precise and builds effort well, though it's a bit light for our tastes. The adaptive steering option on some Q50s is less impressive.

Handling

The Q50 3.0t Sport is a capable sport sedan. It inspires confidence with high levels of grip and composure. The Red Sport 400 amplifies these qualities considerably.

Drivability

The Q50 is a very pleasant sedan to drive. It exhibits good manners in typical driving and a natural sporting demeanor.

Comfort

The Q50 is comfortable and generally quiet, though road noise is still noticeable. The 2018 Red Sport 400 is a superbly comfortable touring car with excellent seats.

Interior

The Q50's cabin makes use of high-quality materials and sturdy construction, but the design hasn't changed much in nearly a decade. Conventional controls are within easy reach, but the touchscreen has some drawbacks. Still, it remains a pleasant and spacious place for driver or passenger.

Ease of use

Most systems are controlled via the split touchscreens, which can sometimes be confusing. Input reactions are quick and menus are intuitive, but the displays are often obscured by glare and fingerprints, especially with the newer protective glass.

Getting in/getting out

The Q50's low step-in height and wide seats facilitate easy entry and exit. As an added bonus, the doors swing open with surprising ease.

Roominess

The airy cabin and the contoured dashboard provide plenty of room up front. Six-footers can occupy the back seat with headroom to spare.

Visibility

The forward view is expansive through the windshield, but the higher beltline and relatively high rear decklid reduce the view over your shoulder and out the rear window. The optional surround-view monitor eliminates any guesswork in tight spaces.

Quality

Even though it's showing its age, the Q50 maintains high standards for materials and craftsmanship. Compared to newer luxury sport sedans, the Infiniti looks and feels about average for the class.

Utility

The Q50's cargo capacity is decent for the class, but interior storage for your personal items is somewhat lacking by contemporary standards. The trunk space is adequate, though the wide opening makes for easier loading.

Technology

It takes a little time to get used to the dual touchscreens, but most users will find the menus intuitive. Reactions to inputs are quick, and updates to the Infiniti InTouch system have kept it relevant.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.