Mark Takahashi has worked in the automotive industry since 2001. He has written thousands of car-related articles and tested and reviewed hundreds of vehicles over the course of his career.
Turbocharged V6 engines pack plenty of power
Comfortable front and rear seats
Interior design looks dated and plain
Operation of advanced driving aids lacks refinement
Convoluted infotainment system operation
Most rivals do it better for a similar price
Base 2.0T Pure trim has been replaced by the 3.0T Pure
Revised infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
New Edition 30 trim
Part of the first Q50 generation introduced for 2014
Infiniti has been using its Q-based alphanumeric naming convention for a few years now, but it can still be hard to keep track of what's what. The Infiniti Q50 is the brand's entry-level luxury sport sedan, which debuted back in 2014 as a replacement for the Infiniti G sedans. Considering its age and lineage, this 2020 model is far from being the freshest or most exciting model in the class.
But that doesn't mean there's nothing to like here. The Q50 offers many of the latest high-tech features and driving assistants as well as better-than-average performance at a reasonable price. For 2020, in particular, Infiniti has dropped the previous entry-level four-cylinder engine and replaced it with a 300-horsepower V6. There's also a new infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.
The lack of smartphone integration was a pretty serious drawback last year, so it's fair to say the Q50 is a better pick than it's been in the past. We also like the sporty performance provided by the V6, which you can ramp up to 400 hp in the Red Sport 400 trim level. Overall, the Q50 could be worth a look, especially if the price is right. But know that rival sedans such as the BMW 3 Series, Genesis G70 and Volvo S60 are newer and more desirable overall.
Edmunds Expert Rating
Our VerdictThe Edmunds Vehicle Testing Team evaluates a fresh batch of vehicles every week, pairing objective assessments at our test track with real-world driving on city streets, freeways and winding roads. The data we gather results in our Expert Ratings. They’re based on 30-plus scores that cover every aspect of the automotive experience.
The Infiniti Q50 has a curious and often confusing mix of design. On the performance side, the engine is powerful, but the lifeless steering and middling tires quash any sporting intentions. Inside, you'll find comfortable seats, but the clumsy and cluttered two-screen infotainment system will exasperate even the most tech-savvy users. Other sedans are simply more cohesive and refined for similar money.
How does the Q50 drive? There's still some life left in the Q50, and that's mostly thanks to its standard turbocharged V6 engine. It revs smoothly and makes ample power. The Q50 is quicker than the average small luxury sedan too. In our testing it needed only 5.4 seconds to get to 60 mph. Merging into traffic is a breeze. The Q50's brake pedal makes it easy to stop smoothly in typical driving, though actual braking performance isn't as good. Our test car needed 123 feet to stop from 60 mph in our emergency-stop test. Most competitors stop about 10 feet shorter.
Handling capability and steering feel are disappointing. The Q50's fully electric system bypasses the usual mechanical connection to the front wheels and all but eliminates feedback and accuracy. There might be a proper sport sedan hiding in here somewhere, but the Q50's meddling electronic systems make it hard to drive this car smoothly or enjoyably.
How comfortable is the Q50? The front seats are comfortable even on long drives. Rear passengers will be pretty comfortable. But the Q50's ride comfort, or lack thereof, takes its toll. The Q50 feels almost constantly busy on anything but a perfectly smooth road. Driving over even moderately sized imperfections is noticeably jarring.
Interior noise is dominated by road noise from other vehicles, especially at highway speeds. Thin windows and minimal door insulation are the likely culprits. Thankfully, the engine omits a pleasant, quiet whir, even under full throttle. The climate control system works pretty well for keeping a set temperature, but the controls aren't logically arranged.
How’s the interior? Front passengers won't have any issues getting in or out of the Q50, and the driver's seat and steering wheel have plenty of adjustment so you can find a comfortable position. Taller rear passengers will need to mind their heads and feet when getting in. Visibility out of the front and sides is better than average thanks to the Q50's slim roof pillars, but the short rear window and high trunklid compromise the view to the rear.
The big demerit here is the Q50's control layout. The dual-screen layout is just odd and makes finding and operating controls a lot harder than it should be. Infiniti needs a do-over.
How’s the tech? Without a doubt, this is the most disappointing part of the Q50 experience. The dual-screen infotainment system is a patchwork of mismatched fonts, resolutions and menus that will confound most buyers used to well-integrated technology. We experienced many navigation glitches and hours of frustration attempting to memorize the menu architecture. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration is standard but doesn't eliminate the exasperation of simply using the Q50.
We found some of the Q50's driver aids to be overly sensitive to the point where we turned them off. Adaptive cruise did work well, but Infiniti's Active Trace Control, which uses predictive technology to aid in performance driving, is clumsy and not really effective.
How’s the storage? The generous trunk opening is nice to have, but the fairly prominent wheelwells intrude into the cargo area. Trunk hinges are mounted on the outside of the cargo area, allowing you to load the Q50 to capacity without risk of damaging items when you close the lid. The rear seats fold down, but the resulting opening into the cabin is small and not very useful.
Inside, the cupholders will need to do most of the daily heavy lifting since there's no convenient place to store something the size of a smartphone. There is a flip-up door in front of the shift lever, but it's better suited for access cards or smaller items like a pack of chewing gum. The center console storage is compromised by USB and power ports.
How’s the fuel economy? We tested the all-wheel-drive Q50 (non-Red Sport), which has EPA-estimated fuel economy of 22 mpg (19 city/27 highway). V6-powered competitors post similar figures. Pleasingly, our test car easily met those estimates, and on our 115-mile evaluation route, our Q50 returned an impressive 25 mpg. The Q50's fuel tank is pretty big too.
Is the Q50 a good value? The Q50 comes with a lot of style and a decent amount of power, but it falls a bit short in terms of premium content. At first glance, the interior seems to be well equipped for the modern driver, but upon closer inspection, it trails many competitors in technology and trimmings. Fit and finish is up to the mark, but the many materials and styles run counter to a more appealing simple design scheme. The busy approach detracts from the car's luxurious feel.
Infiniti purports that the Q50 offers both thrills and luxury, but even with its turbocharged V6 engine and reconstructed leather seats, the Q50 falls short of offering a true luxurious or sporting experience. Deep beneath the piles of modern technology lies the bones and the feel of the old, and much-appreciated, G37 sedan. But time and lack of real development and fine-tuning have saddled a solid chassis with a disappointing numbness.
Which Q50 does Edmunds recommend?
The base 3.0t Pure trim may be a bit too spartan for the typical luxury sedan buyer, so we suggest stepping up to the 3.0t Luxe model. It doesn't come with a lot of standard features. But it is eligible for the Essential and ProAssist packages that add navigation, heated front seats, 60/40-split folding rear seats, and many advanced safety features.
2020 INFINITI Q50 models
The 2020 Infiniti Q50 is available in five trim levels: 3.0t Pure, 3.0t Luxe, Edition 30, 3.0t Sport and Red Sport 400. Most models feature a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine (300 hp, 295 lb-ft of torque), but the Red Sport 400 increases output to 400 hp and 350 lb-ft. A seven-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels. All-wheel drive is offered on all trims.
Standard feature highlights for the 3.0t Pure include LED exterior lighting, keyless entry and ignition, simulated leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, dual touchscreen displays, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a six-speaker sound system. Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking is also included.
The 3.0tLuxe adds a few minor upgrades, but more significantly it grants access to two key option packages — the Essential and the ProAssist — that bring a wealth of desirable luxury and safety features.
The new Edition 30 includes all of the above, along with special exterior and interior styling details.
Opting for the 3.0t Sport gets you unique bumpers, adaptive dampers, larger brakes, paddle shifters, sport front seats, and additional luxury features such as a 16-speaker Bose audio system. At the top of the range, the Red Sport 400 trim adds the more powerful V6 engine plus premium leather upholstery. Both the Sport trims are eligible for the ProActive package that offers even more driver assist features.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2020 INFINITI Q50 RED SPORT 400.
Have a 2020 Red Sport AWD in Majestic White. Very beautiful styling and interior. Lots of functional gadgets and comes fully loaded in the base model. Engine is a dream, almost scary acceleration in sport plus mode. Only negative are the bad reviews of the OEM Dunlop run flats.
5 out of 5 stars
Bad to the bone
RED SPORT 400 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 7A)
With 400 horses under the hood and nice looking lines you can’t beat for the price. Yes BMW and Mercedes and others offered more but with price tag $20,000 higher.
The Used 2020 INFINITI Q50 RED SPORT 400 is offered in the following styles: RED SPORT 400 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 7A), and RED SPORT 400 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 7A).
The Used 2020 INFINITI Q50 RED SPORT 400 comes with all wheel drive, and rear wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 7-speed shiftable automatic.
The Used 2020 INFINITI Q50 RED SPORT 400 comes with a 4 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 6 yr./ 70000 mi. powertrain warranty.
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