2021 Infiniti Q50
2021 Infiniti Q50
The 2021 Infiniti Q50 is a compact luxury sport sedan with turbocharged engines and a choice between rear- and all-wheel drive.
For 2021 a new trim called Sensory includes features such as a Bose audio system and wood trim, and a couple new colors have been added to the palette.
The base model pulls no punches with its twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 that makes 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The Red Sport trims up those figures to 400 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque.
Rear-wheel drive is standard on all models, though all-wheel drive is available. Power gets sent to the wheels via a 7-speed automatic. Fuel economy for rear-drive, 300-hp models stands at 20 mpg city, 29 highway, 23 combined. All-wheel drive slices those numbers to 19/27/22 mpg. A rear-drive Red Sport gets 20/26/22 mpg; all-wheel drive trims those figures slightly.
Standard active-safety gear includes automatic emergency braking. Adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and blind-spot monitors are included with every model save the base trim. A more advanced lane control system is found on the Red Sport.
We’re still waiting on crash-test results, though the partial data that’s in from IIHS suggests the Q50 holds up well in a collision.
The New Sensory trim expands the Q50 range to four models, with the cheapest still being the $37,625 Pure. The Pure is true to its name, distilling the features list to a few simple pleasures: synthetic leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, and dual touchscreens with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are the highlights.
The Luxe starts at $42,725 and adds 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, more active-safety features, and heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. It also unlocks more options.
The new-for-2021 Sensory carries an asking price of $48,625, which has 16-speaker Bose audio, real wood trim, sportier exterior styling, leather upholstery, and lane-departure warnings. On the performance side, it gains standard adaptive dampers, paddle shifters, summer tires, and bigger brakes. It’s essentially all the sporty hardware of the Red Sport but without the horsepower bump.
The $56,775 Red Sport is everything the Sensory offers plus another hundred horsepower, nappa leather, and a few unique design cues inside and out.
The Q50 was new in 2014, but its design is still as attractive as ever. It simply hasn’t gone out of style. Its swoopy lines are emphatic and emotive, from the tasteful front end to the curvy roof pillars.
The Q50’s interior works well, but hasn’t kept up as well. The dual-touchscreen setup is a confusing nest of menus and inputs with a steep learning curve. Standard smartphone compatibility helps alleviate our concerns.
Front-row occupants have the best seats in the house. The bolsters don’t cut into lateral comfort, and the thick cushions provide plenty of padding. They may very well be some of the best seats in the segment for everyday driving.
The back seat isn’t too bad, either. Its 35 or so inches of leg room is about on par for the class. Three adults across is too tight.
The trunk holds 13.2 cubic feet, which is about right for a sedan of this size.
The Q50 immediately stands out for its engines. No other luxury sport sedan gets a standard turbocharged V-6. The 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 is refreshing: lots of natural power, a sopranic exhaust note, and a general sense of theater that’s missing from the turbo-4 competition.
The Red Sport has the power and price to compete with class champions, but Infiniti’s 400-hp sport sedan suffers from a flinty, overly firm ride and just doesn’t feel as playful as it once did.
A drive-by-wire steering system is available for the Red Sport, but it doesn’t deliver any feedback to the driver. On the plus side, the adaptive damping of the high-end Q50 gives it excellent ride control and handling that still puts a grin on enthusiast faces. It’s a well-sorted sport sedan that’s eager to be driven quickly.
The 2021 Infiniti Q50 has sharp looks and excellent engines, and the latest trim level bundles in plenty of luxury and technology. Still, we’d pick the Luxe trim, which gets lots of great features at a reasonable price point.
—by Anthony Sophinos, with driving impressions from The Car Connection