The 2022 Infiniti Q50 is a sporty compact sedan with a luxurious interior and plenty of tech.
This year, Infiniti adds leather seats, Bose audio, and wireless Apple CarPlay compatibility to the base Q50. Upgraded Sensory and more powerful Red Sport 400 trim levels carry over essentially unchanged. These sedans are close relatives to the Q60 coupe, albeit with a more practical design.
A twin-turbocharged V-6 offers between 300 and 400 hp, depending on the trim, which is either sent to the rear or all four wheels via a 7-speed automatic transmission.
Fuel economy stands at 20 mpg city, 29 highway, 23 combined. With all-wheel drive, those numbers slip to 19/27/22 mpg. The Q60 Red Sport 400 is slightly thirstier thanks to its more powerful engine.
Crash testing has been limited so far, but standard automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, a surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control should help the Q50 avoid many potential impacts.
The Q50 lineup consists of three trims: Luxe, Sensory, and Red Sport 400.
The base Q50 Luxe comes with leather seats that are heated and power-adjustable up front, a moonroof, a dual-screen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay, and a host of crash-avoidance features including adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking. It’s priced a little over $43,000 to start, making it a great value among compact luxury sedans.
The Sensory costs $49,000 and it adds to the base car’s feature set bigger wheels, the option for brown leather, and a built-in navigation system.
Q50 Red Sport versions swap in the more powerful engine, which is paired with suspension and steering tweaks to make the most of that added grunt. Look for one at just below $59,000 to start.
On all Q50 models, all-wheel drive costs an extra $2,000.
Infiniti channels its now-classic G35, albeit with plenty of curvy updates. These sedans have a fairly formal profile, but their details are far more playful. A broad grille with a big Infiniti badge is flanked by large headlights, which cut almost to the big wheel wells. There, you’ll find wheels as big as 19 inches in diameter, while a funky kink in the rearmost roof pillar adds excitement.
Q50 Red Sport models are subtly racier with different intakes below the headlights, upsize wheels sitting in front of big brakes with red calipers, and a minimal amount of brightwork.
Infiniti offers a host of extra-cost metallic paint hues to spice up the Q50 even more.
Inside, look for a dash with a tall center stack that houses twin displays that absorb many controls. A smattering of switches and knobs includes one in the center console to operate the infotainment screen.
Depending on the trim, you’ll get to pick between several hues of leather, aluminum, or wood. Red Sport versions have more seat bolstering and a few sporty touches inside such as quilted leather and red accents, though they don’t deviate too far from the basic look.
Plenty of power adjustment awaits passengers on the newly leather-wrapped seats up front. Rear-seat riders will find good leg room, though three abreast can be tight.
The 13.2 cubic-foot trunk is on the small side for the segment.
Base versions of the Q50 are thrilling enough thanks to plenty of standard power delivered through the prompt-shifting automatic transmission. With an extra 100 hp from an amped-up version of that same engine, the Q50 Red Sport 400 is seriously quick.
These sedans ride well, with good impact absorption even with the largest wheel option fitted to the stiffer Q50 Red Sport. Those models can also be had with adaptive dampers, which may be a good call for drivers in areas with especially lousy pavement.
Braking power is excellent, especially with the upsized discs installed on all Red Sport models.
Only quirky steering and a bit too much body lean hold the Q50 back, though the chassis is well-tuned for winding road driving. The optional all-wheel-drive system adds some winter-friendly confidence, too.
The Infiniti Q50 makes a great value play by luxury standards, with more features and power at its base price than typical rivals.
—by Andrew Ganz, with driving impressions from The Car Connection