Test Drive : 2016 Infiniti Q50

Sleek and athletic, the Q50 is a head-turner (Photos: Jack Kazmierski)

A dynamic combination of quality, comfort, performance and next-generation technology.

Decisions, decisions! The first thing anyone looking at purchasing a Q50 will need to decide is how big a thrill they want from their driving experience. For 2016, Infiniti’s “entry level” sedan comes in four variations, each of which comes with fun and excitement as standard features.

The Q50 2.0t is equipped with a 208-hp 2.0L turbo 4 cylinder engine, the 3.0t boasts a 300-hp 3.0L twin-turbo V6, the Red Sport 400 features a 400-hp version of the 3.0L twin-turbo V6, and the Hybrid version comes with a 3.5L V6 with a total power output of 360 hp.

One thing customers won’t have to decide is whether or not they want all-wheel-drive, since it’s standard equipment across the lineup… and that’s a good thing. With all four wheels biting into the pavement, you’ve got the traction you need to harness the power of all those ponies for maximum thrills on the road.

Styling

All that power and performance comes in a very sexy package. The exterior of the Q50 is beautifully sculpted with flowing lines and seductive curves. Step into what might best be described as a cockpit, and you’re surrounded by high-quality finishes, and a full array of advanced electronics.

The most striking feature is the Infiniti InTouch system, featuring two huge screens, one on top of the other. The top screen is mostly for navigation, while the bottom screen handles vehicle information, entertainment, climate control, and apps – lots of ‘em. Sync your smartphone and you’ve got instant access to all your communication needs, including email and text, plus all the entertainment stored on your phone, which can be easily streamed through the Q50’s fabulous sound system.

Attention to detail

Infiniti says they paid a lot of attention to the little details when designing the Q50, and it shows. The colour palette is soothing, the cabin is quiet, and everything just feels right. The touch screens are responsive, predictable, and easy to see, day and night. The switches and buttons are solid and precise. All materials appeal to eye and are pleasing to touch.

The engine is eager, the handling is crisp, and despite the obvious athletic character of the Q50, it’s also very pleasant and comfortable on long road trips. Even my 80-year-old mother, who normally drives a much larger vehicle with a much softer suspension was impressed with how comfortable she was in the Q50. Now, if mom says it’s a great ride, who’s gonna disagree?

Vehicle Specs 

Vehicle: 2016 Infiniti Q50
Base MSRP: $39,900
Price as Tested: $46,185
Engine / Transmission (as tested): 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder / 7-speed auto
Power Output: 208 hp / 258 lb. ft. of torque
Fuel Economy (advertised): 10.6 L/100 km (city), 8.4 L/100 km (hwy)
Noteworthy Features / Important Selling Features: fabulous styling, dynamic infotainment system and GPS, all-wheel drive
Chief Competition (top 3): Audi A4, BMW 3-series, Lexus IS

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