For years, Infiniti was acclaimed for its G-series cars. They were super-sporty little racers that looked sharp, too. Now Nissan’s upscale nameplate is essentially superseding the G37 from that series with its all-new Q50, a rear-wheel-drive, entry-level luxury sports sedan. After driving one of them for a week, I have good and less-good news to report.
The good part is that the 2014 Q50 looks great from the curb, with sleekly elegant lines punctuated by dark, 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. It’s also attractive and comfortable inside. There’s a leather-wrapped steering wheel and supportive, leather-appointed front seats, for example; a power glass moonroof; and a downsweeping, InTouch dual-display screen. This screen is your key to lots of customized information, as well as the all-important SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Other nice touches: a RearView Monitor and a Blind Spot warning system.
The other news about the Q50 has to do with its ride and handling, especially compared to the G cars. The power’s there, deriving from a 3.7-liter V6. Paired with the seven-speed automatic transmission, the engine delivers 328 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, which is more than enough get-up-and-go. Unfortunately, the Q50’s cornering ability and overall performance on twisty and slightly bumpy roads lack the sure elan of the Gs. Uninspiring, you might say. Another complaint, albeit a minor one: We could never get the gas-cap flap to completely close on our spanking-new test vehicle.
With a base price of $43,200, the Q50 quickly pushes the $53K mark once you add in the likes of a technology package and the deluxe touring package. So, in a competitive niche that includes such stellar rivals as the Audi S4, the BMW 328i, and the Cadillac CTS, you couldn’t be blamed for wondering whether the Q in Q50 stands for “Questionable.”