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2015 Infiniti Q50 AWD Review By John Heilig


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2015 Infiniti Q50 AWD

By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel


JH Says: The 2015 Infiniti Q50 AWD has good looks, comfort and performance that lifts it above its mundane competition.

AUTO PAGE SPECS
MODEL: 2015 Infiniti Q50 AWD
ENGINE: 3.7-liter V6
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed automatic with manual mode
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 328 hp @ 7,000 rpm/269 lb.-ft. @ 5,200 rpm
WHEELBASE: 112.2 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 189.1 x 71.8 x 57.2 in.
TIRES: P265/35R19
CARGO: 13.5 cu. ft.
ECONOMY: 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway/21.1 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 20.0 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,849 lbs.
STICKER: $45,450 (base)

BOTTOM LINE: The Infiniti Q50 is a solid 4-door sports car (sorry Maxima) that can also be a docile sedan if you ask it. It is a very nice car with enough sporty features to lift it out of the mundane. It has looks, comfort and performance.

Every now and then a car comes down the pike that reminds you that some manufacturers can get it right. The second-generation Infiniti Q50 is such a vehicle. For the more conservative driver, you can simply drive along. If you need power it is there, but it isn’t intrusive. But for the more aggressive driver, you can shift the transmission into sport mode and (almost) hang on while the Q50 takes you on a fun journey. It stops, too, with one of the best sets of brakes I have come across recently.          

Under the hood is a 3.7-liter V6 rated at 328 horsepower. In our test car it drove all the wheels (standard is rear-wheel drive) through a 7-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel if you want to go manual.          

There are four transmission settings – Personal, Sport, Standard, Eco – that really do have an effect on the car. In Standard – the default – performance is no slouch, but the Q50 acts more like a well-powered “normal” sedan. In Sport, however, the Q50 simply wants to leap ahead. There’s about a 1,000 difference in shift points, meaning that in automatic you can run up the tachometer by about 1,000 rpm more before it shifts. Of course, with the manual shifters you can shift any time you want, within reason. With the higher revs comes a healthy exhaust note.          

While the Q50 feels like a sports car, it isn’t hard sprung, so your body doesn’t suffer. It is fun to drive on curvy roads, and even if the roads are new to you, you always feel in control. Those tacky (in the good sense) brakes also add an air of confidence.          

Overall, the Q50 is a very comfortable car to drive. The seats are good, the wheel feels good in your hands, and you have good visibility all around.          

Front seats are comfortable with good side support. The rear seats are also comfortable with some side support. Rear passengers also have good visibility to go along with very good leg and knee room.          

I have always been impressed with Nissan/Infiniti styling. The company seems to be able to do it right and come out with some interesting vehicles. For example, the Q50 exterior has an interesting headlamp treatment that goes well with the sculpted hood and sides.          

I was able to stow one golf bag in the trunk, diagonally. The rear seat backs fold to increase cargo capacity from the standard 13.5 cubic feet. Releases for the rear seats backs are located in the trunk.          

Inside, there are dual screens in the center of the dash. The upper screen is a map or navigation, while audio dominates the lower screen. If you adjust the HVAC system, the temperatures or fan speeds show up on the lower screen. The HVAC system kept us comfortable in a range of temperatures. The sound system is good, and the navigation is easy to program, once you get the hang of it.           

Working back from the center stack, there is an ash tray at the base, then the shifter, a navigation/audio con troll knob, the drive mode selector, two cup holders, and a small arm rest/console with USB and AUX outlets as well as a 12-volt connection. All interior surfaces are “soft” with “carbon fiber”-style trim.          

There’s no question in my mind that Infiniti has gotten it right with the Q50.It is stylish and comfortable, but when you want it to be a sports car (albeit with four doors) it can do that as well, and do it well.

© 2015 The Auto Page Syndicate

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