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Is the Infiniti Q50 Worth Buying?

The Infiniti Q50 is a luxury sedan that competes with the likes of the Lexus IS, the Audi A4, the Mercedes C-Class, and the BMW 3 Series. That’s some pretty stiff competition as all of the aforementioned rivals have stood their ground in that segment for many years. The Infiniti Q50 isn’t exactly new, however, but it does seemingly go unnoticed by prospective buyers, which could beg the question: Is the Infiniti Q50 actually worth buying?

It’s a little dated

Infiniti has always been known for their alphabet soup when it comes to the naming conventions of their cars. Prior to 2014, their entry-level sedans were labeled with the letter “G,” and after 2014 they renamed them with a “Q.”

Sesame Street lessons aside, the Infiniti Q50 packs a reasonable punch in the luxury sedan segment by offering a couple of potent engine choices and some luxurious touches. But after spending the better part of four years in its current sheet metal, it’s starting to look a little bit dated.

And we don’t mean dated as in “the car looks old” sense, we mean it in the “can it still hold a candle to the stiff competition” sense. According to Car and Driver, the Q50 doesn’t hold up well in its class as it lacks the balance of comfort and performance that stalwarts have continued to evolve.

2019 Infiniti Q50
2019 Infiniti Q50 | Infiniti

Tough competition

As far as the luxury segment goes, any time there are German brands circling the waters, it’s time to buck up on your swimming skills. And while the Infiniti Q50 has managed to stay afloat for the past few years, it can only doggy paddle at best.

Consumer Reports noted that Q50 does handle well and is available some potent engine choices. Speaking of the engines, the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder was dropped from the Q50 line last year and now the car can be had with either a twin-turbo V6 that produces 300 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque or more potent twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 that puts out 400 horsepower and 350 torque.

Kelley Blue Book noted that the engines are very powerful as the top-trim Red Sport 400 is quick, but the light steering feel coupled with the car’s heavy feeling does dull the driving experience. In comparison, the BMW 3 Series offers a more engaging experience.

An Infiniti Q50 on display at an auto show
An Infiniti Q50 on display | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Still well-packaged

Infiniti did package the Q50 well, though. As standard equipment, the Q50 comes with faux-leather upholstery, a dual touchscreen setup, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, auto climate control, power seats, and forward-collision warning.

Some notable options that can be obtained through opting for higher trim levels include real leather upholstery, heated seats, and steering wheel, an around-view camera system, and an upgraded Bose audio system with 16 speakers.

One performance-enhancing option is the Direct Adaptive Steering, but even Kelley Blue Book couldn’t recommend it as the steering felt too numb. Also, driver-assist features are available, however, only on the top-trim Sport and Red Sport 500 models.

After receiving significant updating for the 2018 model year, including a refreshed exterior and interior appearance, the popular INFINITI Q50 sports sedan enters 2019 with a streamlined model lineup and the addition of standard Forward Emergency Braking and Predictive Forward Collision Warning.

Behind the times?

For a luxury brand that’s been out for the past few decades and has even proven time and time again that it’s still relevant in the luxury game, Infiniti might actually be falling behind.

Considering the Q50 is its entry-level offering, which is meant to lure prospective luxury buyers away from its European competition, Infiniti needs to do more to keep up the pace with its rivals.

U.S. News did not recommend the Infiniti Q50 in their review, stating that Audi A4 and Genesis G70 would be better choices thanks to better quality interior easier-to-use infotainment systems.

And while the Infiniti Q50 does well by offering a great price point starting in the high-$30,000 area, we have to agree with other critics in saying that luxury buyers would be better off with any of the other cars in the segment.