Sedans & Coupes

Skip the Infiniti Q50 and Get the Nissan Maxima Instead

Nissan and Infiniti are both in the middle of their own identity crises, but for now, they are two distinct brands.  With Nissan, you get generally reliable and affordable cars while Infiniti is Nissan’s luxury vehicle subsidiary. As you’re shopping between these two car brands, you may notice that the 2020 Nissan Maxima and the 2020 Infiniti Q50 look very much alike. But how similar are they?

Performance

Nissan Maxima |MikeDitzPhoto.com

So, Nissan isn’t known for superior handling, but the car brand does offer ample power in its vehicles. One of the main pros to the Maxima is its satisfying 3.5-liter V6 engine that generates a 300 horsepower. The Maxima is also pretty agile so accelerating and braking at faster speeds is no problem.

We’d say that the Maxima is peppy and pleasant enough, but others complain that its handling is dull. Ultimately, you would just have to decide for yourself after a test drive. The Maxima gets a combined 24 mpg which is about average for its class.

2019 Infiniti Q50
Infiniti Q50 | Infiniti

Compared to the Maxima, the Infiniti Q50 offers a little more variety performance-wise. The Q50’s base engine is a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that also makes a 300 hp. For slightly more power, you can go up to the Red Sport trim which is a 400-hp version of the base engine.

Both engine options for Q50 are responsive and pleasant enough, but neither is outstanding, especially for the luxury sedan class. Drivers have found the Q50’s seven-speed automatic transmission to be a bit lackluster. Its fuel economy rating is slightly below average for its class with a combined 22 mpg.

On the inside

As far as interior features go, the Q50 is also below average in its class.  Its overall design on the inside looks outdated and doesn’t feel as upscale compared to its competitors. On the plus side though, the Q50 is comfortable to ride in and comes with a nicely organized dual-screen infotainment system. There’s an 8-inch touchscreen on top and a 7-inch touchscreen on the bottom.  

Standard infotainment features on the Q50 include Bluetooth, HD Radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The downside though is that this infotainment system isn’t as user-friendly as we would like it to be. Oppositely enough, the Maxima has an easier to use infotainment system and its cabin looks more attractive. The Maxima also comes with desirable standard features including Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and voice recognition. 

Safety

Both the Q50 and the Maxima have earned good safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. To help avoid crashes, both sedans also come with advanced safety features including forward- collision warning and automatic emergency braking. But, more advanced safety features come standard on the Maxima compared to the Q50.

The final verdict

The Maxima performs way better in its class in comparison to the Q50. The Maxima comes with more standard features, a more modern look cabin, and even offers better handling compared to its luxury counterpart.  Furthermore, the Maxima has a higher reliability rating than the Q50 and is about $2K cheaper.