A good compact luxury sedan should be comfortable, reliable, and be packed with plenty of technology to justify its price. The Infiniti Q50 accomplishes this for the most part, but it’s still lacking in some critical areas. As MotorTrend points out, the 2020 model’s biggest disappointment was its shortage of standard safety features.
Even if a vehicle has best-in-class safety ratings, it should have standard driver aids, especially at a luxury price point. Fortunately, the 2021 Infiniti Q50 is slated to receive some much-needed safety features. However, are these additional features enough to salvage the Q50’s lackluster reputation?
The Infiniti Q50 has some problems
MotorTrend’s staff has been very critical about the Infiniti Q50, citing messy handling as a reason for its low appeal. Despite its high-powered engine, the Q50 doesn’t have a limited-slip differential, which can make the car difficult to control. The available adaptive steering system doesn’t have a traditional mechanical connection to the front wheels. This causes numb steering and an overall lack of engagement while driving.
While the sedan’s suspension can absorb hard bumps without issue, it makes the ride stiffer than most people would like. This isn’t helped by the unsupportive driver’s seat. Consumer Reports also pointed out that a lot of noise penetrates the Infiniti Q50’s cabin.
The 2020 Q50’s interior generally falls short of what you’d expect from a luxury car. Besides the backup camera, its only standard safety features are automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning. Higher trims can be equipped with other useful aids like lane-keeping assistance and blind-spot monitors.
To its credit, the 2020 Infiniti Q50’s infotainment system received some updates for this year. It’s now equipped with standard smartphone integration, and there are a few extra USB ports. However, actually using the infotainment screen is still a frustrating experience.
The dual-display screen is notoriously finicky to operate and many drivers experience glitches while trying to perform simple tasks. The menus have poor resolutions, differing font sizes, and overly complicated layouts. Edmunds also reported that the included safety aids don’t even function properly, prompting testers to disable them.
Unfortunately, the Q50’s interior design hasn’t been updated at all since its release in 2014. While its cabin may have impressed critics back then, it looks woefully dated by today’s standards. Half of the cabin still sports soft-touch and premium materials, but there are also plenty of hard plastic bits.
What safety features were added for 2021?
The standard Infiniti Q50 will now be equipped with lane departure warning, intelligent cruise control, and rear collision warning. An upgraded 360-degree camera system and blind-spot monitors are also included to improve drivers’ visibility. Finally, all Q50s will have automatic high beams, but only higher trims get the adaptive pivoting headlights.
What else to expect from the 2021 Infiniti Q50
The new Infiniti Q50 Sensory trim will be a sport-minded model, complete with sports seats and some stylish interior upgrades. The Sensory trim will have the standard engine offering, a twin-turbo V6 that makes 300 hp. This engine makes 400 hp under the hood of the Red Sport models.
The Q50 Red Sport received a small upgrade in the form of power-folding and automatic dimming mirrors. Other than that, all the other trims remain unchanged. For the time being, it seems that the automaker is more interested in upgrading its SUV lineup.
While appreciated, a few new safety upgrades probably won’t entice shoppers to take a chance on the Infiniti Q50. Its ample V6 power and attractive styling certainly give it potential, but it’s not a standout sedan in its current state.