For many, the Infiniti brand has always been a mixed bag. It occasionally surpasses expectations, occasionally falls short, and often falls somewhere in between. That being said, the Q50 Red Sport 400 has become regarded as one of the brand’s most enjoyable series, and maybe even the best. It may not stand up against other, more high-end luxury sedans, but it easily holds up against other Infiniti vehicles as a top-of-the-list choice.
There are many things it does well, a few things that could be better, and a few odd things that stand out, but the overall product is perfectly serviceable in light of one’s expectations. As Doug DeMuro plainly demonstrates, the Infiniti brand may not be for everyone, but there’s still something for fans of luxury sedans to appreciate.
Sporty & Simplistic
According to the automaker, the Q50 Red Sport 400 is seen as a contemporary of the Audi S4 or the Lexus LS. In other words, it’s not intended to be the best looking or most powerful, but still good enough to rise above the average. At first glance, that definitely seems to encapsulate the experience of these Sedans as a whole.
The exterior has a sporty and elegant look in a turned-down sort of way. It’s noticeable, but the differences between it and less affluent sedans are subtle at best. For example, the machine-gin tipped dual exhaust ports are almost entirely concealed, making them difficult to notice unless you happen to be looking at them.
The interior is similarly low-key, with an indistinct sleekness that looks good enough but isn’t overtly special in any way. Most notable is the dual touch-screens on the center console, which as the above video explains, are used for both navigation and performance displays. The interface is noticeably more limited and less responsive than most contemporary vehicles have, and they also have a few odd quirks such as having to set a destination on one screen while tracking your destination on the other. Other amenities such as climate control, heated seats, and the stereo system are very conventional. There isn’t really anything extra, but at least there aren’t any glaring issues.
At 400 horsepower, it’s hard not to like how fast and unrestrained these vehicles feel. The twin-turbo V6 engine is still as powerful and energetic as its ever been. As the fastest Infiniti sedan on the market, they’re simply fun vehicles to drive. The acceleration is quick and responsive, there’s little-to-no drag, and they’re definitely speedier than most cars their size.
Beyond its speed, there’s isn’t much else about the performance of the Q50 that makes it stand out. The handling and comfort while driving are both fairly average, though as you may expect by now, there are a few oddities. The all-digital Direct Adaptive Steering system is reliable and precise, though some drivers will always miss having the level of steering feedback that comes from mechanical steering systems. In other respects, the technology is significantly far behind its rivals. For example, it has a foot-mounted parking break and lacks adaptive cruise control. Overall, there’s nothing overtly wrong with the vehicle, but there’s still much to be desired compared to similar luxury sedans.
The Bottom Line
As Doug basically says in the video above, the Q50 Red Sport 400 is not a bad car by any means, though there are others with better looks and features. Its speed and affordability are the two most positive qualities, while most other features of the series are somewhat bland or just above average. Chances are, you would probably rather drive one of Infiniti’s rivals if you could, but the Q50 RS 400 is still enjoyable enough that you can forgive most of its less exceptional features.