Sunday, August 9, 2020

2019 Infiniti Q50 Signature Review


When talking about luxury sport sedans, it is easy to overlook the ones coming from Asia. After all, the likes of Audi A4 and BMW 3-series with their proven track records have long dominated this sector. Things have started to shift in recent years. Both Genesis and Acura have come up with their versions of the luxury sport sedans, and the 2019 Q50 is Infiniti's latest effort.

Thanks to Infiniti Canada. I was loaned the Q50 Signature for one week to test drive. Below is my unbiased review.

It looks like Infiniti has finally landed on a universal design language that is both attractive and unique. The front grille and LED headlights combination gives the Q50 a serious, confident look. The lower front bumper with the integrated lower air intakes and fog lights makes the car look planted and wide.

Sculpted, aerodynamic body and muscular lines gives the Q50 a sporty, exciting look, and the 19" aluminum alloy wheels enhances that image. Crescent cut rear widows make the side profile unique, but I would prefer the lines to be sharper like the ones found on my recently reviewed QX50.

The LED tail lights echo the front lamps. They are long, segmented, and prominent. The integrated spoiler is subtle, but gives the rear end a complete look.

I very much enjoy the exterior of the Q50. It doesn't look as polished as its German counterparts, but it is sporty and has a personality.

The interior of the Q50 is much more conservative compares to its exterior. High-end materials are generously appointed, and I do enjoy the clean, purpose-driven layout. The penalized leather door trims and the printed aluminum panels provide a unique combination that is visually appealing.

The heated and vented front seats are terrific. They are plush and supportive. The legrooms for the front seats are excellent, and the Q50 provides a relatively unobstructed view from the driving position.

The rear seats are also quite comfortable. There isn't as much legroom in the rear cabin, and the raised floor in the center makes sitting in the middle uncomfortable. Thankfully there are a dedicated air vent and a fold down center armrest dedicated to the rear passengers.

Overall, the interior of the Q50 is indeed a comfortable, upscale place to be. However, it isn't as sophisticated or luxurious as its European counterparts.

The Q50 comes with a touch-screen infotainment system consists of a 8" upper display and a 7" lower display. I very much enjoy being able to see both navigation information and radio information at the same time, but operating the dual screens can be tricky. Thankfully, redundant physical controls for audio and climate systems help to ease the operation. The upper display is controlled by the physical dial located behind the shifter. The system response is fast, but the graphics can once again, use some polish.

Surprisingly, Apple Carplay and Android Auto are not included. A 16-speaker Bose premium audio system provides a fantastic listening experience. The LCD information display, which is located in the instrument panel and controlled via the buttons on the steering wheel is informative, but on the smaller side for a luxury car.

Safety and Driver Assistance
Infiniti has been generous with providing safety and driver assist technologies. The Q50 is no exception. The following features are standard for all trims:
  • Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW)
  • Forward Emergency Braking (FEB)
  • Blind Spot Warning (BSW)
The followings are available as options:
  • Intelligent Cruise Control (Full-Speed Range)
  • Distance Control Assist (DCA)
  • Backup Collision Intervention (BCI)
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Departure Prevention & Active Lane Control™
  • Blind Spot Intervention® (BSI) System
  • Direct Adaptive Steering® (DAS)
  • Around View Monitor (AVM)
  • Adaptive Front Lighting System
The 2019 Q50 is not yet rated by NHTSA and IIHS at the time of writing.

Our Q50 tester is power by a 3.0L V6 Cylinder Twin-Turbo that produces 300hp of horsepower and 295 lb.ft. of torque. All that power is coupled to a smooth shifting 7-Speed automatic AWD transmission. It is a fast car. Of course, there is the Red Sport 400 version if you need more power. But getting from 0-100km/hr in less than 5.3 seconds should be fast enough for most people. The throttle is very responsive through different engine RPMs.

The drive-by-wire steering in our Q50 is called direct adaptive steering by Infiniti. Like the adaptive damping it is equipped with, they are adjusted according to the selected drive mode. I personally prefer the Sport or Sport+ modes. They provide more weight to the steering wheel and slightly more feedback in turns.

The Q50 handles well. It is confidence inspiring in corners and comfortable on rougher roads. However, some competitors manage to provide a more engaging drive. The Q50 lacks a "IT" factor when it comes to drive dynamics, but provides a satisfying driving experience nonetheless. The fuel economy rating is 12.4L/100km city and 8.7 highway. Our 95% city test drive returns a 12.5L/100km fuel economy figure.

Cargo Space & Storage
There is 13.2 cu.ft. of trunk space in the Q50, which is about average. There is a center pass-through door for long, skinny items like a pair of skies. The rest of the rear seats can also be folded, but the opening is somewhat restricted, and the trunk floor is quite a bit lower than the folded seat backs.

Cabin storage space is slightly below average. The center console storage bin is on the small side, so are the rear door pockets. However, there are two integrated cup holders in the fold-down armrest, and two storage pockets behind each of the front seats.

The 2019 Infiniti Q50 is an excellent car competing in a very tough market. It offers potent engine options, agile handling, handsome exterior, and comfortable interior. However, some of its competitors are offering better handling, more sophisticated cabins, and better fuel economy ratings. Most of them though, come at a significant premium. At under $50,000 CAD, the Q50 offers tremendous value for the money, and is definitely earning a place in this competitive segment.

Test Vehicle
2019 Q50 3.0T Signature Edition
$49,290 CAD with Freight & PDE
Iridium Blue

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