2014 Lexus IS F-SportInfiniti and Lexus might be a little concerned now that both of their new luxury sedans, the Q50 and IS250, were unable to net Consumer Reports vaunted "Recommended" rating during their first year on the market. In fact, not only did the two fail to earn a "Recommended" rating, they finished behind the vast majority of the competition after testing, including the BMW 328i, Mercedes-Benz C250, Lincoln MKZ and Volvo S60 T5.

The Q50 managed to snag a "Very Good" rating overall, but CR criticized it's road manners for not being as thrilling as the car it (sort of) replaces, the G37. The mag called the handling mundane and the steering dull, while also remarking on the poor controls. According to CR, the interior quality is "nothing special." Shade was also thrown at the Q50's reportedly poor ride.

Compared to the IS, though, the Q50 got off easy. CR called it "neither sporty nor luxurious," while criticizing the 2.5-liter V6's lack of oomph and poor fuel economy. The mag then went on to lambaste the IS's handling, steering, interior, cabin space and infotainment system.

It's possible the two vehicles will improve when reliability information becomes available, although based on the wallop they just received, they could have all the reliability of a wood-burning stove, and CR would still end up damning them. Take a look below for one of the more brutal press releases we've seen in some time. Both vehicles are also up on the Consumer Reports website.
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INFINITI Q50 & LEXUS IS 250 MISS THE MARK IN CONSUMER REPORTS' TESTS

IS 250 Scored Too Low to be Recommended

YONKERS, NY- Two promising upscale sedans, the redesigned Infiniti Q50 and Lexus IS 250, fell short in Consumer Reports' tests and wound up near the bottom of the rankings-below competitors from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lincoln, and Volvo.

The Q50 was intended to replace the G37 in Infiniti's lineup, but it has taken a step back from its excellent predecessor. "The Infiniti G has been one of Consumer Reports' highest-rated sedans for many years, but after its 2014 redesign and transition to the new Q designation, this car seems to have lost its way," said Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports.

The Infiniti Q50 posted a "Very Good" overall road test score but still landed near the bottom of the rankings for sporty and upscale sedans. The IS 250 scored merely a "Good." It was the worst road test score posted by any Lexus sedan in recent memory. Other competitors posting higher overall road test scores include the BMW 328i, Mercedes-Benz C250, Lincoln MKZ 2.0 EcoBoost and Volvo S60 T5.

CR's engineers and editors found that the Q50 isn't as much fun to drive as the G37. Handling is mundane, due in part to dull steering. The underwhelming driving experience strips the car of much of its sporty legacy. The Q50 also doesn't ride well and isn't particularly quiet. Its new InTouch dual-screen controls are slow to respond, and interior quality is nothing special. On the plus side, the Q50 is very quick, even with the added weight of the optional all-wheel-drive system.

Consumer Reports' testers found the Lexus IS 250 is neither sporty nor luxurious. CR purchased and evaluated the IS 250 with the small 2.5-liter V6 because that is the model most consumers will buy; the test vehicle is also fitted with all-wheel-drive, a popular option. In that trim, the vehicle's acceleration lacks punch. Fuel economy is disappointing at 21 mpg overall in CR's own tests.

The Lexus IS handling is short on finesse, with vague-feeling steering that doesn't telegraph much feedback. Road noise is elevated and the ride is neither plush nor tied-down. The interior is very tight, even when considered against the modest standards for sports sedans, with a narrow cabin, wide center console and large overhanging dashboard. In addition, the IS 250's controls now include the fussy, distracting mouse-like controller found in other Lexus models.

Neither the Q50 and IS 250, can be Recommended. Although the Q50 scored reasonably well, it's still too new for CR to have reliability information. The IS 250 scored too low to be Recommended; CR also doesn't have reliability data on it because it's new. To be Recommended, a vehicle must perform well in CR's battery of tests, have average or better reliability in CR's Annual Auto Survey and perform well in government and industry crash tests.

Complete tests results for the Infiniti Q50 and Lexus IS250, as well as results of the new Fiat 500L and Nissan Versa Note appear on www.ConsumerReports.org today, and in the December issue of Consumer Reports, on newsstands November 5. Updated daily, ConsumerReports.org is the go-to Website for the latest auto reviews, product news, blogs on breaking news, and car-buying information. Check out CR's ongoing Twitter feed at @CRCars.

Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, Website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 97 Comments
      SethG
      • 1 Year Ago
      The good news for Infiniti is that nobody knows what the Q50 is.
      telm12345
      • 1 Year Ago
      To all those who kept whining about Consumer Reports being unfair to everyone and biased to the Japanese... here you go. This is why more people listen to Consumer Reports more than any other review. They buy their products and test them quite methodically.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @telm12345
        [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
      Boston
      • 1 Year Ago
      Writing tip: "It's" = "It is"
      Rob
      • 1 Year Ago
      Time for the "new guy" @ Infiniti to be the new guy somewhere else....between the Q50's horrible reviews and the less than stellar "released before ready" electronics - not to mention run flat tires (why????) the new ex-Audi cheif has eared his way out! Single handedly destroying a decade of G-sedan success. Sad.
      JonZeke
      • 1 Year Ago
      If you carefully read the media reviews from the conventional outlets, they actually very carefully point out all the shortcomings CR did. Problem is they hide them in the midst of fluff words, and deep into the articles such that a casual reader might overlook the comment about lifeless steering in the Infiniti (or why it is a thing now: turns out Infiniti has gone for a steering system completely divorced from the rack - true steer by wire - in a bid towards autonomy. The hybrid Q50 uses this feature as part of its efficiency portfolio, and also as part of several semi-autonomous features. CR should provide this information so their readers can understand why things are so.) The Lexus was also carefully derided in the press. Hence why the main magazines will wait a little bit to run a big comparison test which punts it against the Cadillac and BMW benchmarks. If the automaker knows it won't fare well they tend to push the outlets to delay certain comparisons to not affect initial sales. Plus you can't even get an F-Sport in colors other than grays and that lame red with a red interior. You need F-Sport for any semblance of handling, but you can't even get it in the colors you like? Shame on you Lexus.
        Cornerstrike
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JonZeke
        Customer came in the other day who was comparing an S4 to an IS350 F Sport. Didnt have an F Sport, so put him in a regular IS350. He was very surprised(in a good way) about how the car handled and drives. The car handles really well, regardless if its F Sport or not. Using my Evo X as a reference. And the F Sport comes in Red/Silver/Black/White exterior with two tone Red/Black/Light Gray interior with black carpeting. While I agree that it is not as many colors as a 3 Series with M package, Lexus doesnt charge for extra colors either.
      Scooter
      • 1 Year Ago
      It would be nice, if somewhere in the world a company existed that made cars people could afford, but were also developed down to the very last detail. Instead companies want to cover every single variant and segment imaginable. I think its why Tesla gets so much praise. When you dilute the brand with models to cover every segment on this green earth, you also spread your resources much thinner. Then of course you get products which shine in some categories while dim in others.
        David MacGillis
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Scooter
        Uh.. One thing you might take into consideration about Tesla.. They haven\'t made money yet either. And without a broad range of profitable products, they never will.
        sp33dklz
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Scooter
        And what about your comment being cars that people can afford? I can "afford" about $30k on my current work and school schedule, but I dont' know if Tesla even starts below $60k?
      Charlie
      • 11 Months Ago
      The Infinity SUV is a noisy and expensive piece of crap that gets terrible gas milage and is 2x more expensive to operate and maintain than my BMW which cost twice as much. To replace a valet key is $250. It can't be done by a locksmith. The door lock broke. They wanted $2500 to fix it. Car seat broke $3000. It has had four brake jobs. You need one every 25,000. DON'T BUY AN INFINITI!
      Justin
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have never understood the appeal of the IS250. Terrible value compared to anything else in its class. A sport sedan should have more power than $25k family sedans. Also looks like Infiniti has abandoned being the Japanese BMW and is now trying to sell white bread to the masses. Oh well, the G had a good run.
      Johnnie
      • 1 Year Ago
      CR needs to stick with things they know, like toasters, washing machines and deliberately flipping SUV's...
        whofan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Johnnie
        Worse Washer I ever owned was a CR "Top Rated". In my book they don`t know appliances either.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @whofan
          [blocked]
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Johnnie
        While I certainly agree, to some people a vehicle is merely an appliance. That is the crowd CR is targeted toward.
        CarNutMike
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Johnnie
        If we're bashing CR, I've decided not to renew my subscription because their evaluations are so dumbed down as to be useless. They cough up a 0-100 score but don't bother sharing how they determined it. What if my personal weighting does not agree with theirs? Maybe I'm looking at generators and efficiency (which they didn't bother to calculate) is more important than noise (which they evaluated with their stupid 5 level rating) to me. They give me no helpful information at all.
        Patrick
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Johnnie
        Consumer Reports employs automotive engineers, among others, to evaluate vehicles. They know cars as much or better than they know household appliances. Regarding "flipping SUVs," CR was partly responsible for educating the public on how much of a rollover risk they were, and for pressuring manufacturers to equip them with stability control.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Johnnie
        [blocked]
      Bobby
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't trust CR to tell me what's fun to drive and what's not...
        sp33dklz
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bobby
        Agreed. They're not car enthusiasts and should stick to rating dish-soap and toasters.
      muspod
      • 1 Year Ago
      If you listen to those retards, everyone would drive a camry.. The original G35 was the bomb. The IS was trying to beat that and can't figure it out.
        kal_elkal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @muspod
        That's not true at all, they recommends all sorts of cars of varying calibers. The Mazda3 is one of their highest rated vehicles and is way up there on the recommended ranks of the compact class, and as everyone knows, a Mazda3 is decidedly not as boring as a Corolla.
      RM
      • 1 Year Ago
      Interesting that Car and Driver had a different opinion: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-lexus-is-sedan-first-drive-review-refined-style-page-2 As did Autotrader http://www.autotrader.com/research/article/car-reviews/205484/2014-lexus-is-250-and-is-350-first-drive-review.jsp About Cars: http://cars.about.com/od/lexus/fr/2014-Lexus-Is-Review.htm Motor Trend - Praises the handling: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/1304_2014_lexus_is_250_f_sport_first_test/ The truth about cars: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/first-drive-review-2014-lexus-is-video/ So you get it, consumer reports is FOS.
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RM
        when motortrend test the IS350 F sport, it was slower, and had worst brake than the Q50, the IS350 f sport had understeer, the Q50 only felt like it want to drift, but give the edge to IS350, what motortrend did not test was who have a better interior, what was the MPG ratings, and a true highway test drive, CR done this with the IS250 have done that and find the lexus more lacking of the two cars. The infiniti ride a bit firm and the steering system they are using is very new and need some adjustment, toyota system is nothing new it should have not fail CR test and having a 8 speed tranny compare to infiniti 7 speed tranny it should have been more efficient. For infiniti engine size and car size it get better fuel efficiency than toyota 2.5 and 3.5 V6 engines.
        JonZeke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RM
        The actual magazines were very careful about how they worded their points. They choose to push down certain qualities and rephrase into what could be construed as positives: "It's an energetic handler, firm yet compliant, and not uncomfortable." - MT Sounds so vague as to be meaningless. CR said it's neither sporty not luxurious in no uncertain terms, MT said the same diplomatically. While C&D focuses on the positives it could find including the design elements. Autotrader's points were pretty much useless, and the other reviews were similarly shallow. I'll wait til Britain's EVO and Car Magazine get their hands on UK spec examples and thrash them properly. Until then however, I am confident in CR's assessment that these cars are not the top players in the category now split between Cadillac and BMW for feel, fun and desirability. You're buying reliable and aesthetically pleasing cars which is no bad thing but not ideal for enthusiasts.
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