Popular Luxury Cars Score Poorly In Consumer Reports' Testing

The Lexus IS 250 and Infiniti Q50 fell well short of their competition

Two of the most popular luxury sedans on the market -- the Lexus IS 250 and Infiniti Q50 -- tanked in Consumer Reports' latest testing. Neither car earned the publication's "Recommended" rating.

The results will come as a surprise to many, given that the sedans have previously enjoyed past praise from the venerable publication. The Infiniti G37, which the Q50 replaced, was one of its highest-rated sedans for years. Lexus brand vehicles, which are manufactured by Toyota, have almost always scored well with testers.

The Q50 and IS 250 both underwent significant redesigns this year that yielded new looks, interiors, handling dynamics and drivetrains. Consumer Reports' evaluators didn't like much of what they saw, and didn't hold back in pointing out the flaws.

The publication's engineers and editors found the new Q50 to be significantly less fun to drive than its 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.

Evaluators found the handling mundane, due to dull steering, resulting in an underwhelming driving experience, which stripped the Q50 of its sporty driving legacy. They also said that the car doesn't ride well, isn't as quiet as its competition, suffers from laggy infotainment and has an unremarkable interior.

Though the Q50 scored a "Very Good" overall road test score, mostly due to its quickness, its faults caused it to land near the bottom of the pack for sporty and upscale sedans. The sedan missed out on the vaunted "Recommended" label mainly because it is still to early for Consumer Reports to have reliability information.

The Lexus IS 250 performed even worse, earning the dubious distinction of the "worst road test score posted by any Lexus in recent memory."

Consumer Reports found the IS 250 to be "neither sporty nor luxurious." Though the IS 350 has performed well in road tests for many critics, the publication tested the IS 250 with the smaller 2.5-liter V6 engine because it's the model most consumers will buy. Evaluators came up with a long list of complaints about the car. They said the IS 250's engine is underpowered, steering is vague and unresponsive, cabin is noisy, interior is cramped and tech controls are confusing. The car also achieved a dismal 21 mpg during testing.

You can see the full results from the tests by heading over to the Consumer Reports website.

Editors Note: The piece originally named the Infiniti QX50 as one of the vehicles in the testing. The correct vehicle is the Infiniti Q50.


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