2018 Q50 New Car Test Drive
The Infiniti Q70 can be a car of many colors. It's a rear-wheel-drive midsize luxury car, a full-size luxury car when it comes with a long wheelbase, a true hybrid, sports sedan with different degrees of sport, or a comfortable winter machine with all-wheel drive. Overall, we think the Q70 is actually more satisfying to drive than the Infiniti Q50.
The Q70 has a charming and modern personality, with more curves than its American or German competitors in this class of excellent cars, including Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series, Jaguar XF, and Lexus GS.
It has aged well. The standard V6 engine, a proven 3.7-liter V6 making a strong 330 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, is dated and is neither smooth nor silent. The 5.6-liter V8 makes 420 horsepower while being smoother and sounding better, but it doesn't feel that much faster despite the horsepower. The hybrid version is in between, with 350 horsepower from a 3.5-liter V6 and a lithium-ion battery pack. All three engines are well matched to a slick 7-speed automatic.
The Q70 ride is firm and compliant, while its steering is well-weighted with a fair turn-in feel. A sport package makes it handle quicker with four-wheel steering, plus 20-inch wheels, sport seats and steering wheel, paddleshifters, and stronger cooling.
The long-wheelbase Q70L has bigger rear doors that close automatically, heated rear seats, extra reading lamps and an extra power outlet. So it's clear what it's intended for, carrying VIPs or privileged children.
The Q70 aces its crash tests, with five stars overall from the NHTSA (four stars in frontal crash and rollover), and the top Good rating from the IIHS, earning its Top Safety Pick+ award.
As for fuel mileage, the rear-wheel-drive V6 gets an EPA-rated 18/26 mpg City/Highway, or 21 Combined miles per gallon. The V8 gets 16/24/19 mpg City/Highway/Combined, the Hybrid gets 29/34/31 mpg. The Infiniti Q50 is a sports sedan with striking sheetmetal and road manners bordering on brilliant.
The 2017 Infiniti Q50 lineup spans 14 models. Powertrains include a turbocharged four-cylinder, a turbocharged V6 in two states of tune, and a hybrid gas-electric. All are available with all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive.
New for 2017 is the Infiniti Q50 Sport model with the four-cylinder engine. Also new for 2017 is a Design package for V6 models, and some minor upgrades to equipment. The Q50 was last redesigned for 2014.
The Infiniti Q50 competes in a class of heavy hitters, including the Cadillac ATS and Audi A4. It's bigger than rivals like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but smaller than the BMW 5 Series or Jaguar XF.
The Q50 base engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The available twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 makes 300 hp and 295 lb-ft, while another twin-turbo V6 is called the Red Sport 400 because it makes 400 horsepower, with 350 lb-ft of torque; it's a delight that can shoot the Q50 from zero to sixty in 4.5 seconds. All engines use a 7-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode and available shifting paddles.
Fuel economy is highest for the Hybrid model, with an EPA-rated 28/34/30 mpg City/Highway/Combined. A Red Sport with all-wheel drive rates just 19/26/22 mpg.
The 2017 Infiniti Q70 3.7 ($50,100) comes standard with leather-trimmed seats, full power, keyless ignition, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, and a six-speaker sound system. A Premium Package includes leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats, a surround-view camera system, parking assistance, and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with touchscreen navigation, telematics, and 10-speaker Bose surround sound stereo. The Q70 3.7 AWD ($52,250) adds all-wheel drive.
The Q70 5.6 ($63,150) features the 5.6-liter V8 engine, also available with all-wheel drive ($65,700).
The Q70 Hybrid ($56,200) features the hybrid powertrain.
The Q70L with long wheelbase is available with both the V6 and V8.
A Technology Package ($3,300) adds a long list of active electronic safety features, including an Eco pedal. A Deluxe Touring Package ($3,900) adds on more luxury, such as a 16-speaker Bose audio system, power rear sunshade, and softer quilted leather. There are several sport packages, although none are available for the Hybrid.
The Q70L throws everything into one $7200 Deluxe Technology package. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charges.). The 2017 Infiniti Q50 ($33,950) comes standard with leatherette upholstery, dual-zone climate control with micron air filter.
The Sport and Red Sport feature Digital Dynamic Suspension, bigger brakes, 19-inch wheels, leather sport seats, aluminum pedals and magnesium shift paddles. Safety features include surround-view cameras, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, and forward-collision warning systems with automatic emergency braking.