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- First Drive – 2019 Infiniti QX50 Ultimate, the Versatile First-Class CUV
by Tony West and Daryl Payne
The 2015 Infiniti became one of my favorite midsize sedans because of its futuristic luxury technology inside and out. Safety features like Predicative Forward Collision Warning and a wealth of aluminum and high strength steel parts are a step ahead of some other luxury brands. Plus the leather interior of the Infiniti Q50 is fresh and upscale with dual touchscreens and a 14 speaker Bose surround sound system.
The Q50S starts at $37,150 – well worth it. The design is sexy and sporty, manly and sleek. And the sedan gets it in on the highway, sprinting with effortless power delivery, and offers fuel savings in Eco mode. We reviewed the fully loaded 2015 Infiniti Q50S 3.7 AWD, a little future mobile that made me never want to get out.
Sleek Exterior Sport Design
The 2015 Infiniti Q50 is one sexy midsize car, with its hood muscle lines, sloping roofline, and chromed out front grille. The 2015 Infiniti Q50 is low slung, stout but slim. The whip has standard LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED fog lights, and LED turning lights mounted in the lower front fascia. LED brake lights and tail lights are also standard. Even the side mirror turn signals have LED lighting. The 2015 Infiniti Q50 also has front aluminum kick plates and chrome trim on the windows and trunk lid. And the door handles illuminate with welcome lighting.
Designers did a fantastic job with the Q50. It looks sporty and spacious. Muscle lines aid the lil sedan’s performance and 19 inch chrome wheels with All Season Run Flat tires add flair and resilience.
I like how the sporty front fascia is sloped and headlights run up onto the hood and side. It with large air intakes give the Q50 a sinister look, and helps it get ghost on the highway. The Q50 also has dual exhausts with chrome tips.
Opulent Driver Focused Interior
The exterior is a great intro into one of the freshest interiors in a midsize I’ve seen. The interior is replete with perforated leather and piano black and Kacchu aluminum trim. The stone leather color matches perfectly with the Hagane Blue paint job. Driver and passenger have heated and ventilated 8-way adjustable seats with a manual thigh extender. The interior of the S model even has soft carpeted floor mats.
Drivers use a heated leather wrapped steering wheel, magnesium paddle shifters, aluminum accented pedals, and aluminum kick plates. Dual-zone temperature control is standard along with heated outside mirrors, variable intermittent speed sensitive windshield wipers, and a moon roof.
I like the driver’s dash, simplistic and easy to configure with displays for fuel economy, average speed, range, navigation, Audio, driving aids, Tire Pressure, chassis control, and warnings. Some of the warnings are ambiguous like “low temperature” and “maintenance tire.”
The center stack is awesome! It’s highly functional and has cutting-edge infotainment technology that attracts younger drivers. It makes driving the Q50 seem more futuristic and less distracting. The center stack in the Q50S has an Infiniti In-Touch Dual Display System with 2 large touch screens that separate the most important functions. The top screen displays navigation and weather and the second controls audio, phone, infotainment, Infiniti connection and navigation settings. The best part is that I don’t have to switch back and forth from Navigation to change my audio or climate functions.
I also like how there is the perfect combination of easy-to-read buttons and touch screen controls so that the center stack, steering wheel controls and dash display is not too redundant. Where Mercedes gets it wrong, Infiniti hits it out of the park.
The Q50 also has push button start, 2 USB ports, Intelligent Key, and other new apps that can store and control climate, audio, driver preference, and intelligent key settings. Bluetooth, voice command, and a rear view monitor are standard. The Bose 14 speaker surround sound system is bangin, and pristine.
The optional Navigation Package ($1400) adds InTouch Navigation, Sirius XM Traffic, Voice Recognition, and Infiniti Connection. Navigation is great. It shows landmarks, but some symbols weren’t easily recognized. And zooming in doesn’t display all the street names.
Infiniti Connection includes Automatic Collision Alert, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, My Schedule, Stolen Vehicle Report, Max Speed Alert, Connected Search and Valet Alert. Even though the rear is small, passengers still have max comfort and adequate legroom.
Sprinty Clean Performance
Driving the Infiniti is like no other whip. The performance of the Q50 is peppy, well-balanced and smooth. The whip has a 3.7 liter V6 engine with 328 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The whip is matched to a 7 speed automatic transmission. 328 horsepower feels like a relaxing sprint at high speeds. The Infiniti accelerates with poise but attacks the road like a leopard. Cornering and turning is excellent.
A Drive Mode Select has Standard, Eco, Snow, and Sport modes. Sport modes is thrilling with responsive shifting and increased damping. Eco mode saves fuel, but sacrifices aggression on the highway. The Infiniti is efficient in all modes with a combined EPA of 22 mpg (19 mpg city/ 27 mpg highway.) Sport brakes stop the Q50 on a dime.
ATTESA E-TS All-Wheel Drive is another cool innovation that gives the Q50 a sporty edge. And Manual Mode features Downshift Rev Matching. Zero lift aerodynamics keep the lightweight Q50 firmly planted during tight cornering and quick acceleration.
The Q50 also has vehicle speed sensitive power steering and Active Trace Control. Sport-tuned independent front and rear suspension is phenomenal. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to live in the Q50. I never felt a bump. Vehicle Dynamics Control works with the suspension to optimize Driver Assistance Technology at high or low speeds. The 2015 Q50 also has ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution, Brake Assist, a tire pressure monitoring system and a slew of other Driver Assistance Technology.
Innovative Driver Assistance Technology
The Q50 has Driver Assistance Technology that elevates its performance, and gained an IHS Top Safety + Pick rating. Direct Adaptive Steering is the worlds first in a production car. Along with the Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention will gently push the whip back into its lane if it drifts too far. Another innovation, Active Lane Control uses the electronic steering function of the Direct Adaptive Steering to help the driver keep the car centered by making minor corrections for crosswinds and road crowning. Active Lane Control feels jerky sometimes; and Direct Adaptive Steering is better left alone.
Additional safety technology options include Intelligent Cruise Control, Back up Collision Intervention, Distance Control Assist, Blind Spot Warning, and Blind Spot Intervention.
Forward Emergency Braking helps alert drivers to potential collisions in front of them by giving visual and audio warnings, and braking the Q50 if need be. The most innovative new feature is the Q50’s Predicative Forward Collision Warning that senses potential accidents two cars ahead by reading the relative velocity of the two vehicles ahead and warning the driver if traffic slows suddenly. I missed the parking assist.
I’ve always been a fan of the Infiniti sedans, but the Q50 became my new BFF! It’s sporty, innovative, efficient, and fun to drive. And it’s so smooth on the highway and bending corners that I feel invincible. It attracts buyers across the spectrum. Fully loaded the Infiniti Q50S 3.7 AWD costs $47,550, with major competition from the Lexus GS, the Mercedes E-Class, and the Cadillac CTS-my homie! But the Q50 has alot to be admired, and is still affordable even fully loaded. Plus the performance is fantastic.
BTS photos from my adventurous review of the 2015 Infiniti Q50. The tech-terrific sporty sedan with a tricked out cabin that made me never want to leave!