The 2019 Infiniti Q50 is a premium-compact, sport-luxury sedan that competes with European stalwarts like the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Jaguar XE. Among its key assets are tempting prices and exciting engines.
You'll Like The 2019 INFINITI Q50 If...
More power for less money is almost always a good idea. With the 300-horsepower 3.0t versions, a buyer can save thousands over an equivalent BMW 3 Series. And that’s before we get into options.
You May Not Like The 2019 INFINITI Q50 If...
Do you have to have the highest-status badge on the grille? Sure, Infiniti is somewhat elevated, but the Germans and the Jags have more cachet. They also tend to have more nuanced driving experiences as well.
The 2019 Q50 has a revised lineup. The 2.0t version now comes in Pure and Pure AWD (all-wheel drive). The 3.0t model remains available in Luxe, Sport and Red Sport 400 iterations. Every Q50 has forward-collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking, while the 3.0t Sport receives the contents of the previously optional Essential, Performance, ProAssist and Sensory packages. The hybrid version has been discontinued.
Terrific seats and soft touchpoints contribute to the general feeling of luxury in the 2019 Infiniti Q50. A driver sinks into the seat, just enough to enhance the feelings of comfort and control alike. Rear-passenger space is among the more generous in this class. There aren’t many stowage options up front, although the cubby under the center armrest is useful. A performance-themed gauge cluster and a digitally enhanced, dual-screen center stack look impressive, but not so user-friendly in practice. While the Q50 is fairly strong in overall technology, the infotainment system is definitely showing its age. No Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration is quickly becoming unforgivable in a premium marque. Trunk space of 13.2 cubic feet is about average.
If nothing else, the 2019 Q50 -- and Infiniti’s agreeable styling approach in general -- proves that it’s possible to send sufficient amounts of cooling air into the engine bay without resorting to a huge grille. Pleasing shapes, curves, lines and proportions are everywhere in the Q50’s exterior design. We should point out that the Red Sport 400 is also available in colors other than red.
Even though the Red Sport 400 version is exceptionally quick, it’s on the costly side. The 3.0t version strikes a full, lush chord with low notes from the subtly growling 300-horsepower V6, a pleasant mid-range of luxury tempered with a smattering of road feel, and some high frequencies from the accelerative energy. In other words, it’s great to drive, especially at the price. A BMW 340i with 320 horsepower is around $50,000, whereas the 3.0t Luxe is closer to $40,000. The Q50 is significantly heavier, though, which dulls the driver’s edge somewhat. For many people, perhaps that’s a deal worth taking.
The 2019 Infiniti Q50 2.0t Pure with rear-wheel drive starts with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $35,550 plus a destination charge of $1,295, making $36,845. The 3.0t starts at $39,595. All-wheel drive is an extra $2,000 across the board. A well-stocked Red Sport 400 with all-wheel drive could easily exceed $60,000. These figures make the Q50 competitive with the Acura TLX and markedly less expensive than the usual German rivals, especially when equipped to the same levels. As an extra sweetener, the Infiniti Q50 is frequently offered with competitive lease rates and other incentives. Look up the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Infiniti Q50. Resale values are usually below average, but that’s offset by lower purchase prices and leasing payments.
Infiniti’s 2019 Q50 in 2.0t Pure form comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, full LED exterior lighting, liquid-filled front engine mounts (contributing to overall refinement), rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry/ignition, simulated leather upholstery, 8-way power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, dual-display infotainment system with 8-inch (upper) and 7-inch (lower) touch screens, two USB ports, HD/satellite radio, and forward-collision mitigation. The 3.0t brings the V6 engine, 18-inch alloy wheels (going up to 19-inch in the Sport and Red Sport 400), power moonroof, and maple wood trim.
Apart from all-wheel drive, the 2019 Q50 2.0t Pure is not eligible for many options. Higher up the Q50 totem are extras like leather upholstery, heated steering wheel/front seats, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, 360-degree camera system, and a 16-speaker Bose audio upgrade. There’s also a drive-by-wire option called Direct Adaptive Steering, but its numbness precludes us from recommending it. It would have been great if Infiniti had decided to make parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot intervention and active lane-departure prevention standard in the top Red Sport 400 model, but they’re optional in all V6-equipped versions.
DYNAMIC DIGITAL SUSPENSION
This adaptive suspension features adjustable dampers that stretch the parameters, bringing the choice of a more comfortable ride or sharper handling. It’s standard in the 3.0t Sport and Red Sport 400.
The whole industry seems to be moving to turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engines for an optimum balance of power and fuel consumption. It makes laudable sense. But that extra thrust from another couple of cylinders makes all the difference to an enthusiast.
Under the Hood
The 2019 Q50 2.0t has a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. It makes 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, which is sent to the rear wheels (RWD) or, optionally, all four (AWD) through a 7-speed automatic transmission with a Sport mode and rev-matched downshifts. It's a nice enough engine, but Infiniti doesn’t bother to publish standstill-to-60-mph times. The 3.0t and Red Sport 400 both have turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engines. In the 3.0t, it makes 300 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque (zero to 60 mph in around five seconds); the Red Sport 400 enjoys 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque (good for a 4.5-second sprint to 60 mph). These versions also have the 7-speed automatic transmission and offer the option of all-wheel drive.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
208 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/30 mpg (RWD), 22/28 mpg (AWD)
3.0-liter turbocharged V6
300 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29 mpg (RWD), 19/27 mpg (AWD)
3.0-liter turbocharged V6
400 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
350 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/26 mpg (RWD), 19/26 mpg (AWD)
The 2019 Infiniti Q50 isn’t the youngest in its class of premium-compact, sports-luxury sedans, but it is one of the most affordable. And in 3.0t form, comes with a horsepower-for-the-dollar advantage over its rivals. Many premium cars are featuring some advanced driver aids, like forward-collision mitigation with emergency braking, as standard. For 2019, the Q50 follows suit. And many are offering Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, but Infiniti has yet to get on board with that one. Still, the 2019 Q50 is a well-developed and capable car with plenty of other virtues to enjoy.