The Infiniti Q50 gets a new four-cylinder engine making it a good entry-level luxury car. Affordable and satisfying to drive, it gets good fuel economy and has a lower price point. If you’re in the market for a small, luxury sports sedan, the Infiniti Q50 might just be the ticket.
This week we test drove the completely refreshed 2016 Infiniti Q50 2.0t Premium.
What’s New For 2016?
The 2016 Infiniti Q50 has been completely refreshed this year. The biggest changes come under the hood with three new available engines. It gets a new turbocharged four-cylinder and two turbocharged V6 engines. Other changes include revisions to the steering and suspension, as well as improvements to the Direct Adaptive Steering system.
Features & Options
The 2016 Infiniti Q50 2.0t Premium ($37,650) comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, LED foglights and taillights, dual chrome exhaust tips, heated mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Other interior features include leatherette upholstery, eight-way power front seats, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, column-mounted shift paddles, rear air vents, and a rearview camera. For more connectivity, drivers can access two touchscreen displays and Infiniti’s InTouch infotainment system, with voice controls and Bluetooth capability.
The 2.0t Premium also gets a sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a 14-speaker Bose audio system. The Premium Plus package ($2,150) adds auto-dimming mirrors, heated front seats, power lumbar for the driver’s seat, a power-adjustable heated steering wheel, driver memory settings, navigation, and 60/40-split folding rear seats.
Total MSRP as tested: $40,705 including destination.
The Q50’s cabin is a comfortable place to spend the commute and there’s plenty to like. The materials and fit and finish rank up there with other luxury cars in this class, and there’s a fresh new look to the cabin. It was easy to find the right driving position with the car’s power tilt/telescoping steering wheel and 8-way power front seats. The heated seats and steering wheel will be welcomed as soon as the weather turns colder.
What we didn’t care for was the two central touch screens on the dashboard that control most of the car’s systems. Maybe it’s just us, but they didn’t seem all that intuitive – at least in the beginning – before we figured out which screen controls which function.
The rear seats are roomy for taller adults with plenty of head and legroom, and our passengers commented on the comfort as we headed to lunch this week. Trunk volume measures 13.5 cubic feet, which is decent among midsize luxury sedans. You can easily carry a golf bag to the club.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
We tested the base 2.0t trim which is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, producing 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque. It comes mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode, Drive Mode Selector, and Downshift Rev Matching. EPA estimated fuel economy is 23/31 city/highway and 26 combined mpg with rear-wheel drive.
On the fun-to-drive meter, the Q50 2.0t lacks the energy to be considered a true sports sedan and Infiniti doesn’t bill it that way. It ranks a mid 5 out of 10 for a driver’s car but excels when it comes to efficiency. The engine shuts off when you come to a light or stop sign. It does save fuel, but it takes some getting used to it. It’s the price you pay for saving a mile per gallon in the city.
There are really no surprises with the Q50 2.0t. The Q50’s ride is firm in the corners, but still compliant enough on the highway, with a smooth, comfortable demeanor. The steering and handling of the luxury sedan gets high marks for its quicker responses and composed ride. The 2.0t has plenty of power for most driving situations, unless you live at 8,300 feet elevation in Colorado’s high country. It was a bit underpowered on our drive up I-70.
The 7-speed transmission offers smooth shifts and comes with two shift modes that allow the driver to specify higher revolutions per minute. With quick up-and-down shifts in Sport mode or less radical shifts in Eco mode for improved fuel efficiency, there is a perfect fit for most driving situations.
The 2016 Infiniti Q50 has been completely refreshed this year, making it a compelling choice in the luxury segment. It excels when it comes to offering fuel efficiency, comfortable interior amenities, and a composed ride. The 2.0t offers an affordable entry point into the luxury sedan segment too.
Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy
2016 Infiniti Q50 Official Site
Video: SuperCar Tube
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