2021 Infiniti Q50

2021 Infiniti Q50 Review: Almost Good Enough

The Infiniti Q50 offers a compelling alternative to the traditional choices in the luxury sedan segment. The brand itself has come a long way from its relatively humble beginnings, but while the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class continue to take things to the next level with every new generation, we've felt that the Infiniti Q50 has been somewhat lacking when compared to these trendsetters. Still, with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 in every model, it's a relatively affordable way to get some enthusiastic performance out of a luxury car. As standard, you get 300 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque in every version except the top-tier Red Sport 400. Here, you get 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, and as with every other version, power is sent to the rear wheels by default with all-wheel-drive as an option. Now that there's an additional trim level called the Sensory, is the Q50 more enticing, or are its German rivals still the better choice?

New 2021 Infiniti Q50 Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 Q50?

The 2021 model year sees the addition of a slightly prettier model to the new Infiniti Q50 range. Called the Sensory, this model gets unique front and rear bumpers, 19-inch wheels, leather upholstery, a Bose audio system, and some other minor enhancements. From the Luxe trim and up, the Q50 now comes with a surround-view camera, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning all now standard. The color palette has been revised too, with Slate Gray and Grand Blue now being offered.

Pros and Cons

  • Powerful twin-turbo V6 on all models
  • RWD or AWD available on any trim
  • Comfortable seats
  • Larger-than-average trunk
  • Attractive styling
  • Build quality not up to scratch
  • Ride not as good as that of rivals
  • Interior isn't aging all that well

Best Deals on Q50

2021 Infiniti Q50 Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.0t Pure
3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$36,600
3.0t Luxe
3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$41,700
3.0t Sensory
3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$47,600
Red Sport 400
3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$55,750

Infiniti Q50 Exterior

The exterior design of the Q50 sedan hasn't changed much for 2021, with the exception of the Sensory trim's altered bumpers. We're not complaining about this though, as the Q50 is a stylish and well-proportioned vehicle. LED headlights and taillights feature at opposite ends of the vehicle, with the front boasting LED fog lights too. An attractive profile features molded fenders that give the Q50 a sensual appearance, while a chrome window surround on most derivatives adds a touch of pizzazz. The rear features an upturned trunk lid that can be enhanced by a decklid spoiler while other standard styling features include a faux diffuser and dual exhaust tips. On the top trim, much of the chrome gets swapped out for gloss black, but carbon fiber is available too, while this model gets sporty red exhaust tips. A power moonroof is standard on all but the base trim, which features 17-inch wheels. 18-inch and 19-inch wheels are also offered as you progress up the trim ladder.

2021 Infiniti Q50 Front Angle View Infiniti
2021 Infiniti Q50 Front Angle View 1 Infiniti
2021 Infiniti Q50 Side View Infiniti
See All 2021 Infiniti Q50 Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Dimensions of the Q50 are pretty uniform across the range, with all models claiming a length of 189.6 inches and a width of 71.8 inches. The wheelbase is the same on all models too, measuring 112.2 inches while height on the base model is 57.2 inches. All other RWD models have a figure of 56.8 inches here, while the AWD versions share a height of 57.2 inches. Curb weight also varies depending on the trim and the drivetrain, with the lightest model in the range (the base Pure version in RWD) weighing in at 3,685 pounds. The heaviest model on offer is the top Red Sport 400 trim with AWD, tipping the scales at 3,998 lbs.

  • Length 189.6 in
  • Wheelbase 112.2 in
  • Height 57.2 in
  • Max Width 71.8 in
  • Front Width 60.8 in
  • Rear Width 61.6 in

Exterior Colors

The base model is available in three colors: Graphite Shadow, Black Obsidian, and Pure White. If you want a more vibrant shade of paint applied to your Q50, you'll need to at least opt for the Luxe trim. Here, Midnight Black, Majestic White, and the tasteful new shade called Grand Blue are offered for $695 each. Also available is Dynamic Sunstone Red for $900. The top Red Sport 400 trim loses out on all the no-cost color options except Graphite Shadow but gains the other new hue for 2021 - Slate Gray - for $695. Choosing Majestic White on this top model also affects the upholstery selections.

  • Graphite Shadow
  • Black Obsidian
  • Pure White
  • Midnight Black
  • Grand Blue
  • Majestic White
  • Dynamic Sunstone Red
  • Slate Gray

Q50 Performance

There are very few vehicles on offer today that offer as much power in base format as the 2021 Infiniti Q50. All models are powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that develops an impressive 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, but the Red Sport 400 has those numbers in its name for a reason. This model generates 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, making for an estimated 0 to 60 mph time of around 4.5 seconds, but no top speed claim is made by the manufacturer. The lesser-powered variants should complete the same sprint in around five seconds. Unlike with many other manufacturers, the Infiniti Q50 offers all variants with RWD as standard and with AWD as an option, but there's no choice when it comes to the transmission. A seven-speed automatic is the only gearbox on offer, but it's a smooth and speedy setup, so we can't complain too much.

2021 Infiniti Q50 Front View Driving Infiniti
2021 Infiniti Q50 Front View Driving 1 Infiniti
2021 Infiniti Q50 Gear Shifter Infiniti

Engine and Transmission

With every single version of the Q50 being powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, there's no variant that you can say is lethargic. All but the top trim produce 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, and that's a lot of power for a base model. Fortunately, the power isn't hidden away at the upper end of the rev range and the throttle response low down is good. This makes acceleration from a traffic light effortless, and when overtaking on the freeway, you'll be confident regardless of which gear you're in. It also sounds decent as far as turbocharged V6s go, although something like an Alfa Romeo Giulia QV is naturally more exotic in tone. If you want more performance from your Q50, the Red Sport 400 may have the strangest name around, but with 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, it'll be tough to find many other cars in this segment that can keep up. However, things aren't 100 percent perfect here, as rivals like the BMW M340i and Audi S4 are more lively and feel faster than their figures suggest. The Q50 isn't slow or sleepy, but its German rivals are certainly better tuned. All models are fitted with a seven-speed automatic that is imperceptibly smooth and responsive, but you do have to get the Sensory or Red Sport trim to get access to steering-mounted paddle shifters.

  • Engine
    3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    7-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Infiniti Q50 is an attractive proposition, but it's also a bit confusing. On the one hand, you'd expect a luxury sedan in this price bracket to have a supremely comfortable ride, but with a turbocharged V6 under the hood and sharp styling, you may also expect it to be exciting in the corners. While the Q50 does have firm suspension, it's not set up well enough to be considered alongside the likes of the M340i and S4. In addition, that suspension borders on the stiff side and can't hold a candle to what you get in a Mercedes. Nevertheless, we can report that the Q50 is a little more enjoyable to drive in Red Sport 400 guise, where sportier steering is a little more communicative. On all other models, there's still a reasonable amount of feedback, but you won't ever feel like this is a performance-enhanced sedan. The brakes, similarly, are responsive but a little underpowered. There's also a lot of noise from the tires and wind, making it less than ideal for long-distance road trips. Overall, the Q50 is a car that tries to blend performance with comfort without getting either one a hundred percent right. As with the 2020 model, we have to say that the Infiniti Q50 misses the mark, even if only just.

Q50 Gas Mileage

According to the EPA, the 300 hp Infiniti Q50 with RWD is the most economical, returning gas mileage figures of 20/29/23 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles. Thanks to a 20-gallon gas tank, this model will return a mixed average range of around 460 miles. The AWD version is a little thirstier, with figures of 19/27/22 mpg on the same cycles. The 400 hp Red Sport trims aren't too far behind, with the RWD variant of the Infiniti Q50 achieving a rating of 20/26/22 mpg and the AWD version promising 19/26/22 mpg.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    20.0 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 20/29 mpg
* 2021 Infiniti Q50 3.0t PURE RWD

Q50 Interior

The interior of the Q50 is another letdown, sadly. In base format, you get leatherette upholstery and average rear legroom, with the latter trait applying to all models. In addition, while the rest of the market has moved on to digital instrument clusters, the Q50 still looks old-school with traditional analog dials. There is at least some modernity in terms of innovation with the dual-screen infotainment setup, but this attempt at innovation is not all that refined and can be tricky to operate. At least the seats are very comfortable and passengers in the first row have plenty of space. Still, you can tell that this car was not built to the same standards as that of its German counterparts.

2021 Infiniti Q50 Dashboard Infiniti
2021 Infiniti Q50 Dashboard 1 Infiniti
2021 Infiniti Q50 Steering Wheel Infiniti
See All 2021 Infiniti Q50 Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The Infiniti Q50 seats five adults in reasonable comfort, with rear passengers only slightly inconvenienced by the amount of headroom and legroom available, although this is not uncommon for cars of this size. As is typical, the middle of the bench rear seat is better suited to a kid than a full-sized adult. Fortunately, there's a lot more space up front, with plenty of space for anyone to get comfortable. The driver will also find that the eight-way power seat offers a good view of surroundings with most controls in easy reach. That said, the large C pillars can be detrimental to visibility out of the rear three-quarter sections of the car. Nevertheless, getting in and out is a breeze, especially on the Sensory and Red Sport trims, where the power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel will move out of your way automatically.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 44.5 in
  • Front Head Room 40.2 in
  • Rear Leg Room 35.1 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.5 in

Interior Colors and Materials

As standard, the interior of the Q50 features Graphite leatherette with Lunar Black trim while the Luxe trim gets the same upholstery with Textured Aluminum trim, which can also be paired with Graphite leather. You can also get Stone-colored leather or leatherette in either finish here. The Sensory trim offers only leather in the same colors with trims finished in Black Open Pore wood. But before you start to imagine your dream color combo, it's worth having a look at the configurator first, as some leather options can only be paired with certain exterior colors. The most attractive interior can be found in the top Red Sport trim, with semi-aniline leather in a quilted finish arriving in a choice of Graphite or Gallery White. This model sees trim elements finished in a new Black Matte Carbon Fiber design. With very few soft-touch plastics and a number of aluminum accents, the Q50's cabin feels pretty good, but you can still detect that the build quality is not quite up to the same standard as what you get from a European luxury sedan.

Infiniti Q50 Sedan Trunk and Cargo Space

The Infiniti Q50 may be a little disappointing initially, with the base model featuring fixed rear seatbacks that limit how much stuff you can take with you. Despite this, you get more space in the trunk than in something like an Audi A4, with an official rating of 13.5 cubic feet. That's enough for a couple of medium-sized suitcases and some add-ons. On upper trims, the seats fold in a 60/40 split, but it should be noted that the floor is never completely flat, so although the Q50 can carry quite a bit, it's not always easy to load longer items.

In the cabin, each row gets a pair of cupholders while all other storage options can only be described as undersized. The glovebox, center armrest, center console tray, and front door pockets are all tiny, making it tricky to find a place for your pockets' contents.

2021 Infiniti Q50 Front Seats Infiniti
2021 Infiniti Q50 Rear Passenger Seats Infiniti
2021 Infiniti Q50 Rear Angle View Infiniti
  • Trunk Volume
    13.2 ft³

Q50 Infotainment and Features

Features

As you may have guessed from the sections in this review that you've read up until this point, the Infiniti Q50 is not a class-leader by any means, but it's not inherently bad either. As standard, you get dual-zone automatic climate control, hill start assist, keyless entry with push-button ignition, heated wing mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, power front seating, a rearview camera, and forward collision detection with automatic emergency braking. You also get cruise control but you'll have to step up from the base trim to get access to a power sunroof, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, or a surround-view camera. Also available are features like parking sensors, reverse automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, ambient lighting, power-folding wing mirrors, and adaptive LED headlights.

Infotainment

Based on looks alone, the InTouch infotainment system in the Infiniti Q50 is pretty cool. You get an eight-inch upper display with a seven-inch display below, both of which are controlled via touch input. In terms of features, you get Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio, a pair of USB ports, and a six-speaker sound system. There's also aux input and a Wi-Fi hotspot, but you have to step up from the base model to get navigation with SiriusXM Travel Link. These higher trims also feature a 16-speaker Bose sound system (optional on the base trim), but unfortunately, all of the trims feature the same software, so navigating the system is a nightmare and responses are a little slower than we'd like, despite being recently improved.

Q50 Problems and Reliability

Thus far, the current crop of Infiniti Q50 models seems to be exhibiting good reliability, since the last recall issued - for a faulty rearview camera - applied only to the 2019 model year.

While no complimentary scheduled maintenance is offered, the Q50 does come with a basic warranty for four years/60,000 miles and a powertrain warranty that provides coverage for six years/70,000 miles. Four years of roadside assistance are also included with no mileage limited.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    6 Years \ 70,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    7 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles

Q50 Safety

The Infiniti Q50 reviews for crash tests are not particularly informative, as it has not been comprehensively rated by the NHTSA but did achieve a full five stars in that agency's rollover test. Over at the IIHS, the 2020 model was the last to receive an evaluation, which was positive in most respects, leading to an overall rating of Good - the highest possible. However, the headlights were rated as Acceptable at best.

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Rollover Rating

Key Safety Features

As standard, every Q50 car comes with six airbags: dual frontal, side-impact, and curtain airbags. You also get a rearview camera, rain-sensing wipers, traction control, tire-pressure monitoring, hill start assist, and forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking. Available features include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, a surround-view camera, parking sensors, adaptive LED headlights, distance control assist, and reverse automatic braking.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2021 Infiniti Q50 a good car?

The Infiniti Q50 is an interesting proposition. It's not quite as technologically advanced as many of its German rivals but has a large trunk and plenty of power. It's not as good to drive as those rivals either, but at least you don't have to spend extra money to get a strong motor. It also has plenty of space for front passengers but is lacking in terms of features that you'd expect to find standard. Things like navigation, parking sensors, auto high beams, and paddle shifters are all missing from the base model, detracting from its appeal. Nevertheless, the understated yet attractive styling makes it an enticing choice for those who don't want to try the class-leaders. With that said, a strong engine and an attractive aesthetic don't do enough to make us forget that its rivals are better built, offer more standard and optional equipment, and are much more enjoyable to drive. For these reasons, we'd skip past the Q50.

🚘What's the Price of the 2021 Infiniti Q50?

The 2021 Q50 price range starts with the Pure, a model that costs $36,600 before a shipping & handling fee of $1,025. Next up in the range is the Luxe, which has an MSRP of $41,700. Then there's the new Sensory model with a base price of $47,600. The Red Sport 400 finishes off the range and starts at $55,750. AWD is a $2,000 option on all trims, and a fully loaded Red Sport 400 version of the Infiniti Q50 will cost you over $68,000.

2021 Infiniti Q50 Models

The 2021 Infiniti Q50 is offered in four trims: Pure, Luxe, Sensory, and Red Sport 400 - each of which is powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. Each model is also fitted with a seven-speed automatic transmission and can be had with either RWD or AWD. While the Red Sport 400 produces 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, all other variants develop 300 hp and 295 lb-ft.

The Pure model is the cheapest in the range and as such is equipped with leatherette upholstery. This model is also fitted with automatic LED headlights, 17-inch wheels, heated wing mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry with push-button start, a six-speaker sound system, a rearview camera, and a dual-screen infotainment system with an eight-inch display atop a seven-inch display lower down.

The Luxe model gets 18-inch wheels, a power sunroof, navigation with SiriusXM Travel Link, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, parking sensors, auto high beams, and a surround-view camera. This variant also features lane departure warning and access to more options.

Next up in the range is the new-for-2021 Sensory trim. This model comes with 19-inch wheels, leather upholstery, ambient lighting, a 16-speaker Bose sound system, power-folding wing mirrors, and a power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel with entry/exit assist.

The most powerful and best-specced model in the USA range is the Red Sport 400, featuring 19-inch wheels and semi-aniline quilted leather upholstery. Along with a unique paint option, this version of the Q50 has access to a carbon fiber trunk spoiler and carbon fiber mirror caps.

See All 2021 Infiniti Q50 Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

All versions of the Q50 have access to aesthetic enhancement in the form of a carbon fiber rear spoiler that costs $870 and a pair of carbon fiber mirror caps that cost $675. If you prefer a more subtle look, a normal trunk spoiler can be had for $450. You can also add ambient lighting to the base model for $445 and illuminated door sills for $485. A blacked-out sport grille can also be added for $400. Remote engine start is a $328 option. On the Luxe trim and up, the aforementioned carbon accents can be had as a package for $1,520, although this is only a saving of 25 bucks. If these options aren't good enough for you, the Luxe model has access to the Seat and Sound package with a Bose 16-speaker audio system, extended ambient lighting, and leather upholstery for $2,500. Red Sport models also have access to the Proactive Package, with lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive headlights, and a special grille emblem for $1,950.

🚗What Infiniti Q50 Model Should I Buy?

The Infiniti Q50 range comes with the same powertrain regardless of which trim you opt for, and although it would be nice to have the maximum output available, 300 hp in all but the top trim is plenty. Thus, we'd recommend going for the Luxe spec. This gets you nicer 18-inch wheels, a power sunroof, adaptive cruise control, navigation with SiriusXM Travel Link, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a surround-view camera, parking sensors, and auto high beams. We feel this is the best mix of features and price, with this trim arriving at a cost of under $42,000.

2021 Infiniti Q50 Comparisons

Audi A4 Sedan Audi
Acura TLX CarBuzz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Infiniti Q50300 hp20/29 mpg$36,600
Audi A4 Sedan 201 hp24/31 mpg$39,100
Acura TLX 272 hp22/31 mpg$37,500

2021 Infiniti Q50 vs Audi A4 Sedan

The Audi A4 is one of the less exciting offerings from Germany's premium sedan market, but what it lacks in outright power (its 2.0-liter turbo-four only produces 201 hp), it makes up for in efficiency. Despite a smaller, 15.3-gallon gas tank, it offers a longer range than the Q50 with over 420 miles of mixed driving. However, the real reason that we'd choose this car is its superior build quality, beautiful and modern interior, and numerous features. Even the base variant has a power sunroof, heated front seats, ambient lighting, and tri-zone climate control. It's also a lot more comfortable thanks to a compliant chassis setup, yet is not incompetent in the bends either. Thanks to a base price of $39,100, it's not too much more expensive either. Sorry, Infiniti, but you've got some work to do.

See Audi A4 Sedan Review

2021 Infiniti Q50 vs Acura TLX

The Acura TLX is similarly priced to the Infiniti Q50, with the base model asking for $37,500. Based on looks alone, the latest TLX is far more attractive, with a modern yet attractive design that looks a little too manga to be as classy as the Germans but just restrained enough to be welcome on the red carpet. The interior is far better than that of the Q50 too, thanks to clear evidence of ergonomic design when it comes to the driver's controls for the infotainment system. Furthermore, this car handles brilliantly and its 2.0-liter turbo-four is no slouch either. Coupled with more standard features, we can't help but deny the Infiniti a win here. Hopefully, next year's version will fare better but for now, the Q50 is beaten by most competitors.

See Acura TLX Review

Infiniti Q50 Popular Comparisons

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Photos
$36,600 - $57,750
Price Range (MSRP)
Infiniti Q50