A twin-turbo V6 with a warranty is cheaper than you'd expect.
The Infiniti Q50 sedan arrived in 2014 as the replacement to the well-loved G37. This car had big shoes to fill and seven years later, we don't think the Q50 ever lived up to the G37's legacy. In typical Infiniti fashion, it arrived with a carryover engine, the same 3.7-liter V6 used in its predecessor mated to the same old seven-speed automatic transmission.
It was more modern looking, sure, but the Q50 didn't feel like enough of a leap over the old G37 to be competitive in its segment. But for the 2016 model year, Infiniti finally got serious about the Q50 by giving it an all-new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6, offered in several different states of tune. The 3.0t Red Sport is the most powerful of the bunch and you won't believe how affordable they are on the used market.
Like the G37 it replaced, the Q50 is a handsome luxury car with inoffensive styling, adequate power, and an interior that trumps most mainstream options. Most Infiniti cars are pretty reliable and don't require the ludicrous maintenance fees found on German alternatives, meaning they are a great "starter" luxury car for younger buyers. The Q50 is a nice sized car, bigger than the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 without feeling too large like a 5 Series or A6. And since Infiniti's residual values aren't quite as strong as some competitors, a certified pre-owned Q50 is a great deal.
A brand-new 2020 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Pure starts at $36,400 for the 300-horsepower V6 engine. But if you look at used Q50 with a certified pre-owned warranty, prices start at around $17,000. This is tremendous value for a used luxury car with a warranty but we wanted to focus on the sportiest Q50, the 3.0t Red Sport. While this is the highest Q50 trim with a starting MSRP of $54,250, CPO prices start at under $25,000.
Infiniti's CPO program covers any vehicle that is less than six model years old and has less than 70,000 miles. If you pick a car with under 15,000 miles, the CPO bumper-to-bumper warranty will extend to six years or 75,000 miles (whichever comes first) past the original sale date. If the car has over 15,000 miles, it will include six years and unlimited miles from the original sale date. Alternatively, a higher mileage car with an expired factory warranty will still get a two-year/unlimited-mile warranty from the date you buy it. You also get a year of complimentary maintenance and free roadside assistance.
Infiniti's 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine produces 300 hp in standard guise but the 3.0t Red Sport bumps the output to 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Power goes our through a seven-speed automatic transmission to rear- or all-wheel-drive, yielding a 0-60 mph time in the mid-four-second range. We aren't huge fans of Infiniti's available steer-by-wire system but the overall Q50 driving experience is pleasant and won't disappoint if you haven't sampled some of the class-leading alternatives.
The Q50's cabin is not class-leading by any stretch, but it is nicer than the average mainstream sedan. Infiniti's dual touchscreen interface feels dated and isn't as intuitive as other systems, but it's hardly rage-inducing. Most of the cabin materials feel premium although the interior design feels several years behind the competition in most regards. We'd call the Q50's interior adequate, but we wouldn't award it any prizes.
For practical purposes, the Q50 is a nice size without feeling too large and cumbersome on the road. The second row offers 35.1 inches of legroom and the trunk houses 13.5 cubic feet of storage. As you'd expect from a car with 400 hp, the Q50 Red Sport is not a fuel sipper with EPA ratings of 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. The Q50 Red Sport won't kill you at the pumps, but it's not exactly frugal.
Unlike the G37, the Q50 has never felt like a standout vehicle in its segment. When it arrived on the scene, the G37 was a bargain, offering tremendous V6 power for the same price as many four-cylinder German alternatives. The Q50 is still cheaper than its German rivals but it has too many shortcomings to feel like a true competitor. But with used prices starting at under $25,000 for a CPO Red Sport, we'd be willing to overlook those shortcomings and recommend the Q50 as a great first luxury sports sedan.