2018 Infiniti Q50

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MSRP: $35,200 - 53,000

2018 Infiniti Q50 Review

The 2018 Infiniti Q50 fails to rank well in a very competitive class. It has powerful engines, solid handling, and an upscale interior, but rivals are even better in these areas.

8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 7.7
Safety: TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful V6 engines
  • Lots of active safety features
  • Above-average trunk space
  • Dual-screen setup may be confusing for some
  • Poor gas mileage

Is the Infiniti Q50 a Good Car?

The Infiniti Q50 is a decent car in a class full of great cars. It has a number of powerful engine options, but several classmates have quicker acceleration and nimble handling than the Q50. The story is much the same inside. The Infiniti's cabin looks nice, but it isn't as upscale as many luxury small cars. Likewise, the Q50's technology is less user friendly and modern than rival offerings. Also, the Q50’s fuel economy lags behind the competition.

Should I Buy the Infiniti Q50?

You should probably skip the Q50 in favor of its many higher-ranked and similarly priced competitors. The BMW 3 Series' starting price is close to the Q50’s, and it has sportier performance and a nicer interior. The Audi A4 is a bit more expensive than the Q50, but it bests the Infiniti in almost every category. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class costs a lot more than the Q50, but it's also a better-rounded vehicle than the Infiniti. It’s hard to justify buying the Q50 when there are so many better options out there.

Compare the Q50, C-Class, and A4 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Infiniti Q50?

The Infiniti Q50 sees a number of changes for 2018, including exterior styling updates like a more aggressive front for both the Sport and Red Sport models. Additionally, the paddle shifters move to the steering wheel from the steering column, and the steering and suspension now provide a sportier drive. The 2017 2.0t, 2.0t Premium, and 3.0t Premium trims have also been compressed and rebranded as Pure and Luxe.

If you're open to driving a used car, you can likely save money by shopping for a used Q50. Infiniti refreshed the Q50 for the 2016 model year, upgrading the Direct Adaptive Steering and introducing the Red Sport 400 model. The standard turbo-four engine was added that year as well, and the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine replaced the available 3.7-liter naturally aspirated V6. Changes for 2017 included a newly available 16-speaker Bose sound system. 

To research some other used Q50 models, read our 2015, 2016, and 2017 Infiniti Q50 reviews. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Infiniti Q50 »

We Did the Research for You: 44 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the opinions of professional test drivers with objective data like reliability scores and fuel economy ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle on our site. For the 2018 Infiniti Q50, we analyzed 44 professional reviews. This 2018 Infiniti Q50 review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2014 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

In our 10 years of ranking vehicles, we’ve written thousands of car reviews, each of which relies on our team’s decades of combined experience in the automotive industry. To ensure that our reviews are unbiased, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers. Additionally a third party handles all advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Infiniti Q50 Cost?

The Q50 has a base price of $35,200, which is about midpack in the luxury small car class. Three higher trims are available: Luxe, Sport, and Red Sport 400. The Red Sport 400 is the highest trim and starts at $51,000. That’s pricey for a small car, but many others in this class have upper trims that cost just as much or substantially more.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Infiniti dealer.

Infiniti Q50 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Infiniti Q50 or Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has one of the highest prices in the class, with a starting price of about $5,000 higher than the Q50’s. Price aside, there’s little reason to pick the Infiniti over the Mercedes. The C-Class has one of the best cabins in the class, and its features list is longer than the Q50's. The Mercedes also has more power with its available engines, and it returns better fuel economy than the Q50.

Which Is Better: Infiniti Q50 or Audi A4?

Like the C-Class, the Audi A4 has a rich cabin. The A4’s is one of the nicest interiors in the class, if not the nicest. It offers standard leather upholstery (optional in the Q50) and a long list of standard and available features, including standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (neither of which is available in the Audi). The Audi has a higher fuel economy rating than the Infiniti. The Q50 has more power through its engine lineup, but the A4 is no slowpoke. The high-performance Audi S4 model is especially quick. Go with the Audi; it’s worth the extra money.

Which Is Better: Infiniti Q50 or BMW 3 Series?

The BMW 3 Series is more than a match for the Infiniti. The 3 Series is one of the most athletic sedans in the class, boasting outstanding handling and several engine options. Comparatively, the range-topping M3 has more horsepower than the Q50 Red Sport. The 3 Series has better all-around performance than the Q50 and achieves better gas mileage. Inside, the BMW has a ton of tech features and comfortable seating for adults in both rows of seats. The 3 Series is a better vehicle than the Q50 in almost every way.

Compare the Q50, C-Class, and 3 Series »

Q50 Interior

How Many People Does the Q50 Seat?

The Q50 seats five people. Both rows of seats are supportive and have adequate room for adult passengers, though headroom is tight for tall people in the back seat. It’s also worth noting that some rivals offer comfort features (like ventilated or massaging front seats) that the Q50 doesn’t.

Q50 and Car Seats

Two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors are located in the rear outboard seats. The rear middle seat has a tether anchor but no lower anchors.

Q50 Interior Quality

Though German rivals have more-luxurious interiors, the Q50’s cabin is still a nice place to spend time. It’s attractive and well-styled, with high-quality materials.

Q50 Cargo Space

The Q50 has more trunk space than some other cars in the class. It has more than 13 feet of space, which gives you room for a couple sets of golf clubs or some folding chairs and a cooler for a cookout. You can get split-folding rear seats if you need more space for larger items.

Q50 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Q50 include Bluetooth, two USB ports, and Infiniti's InTouch infotainment system with voice recognition, an 8-inch upper touch screen, a 7-inch lower touch screen, and smartphone app integration. Available features include an upgraded climate control system with an air purifier, navigation, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a 16-speaker Bose audio system.

The available air purifier is an uncommon feature that helps the Q50 stand out. Its dual touch-screen infotainment system draws mixed reviews. The menus are intuitive, but the touch screens control different features, so it takes some time to master which screen controls what. There are also redundant physical controls for some functions.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

Q50 Performance

Q50 Engine: Choose the V6 (or the Hybrid)

The Q50 comes standard with a 208-horsepower turbo-four engine that has adequate power for daily driving but won’t blow your socks off. The available twin-turbo V6 may do just that, however. It feels much stronger and the acceleration is great off the line or at speed, particularly in the 400-horsepower Red Sport 400.

The Q50 Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient powertrain in this lineup, and it, too, has plenty of power. It features a V6 engine and an electric motor that combine to produce 360 horsepower.

Q50 Gas Mileage: Shield Your Eyes

There’s no getting around it: The Q50 gets terrible gas mileage compared to its class rivals. With the base engine, it earns just 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Ratings are even worse with the V6. The Q50 Hybrid is much better at 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, but even those ratings trail those of nonhybrid competitors.

Driving the BMW 3 Series instead of the Q50 can save you $150 in gas money each year. You can save $100 per year by driving the A4, even when the Audi is equipped with all-wheel drive.

Q50 Ride and Handling: Agile and Fun

While the Q50 can’t match rivals from BMW and Alfa Romeo for driver engagement, it’s still pretty fun to drive. The Q50 is nimble and has responsive steering, and 2018 updates give this Infiniti better handling than it had in previous model years. Ride quality is pretty good over most road surfaces.

Read more about performance »

Q50 Reliability

Is the Infiniti Q50 Reliable?

The 2018 Q50 earns a predicted reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power. That rating is considered average industry-wide, though many other luxury small cars earn above-average ratings.

Infiniti Q50 Warranty

Infiniti backs the Q50 with a four-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. That’s a better warranty than many class rivals offer. Many other luxury small cars come with four-year/50,000-mile warranties.

Read more about reliability »

Q50 Safety

Q50 Crash Test Results

The 2018 Q50 has undergone few crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Q50 five out of five stars in the rollover test, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the car a top score of Good in three individual crash tests.

Q50 Safety Features

A rearview camera comes standard in the Q50. Optional active safety features include a surround-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, blind spot intervention, adaptive cruise control, backup collision intervention, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, predictive forward collision warning, forward emergency braking, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist with active lane control.

Read more about safety »

Which Infiniti Q50 Model Is Right for Me?

Several trims and engines are available for the Infiniti Q50, though not every trim is available with every engine. You can add all-wheel drive to any trim for $2,000.

The base trim doesn’t offer much beyond the standard features, so it’s not a great option. If you want the 400-horsepower engine, the range-topping Red Sport 400 is your only option. If you’re more flexible about what you want, however, the two middle trims offer many choices.

The Luxe is the only trim available with all three powertrains (four-cylinder, V6, and hybrid), and it offers a couple option packages that add many features. The Sport trim only comes with the V6, but it’s available with nearly every feature you can get in a Q50. Both trims are good choices, and the better choice comes down to your budget and which features you care about most.

Infiniti Q50 Pure

The Q50 2.0t Pure has a starting price of $35,200 and features the four-cylinder engine. It doesn’t offer much beyond the standard features, but you can add a Wi-Fi hot spot for $495.

Infiniti Q50 Luxe

The Q50 2.0t Luxe starts at $37,550. This trim also features the base engine, but it comes with a moonroof in addition to the base trim’s features. The Luxe is also the lowest trim available with the V6 engine (the 3.0t Luxe), though it costs an additional $1,600. The Luxe is also the only trim available with the hybrid powertrain, which costs an extra $14,050.

Two option packages are available with the Luxe. The Essential package ($2,450) adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and navigation. The ProAssist package ($1,650) adds several active safety features, including blind spot monitoring, a surround-view camera, predictive forward collision warning, and forward emergency braking.

Infiniti Q50 Sport

The Q50 3.0t Sport has a starting price of $40,650 and comes standard with the V6 engine. In addition to the Luxe’s features, the Sport comes with leather upholstery, front sport seats, and some performance and styling upgrades.

The Essential package costs $2,500 in the Sport trim, though the package also includes a remote start in this trim. The Sensory package ($2,650) adds a Bose audio system and the upgraded climate control system. The Performance package ($1,500) adds an upgraded suspension and sport brakes. The ProAssist package is available for the same price as in the Luxe trim, but the Sport also offers the ProActive package ($2,700), which adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, Direct Adaptive Steering, and more.

Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400

The Red Sport 400 is the highest trim and the only one to feature a 400-horsepower engine. It starts at $51,000 and comes with all the features in the Sport trim plus the features added by the Essential, Performance, and ProAssist packages, as well as several styling upgrades. The Sensory and ProActive packages are available for the same price as in the Sport trim.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Infiniti dealer.

See 2018 Infiniti Q50 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Infiniti Q50 is a decent car that does some things well. It has powerful available engines, above-average trunk space, and lots of active safety features. However, it’s not among the class leaders in any one area, and it has some notable shortcomings, like fuel economy. It’s not that expensive relative to other luxury small cars, but with so many better options in the luxury small car class, it's hard to recommend the Q50 over most of its competitors.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Though not a radically different vehicle from the one that's been on sale since 2014, the 2018 Infiniti Q50 remains a viable alternative to the stalwarts of the small premium sedan segment. We still think the Q50 looks sharp and its autonomous tech is among the best in the category. However, the Q50 isn't without its faults, including a stubborn transmission and the omission of a few key comforts and convenience items." -- Left Lane News
  • "The 2017 Q50's interior design is showing its age – it is very similar to the G37 sedan that it replaced a few years ago – but the use of quality materials and sturdy construction keep it in favorable territory. That said, the competing BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class have all undergone more recent and significant redesigns, pushing them to the front of the class and perhaps taking the Q50 down a few notches. As a result, we suggest checking out all of the offerings in this competitive class." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The elegantly styled Infiniti Q50 has a fun, sporting attitude that can bring out the big kid in anyone. Bolstered by potent engines, plus cutting-edge electronic driver assists and safety tech, the Q50 returns for 2017 with updates that build on last year's major changes. … Another appealing aspect of the Q50? Pricing starts at under $35,000." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
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