2014 Infiniti Q50 AWD | First Drive | Review

2014 Infiniti Q50

2014 Infiniti Q50 AWD Overview

Once known as the G27 sedan that held the Infiniti name with pride has now been replaced with the Q series.  For those that endeared the unique combination of performance and luxury need not be worried as the Infiniti Q50 carries over much of the same mechanical blueprints.  What’s different between the all new Inifiniti Q50 and its predecessor is revamped styling and a plethora of added technology that almost made us believe the car drove itself.

Jokes aside, and let’s get down to the details.  The all new 2014 Infiniti Q50 is a sports sedan in the luxury segment aimed to compete with other entry level competitors including the BMW 3 series, and Mercedes C class.  What the Q50 brings to the table is aggressive performance, luxury qualities and an abundance of high tech safety features.

2014 Infiniti Q50 AWD

Transitioning from a more relaxed Lexus ES350 into the Infiniti Q50 was not so much of an easy task.  A trademark that has fueled the Infiniti bloodline is its aggressive acceleration and handling, and the Q50 shows it.  Thanks to its stiff chassis, the Q50 steering response and acceleration is extremely responsive.  Those with a more sensitive lower back fortunately have a few drive modes you can select to relax the vehicle driving behavior.

2014 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid Sport

While the Q50 does a great job electronically attenuating the acceleration in Eco mode, the absence of adaptive variable suspension results in a permanent stiff suspension se tup that is not ideal for long journeys or consumers who want a more comfortable serene experience.

Handling and Performance

Popping the hood reveals the feisty 3.7 liter V6 engine producing 328 horsepower and 269 ft.lbs of torque. For the more environmentally conscious buyers, the Q50 can be configured with a hybrid version equipped with a 50 kilo-watt induction motor on the drive shaft and amplifying the power output to 354 horsepower.  AWD powertrain configuration in our tested Q50 model provides great traction and is quick off the line from stand still.  While acceleration time and fuel economy is robbed slightly by the inherent friction within the AWD system, it benefits from added traction in poor weather conditions.

2014 Infiniti Q50

In combination with the stiff chassis and suspension setup, steering is ultra responsive.  To illustrate the magnitude, a few degrees of rotation on the steering wheel at cruising speed generates enough lateral force to throw your head around.   In terms of comfort, suspension stiffness in the Q50 is unfortunately set in stone and so is the steering sensitivity.  We wished there was a way to dampen the steering sensitivity with its steer-by-wire system.

Straight off the line, the Infiniti Q50 RWD power train configuration scores in at a respectable 5.2 seconds from 0 – 60 mph while the AWD powertrain is expected to be a few hundred milliseconds slower.  On a side note, it is a fun 5.2 seconds as the Infiniti Q50 delivers a well pronounced and soothing engine tone throughout its entire naturally aspirated engine RPM range.

Technology and Safety Features

The 2014 Infiniti Q50 is so jam packed with technology features, we wonder if it was named after Q from the James Bond series.  New to me in the automotive industry is the dual screen center console setup with capacitive touch panel just like those used in smartphones.  The Infinitin InTouch dual-screen system integrates the connected car technology.  Equipped with cellular connectivity inside the vehicle, the Q50 can retrieve and read your text messages and emails while you’re driving through automated voice control.  Addition to synchronization with social media, emails and calenders, the Q50 will also report vital vehicle information such as trip information including fuel consumption and duration as well as vehicle status and maintenance issues.

2014 Infiniti Q50

If that’s not enough, the safety features introduced in the 2014 Infiniti Q50 is what starts to become mind boggling. The Q50 offers three main safety features that earn Infiniti the pioneers of this technology.

First up is the Infiniti lane departure system.  Thanks to its continuously monitored on-board camera system, the Q50 can detect when the driver is unintentionally leaving its drive lane and first alerts the driver by emitting warning sounds.  If the user does not make corrective action, the Q50 will automatically intervene vehicle steering to direct the vehicle back into its original drive lane.  Next up is the Infiniti predictive forward warning collision system.  This safety feature has the ability to not only sense the speed of the vehicle ahead, but also a vehicle traveling in front of it.  In the event of a sudden deceleration in the vehicle ahead, the Infiniti Q50 will automatically alert the driver, and if no corrective action is taken, the system will automatically intervene to cut off throttle and automatically apply the brakes.  Last but not least, the Q50 comes with perfectly calibrated blind-spot detection as well as back up collision intervention system that can detect and alert the driver of crossing objects while backing up.

Driving Impressions and Final Thoughts.

It’s not hard to realize that the 2014 Infiniti Q50 was groomed as a luxury sedan that offered both performance and luxury.  It’s also important to note that it’s a married relationship between the two.  A trait that signifies a target to the younger crowd, the Infiniti Q50excels in delivering a thrilling driving experience with its meaty 3.7 liter V6 engine and ultra stiff suspensions.  What it does lack, is the ability to relax the drive mode by dampening the steering sensitivity and the absence of adaptive variable suspension to enhance drive comfort for longer journeys.

2014 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid Sport

The Infiniti Q50 is ahead in the game of safety and technology.  Currently, the Infiniti wins the competition in the connected car realm with its ability to sync personal emails and social media content on your vehicle.  Infiniti also provides a mobile app that allows you to connect with your vehicle and even lets you unlock your doors right from your phone. But what really sets the Infiniti Q50 apart is its advanced safety features that include corrective lane departure and collision avoidance system.

It’s not perfect, but give it a few years, the first footprint in safety technology will make a huge impact in the automotive industry within the next few years.

This world’s first system warns the driver of risks which that maybe obscured from the driver’s view lie beyond the driver’s field of view. – See more at: http://www.infiniti.ca/en/sedan/q50/highlights/safety.html#sthash.1gOb8ner.dpuf