The 2023 Infiniti Q50 reminds us that putting all the pieces in place required to create a great sports sedan is a tricky business. Infiniti has been trying for 10 years with this version of the Q50 and hasn’t been able to do it. The Q50 wears eye-catching styling but open the door and you’re met with a dated cabin compared to rivals such as the BMW 3-series and the Mercedes-Benz C-class. Unlike those cars, the Q50 comes standard with twin-turbo V-6 power; those others make do with turbo-fours. But even the sportiest Red Sport 400 model—which gets a 400-hp version of the twin-turbo V-6—isn’t as athletic as we’d like. The handsome-but-aging Q50 is in desperate need of modernization, which is why we recommend checking out other more driver-centric entry-luxury sedans like the Genesis G70, Kia Stinger, and the aforementioned Bimmer and Benz.
What’s New for 2023?
Unfortunately, Infiniti has kept updates for 2023 Q50 light. A Saddle Brown interior option is now available on the entry-level Luxe trim and an illuminated Infiniti grille emblem is now available on the mid-range Sensory trim. The 2023 Q50, like all other 2023 Infiniti models sold in the U.S., will now come with a three-year complimentary maintenance plan with no mileage-based restrictions.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Despite being the entry point to the Q50 hierarchy, the Luxe has the same powertrain as the pricier Sensory trim and still boasts a solid roster of popular features and luxury appointments. It has a heated steering wheel and front seats, remote start, and myriad driver assists. Those who want the added security of all-wheel drive can add it for $2000, but we’d stick with the standard rear-wheel drive and invest in a set of winter tires for the colder months.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
All Q50s feature a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, a seven-speed automatic transmission, and either rear- or all-wheel drive. However, the Q50’s engine comes in two potencies. The standard mill makes 300 horsepower, and the performance-oriented Red Sport 400 is tuned to make 400 horses. Regardless of engine output, shifts are barely detectable, even when the driver triggers a gear change with the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The Q50s we’ve driven with 19-inch wheels had a jittery, sometimes harsh ride, but the base model’s standard 18-inch wheels might improve matters. Steering is light but not quick and lacks feedback. Infiniti’s optional drive-by-wire steering setup, called Direct Adaptive Steering, is a much-touted feature, but none of its many available modes offers the feedback or the progressive effort during cornering that the best helms provide.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Regardless of drivetrain configuration or engine output, the 2023 Q50 isn’t exactly sipping fuel. The thriftiest version is estimated to earn 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. We tested an all-wheel-drive Red Sport 400 on our 75-mph highway route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, and it bested its EPA rating by 1 with a 27-mpg result. However, turbocharged six-cylinder rivals such as the M340i and G70 are even more efficient at highway speeds. For more information about the Q50’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Infiniti is ostensibly a luxury brand, but the Q50 interior never feels truly luxurious, even on the most expensive models. The interior packaging is beginning to feel dated, too. The Q50 has above-average front-seat legroom, but that advantage disappears for back-seat passengers, whose accommodations are thoroughly middle of the road. While desirable features including a power-adjustable steering column, memory settings for the driver’s seat, and leather upholstery are standard, other comforts are missing from the options list. The Q50 is about the same size as its competitors, but its cargo capacity is below average, and the interior is short on useful cubbies. It may be a comfortable highway cruiser, but the Infiniti isn’t designed for long family trips. With about 13 cubic feet of trunk volume, the Q50 falls far short of the 3-series and the Stinger.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Q50’s dual-screen infotainment system is outdated compared to more modern rivals, but it does enable various apps to be displayed on either the upper or lower screen allowing for more modular use. Unfortunately, there are aspects of the interface which are illogical. For example, the upper screen can be controlled via touch or through a center-console control knob while the lower screen is touch only. The system does have prompt response times and—to soothe our nitpicking souls—both screens have matching fonts. Up to seven devices can be paired to the Q50’s Wi-Fi hotspot, which features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Infiniti provides every Q50 with a plethora of driver-assistance technology, including adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams. For more information about the Q50’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Infiniti’s warranty coverage periods are longer than most in this class, with the added benefit of a three-year complimentary maintenance plan as standard.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 60,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers six years or 70,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for 3 years, regardless of vehicle mileage.