AUTO REVIEW: Infiniti Tweaks the Q50 Sedan for 2018 With Revised Exterior, Interior Features

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Infiniti Q50
The 2018 Infiniti Q50 sports sedan (Infiniti)

The Infiniti Q50 receives a considerable update for 2018, pushing the limits of sedan styling, with a refreshed interior and exterior appearance.

New global grade naming, upgraded package content and naming, and one new exterior color coincide with the new look.

The Q50 is available in 2.0t Pure and 2.0t Luxe; Hybrid Luxe; 3.0t Luxe, 3.0t Sport, and Red Sport 400 versions, all with a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive.

Gasoline-only model prices ranges from $34,200 for a basic 2.0t Pure to $51,000 for a Red Sport 400. The Hybrid Luxe model is $50,600. All-wheel drive adds $2,000 and is available on all trims.

There are 10 exterior colors offered, depending on the trim chosen – Midnight Black, Liquid Platinum, Graphite Shadow, Black Obsidian, Dynamic Sunstone Red, Majestic White, Pure White, Hagane Blue, Iridium Blue, and new Mocha Almond.

Starting with the expressive illumination of the multi-mode jeweled LED headlights with signature LED daytime running lights, following the dynamic arch profile toward the rear, including the crescent-cut “C” pillar, the Q50’s side styling evokes motion and a feeling of space, while allowing rear passengers greater visibility.

The revised headlights feature a “lowered eyelid” look – fierce, almost sinister. Deep wavelike creases extend back from the upper edge of the revised signature double-arch grille (black cascade with chrome surround), along the hood to the “A” pillar, adding to the powerful, dynamic feel.

A sculpted front fascia, with deep-set fog lights topped by horizontal LED turn signal lights surrounded by dark metallic painted accents, contributes to the dramatic stance and aerodynamic profile.

Dark metallic paint continues on the revised rear fascia surrounding dual chrome-tipped exhaust outlets, bringing the dramatic exterior together.

Chiseled fenders flare, the rear flowing up to the top edge of the extended wrap-around LED rear combination lights, giving the Q50 a broad-shouldered, low athletic stance – low for sticking to the ground, wide for commanding attention.

Standard features include a power sliding and tilting tinted-glass sunroof; power, heated outside mirrors with LED turn signals; body-color door handles with chrome accents, touch unlock, and welcome lighting; advanced aerodynamic design with zero front and rear lift concept; aluminum front doorsill kick plates with Infiniti logo; rain-sensing wipers; and auto-dimming inside mirror with universal garage/gate opener.

My Q50 Sport was Liquid Platinum with a Graphite interior featuring textured Kacchu aluminum trim on the upper door panels (above diagonally quilted soft-touch panels) and the center console/center stack. Kacchu subtly textured aluminum is inspired by traditional Samurai armaments, usually made of leather, bronze, and iron.

A 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 delivered 300 horsepower through a seven-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with Downshift Rev Matching, manual shift mode, and Adaptive Shift Control.

The included Performance Package ($1,500) brought steering-wheel-mounted magnesium paddle shifters – previously column-mounted – along with Sport brakes with silver painted calipers (four pistons in the front, two in the rear), upgraded rotors, and the Dynamic Digital Suspension.

The DDS electronically adjustable shock absorber system monitors body roll, pitch and bounce rate, adjusting accordingly for a flat, stable, controlled ride.

A Drive Mode Selector on the center console offered Sport/Sport-plus, Standard, Eco, Snow, and Personal settings to optimize ride comfort, response, and agility according to the driver’s wishes.

Advanced Vehicle Dynamic Control with Active Trace Control adjusted braking and engine torque to help enhance cornering feel by keeping the vehicle on the projected track.

Dramatic 19-inch wheels had five trident spokes with silver-painted machined fronts and dark gray painted sides and pockets, wearing summer run-flat tires.

My Q50 Sport had a more angular front bumper and wider, lower air intakes, and a more prominent airfoil below the front bumper.

An Essential Package ($2,500) brought Infiniti InTouch Navigation with voice recognition, lane guidance and 3-D building graphics; InTouch Services access (three-month complimentary service); SiriusXM Traffic information; heated front seats and steering wheel; 60/40 split-fold-down rear seat; and, remote engine start.

InTouch Services digital alerts and remote services provide a direct link to personal security, convenience and confidence, with two available packages, requiring a subscription and compatible smartphone.

A basic package includes Connection Skill with Amazon Alexa, remote door lock/unlock and more. The other package contains all the basic features plus collision notification, emergency call, roadside assistance, remote start, Google Send to Car and much more.

InTouch used a dual display system with an eight-inch upper screen and a seven-inch lower screen.

Standard InTuition is a fully customizable digital environment for audio, climate control, and navigation settings stored in each Infiniti Intelligent Key. The Intelligent Key also has a remote window-open function and a backup slot to start the vehicle if the key-fob battery is depleted.

The Q50 has a high-tech cabin, with a comfortable and connected driver-centered layout. The new grade structure enabled designers to distinguish each model with a unique interior character.

Bluetooth Hands-free Phone (with text-messaging assistant) and Streaming Audio were standard. SiriusXM Travel Link comes with four-year complimentary access to weather, fuel prices, stocks and sports. SiriusXM radio access is complimentary for three months, then requires a subscription.

The Sport leather seats and steering wheel, dash, console, sport-oriented leather shift knob, and armrests had new unique contrast stitching. Both eight-way power front Sport seats had manual thigh extensions, and the driver’s seat had power lumbar and side bolsters.

A new steering wheel had molded positions for the driver’s thumbs. Aluminum-accented pedals are standard for the Q50 Sport.

My Q50 Sport had a Sensory Package ($2,650), which included the Bose Performance Series 16-speaker audio system with Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound; dual-occupant memory for the driver’s seat, steering column, and outside mirrors; an Advanced Climate Control System; and auto-dimming outside mirrors. ACC cleans the air inside, and helps prevent germs and allergens from entering.

A Proassist Package ($1,650) had Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Backup Collision Intervention (it stopped me as I backed out of a space in a very busy parking lot), Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, front and rear sonar system, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Forward Emergency Braking (they combine to avoid collision, helpful on a winding country road with hidden driveways and blind curves).

Illuminated Kick Plates with Infiniti logo added $465.

This Infiniti has Zone Body construction with reinforced passenger compartment and front and rear crumple zones, slide-away pedal assembly, dual-stage front air bags with occupant-classification sensor, roof-mounted curtain side-impact air bags for front and rear, and a traction-control system integrated with Vehicle Dynamic Control (especially useful this time of year, even in the South and Southwest).

Approaching my Q50, sequential welcome lighting lit the interior and exterior for safety. Rear passengers entered and exited easily, thanks to wide rear door openings, and all passengers had plenty of knee, head and shoulder room.

Natural-contour ergonomically designed front seats were exceptionally comfortable, with complete spinal support.

Rear passengers had personal reading lights, rear console-mounted air vents and rear floor heater ducts – very nice on the cold winter days.

Power window controls were illuminated, with one-touch auto up/down. Retained accessory power allowed windows or the sunroof to be closed even if the vehicle was turned off.

We had two 12-volt power outlets, auxiliary input jacks and two USB connection ports to keep us charged and entertained. Battery-saver technology helped prevent accidental discharging if accessories were left on.

My Q50 delivered for $50,410 after adding $995 destination charges and $8,765 in options.