The 2017 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 is powered by a 400-horsepower twin turbo V6 engine.

Infiniti Q50 is smooth, comfortable, and eye-catching

The German brands may have a stranglehold on the luxury sport sedan market, but buyers willing to look elsewhere could easily be enticed by the Infiniti Q50.

The Q50’s design arguably rivals that of any competitor, while handling and performance characteristics come pretty close. The many standard features and competitive pricing Q50 offers could seal the deal.

There are four basic Q50 trim levels: 2.0t, 3.0t, Red Sport 400 and Q50 Hybrid. In the same order, they deliver horsepower ratings of 208, 300, 400 and 360. Two new versions are added for 2017: the 2.0t Sport and 2.0t Sport AWD.

All models have a seven-speed automatic transmission, and are available with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.

V6 Sport models offer a new Design Package for 2017. It includes Graphite or Havana semi-aniline leather seating with contrast stitching, Natural Maple Wood accents, a unique black headliner and pillars, and Dark Chrome interior trim.

A new available Bose Performance Series sound system has 13 speakers and all-new electronic architecture with high-performance components. Q50 Premium models have an advanced version of the Bose system with enhanced sound reproduction and 16 speakers.

My tester was a 2017 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 with rear-wheel drive, a stunner with its exclusive rich red paint. Frequent stares and enthusiastic praise from strangers were a testament to the Q50’s eye appeal. Exclusively designed 19-inch aluminum alloy sport wheels and the red brake calipers that are new for 2017 factored considerably in pleasing the public.

With its standard features alone, the tester would have been well appointed. But as it was, generously embellished with an additional $10,600 worth of options, it matched whatever could be found in the luxury sport sedan world. Yet the total price was still under 61 grand by quite a bit. That’s attractive pricing for this market segment, and making options out of some advanced technology, appearance, and driver-assist features is also a benefit to buyers who don’t want them, or whose budget doesn’t encourage them.

The Red Sport 400’s 3.0-liter V6 twin turbo engine has 350 lb-ft of torque and goes like gangbusters. Fuel economy ratings are 20/26/22 (city/highway/combined) mpg. When punched from a standstill, there’s some tiny turbo lag but then a nice roar. The seven-speed transmission is wondrously smooth. The tester included adaptive steering, a $1,000 option, and a feature I’d decline.

Q50’s interior is supremely comfortable, with good visibility. It includes Infiniti InTouch technology, a dual-screen system for controlling the vehicle information, entertainment and communication systems. One screen is near the top of the dash, the other just below it. At first glance it looks complicated and something likely to generate hate, but I found it surprisingly semi-intuitive, and fortunately the main functions are backed up with regular push buttons.


Base price, including destination charge: $49,605

Price as driven: $60,220

Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a board member of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.

Talk to us

More in Life

Lemon Mascarpone Layer Cake, photographed Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. (Hillary Levin/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS)
These 4 recipes will prevent the heartbreak of blah desserts

Each of them is decadent and well worth the calories, and they’ll all become your new favorites.

Snohomish Historical Preservation Commission member Fred Cruger with his dog, Duffy, in Arlington along one of the history walk sections at Centennial Trail. The event will be up through September. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Discover local history as you walk the Centennial Trail

Take a smartphone quiz as you stroll the trail. If you answer every question correctly, you’ll win a prize.

Rosemary Fish Fillets with Lemon Garlic Pasta. (Linda Gassenheimer/TNS)
Lemon, garlic sauce, rosemary make flavorful fish dish

This recipe calls for mahi-mahi, but any type of firm white fish will work — snapper, tilapia or cod.

A course of traffic-cone slaloms is one way to help teens improve their driving skills. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Her teen is putting pedal to the metal for accident avoidance

She signed the new driver up for an advanced collision avoidance class taught by Defensive Driving School.

Seattle filmmaker ‘would have been honored’ by being at Emmys

Lynn Shelton, who died in May, was nominated for directing and producing Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere.”

Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, now a symbol of peace and reunification. (Rick Steves’ Europe)
Rick Steves: Today’s Berlin is freedom’s victory dance

Checkpoint Charlie is now a capitalist sideshow. You’ll be sold fake bits of the wall, WWII gas masks and DDR medals.

We need to make suicide prevention a public health priority

The pandemic has impacted our mental well-being. Be on the lookout for suicidal behavior.

2020 Jeep Renegade adds more features for lower trim levels

All models have a new telematics unit, and a 9-speaker Kenwood premium audio system is available.

Blue leadwort is a low-growing perennial that acts as a colorful groundcover for the garden. (Getty Images)
A few perennial gems to help brighten up the fall garden

He can’t help but find new treasures to plant each time he visits the nursery. Here are four he added recently.

Most Read