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

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

Darlene Love, Steven Van Zandt and Paul Shaffer  performed in concert at the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park on Sept. 12, 2015.
Pandemic’s not stopping Christmas Queen Darlene Love

The singer best known for “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” will perform her annual holiday concert online this year.

A gardener’s to-do list for winterizing the yard — Part 2

Try to accomplish most of these chores, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get them all done.

Caleb Sanders and Ashley Dougherty help decorate for the Trees of Christmas event at the Everett Bible Baptist Church. (Maria Lara)
Church keeps Christmas tradition alive with drive-thru event

Everett Bible Baptist Church hosts Trees of Christmas, with music, narration and special treats for the family.

Mexican sedum is an excellent groundcover plant, forming a dense carpet of glossy chartreuse leaves. (Richie Steffen)
Great Plant Pick: Sedum kimnachii aka Mexican sedum

An excellent groundcover plant, this variety forms a flat, dense carpet of glossy chartreuse leaves.

Make holidays brighter with energy saving tips and gifts

Snohomish County PUD shares five smart ways to find joy in the season that use less electricity.

John Spadam owner, at Spada Farmhouse Brewery in Snohomish. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Spada ready to show off new bar and restaurant in Snohomish

During the pandemic, the Spada family has been busy renovating an old building on First Street.

Precept Wine, the largest privately-owned wine company in Washington, recruited Seattle native Sarah Cabot to take over its pinot noir production in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in 2014. (Precept Wine)
Six examples of award-winning pinot noir in the Northwest

The Willamette Valley of Oregon has a reputation for the red wine, but there are other success stories in the area.

To deposit a coin in the Bonzo bank, you had to push his tummy. His tongue would come out of his mouth to deposit the coin inside. Many similar banks were made picturing other comic characters. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
Mechanical bank of the first famous Bonzo sells for $1,800

The dog decorating the front of the tin bank was a comic cartoon star from the 1920s to the 1940s.

Design elements of the M235i Gran Coupe include angled headlights, four-eyed halo daytime running lights, and BMW’s traditional kidney grille. (Manufacturer photo)
BMW’s compact 2 Series Gran Coupe is all new to the 2020 lineup

A turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive, and 8-speed automatic transmission are standard on both versions.

Most Read