2015 Infiniti Q50S Review: A Breath Of Much Needed Fresh Air

2015 Infiniti Q50
A breath of fresh air for spring, from Infiniti and Zac Posen, who designed a custom Q-series sedan for Infiniti last year. Credit: Infiniti

Getting into a sedan after being in an SUV all winter is sort of like storing your boots and pulling out your ballet flats.

2015 Infiniti Q50

The Infinito Q50 S I test drove; notice the ‘swoop’ shape on the rear window and the slightly upturned trunk, just two notes of Infiniti’s design language. Credit: Scotty Reiss for AGirlsGuidetoCars

You feel lighter, more agile, less weighty, with the freedom to breathe in sweet spring air and soak up the sunshine. You feel so free.

2015 Infiniti Q50

The center screen lets you select and customize your settings. Credit: Scotty Reiss for AGirlsGuidetoCars

Spring fever strikes, and this car answers

2015 Infiniti Q50

The bright roomy cabin of the Infiniti Q50S. Credit: Scotty Reiss for AGirlsGuidetoCars

Even though there was still snow on the ground (and in the forecast!) that was the feeling the Infiniti Q50S gave me as I spent a week driving around town and through the Connecticut countryside. And for roads narrowed by snowbanks, parking lots squeezed by mountains of plow mounds and icy patches everywhere, the Q50 didn’t let even the slightest winter threat restrain its delight on the road. Its all wheel drive system gave me a great sense of confidence on snowy, icy roads.

S stands for sport

2015 Infiniti Q50

The Infiniti Q50S’s all wheel drive was a welcome feature when I went to to rural Connnecticut and a snow storm hit. The Infiniti handled it like a pro. Credit: Scotty Reiss for AGirlsGuidetoCars

But on clear roads the Q50 is really at home: that’s where merging onto the highway or taking curves at full speed this car is fun to drive. It’s almost humble in its abilities, though. Just tooling around town, crawling along in the school pick up line or taking neighborhood streets to the grocery store, the car doesn’t have the growl-under-the-hood that some sports cars have, like they are insulted you’re not driving on the Autobahn every day. But when I gave this car the chance to hit it, it did; it was fun to drive.

How the Infiniti Q50 compares to other sports sedans

2015 Infiniti Q50

The sunroof allows a better view; here, we got a view of a classic New York City building in Greenwich Village. Credit: Scotty Reiss for AGirlsGuidetoCars

My daily driver is a BMW 335i—known for its throaty sound and for hurling you through space as fast as you’d like. It can be a little loud for around town, but the Q50 was just as demure in local traffic as it was peppy on the highway.

2015 Infiniti Q50

Driver feedback starts with an image of the Infiniti Q50S that can show you things such as an open door or trunk, a low tire or unbuckled seat belt. Credit: Scotty Reiss for AGirlsGuidetoCars

My BMW’s interior is on the small side; even though the back seat is ample, it’s not great for long trips or five full-sized passengers and at times, the cabin seems a bit cramped (which is by design; you want a performance car to fit you like a glove).

2015 Infiniti Q50

You can split the screen to get both a wide shot of your current area and a local street map. Credit: Scotty Reiss for AGirlsGuidetoCars

Other cars that are similar in size and performance are the Audi A4, the Cadillac ATS, Mercedes-Benz C class, Lexus IS and the Acura TLX. When I first got into the Q50, I thought it might compare to larger sedans even though on the outside it looked small; inside though, it felt quite roomy. But roominess is the new design challenge: designers have refined not only materials and appearances, but also the size of panels, seats, dashboards and more to create all kinds of space. Like the Mercedes-Benz C-class and Acura TLX, the Q50’s interior appointments are designed to be elegant and sporty, to give you the feeling of a refined environment. And, it does.

2015 Infiniti Q50

There are two USB ports and a cigarette style power port in the console, as well as an A/V port. Credit: Scotty Reiss for AGirlsGuidetoCars

Why Infiniti?

2015 Infiniti Q50

The Infiniti Q50 cabin is neatly laid out and organized so all driver needs and feedback are close at hand. Credit: Scotty Reiss for AGirlsGuidetoCars

So, I’ve been thinking about the Q50 for a while now. I am a fan of Infiniti’s design philosophy—graceful, elegant lines accented with a swooping rear window and a trunk edge that is slightly upturned, nice attention to detail inside the car, cutting edge safety technology, and being Japanese, a reputation for low maintenance and high quality. It’s that last part that gets me: a luxury car (for me, anyway) loses its appeal when upkeep costs almost as much as your monthly payments. Now, I can’t attest to the reliability of the Q50S, only that prior model years have gotten good marks and the brand’s reputation carries this cachet. But it certainly beats getting into a car that has a reputation for pricey repairs, or for lots of repairs to start with.

2015 Infiniti Q50

Seat setting controls let you adjust for comfort. They include, (left to right) a seat extender button (for extra support under your thighs) seat adjustment lever to move the seat back and forward as well as up and down, seat back adjustment bar, and a lumbar support adjustment button. Credit: Scotty Reiss for AGirlsGuidetoCars

I also really love Infiniti’s approach to technology: the brand’s engineers seem to love it. Typically Infiniti models offer cutting-edge (advanced, as they say in the car biz) technology, so it can be a good investment. However, the model I test drove didn’t have much of the tech I like—blind spot monitors, lane departure warning, adaptive high beam lights (you just leave the high beams on and they adjust when another car or large object comes into your view!), adaptive cruise control (perhaps the best new technology out there), crash mitigation system, and more. I was disappointed not to have it, but if I were to buy this car, this package would be a must-have. Still, it was a breath of fresh air to drive the Q50S for a week, and if it were my daily drive, I’d be a happy driver.

2015 Infiniti Q50

The back seat isn’t hugely roomy, but it wasn’t cramped either; I had leg room to spare. Credit: Scotty Reiss for AGirlsGuidetoCars

What We Loved

  • Sporty look and feel
  • Zippy 326 horsepower engine—fun to drive
  • Luxurious interior
  • Available safety tech package
  • Ample trunk space
  • All wheel drive
  • Great in-car technology lets you customize settings
  • Moonroof floods the car with light
  • Customizable smart key
  • Two USB ports and two cigarette style power ports
  • Heated front seats

What you need to know

  • Back seat space is adequate (but might be tight for 5)
  • 19 MPG city/27 MPG highway; we got about 20 MPG
  • Premium fuel recommended
  • Safety tech package is an additional $3,200
  • Base price: about $45,000; price of the model we tested: $47,995

2015 Infiniti Q50

Disclosure: Infiniti provided the Q50 for my test drive; opinions expressed here are all my own.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss