2018 Infiniti Q50 Sedan: Powerful, Luxe and Now, An Easy to Understand Name

Infiniti Model Names

Who wants a car with an impossible name?

Luxury car names can be confounding. Learning these names and what they mean can be a sport all by itself. Letters and numbers designate everything from place in the lineup to engine size to level of luxury and always leave me scratching my head.

Luckily, Infiniti’s new Q50 model lineup clears this up

Infiniti Model Names

The full 2018 Infiniti Q50 lineup; these are all Red Sport models but note that they are not all red. Photo: Scotty Reiss

With the introduction of the newly redesigned Infiniti Q50 sedan, the names of the models in the lineup have been simplified  to be more meaningful.

Recognizing that the starter model of a luxury car has no place being called a ‘base’ model, Infiniti renamed this model “Pure.” From there, the Q50’s model names reflect the experience each model promises.

THIS I get:

  • Pure: Outfitted with the necessary luxuries, a nice suite of safety technology and a 4-cylinder turbo engine
  • Luxe: Luxuries and more safety features are added, and there are three different engine options including a hybrid, which comes with top of the line features
  • Sport: Sport features and a larger 300 horse power engine are added
  • Red Sport: The whole package is kicked up a notch with a 400 horse power engine (and, yes, you can get it in colors other than red)

What this car costs

  • Pure 2.0 208 horsepower turbo $34,200
  • Luxe 2.0 208 horsepower turbo $36,550
  • Luxe 3.0 300 horsepower turbo $38,950
  • Sport 3.0 turbo
  • RED Sport 400 horse power $51,000
  • Luxe Hybrid 360 horsepower $50,600
  • Add AWD to any model for $2,000
  • Technology and entertainment packages can be added

Who this car is for

  • Single drivers, couples or small families
  • Buyers who want a luxury sedan
  • Car lovers who are driven by design
  • Buyers who want a performance sedan
  • Drivers who value a sporty drive experience
  • Buyers who want cutting edge safety technology

Meet the newly redesigned Infiniti Q50 Sport Sedan: Beautiful, and with more luxe details than ever

Infiniti Model Names

The 2018 Infiniti Q50’s front cabin is elegant and filled with luxuries. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Infiniti has long been one of my favorite car brands. Its pure design, from sleek and sweeping exterior lines to an interior that makes sure you have everything you need is capped off with attention to detail that makes these can’t-miss cars.

The Q50 was the first in the Infiniti family to carry a Q model name. It was introduced in 2014 and it frames the Infiniti promise nicely. It’s a sport sedan with four doors—a key selling point in my book, because who wants to be alone all the time? But it also comes in ample engine sizes to take the driving experience from satisfying to fun. As if that weren’t enough, drive modes from eco to sport let you up the game, or completely shut it down so you don’t burn ALL your premium fuel (yes, premium is recommended in this car.) 

See how the Q60 coupe compares to the Q50 sedan

Even more ambitious drive and safety technology

Infiniti Model Names

Driver information displays between the gauges; this screen shows the safety features that are active. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Because that is what Infiniti does so well. 17 years ago Infiniti decided to make a deep commitment to safety technology and engineered or led the introduction of many standard safety features such as surround view cameras, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring. The brand’s adaptive cruise control and pre-emergency braking monitor traffic 100 yards ahead for possible slow-downs or danger, keeping you not just safe, but allowing you to relax and enjoy your time behind the wheel.

See our 360-degree walk through of the 2018 Infiniti Q50 on Periscope.

Now, the 2018 model takes the tech up a notch. Among the refined features are:

  • Twin turbo engines in all models for more power and performance and better fuel economy
  • Direct adaptive steer by wire steering: this is much simpler than it sounds, with fully electric steering, or by “electric wire” rather than a mechanical connection of the steering wheel to the front wheels  so that the system responds faster to your steering
  • Direct adaptive steering keeps you in your lane and reduces the steering that YOU have to do, thus keeping you safer on the road and reducing the risk of the driver over-steering or over-correcting
  • Distance control assist, which is part of the adaptive cruise control system, continually monitors and adapts to the distance between you and traffic ahead

Smarter, yes, but prettier too

Infiniti Model Names

The steering wheel on the Infiniti Q50 includes steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The full lineup of model choices includes a hybrid and sport models, with some beautiful details such as:

  • A new steering wheel that has been redesigned for better ‘hand feel’ to feel better and more natural in your hands. I found it to be very comfortable and easy to manage and handle.
  • A redesigned gear shifter with the iconic Infiniti badge front and center
  • Aluminum speakers and trim details; it’s car jewelry and for me, eye candy
  • An award winning technology interface including twin screens that display entertainment, climate, drive settings and navigation
  • Refined noise and vibration control for a quieter ride
  • Beautiful quilted leather seats in the Red Sport

6 sexy cars that will drive you wild

A fun and responsive drive experience, even in eco

Infiniti Model Names

The center control console features two screens (one with navigation, one with entertainment) and climate control buttons. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What good is a luxury sports sedan if it’s not fun to drive? And the Q50 keeps that promise. On our tour around the back roads of Tennessee we were able to put the Q50 to the test. Despite it’s 4-door, 5 passenger size, it was agile, capable and powerful on the highway and on curvy back roads. Pop it into sport mode and shift through the gears with paddle shifters for even more fun, or dial it down to eco mode (my preferred mode) to get the most MPG out of a tank of gas.

We tested out the 400 horsepower Red Sport edition, but I look forward to trying out the 4-cylinder turbo and the 3-liter 300 horsepower model; 300 horsepower is enough to make almost any 4 door sedan a ton of fun.

Not sure a sedan is the right choice? Check out the Infiniti QX30 crossover

So, what about that MPG?

Infiniti Model Names

A bit of old and new on a Tennessee highway. Photo: Scotty Reiss

We asked about this, especially since there’s a hybrid version of the Q50. While MPG numbers are estimates right now, here’s what Infiniti expects the Q50 to get:

  • Luxe 3.0 turbo rear wheel drive should get about 23 MPG combined city/highway driving;
  • The Luxe hybrid should get about 29 MPG combined city/highway driving.
  • All wheel drive models will probably get slightly lower MPG since the AWD system is more demanding of the engine.
Infiniti Model Names

Rear leg room in the Infiniti Q50 is roomier than it looks, with plenty of comfort for back seat passengers. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The Infiniti Q50 should be rolling into dealerships soon. And now with simpler names and more luxury it’ll be easier than ever to decide which one you want.

Infiniti Model Names

Art starring me at the 21C Hotel Nashville. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Our test drive took us to the 21C art hotel in downtown Nashville; you can see my tour of this hotel here.

And we really enjoyed the upgraded sound system in the Q50; here’s what we listened to on our test drive.

Disclosure: I was Infiniti’s guest for this test drive; travel and accommodations were provided. All opinions expressed here are 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