The Infiniti Q50 is one of the highest-rated luxury cars (in its conventional form), but the hybrid version received low marks for its performance and road handling. Both the regular and hybrid Q50s have many high-tech options that set them apart from their competitors, but the real differences lie in how the two cars drive.
The Q50 hybrid’s braking and acceleration are uneven, and the adaptive steering system gives a delayed response.
Options, Trim Levels and Styles
The 2015 Q50 is a luxury sedan that seats five and is offered in Hybrid, Q50s, Premium and base configuration – we’ll only be discussing the Hybrid model here. Standard features include 17″ alloys, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, cruise control, keyless ignition and entry, power front seats and Bluetooth connectivity, among others. Some features from the higher trim levels are available as options on lower models.
The 2015 Q50 Hybrid gets power from a 3.5L V6 that’s mated to a lithium-ion battery-fed electric motor. Together, the two power plants make 360hp, which gives the car a 0-60 time of 5.3 seconds. The EPA gives an estimated fuel economy of 31mpg (29 city, 36 hwy).
Safety features such as ABS, traction and stability controls, side/front airbags, back-up camera and the Infiniti Connection assistance service come standard on the 2015 Infiniti Q50 hybrid. Options include multi-view cameras, parking sensors, blind spot assist, and a collision warning system. In testing, the car went from 60-0 in 123 feet, which is average for cars in this class. The Q50 Hybrid got 5-star rating in government crash testing, and the IIHS gave it a rating of “good” in impact tests, and a rating of “Superior” for its crash mitigation features.
There are many features in the Q50’s interior, but there are some things to be wary of. The interior is crafted of materials that are comparable to those used in other luxury cars, and the styling is fairly new – but the standard seating can be firm and uncomfortable for taller passengers. Two dash-mounted touch screens control most of the car’s systems, but the finish on these is awkward, and the screens tend to ‘wash out’ in bright conditions.
There’s enough room to store your belongings, but other competitors have more cargo room. The Q50 hybrid’s cargo area is just 9.4 feet, down from the standard model’s generous 13.5 feet (the battery pack takes up 5.1 cu. ft).
Behind the Wheel
There are many differences between the conventional and hybrid Q50s. The 3.7L V6 on the standard model gives quick, smooth acceleration, and while the hybrid model is slightly faster its drivetrain is unpredictable. Braking is also inconsistent, and ride quality is harsher than that of the standard edition Q50.