The Infiniti Q50t S Premium sure knows how to steer you in the right direction
Infiniti is a brand with little cache in Australia, but that is about to change.
Parent company Nissan is getting serious about Infiniti over here – sponsoring Red Bull Racing and Dan Riccciardo in Formula One – ensuring that anonymity will disappear.
If you are thinking of a sports sedan in the BMW 3-Series or Mercedes C-Class space, make sure you have a look at the Infiniti Q50 – what you get for your money will simply baffle you. Even a quick drive will inspire you, especially if it is the Q50 Premium with the lusty turbo engine, which we tried.
And it really doesn’t take long to understand the basics. Push the accelerator pedal and a bunch of electronic signals are fired at the engine telling it to unleash the horse, and it sprints hard if you keep your foot flat and let the 7-speed gearbox do its thing.
The steering is also electric and can be adjusted to suit your needs. I want nice meaty steering, and so when I save all my seating and mirror positions on spot #1, the Q50 makes sure it remembers how I like my steering. Clever, especially given the steering wheel lifts out of the way for me to get in and out of the car, which means I really can put the steering wheel where I want it.
I had read about a lack of engagement with the driver, but I didn’t find that. What I did find was grip, and plenty of it. The handling was right up there with the Europeans who would struggle against cars like this and the Hyundai Genesis if there wasn’t so much invested in the brand. This Infiniti is the sportier option so it has a serious crack at the 3-Series BMW. The Genesis is slightly larger and less serious and goes hard the E-Class Mercedes, but both the Infiniti and Genesis are significantly cheaper with all the equipment added in and are therefore very attractive options.
Safety is also a big thing in the Q50. It has all the kit expected plus a little more. Active Lane Control, Emergency Locking Retractor seat belts, Back-up Collision Intervention (which wouldn’t let me drive over a football!), Blind Spot Warning systems and cameras that create a 360º view around the car for parking in very small spots and right up against the kerb.
Then there’s the luxury, heated seats, a proper digital audio system with DAB and sound by Bose, active cruise control, rear floor ducts for the comprehensive climate control system… the list goes on. If you want it, it is probably there.
The Q50 2.0S Premium is a cracker of a car, and there are other models too, including diesel and hybrid options (with more power than you’d ever want). To top it all off, it looks good too, even in white and that is the real test. Prices range from $50k for the GT to $80k for the top of the line Hybrid S Premium.