22 Nov Infiniti Q50: A Nissan in Nice Clothes That Deserves a Second Look
Infiniti is the luxury brand of Nissan, and in my opinion, it’s a brand that is often overlooked. Like many companies, the SUVs and crossovers have been more successful than the sedans as of late. I’ve had the opportunity to spend the weekend with the Infiniti Q50 2.0T AWD, which is a sedan that has somewhat “middle of the road” packaging. Yes, it is true that Infiniti is a Nissan wearing a nicer outfit, but the question remains, should you buy the Infiniti instead of the Nissan? Here are my thoughts.
The Q50 is a stylish car that fits neatly, price wise, below other luxury cars from companies like Mercedes and BMW. The car I tested had sticker price just a hair over $45,000, with quite a few option boxes ticked. That price point puts it $7,150 below the base price of a Mercedes E-Class and $5,200 below the BMW 5-Series base price. Now the Infiniti has plenty of upmarket features like a heated steering wheel, predictive forward collision warning, active lane control and a nice list of other safety and luxury features. The car I tested also had a very nice Bose sound system. The 208 hp turbo 4-cylinder of my test car produces gas mileage numbers over 30 mpg on the highway, unless you opt for AWD.
So, here’s the rub… is it nicer than a Nissan Maxima? The answer is yes and no. I think the front end is a bit more stylish than the current Maxima and I think the interior, if you opt for the black with the wood trim, gives more of an overall luxury car feel. But honestly, you may have trouble finding too many differences. If you step up to the Q70 you have the option of a 420 hp V8, which is quite a lot for a sedan with a starting price of $62,850.
Compared to Mercedes and BMW you get a luxury car with many of the same features and up-to-date safety equipment for less money. If you want more power, even at $62,850, that’s still less than the over 400 hp German crowd. I don’t think driving the car feels as up market as those choices, which is my chief complaint. However, the badge and styling cues inside and out do bring it above the Nissan Maxima.
In conclusion, if you want a luxury car experience with Japanese reliability and plenty of safety features, it may be time to give the Infiniti a look. If you think spending more money for a badge, a few touches of luxury here and there makes no sense, then stick with the Maxima. It’s still worth a drive, no matter which car you end up choosing.
Photos Courtesy: Phil’s Morning Drive
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