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2015 Infiniti Q50

2015 Infiniti Q50

Base Price: $38,055
Price as Tested: $52,255

When it comes to a sporty, luxury sedan, the Infiniti Q50 rises to the top tier. Top to bottom, inside and out, it is a serious contender. From its gorgeous exterior lines to its gutsy powertrain, the Q50 delivers the goods. And, unless you go hog-wild in choosing extras and option packages, it’s bottom-line price is relatively budget friendly.

Leaving the substantially different hybrid version out of the mix, the Q50 comes in base, Premium and “S” grades. My test 2015 Infiniti Q50Infiniti was the $43,650 Q50S with some $7,700 worth of extras and the $905 factory destination charge added to the total price. But even with the $38,055 base Q50 version, you qualify for the key elements: sharp exterior styling and sporty cabin, as well as grin-inducing performance. Not bad for south of 40 large.

Arguably there isn’t a better looking sedan on the road. Well, maybe one or two – the Porsche Panamera for one leaps to mind – but there is no room for debate that the Q50 is a head turner. Somehow all of its sharp edges, beefy bulges and assorted character line coalesce into one macho-looking hunk of steel. It really doesn’t have a “bad” side.

But, it’s not just a pretty face. Inifiniti has a killer powerplant in the 328-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 that drives the Q50’s rear wheels via a seven-speed, driver-shiftable automatic transmission. Infiniti claims a impressive zero-to-sixty time of 5.3 seconds. All three grades offer all-wheel drive for a $1,800 premium. The government-estimated fuel economy for RWD versions is 20 mpg city, 29 highway and 23 combined. As expected, AWD adjusts mileage downward to 19 mpg city, 27 highway and 22 combined.

A joy to pilot, the Q50 offers aggressive acceleration and nimble handling. I picked up my test sedan at Atlanta’s airport at the end of a recent trip to California, and drove it the 160 miles along I-85, home to Greenville. I added more than another 150 miles to the odometer while zipping around town on various errands. It performed brilliantly on the highway and in stop-and-go city traffic. Although the Direct Adaptive steering – a feature of my test car’s Deluxe Touring Package option – doesn’t provide much road feel, steering response was immediate.

2015 Infiniti Q50If the end result is any indication, designers spent every bit as much time creating the Q50 interior as was invested in the exterior. This is one handsome, well-crafted cabin. Although the audio system could be a little more intuitive in its operation – I’m old school: Give me some knobs! – other systems are pretty easy to operate through the dual touchscreen displays. All interior materials are top-notch.

Standard in the Q50S are upgraded front sport seats. Offering beefed-up, power adjustable side bolsters and lumbar support, as well as manual thigh-support extension, these seats are comfortable and supportive. Leather seating is also standard with the S grade. Furnished to accommodate five, this sedan is best suited for four, particularly if they are all adults. At 13.5 cu.ft., the trunk is larger than that of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Every Q50 comes with LED headlights and brake lights, front-door handle courtesy lamps, full power accessories, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote keyless entry and push-button start, eight-inch upper and seven-inch lower touchscreen displays, systems interface, Bluetooth connectivity, rearview camera, trip computer, and a six-speaker audio system with iPod interface and satellite radio.

Including some standard features added with the Premium grade, the Q50S comes with a power moonroof, power/heated2015 Infiniti Q50 outboard mirrors, heated front seats, solid-magnesium paddle shifters, and a Bose-infused 14-speaker surround-sound system.

Included among the $7,700 worth of option packages were a 3D navigation system, auto-dimming outboard mirrors, Around View 360-degree camera, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and an assortment of safety features including Backup Collision Intervention, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Emergency Braking.

If your goal is to have a luxury sedan that is a blast to drive and makes a statement about who you are, you won’t do much better than the Q50. There are a number of very competent competitors vying for oxygen in the Q50’s segment that includes such sedans as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but none possesses the Q50’s distinctive styling. It’s a standout by any definition of the word.