Infiniti Q50 tested

By THOMAS HUONG | 21 January 2015

NISSAN’S luxury marque Infiniti is gaining traction among premium car buyers here.

The Q50 rear-wheel drive sports sedan represents some of the best stuff offered by Infiniti, in terms of driving refinement, ride comfort, safety features as well as handling and performance.

After living with a test drive unit for three days, we have to say the Q50 more than lives up to our expectations for a rear-wheel drive sports sedan that competes with the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.


Imported from Japan, it has a generous list of standard equipment.

If that is not enough, one can always pay RM30,000 for a premium package that includes Direct Adaptive Steering, a top-notch surround sound experience with a Bose 14-speaker audio system as well as a good number of extra safety features.

Infiniti’s steer-by-wire Direct Adaptive Steering allows the driver to customise steering feel, via touch-screen controls as part of the Infiniti Drive Mode Selector.

Pre-set modes are Snow, Standard and Sport as well as a Personal mode.

In other words, this allows the driver to choose whether the steering should be tight and taut, or light and easy.


We found this to be quite handy, as we can use the Sport mode for fun driving, and the Standard mode for relaxed journeys.

Another notable technology included in the RM30,000 premium package is Active Lane Control (ALC) which uses the steering to ensure the car stays between lane markings.

This is unlike other systems which uses Electronic Stability Program (ESP) to apply braking force.

What we really liked was the automatic engagement of the brakes for a moment, if the car finds that a collision is imminent, thanks to an array of camera and radar-based systems with fancy names like Backup Collision Intervention (BCI), Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW) and Forward Emergency Braking (FEB).


This meant that when we were driving in very slow-moving traffic, the car would come to a dead stop by itself, without our foot stepping on the brake pedal.

However, it should be noted that such technology is not perfect and drivers should not be over-reliant on these assist systems.

As for the cabin, we liked its high quality finish and materials.


Everything felt nice; the soft-touch plastics, chrome surfaces, leather upholstery and powered windows which are all one-touch up/down.

The dashboard has a flowing “double wave”, which Infiniti says was aimed at providing a dual cockpit feel. We feel that this dashboard design allows for more knee room in front.

Now, the Q50 has quite a roomy cabin, with the longest wheelbase in the class at 2,850mm.

This also means that rear knee room is among the best in class.

The Q50 is smartly designed with a space saving foot-brake, and there is room for a lot of luggage with a 500-litre boot.
We also like the dual touch-screens on the centre console for vehicle controls and settings, in-car apps and audio system controls in the Q50, which Infiniti says was aimed at the decluttering of dashboard buttons.


The Q50 also has the distinction of being powered by a Mercedes-Benz sourced 2.0-litre turbocharged engine to propel its 1,707kg kerb weight. This is not really unusual as in today’s fiercely competitive global market, it is becoming common for automakers to strike win-win deals to increase economies of scale as well as share research and development costs.

In the Q50’s case, it is the first Infiniti vehicle to benefit from the co-operation between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance which started in April 2010.

Part of the co-operation involves Infiniti getting a 7-speed automatic transmission and a 2.0-litre petrol engine as well as a 2.1-litre diesel engine from Mercedes-Benz.


The Q50 also excels in terms of handling and ride comfort, with its double wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear set-up.

It also gets Dual Flow Path shock absorbers which are found in premium cars like the Nissan Fuga, and these dampers are touted as providing effective control of body roll, and superior ride comfort.

The tyres here are Bridgestone Potenza S001 225/50 runflat performance tyres on 18-inch wheels, as this Q50 has the optional Premium package.

Otherwise, the Q50 comes standard with runflat performance tyres also, but on 17-inch wheels. It is a marvellous long-distance cruiser that we love driving - mile after mile.


As a premium sports sedan, the Q50 2.0t ticks all the right boxes.

It is refined, pleasant, smooth, classy and yet, when you are in the mood for some fun – it can offer quite a sporty drive.

The Q50 2.0t is a set of wheels that marries the best of European and Japanese technology and quality.




CarSifu's Rating: 8.4