Jayne Williams

Significant enhancements have been added to the popular entry level Infiniti Q50 sports sedan for 2020, including a new-300 horsepower, 3.0t Pure model.

A new-generation Infiniti InTouch System with HD dual-display touch screens, two illuminated USB ports (type A, type C), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also added to all models.

Models include the base Pure, $36,400; Luxe, $38,850; Sport, $48,500; and Red Sport 400, $54,250.

All models offer rear-wheel drive or Intelligent All-Wheel Drive ($2,000), and two award-winning VR-series 3.0-liter V-6 twin-turbo engines – 300 horsepower for Pure, Luxe, and Sport, and exclusive 400 horsepower for the Red Sport model.

An advanced seven-speed, electronically controlled automatic transmission with manual shift mode is designed to handle the power of the VR-series engines, with dual transmission coolers to diffuse heat.

Adaptive Shift Control detects elevation and angle changes in the road and enhances gear selection accordingly. Sport mode provides more-aggressive shift patterns.

Four-wheel independent suspension balances handling and comfort. Generous use of aluminum for suspension components keeps weight down.

The antilock braking system with vented discs features electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.

Each model has unique exterior designs, attributes, and characteristics, with some common features including Infiniti’s signature double-arch grille and wide hood.

The three-dimensional, waved mesh-pattern and chrome surround of the grille make a strong first impression, with impressive lines from the corners of the grille across the hood to the A-pillars and from the front quarters along the sides of the body creating a fluid profile.

Infiniti’s trademark human-eye LED headlights and slim combination LED rear lights (joined by a slim chrome strip) create a distinct light signature.

For this review, I drove an eye-catching Majestic White ($695) Luxe model with rear-wheel drive, riding on 18-inch gray-on-gray aluminum-alloy wheels with five three-part spokes, wearing all-season run-flat tires.

The arched roofline flowed to trademark crescent C-pillars, with windows trimmed in dark chrome. Rear-side character lines met the body-color rear decklid spoiler ($450).

My Q50 Luxe had welcome lights on the chrome-trimmed front door handles (Infiniti Welcome Lighting, $485), rain-sensing wipers, heated outside mirrors with LED turn signals, a power sliding/tilting tinted glass moon roof, wide doors and narrow pillars (for easy entry and exit).

Exterior colors have been chosen to emphasize the Q50’s contours and surfaces. Up to 10 colors are available, depending on the model. Dynamic Sunstone Red ($900) is exclusive to the Red Sport model, for example, and Hagane Blue (dusty light blue), Liquid Platinum (like it sounds), and Mocha Almond ($695) are interesting.

In addition to Pure’s long list of standard features, including an updated Infiniti InTuition, Infiniti Intelligent Key, and dual-zone automatic temperature control, my Q50 Luxe had chrome front fascia finishers, HomeLink universal garage/gate opener, and textured aluminum interior trim (doors, dash, center stack/console).

InTuition, exclusive to Q50, allows up to four drivers to personalize seat, steering column and mirror position linked to an Intelligent Key. Intelligent Key stores driver profiles, moves the driver’s seat back and the steering up for easy entry and exit, then returns them to the custom position according to the specific profile.

Infiniti Radiant Illuminated Kick Plates ($485) welcomed driver and passengers into the roomy cabin, with comfortable Graphite leatherette seating, ample front and rear headroom, and ample rear knee room thanks to a thinner front seat back and lots of front seat adjustability.

Hallmark zero-gravity spinal support front seats helped minimize pressure on back muscles.

A rear 60/40-split fold-down seat was included in an Essential Package ($2,750), along with Navigation with Lane Guidance, 3-D building graphics, Premium Traffic and MapCare (update maps monthly over the air via Wi-Fi), voice recognition for navigation, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Automatic Collision Notification and Emergency Call, SiriusXM Traffic (real-time traffic info) and Travel Link (weather, fuel prices, stocks, sports, movie listings, and more), heated front seats, heated steering wheel, driver’s power lumbar, and remote engine start.

Infiniti Interior Ambient Lighting ($445) created a warm, welcoming glow in the footwells. Two rear USB charging ports (A and C, $80) kept rear passengers ready to go for the entire drive.

In keeping with the performance-inspired character of the Q50, the leather-wrapped shift knob had double-stitched seams, chrome trim, and an inlaid Infiniti logo. The steering wheel had molded thumb rests with intuitive access to reshaped gear-shifter paddles.

The instrument panel incorporated the traditional double-wave design, with a line of textured aluminum trim flowing from the top of the center stack to the wide center console. Hard switches, touch panels, Infiniti Controller and Infiniti Drive Mode Selector were conveniently located for easy reach without shifting position, even for short arms.

A six-speaker AM/FM/HD radio/CD audio system was standard, along with the Bluetooth hands-free phone system with hands-free text messaging assistant, and updated Infiniti InTouch (dual screens).

InTouch offers a group of services including remote lock/unlock, vehicle find, remote start, light flash, and more, using an Alexa-enabled device or Google Assistant and voice command.

With Destination Send-to-Car, points of interest can be sent to the vehicle. Locations can also be sent by tapping a corresponding icon on the InTouch screen. SiriusXM Traffic provides up-to-the-minute road conditions, closures, and construction along your route.

Destination Assistance with a live “response specialist” will search for points of interest by name or category and send results to the navigation system. Journey Planner will plan a complex route, including distance and time, after the driver enters the starting point, end destination, and up to four waypoints on the route, then send the plan to the navigation system.

Standard safety, security, and driver-assistance features include Forward Emergency Braking, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Hill Start Assist, Active Trace Control, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone system, auto-dimming inside mirror, and RearView Monitor.

A ProAssist Package ($850) included Blind Spot Warning, Backup Collision Intervention, Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, and Front and Rear Sonar System.

An All-Weather package ($225) brought all-season floor mats and a waterproof trunk protector, while a Cargo Package ($270) added a carpeted trunk mat, cargo net, first aid kit, and shopping bag hooks. Splash Guards at each wheel well added $225.

My Q50 Luxe was EPA rated for 20 mpg city/ 29 highway/23 combined. With short neighborhood trips, I achieved 24.9 mpg.

The Infiniti Q50 is fun and easy to drive, efficient, and powerful. With options plus freight charges of $1,025, the total delivered price was $46,780.

The automotive columns of Emma Jayne Williams have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 2007. Contact her at [email protected]