The hybrid version is refined and fast, and all models get two colour touch-screens as standard. There’s enough cabin space for four adults to be comfortable.
The diesel engine is very noisy, running costs are high and the hybrid has much too firm a ride. You have to pay a lot extra for equipment that should be standard, such as a digital radio. The electronic steering system on higher-spec models feels odd and unnatural.
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Infiniti Q50 performance
Two engines are available – a 2.1-litre diesel and a 3.5-litre V6 petrol-electric hybrid. The hybrid is seriously rapid, but while the diesel is competitive in terms of outright pace, it has a boosty, uneven power delivery, so feels flat at certain revs.
Infiniti Q50 ride & handling
The Direct Adaptive Steering system of the more expensive models allows you to alter the weight and responsiveness of the steering, but it feels fake and disconcerting. The standard set-up is better, but it still feels artificial. The diesel Q50 rides well, remaining settled much of the time, but the rear-wheel-drive hybrid (we’re yet to try the all-wheel-drive version) has an uncomfortably firm, jarring ride. Both models suffer from plenty of body roll, so feel ponderous on twisty roads.
Infiniti Q50 refinement
The diesel engine is unrefined by class standards; engine clatter resonates around the cabin most of the time and there’s a lot of mechanical vibration, even at low speeds. The standard manual gearbox is notchy and unpleasant to use, but while the optional automatic is smooth enough at normal speeds, it’s slow to respond at other times. The hybrid’s petrol-electric powertrain is quiet and its standard auto gearbox responds pretty quickly, but it suffers from a lot of tyre noise at high speeds.