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Infiniti Q50 review - Auto Express

Main / INFINITI / Infiniti Q50 review - Auto Express

Infiniti Q50 review - http://bit.ly/1e64z1P Subscribe to our YouTube channel http://bit.ly/11Ad1j1 Subscribe to the mag http://subscribe.autoexpress.co.uk/yt If you're watching this in the UK, you might not know what an Infiniti is. But the people behind the brand are hoping that you soon will, and this car -- the Q50 -- is supposed to be the one that'll grab your attention. Infiniti has had a BMW 3 Series rivaling car like this before, called the G37 but your chances of seeing one of those on the road in the UK are slim to say the least. It was pretty popular in markets like the US but in Europe the lack of a diesel engine, a cabin that falls well short of the class best and a relatively expensive price-tag meant the G37 struggled to sell at all. But the Japanese brand has recognized the error of its ways so the Q50 has been designed with Europe in mind. Now there are two models, a 2.2d -- confusingly powered by a 168bhp 2.1-litre engine from Mercedes -- and a Hybrid, which uses a 3.5-litre V6 and an electric motor to produce a total of 359bhp. So that's Infiniti's engine problem taken care of, but what about the interior? Well, it's a big improvement on the G37, definitely. First of all it feels really loaded up with kit -- these dual touchscreens here come on all models, as does a rear view camera, parking sensors and a start button. You only need to move up one trim level from the basic SE to get full leather upholstery, too. Now that should make it feel really modern in here but a lot of these switches already look old -- these ones down the sides of this screen here even feel a little bit cheap. We had the coup? version of this car on our long-term fleet and a few things fell off, snapped, broke or whatever but this actually feels a lot more solid. Only time will tell but it's definitely a big improvement. There's this new Infiniti InTouch infotainment system as well, which is pretty straightforward to use.... So we've got one of the diesel models here -- this'll be the big seller in the UK -- and from first impressions there are definitely a few good reasons for that. First of all is the refinement. This 2.1 diesel can be a bit rattly if it's not isolated well enough but Infiniti has done a good job of making you think it's not there. The idle is quiet and even when you're really going for it, you don't get much of a diesel rattle. That extends to high-speed driving as well, because you can't hear the engine at all on the motorway. There's a neat noise-cancelling system as well which supposedly cancels out all the bad noise and lets in the good stuff. Performance? Well it's OK. 0-62mph takes 8.5 seconds with the auto box so it's reasonable. Not hair-raising by any means but you kind of feel like there's enough torque for joining a motorway or pulling off a quick overtake. The handling is actually pretty good, a huge improvement over the old G37. This car feels more responsive, more planted and just generally more grown up. If you find a nice twisty piece of road there's some satisfaction to be had from linking together some nice turns but there's one thing that holds it all back a bit -- the steering. This car has got Direct Adaptive Steering, which is an ?800 option on mid-spec Premium models and standard on everything above that. You can't even get it on entry-level SE Q50s. It's the world's first fly-by-wire steering so there is absolutely no connection between the wheels and the steering wheel. That allows for clever things like an active lane departure system and a customizable steering set-up, but it's also resulted in a very artificial feel, with very limited feedback. Admittedly, it's no worse than what you might find on a Lexus for example, but if you're expecting BMW levels of engagement then you're set to be disappointed. We never got the chance to try the standard electro-hydraulic steering so that could be slightly better.


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