Refreshed to meet the tastes of every buyer
“Exterior tweaked, interior spruced up with a new steering wheel, shifter, and additional stitching on the dashboard.”
“Q50 should be near the top of your shortlisted cars,” said Issam.
Delivers performance and luxury.”
And here I am picking up the mid-life-cycle facelift 2018 Infiniti Q50 2.0T from RYMCO, official distributor of Infiniti in Lebanon. The Q50 is one of Infiniti’s best-selling models, making up 30 percent of their total business throughout the world. Infiniti refreshed its entire lineup in 2014 with the introduction of the all-new Q50 sport sedan-which used to be called the G-Series, such as the G35 and G37.
So what changes have been made from the previous 2017 model and 2018?
From the outside you can notice that the front and rear bumpers have been updated. The new design distinguish between the luxury and sport versions of the Q50, is that the sport versions feature a more angular front bumper with wider, lower air intakes as well as a body-color diffuser surrounding the dual exhaust at the rear.
From inside the cockpit, a new steering wheel has paddle shifters that have been repositioned from the steering pole to the wheel, as well as a stitched upper instrument panel. The Q50 also borrows a few gimmicks from the Q60 coupe’s parts, including a more premium looking shift knob and a brushed up three-spoke steering wheel. The center console features a pair of screens that show navigation and infotainment, while the lower screen has readouts for the radio and vehicle settings. What I personally appreciated in our digital/touch era is that Infiniti kept the physical knobs and buttons for climate and radio controls.
Trim versions have been changed too, and include PURE, LUXE, SPORT and RED SPORT 400. All have standard rear-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is available on any Q50 for an additional amount, depending on the dealership, across the Middle East and GCC.
Powertrains are unchanged from last year. The lineup starts with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 208 horsepower (which our test was done on).
In general, it does drive pretty well and is splendidly affordable versus the German competition. My only concern is the feel of the steering wheel. Although the interior and exterior look gorgeous, the steering wheel feels like you’re playing XBOX! In the past, the G-Series used to be one of the best handling premium compact sport sedans, but now with the advanced German rivalry it is debatable. But, as an entry 2.0T, the Q50 offers the best in terms of money versus features. Up the hills with one passenger and me, the 2.0T engine performed with no major lag. Another concern that crossed my mind is if you have your whole family of four to five passengers plus a full trunk, it might feel unhurried on mountainous Lebanese roads.
Most of us realize that we live in an SUV era nowadays. Despite that, the Q50 remains the best-selling model for Infiniti by cutting out the seven-seater QX60. So, for that reason, Infiniti had to keep their Q50 refreshed and up-to-date versus the crowded and tough competition in that segment. You can surely request a test drive at any of your local dealerships and I guarantee you will enjoy it! The unanswered question remains, will the facelift be enough to keep the Q50 sales up in an SUV-ruled world?
Rivals: BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Jaguar XE, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Cadillac ATS
Pros: Value for money, high-tech gimmicks, exterior, interior
Cons: Steering and handling one step behind the German rivals, not much headroom for taller passengers in the back
One word: Double-Flavor
2.0L turbocharged, inline-4 cylinder, 208 hp @ 5,500 rpm, 350 Nm @ 1,500 rpm
7-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shifting mode, RWD/AWD
0-100 km/h: 7.2 seconds, top speed: 247 km/h, fuel consumption: 9.4 L/100 km
Weight: 1,587 kg