Driven: Infiniti Q50 2.2CDi Sport Tech

JonathanMay 21, 2015


The Infiniti Q50 is well specced for someone wanting to stand out.

Driven: Infiniti Q50 2.2CDi Sport Tech

“What’s that?”

I’ve been asked this a lot whilst test-driving the new Infiniti Q50 recently. “An Infiniti,” I reply. This is normally followed by a confused look, a bad Buzz Lightyear joke, and a conversation of how this is one of the best saloon cars you haven’t heard of yet.

Infiniti is the premium brand from Nissan, and they’re hoping to see the same success that Toyota had when they introduced Lexus as their premium brand into the UK back in the early 1990s. Infiniti are confident that they’ll steal sales from other premium brands such as the Lexus, BMW and Mercedes, especially in the company car marketplace: in the U.S. Infiniti is already as popular as Lexus.

So what’s it like to drive? After 1,300 miles last week including two trips to London I can certainly say that it’s a great motorway cruiser. It’s not bad on diesel either. I’ve been driving the 2.2d automatic which has returned almost 50mpg including some stop-start driving in rush hour traffic. The seats are fabulously comfortable and adjust in all directions, the cabin is spacious and it has so a lot of equipment. With voice activated sat-nav, electric seats with memory, electric steering column, 19” alloy wheels and BOSE surround sound, the Q50 is very well equipped. Every Q50 is well specced but the £39,870 (circa £300 a month, leasing fans) Sport Tech version I’ve been driving has every piece of equipment you could wish for. So all in all, this is a good looking, well equipped car that will stand out from the usual suspects in the company carpark.

So what’s not to like? Although it’s a great motorway cruiser, the 2.2d engine is a little harsh during acceleration compared to its other rivals. The seventh gear on the automatic transmission is great for economy but unfortunately it does mean that it does change down to sixth rather a lot even under partial-throttle when cruising. This wouldn’t be an issue but the gear changes aren’t as silky smooth as the Q50’s competitors. Combined with a slightly ponderous chassis and unexciting (but dependable) steering, it’s just not as fun to drive as a 3-Series or C-Class.

So is it all show and all go? Perhaps. The Q50 may not be as engaging to drive as some of its German rivals but if you enjoy contemporary looks, so so much tech, or if you’re looking for a company car that’s going to make you stand out then this could certainly fit the bill. Leasing rates start from £189.99 + VAT per month (click for more info), so I think that you’ll see many more of these on the road over the next year or two.

TL;DR

For: Styling, equipment & packed full of tech.

Against: Unrefined diesel engine & lifeless steering.

Verdict: A well specified premium saloon for someone who wants to stand out from the crowd.


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