The Infiniti Q50 is the epitome of what a sports sedan should be. It's powerful, strong, and fun to drive, and it has many sophisticated features inside its cabin. It definitely feels like a luxury car, and it looks like one, too, with sleek stylings and upscale details.
There are four trims of the 2021 Infiniti Q50. The lineup starts with the Pure, and this is the only trim priced under $40,000. The two middle trims are the Luxe and the Sensory. Finally, the Red Sport 400 trim rounds out the collection of Q50 sedans. Since budget is obviously a key factor for consumers, it's important to mention that there are significant price jumps between these trims. Expect to pay around $44,000 for a Luxe, approximately $50,000 for a Sensory, and about $58,000 for a Red Sport 400.
As a sedan, the Q50 has a comfortable cabin. Leg room in the front is 44.5 inches, and in the second row, passengers will have 35.1 inches of leg room. While not the largest of areas, the back seat can fit three people just fine. The trunk has a volume of 13.5 cubic feet.
Compare the 2021 Infiniti Q50 Pure vs Luxe Trim Levels. What is the Difference?
The Pure and Luxe run on the same type of engine, which is a 3.0-liter V6 that features twin turbochargers. The engine has 24 valves and a block made out of a very durable aluminum-alloy. With 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, the 2021 Infiniti Q50 can give someone a thrill when he/she gets behind the wheel for the first time. The power of the engine is evident from the first time the gas pedal is engaged.
Infiniti has paired the V6 with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Shifting is smooth, and an all-wheel drivetrain is available in case people want to increase their traction while driving in slippery conditions. Hill Start Assist can prevent the Q50 from rolling backwards on a slope when the driver is switching from the brake to the gas pedal, and a manual shift mode can be utilized whenever a driver wants more control.
In the fuel efficiency department, the 2021 Infiniti Q50 isn't anything to be super excited about, but at the same time, it's on par with many other competitors. Rear-wheel drive sedans have an estimated fuel economy of 20/29 (city/highway) miles per gallon. The tradeoff for having additional traction with all-wheel drive is a slightly reduced efficiency of 19/27 miles per gallon.
There are numerous components in place to keep people safe in a Q50. As one would imagine, the sedan comes with several different advanced air bags that can protect people when they're involved in various types of collisions. The front seat belts have pretensioners, and there are emergency locking retractors in all seating positions. Traction control, anti-lock brakes, and crumple zones are some other standard components.
This leads to a discussion about the driver-assist technologies present in the Q50. The Pure and Luxe trims have forward emergency braking, allowing them to slow things down in an effort to avoid frontal collisions. However, they don't have other systems that are now more commonly seen in the industry, such as lane departure warning and lane keep assist. What they do have is the ability to call for emergency help in case of a collision. The Luxe is the only one out of these two models to have intelligent cruise control so that it can adjust speed while the system is engaged. Intelligent cruise control can be useful when driving on highways, as it allows the vehicle to appropriately respond to changing traffic patterns.
Both trims have a smart key system, which Infiniti calls Intelligent Key. With this type of key, the ignition can be started by pressing a button and the doors can be unlocked/locked by touching the handles. For any of these functions, the key just have to be in close proximity to the vehicle. In case the battery on the key fob is unexpectedly depleted, there is a backup slot that people can use to start the engine and unlock the doors.
Other interior features include a two-zone climate control system, rear air vents to help with air circulation, and an overhead component that's perfect for holding sunglasses. The sequential lighting system that starts upon entry is quite welcoming, and it provides enough illumination to get settled before starting on a trip.
Both trims have leatherette seating, which looks and feels great but isn't quite as luxurious as the real thing. Leather seats are available on the Luxe. While the Pure has a Lunar Black trim, the Luxe has Textured Aluminum trim to make things feel a bit more classy. The two vehicles have a power-adjustable driver's seat, and only the Luxe has a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
In the infotainment department, these two lower trims of the Q50 have fairly similar offerings. The package includes six speakers, a CD player, multiple USB ports, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and Bluetooth. Further, they have Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, the ability to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot, and voice recognition. With a dual display system, a driver should be able to clearly see the menu and all the choices that can be selected. There is an eight-inch upper screen and a seven-inch lower screen.
Navigation is included on the Luxe but not the Pure. In addition, the Luxe gives people the opportunity to upgrade to a Bose 16-speaker system. On the Luxe, people can play digital files using a USB flash drive. One other technological feature is the Luxe's HomeLink transceiver integrated into the auto-dimming side mirror. It can function as a garage door opener and may work with some home security systems.
Looking at these trims from the outside, the main difference is that the Luxe has a moonroof. It's a power-sliding version that can open or close with the touch of a button, and it comes with a sliding sunshade, tinted glass, and a tilt feature. Both trims have LED headlights, LED fog lights, and LED rear brake lights. The Pure sits on 17-inch wheels as opposed to the 18-inch wheels that are on the Luxe.
Compare the 2021 Infiniti Q50 Luxe vs Sensory Trims. What is the Difference?
The Sensory is powered by the same engine found on the Luxe, though it does have paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. One mechanical difference is that the Sensory has a higher quality suspension. It has a dynamic digital suspension in the front and rear, and this gives it the ability to be quick and adept at making adjustments when the car is traveling over uneven terrain. Likewise, the brakes on the Sensory are a step up from the standard components. The Sensory uses special sport brakes that have better reaction times, and it uses 19-inch wheels that showcase a five-spoke sport design.
An additional safety component in the Sensory is lane departure warning. This will alert drivers when they're veering out of a lane and potentially about to find themselves in trouble.
In the cabin, the Q50 Sensory has some more advanced components than its counterpart does. For instance, rather than having a basic two-zone climate system with a microfilmer, it has a system that can automatically recirculate the air, purify it, and filter it through the use of grape polyphenol.
Ambient lighting is standard in the Sensory, as are leather-appointed seats. The trim on the Sensory is a Black Open Pore Wood, and the front seats have a sport design with thigh extensions, power-adjustable torso support, and power-adjustable lumbar support. In the driver's seat, there's a memory function that can store two different seating positions. The system can also remember the positions of the side mirrors and steering column. Speaking of the steering column, it should be mentioned that the Sensory has a power tilt and telescopic steering column.
Technology is enhanced on the Sensory, especially in terms of the infotainment system. The Sensory trim uses Bose technology and 16 speakers to improve sounds quality; this is only optional on the Luxe.
Compare the 2021 Infiniti Q50 Sensory vs Red Sport 400. What is the Difference?
Representing the best of what the Q50 has to offer, the Red Sport 400 sits at the top of the lineup. It has semi-aniline quilted leather seats, a carbon fiber trim, and aluminum pedals that all complement each other. The Red Sport 400 is only trim to come with the option to get blind spot intervention and active lane control, both of which can take an active role in controlling steering if necessary.
The wheels on the Red Sport 400 measure 19-inches, just like the Sensory's wheels, but they have a more eye-catching design. A special Infiniti emblem on the grille is an option with the Red Sport 400, which comes standard with special exhaust tips. The Red Sport 400 is the only trim to have sleek black side mirrors; the other trims have body-colored side versions, and all of the side mirrors have LED turn signals built into them. Also, adaptive front lighting is available on the Red Sport 400. These types of lights can adjust their angle and level to better illuminate the road.
Arguably the biggest difference between the Red Sport 400 and the Sensory is related to what's under the hood. While they both run on 3.0-liter V6 engines, only the Red Sport 400 has two turbo speed sensors and dual water pumps. Its slightly different design results in 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. This is a significant improvement over what the Sensory can do. To further enhance the driving experience, Direct Adaptive Steering is available on the Red Sport 400.
Fuel efficiency is estimated to be 20/26 miles per gallon on the RWD Red Sport 400. It drops by only one mile per gallon to 19/26 miles per gallon when the Q50 has AWD.
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Which Trim to Choose?
While the Red Sport 400 is certainly more powerful than the other trims, it has a much higher price tag. Other than having a special engine, it doesn't have anything that might adequately justify such a large price jump. The truth is that 300 horsepower in a sedan is pretty exciting to have, and 400 horsepower really isn't necessary for most people.
That leaves the other three trims, all of which have pretty comparable safety systems, advanced infotainment features, and the same type of powertrain. When looking at all the factors related to how well the Q50 delivers a quality experience, the Sensory pulls ahead of the rest.
The Sensory trim of the 2021 Infiniti Q50 has many advantages, such as leather seats and ambient lighting. It also has more safety and performance components that can elevate it over what the Luxe has to offer. Since it comes in at just under $50,000, many luxury car shoppers will find its price to be reasonable.
The other two trims just don't have everything that people might want. Though they're attached to a luxury brand, they don't come standard with the fine seating and trim materials or the comprehensive safety systems. In the end, they could leave people wanting a bit more, and that's why the Sensory is the ideal Q50 model to purchase.
• Compare the 2020 Infiniti Q50 Trim Levels