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The 2023 Infiniti Q50 Is So Far Out of Its League, It's Almost Laughable

There’s nothing I hate more than expensive cars that have outstayed their welcome. Well, that’s not entirely true. I also hate broccoli, the Golden State Warriors and people who talk during movies – and I hate these things considerably more than the 2023 Infiniti Q50, which really has no business being in business, if you catch my drift.
2023 Infiniti Q50 19 photos
Photo: Infiniti/autoevolution
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To be clear, I don’t hate everything about the Q50. I actually think it looks pretty good from a front ¾ angle, especially in Sensory and Red Sport 400 trims. The rear end design is alright too, even by 2023 standards, while the interior is perhaps decent at best.

Believe it or not, the Q50 is still in its first generation, having first entered production back in 2013 as a MY2014 car, following its unveiling at the 2013 North American International Auto Show. Early models flexed their muscle right out the gates, with 328 hp 3.7L V6 engines, as well as 359 hp courtesy of a 3.5-liter V6 hybrid unit. That’s what I call not messing around.

This is where the problem comes into play though. Yes, several more specifications have been launched since 2013, and several have come with modern 2.0-liter turbocharged engines (you can thank Mercedes for those), but aside from good acceleration figures across the board, there’s nothing truly impressive about the Infiniti Q50 nowadays.

The carmaker will probably insist on the fact that you get a V6 engine at the same price point that would otherwise land you a 2.0L turbo sports sedan, with less power. But I’m not so sure that’s such a big advantage anymore, especially when you’re lacking in so many other categories.

Let’s talk price

The 2023 Infiniti Q50 has a starting MSRP of $42,650, which lands you the Luxe trim (Wireless CarPlay and wired Android Auto, power/heated front seats, heated steering wheel, Bose 16-speaker sound system, leather-appointed seats and more). It’s not bad at all for an entry-level variant, but $42k+ for a car riding on a 10-year-old platform?

To make matters worse, it can’t even touch its German rivals when it comes to on-board tech and active safety systems – that alone should offset a few extra horsepower here or there in favor of this posh Nissan.

2023 Infiniti Q50
Photo: Infiniti
An entry-level 2023 BMW 330i sedan only costs an extra $1,000 on top of what you’re already paying for the Q50, and despite its 255 horsepower, the former is just 0.6 seconds slower to 60 mph than the 300 hp entry-level Q50, which today is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter unit. In fact, all Q50 specs are powered by this engine, working alongside a seven-speed automatic transmission and either rear- or all-wheel drive.

Yes, Red Sport 400 variants are tuned to produce 400 horsepower, but you’re already paying $56,500 for one of those “beauties”. For that exact amount of money, you can get a 2023 BMW M340i sedan, which has 382 hp and is just as quick (if not quicker) than the Infiniti to 60 mph.

Bimmer aside, let’s not forget that you can get a 2023 Mercedes C-Class sedan for $44,850 – and this is a car you can spec with lots of S-Class features. See, this is what I mean by saying the Q50 is “out of its league”.

Let’s talk alternatives

Funny you should ask, because we just published an article earlier today about alternatives to the Cadillac CT4, and most of those work beautifully as alternatives to the Infiniti Q50 too.

In that story, we talked about the Acura Integra, Lexus IS, Volvo S60 and Genesis G70, but I would argue that your run-of-the-mill Q50 buyer might not be inclined to sit behind the wheel of a Volvo. That’s like asking a former Dodge Challenger owner to buy a Lincoln. Anyway, what you’ll want to consider here are the Integra, the IS and the G70.

2023 Lexus IS
Photo: Lexus
In a way, the IS suffers from similar ailments to the Q50, but Lexus did a much better job of updating its sports sedan – this latest version almost feels like a new-gen model, even though it’s not. It’s a thorough facelift, the likes of which you rarely see in the car industry.

Meanwhile, both the Integra and the G70 should get on your radar way before you even dream of walking into an Infiniti showroom. The Integra is the cheaper alternative, setting you back upwards of just $31,500, whereas the Genesis is priced from $39,400 – cheaper, newer and overall better than the Q50.

Let’s talk solutions

I have two solutions that would help Infiniti fix their “Q50 problem” and they’re both the same: sell off whatever inventory you might have and bring us an all-electric variant ASAP. The rumor mill is already hard at work on this one, with Infiniti presumably working on both an EV and a hybrid replacement for the Q50.

Whether this vehicle will still wear the Q50 moniker or will be called something else entirely, remains to be seen. What matters is that it will likely arrive sometime in the next 2-3 years. Once such a vehicle gets here, it will forget all about the Acura Integras or the Genesis G70s of the world, focusing its efforts on the likes of the Tesla Model 3, Polestar 2, BMW i4 and so on.
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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
Sergiu Tudose profile photo

Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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