Infiniti’s artfully sculpted and muscular midsizer, the Q50, but its performance is less scintillating. The 208-hp turbo 2.0-liter inline-four will disappoint enthusiasts, but a 300-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 is offered, as is a hybrid powertrain good for 360 hp and 32-mpg highway. All Q50s get a seven-speed automatic and either rear- or all-wheel drive. The infotainment system offers apps for email and concierge services; adaptive cruise control and automated emergency braking are optional.
It’s hard to be two things at once—just look at the success rate of famous double agents. Robert Hanssen: serving 15 consecutive life sentences. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg: electric chair(s). Severus Snape: snake bite. The consequences of competing loyalties are less dire in the world of mass-produced consumer goods, but it’s easy to spot a soul in conflict with itself—even if that soul is in fact a car, as in the case of the Infiniti Q50, which aspires to be both a luxury ride and a sports sedan. Tightly creased sheetmetal (imperceptibly tweaked for 2018) and angrily canted headlights are the first signs that the Q50 tested here, outfitted in Sport trim with a 300-hp twin-turbocharged V-6 engine and all-wheel drive, aspires to sportiness. Inside, a pair of magnesium paddle shifters—part of a $1500 package that also includes Infiniti’s adaptive suspension and upgraded brakes—help to drive the point home. But any significant amount of time spent behind the wheel will reveal the Q50 to be more interested in comforts than athletics.