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Infiniti Q50 Red Sport: A fun luxury sedan with 400 horsepower

The Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 offers a lot of excitement for under $55,000; just go easy on the option packages and you can have a big bang-for-your buck luxury sedan that wants to cause a bit of trouble.

WASHINGTON — Last week we looked at the sporty Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400. A two-door coupe with a tight back seat for two just doesn’t work with three children, so we concluded it didn’t make a very good family car. Luckily, Infiniti has the answer with the four-door 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 AWD.

When you want a fun-to-drive luxury sedan you think of the German automakers and tend to forget some of the other players in the market. That’s really a shame because if you do a bit of research you can find some cool sedans that offer a good deal on the performance luxury you desire even at an as-tested price over $61,000. The Q50 sedan offers several different versions with four-cylinder power or several versions with turbo V-6 power.

The name might be a mouthful or a quarter of a line long, but it’s a serious sedan that does a great job of moving quickly. The twin turbo V-6 with 400 horsepower helps you get into trouble speeds quickly, and there isn’t much noise to let you know that you’re going too fast. It’s a sedan that allows you to drive a bit more aggressively like a smaller coupe than a four-door, five-seater with a real trunk. The all-wheel drive system gives it a good grip and it does a nice job of carving corners; it doesn’t beat you up on city streets on the normal commute.

When you have 400 horsepower you also want and need some serious brakes; the Infiniti delivers with brakes that haul down this fast machine quickly with no drama. A seven-speed automatic transmission is a willing player to quickly shift at redline when you really push the car. It can also be an easy cruiser with smooth shifts when you’re just taking it easy. For fuel efficiency, like the Q60, the Q50 fared a bit better than the sticker and managed 23.2 mpg of premium fuel.

Where the Q50 sedan excels is extra space and seating for five. The seats are really good for road trips, and it’s easy to get in and out of both the seats up front and in the back. You can sit adults with ample head room for those 6-feet-tall or taller.

The interior of this Infiniti is well done but the Q50 isn’t the latest luxury sedan on the market, so it’s not as trendy and as modern. I do like the simplicity of most of the controls being in easy reach for the driver. The one thing that was a bit off was the dual central screen layout. It takes a bit of getting used to having two screens and sometimes looking at the wrong screen while trying to change something. The touch screen reacts quickly. I did have some glare with the sunroof open in midday sun.

The Q50 has been around for a few years and I still dig the look, which is enhanced with the Red Sport 400 trim, hunkered down stance and a cool Infiniti emblem on the large grill that glows at night. There are special 19-inch wheels and special Red Sport 400 exhaust tips that set it apart from other Q50 models. While not as aggressively styled as the Infiniti coupe we looked at, it’s one of the more stylish sedans on the market. My tester came with the Carbon Fiber package for $1,500 that adds a carbon fiber deck lid spoiler and exterior mirror covers that add interest to the Pure White paint.

The Infiniti Q50 is fun to drive and a powerful, luxury sedan with a usable back seat. With 400 horsepower and all-wheel drive, the Q50 Red Sport 400 offers a lot of excitement for under $55,000; just go easy on the option packages and you can have a big bang-for-your buck luxury sedan that wants to cause a bit of trouble.


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