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2015 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/30/2015 Stefan Ogbac
© Infiniti

New for 2015

The 2015 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid is unchanged.


Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid is the hybrid variant of the Q50 luxury sports sedan and is powered by a 360-hp powertrain that combines a 3.5-liter V-6 with an electric motor. Like the base Q50 and its 3.7-liter V-6, the hybrid model offers rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations. Fuel economy is surprisingly good for such a powerful car, achieving 28-29/34-36 mpg city/highway with rear-wheel drive and 27-28/31-35 mpg with all-wheel drive, depending on whether the sportier S model is selected.


Overview

In terms of driving dynamics, the 2015 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid performs respectably, providing better straight-line acceleration than the non-hybrid, with an as-tested 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds, compared to a Q50S 3.7's 5.2 seconds. Handling is respectable but the standard Direct Adaptive Steering, a steer-by-wire system, detracts from the car's overall drivability, especially on winding roads where the driver is frequently making inputs to keep the vehicle in control.

Inside the 2015 Q50 Hybrid's cabin, there's plenty of available tech including a Bose 14-speaker premium audio system and an optional navigation system featuring an eight-inch upper and seven-inch lower touchscreen. Opting for the Q50S adds sport seats, an eight-way power adjustable driver seats, aluminum pedals, and paddle shifters.

The available Deluxe Technology package in higher trims add a host of safety features including blind spot warning, Distance Control Assist, backup collision intervention, intelligent cruise control, predictive forward collision warning, forward emergency braking, and an Around View monitor with Moving Object Detection and Front and Rear Sonar System. The NHTSA gave the 2015 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid a five-star overall safety rating (out of a possible five stars) and the car is considered a Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS, earning a Good score in four categories, Acceptable in the small overlap front crash test, and Superior forward crash prevention (Good is the highest possible score, and forward crash prevention designations include Basic, Advanced, and Superior).

What We Think

Despite its strong performance, the 2015 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid is in need of some refinement. In a 2014 First Test review, we noted that the car didn't transition smoothly from regenerative to mechanical braking. The hybrid powertrain was also a weak point because its performance-oriented tuning made it difficult to keep it in EV mode, since it always wants to stay at full boost.

You'll Like

  • Good fuel economy
  • Powerful hybrid powertrain
  • Extensive list of available safety features

You Won't Like

  • Direct Adaptive Steering detracts from overall performance
  • Transitions from regenerative to mechanical braking are sudden
  • Powertrain doesn't like staying in hybrid mode for prolonged periods

Key Competitors

  • BMW ActiveHybrid 3
  • Lexus ES 300h
  • Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

Rating

2 star

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