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Infiniti Q50 Hybrid

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/5/2016 Motor Trend Staff

The Infiniti Q50 Hybrid arrived for the 2014 model year and is available in rear- or all-wheel-drive configurations. Powering the car is a 3.5-liter V-6 coupled to an electric motor for a total system output of 360 hp. A seven-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox available. The same powertrain configuration first made its debut on the larger Q70 Hybrid, which was formerly known as the M35h. In rear-drive configuration, the car is rated at 27/32 mpg city/highway, and with all-wheel drive, it's rated at 26/30 mpg.

In a 2014 First Test, we said the the Q50 Hybrid offers strong acceleration and good handling. However, the transition from regenerative to mechanical braking is abrupt and pedal feel isn't good. The car's steer-by-wire system is also a weak point because it feels artificial and gives off odd sensations to the driver.

Why You'd Consider One

Unlike most hybrids, the Infiniti Q50 Hybrid's superior fuel economy over its gas-only counterparts doesn't come at the cost of acceleration, as there's plenty on tap for passing, merging, and climbing grades. Regardless of whether you opt for rear- or all-wheel drive, the Q50 Hybrid offers plenty of power and respectable handling despite being heavier than its gas-only siblings.

Why You'd Look Elsewhere

Despite it being marketed as a performance-minded hybrid, the Q50 Hybrid doesn't inspire much driver confidence because its drive-by-wire steering system feels sloppy and unnatural especially when compared to the feel of other sports sedansfrom Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz. The transition from regenerative to mechanical braking is also one of the Q50 Hybrid's weak points because it's abrupt and contributes to poor pedal feel. Trunk space is also minimized due to the hybrid powertrain components taking up extra room.


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