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2014 Infiniti Q50S 3.7 Long-Term Update 6

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/19/2015 Motor Trend Staff, Chris Clonts
2014 Infiniti Q50S 2014 Infiniti Q50S 3.7 Long-Term Update 6

Our Liquid Silver Metallic Q50S has rolled past 18,000 miles and is holding up really well despite daily punishment on streets of questionable quality. A few MT long-termers are squeaking and rattling at this point, but every time I think I've discovered something, it turns out to be spare change in a cupholder or some other cargo. So arigato to the crew in Tochigi for that.

At the 15,000-mile service I paid $453 for the ubiquitous multi-point inspection, oil change, and the following things to be replaced: oil, engine- and cabin-air filters, and wiper blades.

Members of the commentariat have asked for more about how this car is to drive. Put as simply as possible: The Q50S brings the RWD fun that everyone liked about the G37 before it. The 328 hp and 269 lb-ft produced by the V-6 are enough to make you feel fast, but not so much that it's easy to lose the rear with the gas in a corner. You can induce oversteer, but it must be intentional. (That's probably good for most of this car's audience.) Hustling through traffic or hurtling around a curve on a mountain road is enjoyable. The seven-speed automatic does well on its own, but shifts lag a bit by today's standards when using the Dumbo-sized magnesium paddle shifters.

Related Link: Research the Infiniti QX50

2014 Infiniti Q50S© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Infiniti Q50S

As for the steer-by-wire feature, which isn't included on very many Q50s, the MT staffers who've experienced it disagree only in how much we don't like it. Generating that reaction is a combo of incredible-but-too-quick response (it feels very twitchy even in the "normal" drive mode) and a lack of feel not helped by artificial feedback. (Picture the vibrating controllers of today's video games.) I've become used to it, but it's jarring for newcomers or folks who haven't driven it in a while, and I still prefer the Q50 with a standard hydraulic steering, even though the G37's is said to have been better.

The beautiful stone (off-white) interior has held up very well. I had my worries about the light-colored upholstery, but last summer I quickly came to appreciate how cool the seats stay when parked in direct sunlight. When some much-needed spring rain hit Southern California, my concern was banished again: Stains (such as a little mud) just do not want to stay on this leather and are easy to clean.

The Bose sound system puts out incredible sound at mid and high volumes.© Provided by MotorTrend The Bose sound system puts out incredible sound at mid and high volumes.

So the Q50S looks great and drives pretty well. But how does it sound? I haven't really talked about that, and I have two opposite answers. The overall infotainment system is buggy, but the Bose 14-speaker sound system is pretty incredible. It has good adjustability, and when dialed in, it can give freakishly lifelike sound from satellite radio, HD radio, or from a phone via Bluetooth or direct USB connection. And it's not over-labeled like some premium systems. The "Bose" label only appears on two dash speakers.

But that's what you'd expect at this price level. What you don't necessarily expect is the underwhelming sound produced by the 325-hp V-6. It just doesn't live up to the italicized red "S" badge this Q50 has. It's possible Infiniti wanted it to be biased toward "luxury" instead of "sport." There's not much burble or anger, even under hard acceleration, like you get from some other players such as BMW or Audi.

The Q50 sure is a looker, and our S model, with its 19-inch sport tire and wheel package, looks at home in Beverly Hills.© Provided by MotorTrend The Q50 sure is a looker, and our S model, with its 19-inch sport tire and wheel package, looks at home in Beverly Hills.

There are already, of course, a few aftermarket options to fix this shortcoming. I'm hoping to try out Infiniti's own coming solution, a sport exhaust kit for the Q50. I'll let you know how inspiring it is.

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