What do you want to be, Infiniti? From its stats, the Q50 hybrid looks a rival to, say, the BMW 335i. With a 3.5-litre V6 and electric motor serving a combined 359bhp to the rear wheels, it’ll get to 62mph in a jot over five seconds.
But Infiniti is simultaneously pitching the Q50 as a near-sentient, virtually uncrashable autobot. Tick all the options, and you have a car that can effectively drive itself: cameras scanning every direction, the Q50 steering to keep you in your lane, accelerating and braking to keep you from spearing into nearby pedestrians/lamp posts/other self-driving cars.
Which makes the Q50 a car that can’t decide whether it wants to be in control, or wants you to be in control. That steering – the world’s first fully drive-by-wire system – is unpleasantly inconsistent and distant, no matter the mode. The brakes, too, are as unprogressive as the Ugandan government’s gay rights department.
The diesel Q50 would make more sense as a wafty, tech-heavy, do-the-dirty-work-for-you motorway machine. But, in truth, we’d prefer a loaded-up new Merc C-Class for that job. And if you want a fast-driving saloon, go for that BMW 335i. Or a Jag XF. Or Audi S4. Or just about anything else, in fact.
3498cc, V6, RWD, 359bhp, 403lb ft 45.6mpg, 144g/km CO2 0–62mph in 5.1secs, 155mph 1825kg £40,000+