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Infiniti Q50

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5/10

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Road Test

Infiniti Q50 Hybrid driven

Driven April 2014

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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. 

Sam Philip 

3498cc, V6, RWD, 359bhp, 403lb ft 45.6mpg, 144g/km CO2  0–62mph in 5.1secs, 155mph  1825kg  £40,000+

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