Infiniti Q50 2.2D


Infiniti Q50 2.0T, side, action
Infiniti Q50 2.0T, front, action
Infiniti Q50 2.0T, head on
Infiniti Q50 2.0T, side, static
Infiniti Q50 2.0T, rear
Infiniti Q50 2.0T, interior
Infiniti Q50 2.0T, rear seats
Infiniti Q50 2.0T, boot

LAUNCHED in Britain at start of the recession, Infiniti has inevitably had an uphill drive.

Things weren't helped by the fact that its representative in the important 3 Series, A4 segment - the G37 - wasn't available with a mile-stretching diesel engine.

But now its replacement, the striking looking Q50, gets a 2.2-litre diesel that knocks out a gutsy performance with a meagre thirst and tax-busting CO2 emissions.

And priced at around the £30,000 mark it throws down the gauntlet to the Germanic trio - Merc, Audi and BMW - that have successfully dominated the prestigious mid-range class that is so popular with company car using execs.

First impressions of the Q50's cabin are favourable, as you would expect from the posh arm of Nissan.

It looks modern and classy with twin touch screens mounted centrally and high grade sweeping plastic mouldings. The seats are large and wide within the compact interior.

When it comes to legroom and headroom, the Infiniti feels less spacious than the latest Mercedes C-Class.

The boot, however, is regularly shaped and can swallow up a useful 500 litres of luggage, making it one of the largest in its class. It is opened via a button near the steering wheel.

The four cylinder diesel engine, which is fundamentally a Mercedes unit, makes the most of its modest capacity pumping out 168bhp allowing 62mph to come up in 8.5 seconds and a max of 144mph.

The automatic is slightly more tardy and less frugal than the six-speed manual, nevertheless fuel consumption of 57.7mpg - official combined - is up there with the best. My average hovered around the 41mpg, which is still good for a nimble five seater.

It's not, however, the most refined of units. A distinct diesel ‘thrum' can be heard under full acceleration although this subsides into the distance at cruising speeds. Mid-range urge is strong and throttle response rapid making you feel that there's always something in reserve for a swift overtaking manoeuvre.

Handling is safe and predictable rather than overtly sporty, despite reputed input by former world champion racer Seb Vettel. Roll angles during cornering are well controlled and ride over most surfaces is on a par with the Audi A4, though not quite as supple and finely tuned as either the C-Class or 3 Series. Steering is light enough but lacks a degree of road feel.

The seven-speed automatic gearbox selects and shifts gear unobtrusively but occasionally shows a touch of hesitation moving off from a standstill.

Equipment levels on the top Premium version I drove are generous. Keyless ignition, front and rear parking sensors, heated front seats and leather trim are all standard.


Infiniti Q50 2.2D Premium

Price: £31,050

Mechanical:168bhp, 1,998cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving rear wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 144mph

0-62mph: 8.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 57.7

Insurance Group: 40

C02 emissions: 124g/km

Bik rating: 22%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles


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