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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi to all perspective Q buyers.

I had a wonderful opportunity to share a test drive of a new Q50 with a friend who owns a G37. We both had a chance at the wheel and were thoroughly impressed.

The Escondido, CA dealership now has (8) Q50s. They, like many other dealers were not expecting them. 3 arrived mid-week with another 5 in the last day or two.

My salesman gave me the “keys” and said have fun. He stayed at the dealership while Ron (my friend) and I took a white exterior with black interior, hybrid out for a drive. The Q had everything except the sport package. The car was set to “standard” drive mode. And I later found out that the steering was as tight as one could set it.

Ron took the wheel first. Ron’s daily driver is a 07 G37 (I might have the year wrong but I know it is a 5 speed automatic.) I sat in the front passenger seat.

I own a 2003 G35. :)

Starting the vehicle was our first feeling this car was different. Neither of us had driven a hybrid before so when Ron pushed the start button and the instrument panel lit up, there was no engine noise or vibration. Nothing. Both of us looked at one another wondering if the car was ready to go. It took us a few seconds to realize that everything was as it should be. Ron put the Q into gear and gently pulled out of the dealer parking lot. That’s when we noticed the gas engine started. I say “noticed” because we were intentionally wondering when it would start. Otherwise, we would not have noticed.

The dealership is right off the 15 freeway so we headed north. Accelerating on the on-ramp was no problem even though the grade was up hill. After merging onto the freeway, both of us noticed that the car was different than both of our daily drivers. The level of road and wind noise was definitely lower. It almost felt like I was in an M. And smooth – very smooth. Again, I felt like I was in an M.

Before we knew it, Ron was up to 70+ (we will need to keep the actual speed off the record). It felt like we were in a heavier car but still had the control of sport sedan. Did I mention the ride was very smooth?

Ron noticed that there was no road vibration coming through the steering wheel. I felt the wheel too – none. I explained the steer-by-wire feature. More on this when I take the wheel.

Now, we turned our attention to the tech package. We first experimented with the lane departure control. This was Ron’s first exposure to this technology so I explained the fundamentals. It was easy enough to toggle the lane departure control on and off with the steering wheel controls. With the control on, we let the car drive itself for at least 3-5 miles. Every time the car drifted to one side of the lane, it gently moved itself back toward the lane center. If I didn’t know the car was doing it, I would have guessed Ron was making normal steering corrections. The car followed road turns perfectly. Large trucks passed us and the Q just maintained its heading. It was truly amazing to see the car steer itself.

There was a time that the lines on the road were faded and the car could not correct. As it started to drift out of the lane, a gentle bell signaled something was wrong. We had the dashboard set to show driver assistant information and I think the lane departure graphic blinked orange (not sure on this last point).

Ron was egger to try the intelligent cruise control. I had explained its capabilities to him earlier and we both agreed that road trips to Vegas would be a lot easier with this feature. He fooled with the controls a little but not having had a chance to play with the controls earlier; it was too much to handle on this part of the test drive.

Now, it was my turn. Ron exited the freeway and we parked as a small lot. It took all of 5 seconds to look at the steering wheel controls to figure out how the cruise control worked. Although the images on the controls are self-explanatory, we just didn’t look closely enough before starting the test drive.

I started slowly and we listened when the gas engine would start. We heard it but in terms of drivability, it was a non-existent event. I stayed on a surface road that parallel the freeway and decided to test acceleration. I was probably going about 35 MPH and then floored it. The transmission downshifted and the car took off. Within a second, it felt like another burst of power kicked in. But it was a smooth kick. Infiniti did a great job of transitioning between the gas and electric motor power plants. I assume this was the electric motor. The acceleration was definitely more than my G35 could muster. I was up to 60 in no time.

We were about 10 miles north so it was time to head back toward the dealer. So I made a hard left turn onto the freeway entrance ramp. The Q just followed my instruction without a fuss. Body roll was minimal and it felt like all wheels had a firm grip on the roadway. I didn’t feel any anti-sway bar bounce.

Once up to speed, I too notice the lack of vibration through the steering wheel. Yes, I can say that I lost some of the intimacy with the road. But I can’t say this was a negative thing. The feel of the Q’s suspension and steering gave me a positive feeling. It did, however, give me the impression we were going slower than really were.

It was time to try both intelligent cruise control with lane departure control. Amazing. Truly amazing. I let the car drive itself for several miles. We pulled up behind a slower car and the Q gently found the right speed. When I put on the blinker and merged into the faster lane to pass the slower car, the Q accelerated to the cruise control speed.

As good as these systems may be they are not perfect. As we approached a slower flat-bed truck that was in the middle of changing to a slower lane, and the road curving gently to the driver’s side, the intelligent cruize control kicked in hard. For a fraction of a second, it seemed like the Q applied its breaks and then decided that the truck had moved into the other lane. This maneuver was a little unnerving.

Enough with the tech gadgets. How did the Q handle in the curves?
I exited the freeway and drove a short distance to a stretch of road through a canyon. I pushed the car doing 50-55 MPH. The Q just gripped the road. No under or over steering. Even though I had no road vibration through the steering wheel, I felt I was one with the road. Again, it reminded me of the M only better.

Upon returning to the dealership, I met up with the salesmen. You can guess the question he asked: “Well, what did you thing”. We talked and joked a bit but the bottom line to me was this. The Q feels much more like an M than my G35. Ron’s G37 is closer to the Q but still, there is a big distance between the 2. Let me say it this way. If an M is a 10 and my G35 is a 1, then the Q is a 7 or 8. I like the M, but the Q is better in many ways. It felt more agile without compromising creature comforts. In many respects, I see the Q as the M-junior: quicker, sharper, smother, and more technically savvy.
 

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Awesome review! Loved the detailed, moment by moment....I felt like I was sitting in the back seat with the two of you! I'm so excited and can't wait to drive one myself. Did you happen to drive the gas version?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Did you happen to drive the gas version?
No, just the hybird. I will test drive the gas version when I am ready to buy. As nice as the hybird is, I think I am leaning toward the gas version.

Oh, the gas MPG on the gas model is 20/29. I am a bit disappointed with these numbers and expected a little higher on the highway number in view of the 3.5L values.
 

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No, just the hybird. I will test drive the gas version when I am ready to buy. As nice as the hybird is, I think I am leaning toward the gas version.

Oh, the gas MPG on the gas model is 20/29. I am a bit disappointed with these numbers and expected a little higher on the highway number in view of the 3.5L values.
It's a big improvement actually since the gas version has the 328hp 3.7. My 04 gets 17/24 with the 268hp 3.5.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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optioned up...a hybrid premium and a regular gas premium are the same price, give or take...at that point, its better to get the hybrid. Excellent test drive review though :). Question, is there a notable difference between the sport and premium model?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My 04 gets 17/24 with the 268hp 3.5.

Yea, you are right. It is a big improvement. Just figured that the 3.7 is not that much different than the 3.5 in the hybird and the hybird is 300 LBs more (I think). Just figured that the 3.7 would have been a bit closer in MPG.

Plus, I don't know if the testing was conducted with driving mode set to ecco or standard or sport.
 

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No, just the hybird. I will test drive the gas version when I am ready to buy. As nice as the hybird is, I think I am leaning toward the gas version.

Oh, the gas MPG on the gas model is 20/29. I am a bit disappointed with these numbers and expected a little higher on the highway number in view of the 3.5L values.
What EPA numbers did the hybrid have? Been hearing 36 for hwy, but city?
 

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The numbers on the California Hybrid I saw last night were 28/34. with an average of 30 mpg.
 

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Most of so cal dealers have Q50 hybrids but reluctant to allow test drive, I have one scheduled one for tomorrow, will fill you in
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great, Great review thanks,

Could you please comment on the torque?

When you jammed down of the pedal did the car really push you into your seat?

How was the engine sound at WOT?
As I recall, the 2nd kick of acceleration did set me back in the seat. It was noticable. We had the windows up so the noise level was not high. It only took about 3 seconds to get from 35 to 60. I really dont remember the engine noise. The car is definitly quieter than my G35.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Question, is there a notable difference between the sport and premium model?
The Q Hybird we test drove did not include the sport package and we did not experiment with the drive mode selector. Most of our time was focused on tbe tech package.

I never would have thought the car could drive several miles without touching the gas, break or steering wheel. And it drove itself as good and as smoothly as I would have driven it.
 

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I would also like to add i also had an opportunity to test drive a white Q50 sport hybrid with tech package. Many of the OP' comments are spot on. The quietness of the vehicle in drive mode, but the acceleration was smooth and predictable. I did not have the opportunity to release the beast as I had the salesperson with me.The transmission did not suffer any of the tranny gremlins that had plaqued the G37 sedan... a good thing. In auto it shifted smooth with no abrupt shifts up or down, it always found the proper gear. In manual shifting it was nice to have control of the tranny and in sport mode, the car accelerated with authority...NICE

The drive-by-wire was the feature I was most interested in. We finally were able to program it in sport and sensitive mode. There was a subtle difference in a good way where the steering wheel had some resistance and input sensitivity was spot on. I would prefer this mode FULL time, all the time. Wonder if were able to have this as a default setting??
When I entered the parking lot and creeping along the steering went light and numb...very artificial. Did not like this however some may find it easier to steer when parallel parking or making a U-turn.

Great car for the money, they have a build that intrests me and may make a go of it, hopefully the dealerhip will give me some loyalty.

Oh it appears I am the first customer to test drive the vehicle, felt honored and a big shout out to Miller Infiniti , Van Nuys:D
 

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Thanks for the reviews guys!!
 

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Thanks for the additional feedback. Make me wants my pre-order sport hybrid even more now.
Is this the white Q50 sport hybrid with graphite interior plus deluxe tech package? May I ask what is the sticker price on it?


I would also like to add i also had an opportunity to test drive a white Q50 sport hybrid with tech package. Many of the OP' comments are spot on. The quietness of the vehicle in drive mode, but the acceleration was smooth and predictable. I did not have the opportunity to release the beast as I had the salesperson with me.The transmission did not suffer any of the tranny gremlins that had plaqued the G37 sedan... a good thing. In auto it shifted smooth with no abrupt shifts up or down, it always found the proper gear. In manual shifting it was nice to have control of the tranny and in sport mode, the car accelerated with authority...NICE

The drive-by-wire was the feature I was most interested in. We finally were able to program it in sport and sensitive mode. There was a subtle difference in a good way where the steering wheel had some resistance and input sensitivity was spot on. I would prefer this mode FULL time, all the time. Wonder if were able to have this as a default setting??
When I entered the parking lot and creeping along the steering went light and numb...very artificial. Did not like this however some may find it easier to steer when parallel parking or making a U-turn.

Great car for the money, they have a build that intrests me and may make a go of it, hopefully the dealerhip will give me some loyalty.

Oh it appears I am the first customer to test drive the vehicle, felt honored and a big shout out to Miller Infiniti , Van Nuys:D
 

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Thanks for the additional feedback. Make me wants my pre-order sport hybrid even more now.
Is this the white Q50 sport hybrid with graphite interior plus deluxe tech package? May I ask what is the sticker price on it?
Yes to all the above, except it had the wood trimmings and the price was 52K.

Honestly I thought the wood interior was going to be a much darker warmer wood, and it didn't excite as much as I thought it would. For now I really like the aluminum trim, really adds a modern progressive feel to the overall sportiness of the vehicle.
 

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Good to hear about the steering and yes, it remembers your settings and matches them with the key. As you approach the car it starts talking to the key and loads your presets.

I am going to like the low effort steering in parking lots. That's the only thing I don't like about my 04's steering.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Good to hear about the steering and yes, it remembers your settings and matches them with the key. As you approach the car it starts talking to the key and loads your presets.

I am going to like the low effort steering in parking lots. That's the only thing I don't like about my 04's steering.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
What if 2 keys with different settings are both in the car?
 
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