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The least expensive Infiniti offers all-wheel-drive and does not sacrifice comfort or performance.

COURTESY PHOTO: INFINITI - The 2023 Ininiti Q50 is an athletic looking compact luxury sport sedan availabe with two engines and all-wheel-drive (all pictures Red Sport 400 version).Infiniti is the unfairly overlooked luxury manufacturer. It does not currently offer any electrified vehicles. It has not joined the race to offer the largest display screens. It is not supporting any race cars. But that does not mean buyers should pass on its cars and SUVs. To the contrary, even the entry level 2023 Q50 compact sedan is well worth checking out.

Infiniti's underserved low profile is similar to that of Nissan, its parent company. Even though Nissan invented the Leaf as the first mass-produced all-electric vehicle, the company does not generate as much media attention as its competitors. But all of its vehicles are good values and deserve consideration, like the Infiniti lineup.

COURTESY PHOTO: INFINITI - The 2023 Infiniti Q50 looks fast coming and going, and is.

It's true the newest Q50 has not been redesigned since being introduced in 2014. Infiniti changed the engine options over the years before settling on the current offerings. The base Luxe and midrange Sensory feature a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that produced 300 horsepower mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. The top-of-the-line Red Sport 400 ups the ante to 400 horsepower and includes brake and suspension upgrades.

The biggest addition this year is the availability of Infiniti Premium Care, an integrated maintenance program on all Infiniti model year 2023 vehicles, lease or retail, sold in the United States. It provides a suite of benefits, including up to three years of inspections, oil changes and tire rotations, enhancing the manufacturer's luxury credentials,

COURTESY PHOTO: INFINITI - The interior of the 2023 Infiniti Q50 is traditional but still provides all the advanced automotive technolgies driver need.

Personally, I don't believe the lack of redesigns is a bad thing. The Q50 looks good, drives well and is very comfortable. But more than that, the 2023 Q50 includes some supposedly outdated features I like. They include a stacked center console with two display screens instead of a single huge screen that dominates the dash. I also prefer the traditional stick transmission shifter to an electric lever or dial. And the step-on parking brake gives me more confidence than the electric ones that are becoming standard. It even includes one of the almost extinct CD players still available in any vehicle at any price.

COURTESY PHOTO: INFINITI - The front sport bucket seats in the 2023 Infiniti Q50 are comfortable and supportive.

Although I may be old fashioned (or maybe just old), there's no doubt the new Q50 still competes well against all other compact luxury sport sedans. There is plenty of interior room, the ride is very smooth, and it is remarkably quiet, a quality emphasized by Infiniti when it first debuted with a series of Zen-inspired TV ads in 1989. I think the same can be said about Nissan, compared to its competitors. They have figured out how to combine isolation with performance.

I tested the Red Sport 400 a few years ago and was very impressed by its performance. But of course I wondered how the lower trim levels would stand up to the competition. After a week of driving the mid-range Sensory version, I have to say, very well. It has ample power for day-to-day driving, and the quicker responses in the Sport mode begin to approach those of the 400, at least in the Normal mode. My tester was also equipped with AWD, which kept the car glued to the road during the first rains of fall.

I understand why buyers looking for the newest technologies might pass over the 2023 Infiniti Q50. But that would be a mistake. It is an impressive entry luxury sport sedan with a genuine performance version. And they might inherit their parent's CD collection some day.

COURTESY PHOTO: INFINITI - The rear seats in the 2023 Infiniti Q5 can hold three adults.

2023 Infiniti Q50

Base price: $43,675 (Luxe)

Price as tested: $53,775 (Sensory AWD)

Type: Luxury sport compact sedan

Engine: 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (300 hp, 295 lbs-ft)

Transmission: 7-speed automatic

Modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport, Snow

EPA estimated mileage: 19/27

Overall length: 189.6 inches

Curb weight: 3,998 pounds

Final assembly: Tochigi, Japan


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