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Infiniti Q50 Saloon interior, tech and comfort

2014 - 2020 (change model)
Comfort rating: 3 out of 53.0

Written by Graeme Lambert Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

It doesn’t take long for you to realise that this is another area where the Infiniti Q50 is off the pace of its direct rivals. The design, with its double wave dashboard, is derivative of much of the rest of the Japanese manufacturer’s range, and quality hasn’t made any leap from those older cars either.

The firm makes much of its pair of touchscreen systems, and in truth the bottom screen is impressive; rich in its colours and graphic quality it feels just like the latest Apple iPad with a real depth to the display. App-like icons open quickly and can be moved around the screen with ease, and anyone who is familiar with a home tablet will be able to use it instantly. Fingerprints show up just as readily on the high-gloss screen as they do on a teenager’s smartphone though, which isn’t such a problem on the screen above since it uses a matt finish for its display. The graphics are still high quality, but it feels like it was developed a generation before the bottom one – and in the fast moving game of electronics that feels like a gulf of technology is already missing.

More disappointingly the sat-nav display on our test car didn’t always correspond with the audio instructions it was issuing, and we weren’t the only ones with routing problems.

At least a comfortable driving position is easy to find, with plenty of adjustment in the steering wheel and seats – especially in the electric Sports items with extendable under-thigh bolsters. We’re still not entirely convinced by the purple-tinged instrument dials though, even if it is the brand’s signature colour.

The longest wheelbase in its class (2,850mm) means that rear seat room should be great; the bad news is that it’s merely acceptable and Infiniti Q50 comfort just isn’t what it should be. There’s ample legroom for a car of this size – think BMW 3 Series and Volvo S60 for rivals – but headroom is restricted for anyone past six feet in height. At least the seats themselves are comfortable.

We have NASA to thank for that though, Infiniti working with the American space agency to develop a chair that puts the body into a similar position as experienced during weightlessness. The theory is there’s almost no pressure put on the spine and other joints, and long journeys can be completed without the usual fatigue setting in. We didn’t spend more than an hour or so in the car at any one time though, so we can’t guarantee their effectiveness in this area.

All of our test cars, in Sport and Premium trim, rode on 19-inch alloy wheels so aren’t necessarily indicative of the Q50’s general ride quality either. We can only hope that smaller wheels will improve matters though, as even on the smooth Spanish roads the suspension felt on the firm side, with the occasional thump through the chassis.

If you want to keep the noise levels down you’re best to choose the Hybrid model, which offers impressively low levels of noise at a cruise or at low speeds – where it can operate in full EV mode. Not so the diesel which is always grumbling away in the background, and can become intrusive when accelerating hard.