The 4 Best & Worst Infiniti Q50 Model Years To Buy! (Backed by Data)

The 4 Best & Worst Infiniti Q50 Model Years To Buy! (Backed by Data)

In an automotive world where the trend leans more toward SUVs and crossovers, it’s still a delight to see brands reimagine the classic sedan the way Infiniti did it with the Q50.

With a streamlined body that curves where it’s supposed to curve, the Infiniti Q50 shows class and pizzazz even after 10 years down the line. But now the question is which of these model years are the cream of the crop?

To answer that question, let’s dive into the best and worst model years of this sporty luxury sedan according to stats by experts and consumers just like you!

What are the best and worst years of the Infiniti Q50?

The best Infiniti Q50 years are the 2020 and 2021 models, while the worst model years are the 2014 and 2015 models.

The best and worst Infiniti Q50 model years are based on expert/consumer ratings, reliability reviews, and reported complaints about various problems.

At the time of this writing, the sporty Infiniti Q50 executive car has already crossed the decade mark ever since it initially hit the showroom floors for the 2014 model year.

With 10 different years (and counting) to choose from, the Q50 remains a popular choice in the more sizeable D-segment even for the secondhand market.

But as with any vehicle model in existence, no two Infiniti Q50 model years are exactly the same, which is why we turned to actual data from experts and consumers to see which years will make or break it for you.

As it turns out, it’s quite unanimous that the later 2020 and 2021 models are the best iterations of the Q50 yet. While the 2023 and newer models have promising reliability predictions, it’s still too early to include them on this list.

The titles of the worst model years, in contrast, fall on the 2014 and 2015 Infiniti Q50 models, which are the two earliest model years of the car.

As for why these particular model years have been crowned the best and worst, let’s take a closer look at each of them in detail below!

What are the best years of the Infiniti Q50? (Reliable Years to Buy)

The best years of the Infiniti Q50 to buy are the 2020 and 2021 models, as they received high consumer ratings on average and are deemed the most reliable years due to having the least reported problems.

2020 Infiniti Q50

2020 Infiniti Q50

If you’re looking for one of the best model years of the Infiniti Q50, then the 2020 model is a great place to start thanks to its solid reputation for reliability and a bunch of features right out of the box.

Powering the 2020 Infiniti Q50 is a 3-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, making it no slouch at all even for its size. No 2-liter 4-bangers to be found for this year, unlike its earlier predecessors.

This is especially true considering that it has a smooth-shifting 7-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, giving you just a bit more driver engagement while not sacrificing comfort during acceleration.

The engine and the rest of the powertrain have been regarded as mechanically sound for this model year, according to satisfied owners that already racked up tens of thousands of miles in their 2020 Q50.

Taking a look at the interior of the 2020 model, you’ll find that the infotainment system has been revised with the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features, both of which have long been overdue for the Q50.

But despite the revised infotainment system, it’s important to mention that it can still be tricky to navigate through its bevy of menus. In other words, it’s not the most user-friendly system in its class.

Albeit not possessing the most updated and quiet interior out there, the 2020 Infiniti Q50 is still decently spacious for occupants, has loads of room in the trunk, and has a sporty yet comfortable seating position even during longer drives.

Consumers have been quite pleased with the 2020 model, giving it high ratings of 4.4/5 on KBB, 4.5/5 on Edmunds, and 83/100 on J.D. Power, very much befitting to one of the best annual iterations of the Q50 sports sedan.

2021 Infiniti Q50

2021 Infiniti Q50

Much like its 2020 counterpart, the 2021 Infiniti Q50 is a strong contender for one of the best model years of the car owing to its extensive features, numerous trim options, and top-notch reliability.

You get the same potent and durable 3-liter twin-turbo V6 motor that delivers instantaneous power via either a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD) system.

However, this comes at the cost of having subpar fuel economy for its class, with EPA estimates of 20 mpg (city) and 29 mpg (highway) even with the RWD variant. But then again, performance is definitely there when you punch it in this sporty sedan.

The 2021 Infiniti Q50 also includes a new “Sensory” trim that sits in the middle of the lineup, offering new additions such as more aggressive front and rear bumpers, 19-inch wheels, a 16-speaker Bose sound system, and more interior bits.

Having said that, even the base “Pure” trim already has a decent amount of standard tech to offer, such as Wi-Fi, 8-way power driver/passenger seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, keyless entry/ignition, and the list continues.

Safety features are also aplenty for the 2021 model especially as you climb up the trims. You can expect Forward-Collision Warning and Automated Emergency Braking features as standard.

However, opting for the ProActive package also gives you Active Lane Control, Blind Spot Intervention, Direct Adaptive Steering, self-leveling headlights, and pre-tensioning front seat belts.

Despite not having been fully crash-tested by the NHTSA yet, the list of safety features above makes the 2021 Q50 a promising car to rely on safety-wise.

Moreover, the 2021 model is among the highest consumer-rated model years in the car’s 10-year run so far, sporting ratings of 4.4/5 on KBB, 4.5/5 on Edmunds, and 82/100 on J.D. Power.

This is further backed up by the fact that the 2021 (and 2020) model virtually has next to no complaints on CarProblemZoo and CarComplaints, a stark difference from earlier problematic model years.

What are the worst years of the Infiniti Q50? (Years to Avoid)

The worst Infiniti Q50 model years are the 2014 and 2015 models due to having the most reported problems as well as the lowest expert and consumer ratings on average, which makes them the most unreliable years as well.

2014 Infiniti Q50

2014 Infiniti Q50

The very first model year of the Infiniti Q50, the 2014 model, unfortunately, earns the title of one of the worst model years of the car when compared to any of its later successors (after 2015, that is).

Despite getting a fairly good rating of 4/5 even from KBB experts, complaints about the 2014 model have offset this, and this shows when taking a look at its lower consumer ratings of 3.7/5 on Edmunds and 76/100 on J.D. Power.  

The 2014 debut year of the Infiniti Q50 received quite a large amount of complaints, with 21 on CarComplaints and 221 on CarProblemZoo for a grand total of 242.

This amount is almost double that received by the 2015 model, which is also regarded as a pretty bad year for the Q50. This is a clear sign to steer away from the 2014 model if you’re in search of the most reliable years.

The majority of the complaints posted for the 2014 model year relate to things such as the braking system and various interior accessories, but the one that takes the cake is its steering system.

All kinds of steering problems plagued this particular year such as the steering wheel feeling heavy, a faulty steering module, and even complete steering loss.

Adding on to this, a recall (16V430000) was actually issued involving certain 2014 Infiniti Q50 units, wherein the Direct Adaptive Steering system can malfunction and affect the vehicle’s steering performance, as stated by the manufacturer.

Should you still get this model year for whatever reason, then it would have to be for its powerful 3.7-liter naturally-aspirated V6, which is one of the main redeeming aspects of the car in general.

However, you still need to be on the lookout for issues with the VQ37 power plant in the 2014 model’s engine bay, as some owners still complain of acceleration problems and cooling issues. 

2015 Infiniti Q50

2015 Infiniti Q50

Right up there with the 2014 model is the 2015 Infiniti Q50 and its fair share of flaws and headaches that most of the newer model years have already dealt with.

Not only does this make it a candidate for one of the worst years of the Q50 to buy, but it also speaks of its long-term reliability, which can be described as not as terrible as the 2014 release, but still not up to par when stacked against the newer models.

Complaints with the car are numerous at 139 for both CarProblemZoo and CarComplaints combined, though the nature of the problems slightly differs from that of the previous year.

The most common problems of the 2015 Q50 are a triple threat of airbag issues, power train issues, and steering issues, which unsurprisingly hurt its ratings from both consumers and experts.

Speaking of ratings, both KBB experts and Edmunds consumers give it a 3.9 out of 5 stars, whereas it ties the 2014 model over at J.D. Power with an overall score of 76/100.

Despite being a year older, the 2015 Infiniti Q50 really isn’t that much better than the debut model since it’s just a carryover for the most part. It only adds an optional 19-inch RAYS wheels package for aesthetics and some amount of handling benefit.

Of course, you also get the same powerful and throaty-sounding 3.7-liter V6 that’s very much one of the car’s main selling points, the other one being its sporty handling.

However, it still gets bested by the 3.5-liter V6 hybrid out of the Q50 Hybrid model, which is both quicker and more fuel-efficient. Either that or just get one of the later model years with the twin-turbo 3-liter V6.

Consumer/Expert Ratings for All Infiniti Q50 Model Years

Infiniti Q50 Model YearKBB Consumer RatingEdmunds Consumer RatingCar and Driver RatingJ.D. Power Consumer Rating
20244.4/5 4.5/56/10N/A
20234.4/5 4.5/56/10N/A
20224.4/5 4.5/56/1081/100
20214.4/5 4.5/56/1082/100
20194.4/5 4.5/57/1082/100
20184.4/5 4.3/5 7/1081/100
20164.4/5 4.4/5N/AN/A
20154.4/5 3.9/5N/A81/100

What are the common problems of an Infiniti Q50?

The most common problems of the Infiniti Q50 are brake-related issues, steering problems, and premature tire wear.

The Infiniti Q50 is also known to run into other issues with its airbags, powertrain, and electronics.

Brake Problems

Brake Problems

One of the most common complaints about the Infiniti Q50 is that it has a problematic braking system, which is very prevalent in the 2014 model, in particular.

The 2014 Infiniti Q50’s brake rotors are prone to warping, with some owners reporting that it occurs in as little as 5,000 miles on the odometer. However, the average failure mileage is about 33,000 miles, according to CarComplaints.

The warped rotors can exhibit common symptoms such as vibrations during braking and squeaking or groaning noises.

Unfortunately, even turning or resurfacing the rotors to smoothen them out only works as a temporary fix, as the rotors reportedly end up getting warped again at an even sooner mileage point or after just a few months.

This has raised concerns that the 2014 model’s brake material simply has defects or there is an issue with either the brake pads or the calipers getting stuck, resulting in the brakes overheating and warping prematurely.

Steering Problems

Steering Problems

You could say that steering-related problems are pretty much commonplace on the Infiniti Q50, most especially if we’re talking about the earlier 2014 and 2015 models.

For starters, the car’s Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS) feature, while a very innovative and precise piece of tech under normal conditions, is known to become faulty on startup and result in reduced steering response and turning radius.

In other reports, subjecting the engine bay to colder or freezing conditions can also cause the DAS to glitch and deactivate the electric steering system, potentially leading to a loss of steering.

In both cases, the affected models were given a software update free of charge, according to recall number 16V430000 for those with faulty DAS systems on startup and 13V588000 for those exhibiting DAS issues under freezing temperatures.

Premature Tire Wear

Premature Tire Wear

Premature tire wear is another common issue that owners of certain Infiniti Q50 models have had to deal with, with some of them even going through 5 different tire changes in just 2 years.

The Infiniti Q50’s tires have been reported to prematurely wear out at an average mileage of 12,100 miles, according to CarComplaints.

Different owners say that the worn-out tires can either randomly burst at the edge of the sidewall where it meets the rim, or at the very least, form cracks or bubbles one after the other.

What’s more frustrating is despite replacing the tires with a fresh set from the dealer, the tires can start to form bumps and blow out again in several weeks, raising concerns that the supplied tires are defective from the factory.

What are the best alternatives to the Infiniti Q50?

What are the best alternatives to the Infiniti Q50

The best alternatives to the Infiniti Q50 include the Acura TLX, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac CT4, Genesis G70, Honda Accord, Jaguar XF, Kia Stinger, Lexus IS, Mercedes C-Class, and Volvo S60.

Vehicle ModelBase Engine

Fuel EconomyEdmunds Consumer Rating
Infiniti Q50 (2024)
3.0L V6

300 hp
7-Speed Shiftable Automatic20 mpg (City) / 29 mpg (Highway)
$43,050 to $58,900

Acura TLX (2024) 

2.0L I4 Turbo

272 hp
10-Speed Shiftable Automatic22 mpg (City) / 31 mpg (Highway)
$45,000 to $57,000
Alfa Romeo Giulia (2024)
2.0L I4 Turbo

280 hp
8-Speed Shiftable Automatic24 mpg (City) / 33 mpg (Highway)
$43,340 to $86,770
Audi A4 (2024)2.0L I4 Turbo (Mild Hybrid)
201 hp
7-Speed Automated Manual26 mpg (City) / 35 mpg (Highway)
$41,200 to $51,300
BMW 3 Series (2024)
2.0L I4 Turbo

255 hp
8-Speed Shiftable Automatic25 mpg (City) / 34 mpg (Highway)
$44,500 to $59,600
Cadillac CT4 (2024)
2.0L I4 Turbo

237 hp
8-Speed Shiftable Automatic22 mpg (City) / 32 mpg (Highway)
$34,595 to $61,495
Genesis G70 (2024)
2.5L I4 Turbo

300 hp
8-Speed Shiftable Automatic21 mpg (City) / 29 mpg (Highway)
$41,500 to $52,050
Honda Accord (2024)
1.5L I4 Turbo

192 hp

CVT Automatic
29 mpg (City) / 37 mpg (Highway)
$27,895 to $38,890

Jaguar XF (2024)

2.0L I4 Turbo

246 hp
8-Speed Shiftable Automatic23 mpg (City) / 30 mpg (Highway)
$49,800 to $53,500
Kia Stinger (2023)
2.5L I4 Turbo

300 hp
8-Speed Shiftable Automatic22 mpg (City) / 32 mpg (Highway)
$36,690 to $54,090

Lexus IS (2024)

2.0L I4 Turbo

241 hp
8-Speed Shiftable Automatic21 mpg (City) / 31 mpg (Highway)
$40,095 to $63,370
Mercedes C-Class (2024)2.0L I4 Turbo (Mild Hybrid)
255 hp
9-Speed Shiftable Automatic26 mpg (City) / 36 mpg (Highway)
$46,950 to $48,950

Volvo S60 (2024)
2.0L I4 Turbo (Mild Hybrid)
247 hp
8-Speed Shiftable Automatic26 mpg (City) / 35 mpg (Highway)
$42,000 to $58,550

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the most common problem with the Infiniti Q50?

The most common problems with the Infiniti Q50 include warped brakes, premature tire wear, a faulty Direct Adaptive Steering system, airbag failure, transmission shifting issues, and various electrical system issues.

Is the Infiniti Q50 reliable?

According to RepairPal, the Infiniti Q50 gets a 4/5 reliability rating for the 2023 model year. However, you can also consider the 2020 and 2021 models, which are regarded as the best model years owing to great reliability and high consumer ratings.

As for unreliable model years, you should stay away from any 2014 or 2015 Infiniti Q50 model, as these years received the most consumer complaints regarding various mechanical and electrical issues.

Is the Infiniti Q50 high maintenance?

The Infiniti Q50 has an annual maintenance cost of $648 on average, which is almost identical to the average for all cars at $652 a year.

Maintenance and repair costs for the Infiniti Q50 can vary depending on the model year, mileage, condition, and even the specific shop or location you have your car maintained.