Plenty of new digs for Infiniti’s BMW 3 Series fighter

The Infiniti QX Sport Concept may be the highlight of Infiniti’s participation at the 2016 Paris Motor Show and the introduction of the company’s new VC-Turbo variable compression engine may have the most long-term importance. But sitting in the corner of the automaker’s booth is the 2017 Infiniti Q50, arguably the most important car in the company’s entire lineup. See, the Q50 belongs in the premium compact sedan segment where it competes against some industry titans, including the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class. For the Q50 to make an impression, it has to stand out against those models and for the 2017 model, Infiniti is banking on some exterior and interior upgrades, as well as some new tech offerings to get the job done.

It’s a tall task to ask for the Q50 to line up against the 3 Series and the C-Class, but expect it to hold on its own. For the most part, the Q50 has done just that with impressive sales totals, enough at least to become the best-selling Infiniti in North America in 2015. To keep that momentum going, the Japanese automaker has rolled out a fresh batch of new exterior colors, ranging from Midnight Black, Pure White, and Dynamic Sunstone Red. The sedan’s interior also benefitted from a new Designer Pack that comes with new colors – Graphite or Java Brown – for the quilted semi-aniline leather upholstery, a new open-pore dark wood veneer, dark chrome trim, and black roof lining.

On the tech side, Euro-spec models of the Q50 will be able to get the company’s new Telematic Control Unit system, allowing owners the opportunity to remotely control various functions of the car through the convenience of their own smartphones. It’s not a revolutionary tech by any stretch, but it’s a first for Infiniti. That counts in the grand scheme of things, right?

Outside of these upgrades, the Q50 still has the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine that puts out 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque or 400 horses and 350 pound-feet of torque depending on the trim level.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Short gains can lead to a long score

When you’re in Infiniti’s position, upgrades like this are important because the company is not yet in a position to be considered a market leader. It needs to continue upping the ante to attract new customers so it can take more customers away from the segment leaders.

Truth be told, the new colors don’t really add too much to the Q50’s aesthetics other than providing prospective owners more colors to choose from. The Designer Pack, on the other hand, is a nice touch that adds more class and sophistication to a cabin that’s already regarded as one of the best in the segment. Infiniti’s playing from a position of strength in this regard and it’s nice to see the company taking a proactive approach in still getting better. Unfortunately, the Telematic Control Unit system isn’t heading to the U.S. yet. Hopefully it does soon enough because it adds another element to the Q50 that should make it a more appealing option to those in the market for a premium compact sedan.

These upgrades probably won’t bring the Q50 to the level of popularity enjoyed by the 3 Series and the C-Class. But this is a battle won, a nice step towards something more meaningful for both the brand and the model. 

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: