It may be classed as a compact executive sedan, but from the moment I positioned myself into the low-slung driving seat of the Infiniti Q50, there was an unmistakeable feeling of sportiness.
From the outside, long, sleek lines provide an athletic appearance, while inside, lavish comfort is the order of the day from the leather steering wheel and gear-shift lever to the welcome lighting system.
Infiniti surveyed 360 people from six countries just to find the most pleasing tactile feel for the interior materials and if that isn’t attention to detail, I don’t know what is.
Adding to the overall sense of luxury was not one, but two screens on the central console. Measuring eight inches (20cm), the top screen is a touch-activated navigation system that offers a 3D view of your surroundings, while the seven-inch (17.7cm) bottom screen puts you in complete control of the car’s systems and settings. You’ll find all the usual suspects like Bluetooth connectivity and vehicle readouts, but the Q50 also goes one step better, allowing you access to your favourite social media platforms and even Google searches.
In fact, technology is an area in which the Q50 constantly pushes boundaries. Driving aids can be activated or deactivated via a button on the steering wheel and in addition to the handy lane departure warnings, and blind-spot assist, I found that it had another trick up its sleeve.
As I took a turn off the highway and headed into Azaiba, I suddenly found that Q50 was rapidly losing speed, having put the brakes on all by itself. I initially thought that I must be experiencing some sort of technical fault and scanned the driver display in front of me. Everything was clear on this front, so I carried on my way.
A few kilometres down the road and the same thing happened again, except this time I figured out why. It was the Q50’s Predictive Forward Collision Warning system that uses radar to monitor the speed of not only the vehicle directly ahead of you, but also the car in front of that one as well. The sensors had detected that I was too close and automatically applied the brakes as soon as I let off the accelerator until we were at a safe distance. Oops, naughty me.
Factor in the intuitive cruise-control system that automatically detects the distance between yourself and the car ahead, braking and accelerating accordingly, and the Q50 all but drives itself, which is impressive.
If only all cars implemented such technology, the Sultanate’s roads would be a much safer place and there might be fewer accidents.
The Q50 feels like the perfect marriage of technology and muscle. The safety systems are right up there, but make no mistake, this is a powerful car that is designed to go fast and look good while doing it.
With an open road ahead of me and Sport mode engaged, the Q50 got up to 120kph in a flash. What’s more, the drive remained smooth and comfortable the whole time. The 3.7-litre engine was barely audible, but the rapidly rising needle on the speedometer told me that it was doing its job just fine.
It was a slick and stylish ride as I cruised the city in the air-conditioned and leather luxury of the Infiniti Q50 and I felt the need to show it off. Where better to go, I thought, for a spot of automobile peacocking than the beach road in Shatti al Qurum, affectionately known as “Love Street”?
Sure enough, the boys (and girls) had their toys on display and the Q50 was able to turn heads despite stiff competition. Although saying that, I’m not sure whether it was the car’s looks or the incredibly loud music emanating from within that was drawing all the attention.
If you consider yourself a connoisseur of all things aural, the Q50 should be able to fulfil all your fantasies and then some. Crank the volume right up and you will be treated to impeccably crisp sound, along with mirror-shaking, chair-vibrating bass. I was in paradise.
The car handled the twisting turns of the Qurum Heights area with ease, displaying considerable agility and manoeuvrability until, unfortunately, our time together came to an end. The day had shot by and that stands as testament to just how enjoyable driving the Infiniti Q50 is.