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2017 Infiniti Q50 vs. 2017 Infiniti Q60: What’s the Difference?

Editor’s note: You may want to read more of Autotrader’s model vs. model comparison car reviews as well as the 2017 Infiniti Q50 review and the 2017 Infiniti Q60 review.

 

It can be difficult to tell an Infiniti Q this from an Infiniti QX that. Essentially, a Q is a car and a QX is an SUV, with the numbers representing different models. Let’s take a look at two them — the all-new 2017 Infiniti Q50 and the 2017 Infiniti Q60 — to see how they differ.

2017 Infiniti Q50   2017 Infiniti Q60

Exterior

The Q50 and Q60 are closely related, but there’s more than just a pair of doors differentiating the two. There are certainly shared visual cues, but the 2-door Q60 coupe features a far more expressive and exaggerated design. Its grille is considerably larger and topped with a little wrinkle on the leading edge of the hood that’s supposedly a continuation of the Infiniti logo below. The lower air dam appears to be wider, creating a more aggressive stance backed up by the fact that the Q60 is actually an inch wider. It’s also 2 inches shorter in height and 4 inches shorter in length, creating tidier proportions befitting a coupe.

The differences around back are more pronounced, with sleek, narrower taillights aimed at each other on a shorter trunk lid. Its license plate is located below on the bumper, just above a darkened valance that encompasses a large pair of tail pipes. As you’d expect from what is essentially the 2-door version of a 4-door sedan, the Q60 is indeed sleeker and more aggressive in its appearance and more likely to strike an emotional chord.

2017 Infiniti Q50 interior   2017 Infiniti Q60 interior

Interior

The 2017 Q50 and Q60 share the same dashboard and center console design, including the dual-touchscreen tech interface (see below). The two cars differ in their door designs and the trim that decorates the center console and doors. The Q50 is available with glossy or matte wood finishes, as well as a distinctive Kacchu aluminum trim, while the Q60 comes with a different brushed aluminum trim, a darker gloss wood or, on the Sport models, a choice of carbon fiber or a unique silver-optic metallic fiber. The Q60 is also available in unique Monaco Red and Gallery White color schemes, while the Q50 is only available in black, gray or beige.

Then there are the front seats, which are different, even in the top Red Sport trim. The Q60 models boast more under-thigh support (the Q50 does at least offer a thigh-support extender) and more side bolstering, which can be further enhanced in some trims by pressing a button.

In terms of interior space, the two are quite obviously different. The 2-door Q60 may have the same 112.2-inch wheelbase as the Q50, but it nevertheless has about 3 fewer inches of rear-seat legroom. Actually, it’s pretty good for a luxury coupe, but headroom is likely to be squished for anyone taller than 5-foot-6. They’ll also be sitting under the rear glass. The Q50, by contrast, has a back seat big enough to comfortably accommodate a pair of 6-footers.

Like those of other sport sedans and coupes, the Q50 and Q60 models’ trunks are typically smallish, at 13.2 and 12.1 cu ft., respectively.

2017 Infiniti Q50   2017 Infiniti Q60

Mechanicals

Beneath the skin, the Q50 and Q60 are very much the same car. There are three engines available: a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder on the 2.0t models (208 horsepower, 258 lb-ft of torque) and a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 available in two forms of tune made possible by differences in turbo boost and supporting cooling hardware. The 3.0t models each produce 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, while the Red Sport 400 models pump out 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. All come standard with a 7-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive as an option.

There are multiple suspension and steering options available with both cars. The base and Premium trim cars come with a standard unadjustable suspension, whereas the Sport models include an adaptive adjustable suspension with Standard and Sport settings. As for steering, the 2.0t models are only available with hydraulic power steering, whereas the 3.0t has electric power steering. However, an optional feature known as Direct Adaptive Steering is a full steer-by-wire system with no mechanical connection to the front wheels. It’s designed to eliminate vibrations and kickbacks normally transmitted to the driver’s hands from the wheels, although the wheels can also feel like they’re doing things you didn’t ask them to do. We’re not really sure it’s worth the extra money, but back-to-back with-and-without test drives might be smart.

2017 Infiniti Q50   2017 Infiniti Q60

Features & Technology

Both the Q50 and Q60 feature Infiniti’s dual-touchscreen electronics interface. The upper screen is mostly devoted to navigation functions and can also be controlled by a console-mounted knob. The smartphonelike lower screen handles most other functions, including those for the audio system. We think most folks will be able to figure it out. We also appreciate that, despite its many touch-operated controls, there are still a select number of physical buttons and knobs for frequently used functions. One minor quibble, though: The shifter in both cars is needlessly tall and gets in the way of some of those buttons.

Available content for both is also similar, but one key difference is the Q60’s upgraded stereo: a new 13-speaker Bose system that theoretically betters the older, 14-speaker model found in the Q50.

2017 Infiniti Q50   2017 Infiniti Q60

Driving Experience

Again, there’s not much difference between these two cars, although the Q60’s lower roof, raked pillars and generally sportier view out do create a different feel. One thing we would note, however, is that despite the eye-popping 400-hp figure on the Red Sport 400 models, the Q50 and Q60 aren’t quite as exciting as you might expect. Acceleration doesn’t really feel any quicker than in competitors with less power, and Infiniti’s 0-to-60 mile-per-hour acceleration estimates would confirm that impression. The engine itself also doesn’t make much noise, which may be nice on the 300-hp model in terms of creating a serene driving environment, but it seems likely that those seeking a 400-hp sport sedan/coupe would appreciate a little more audible exuberance — especially from the exhaust.

The various steering and suspension settings are also a bit at odds with each other, stuck between the realms of a sport-oriented car and a more isolating, luxurious one. For instance, neither electric steering system imparts that much engagement, but even the standard ride with the adaptive suspension is on the firm side. Admittedly, this is more of a problem for the Q60, which carries the sportier expectations of a 2-door car.

2017 Infiniti Q50   2017 Infiniti Q60

Safety

The Q50 received a 5-star overall crash rating from the government, along with a 4-star frontal crash rating and a 5-star side crash rating. It received the best possible rating of Good in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s array of tests, and its front-crash protection technology received the best possible rating of Superior. Although the Q60 has not yet been tested, it’s a safe assumption that all but its side crash ratings will be equal.

As for advanced safety equipment, both models are available with a Driver Assistance package that includes a forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking system, a backup-collision warning system, rear cross-traffic alert, a blind spot monitoring system, front and rear parking sensors and an enhanced parking camera system. The forward-collision system is notable for its ability to detect potential accidents beyond the car directly in front of you, meaning it can warn and react even if the car ahead isn’t paying attention to an obstruction. Lane-departure warning and keeping are available in a separate package.

Conclusions

In the grand scheme of things, the 2017 Infiniti Q60 is the more appealing of these two cars. More distinctive styling and fewer competitors make it a strong alternative to 2-door Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Lexus and Mercedes models. The Q50 is more of a middle-of-the-pack choice and must contend with a greater number of luxury vehicles of various sizes, prices and performance levels.

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