INFINITI Q50 vs BMW 3 Series


For decades, the luxury sport sedan market has been primarily dominated by one vehicle: the BMW 3 Series. But times have changed in the last few years, as competitors have worn away the 3 Series' commanding presence with alluring prices and cutting-edge technology. One of the most successful new models has been the  INFINITI Q50.

 

Options and Standard Features:

INFINITI presents six Q50 3.7 models stacked with a 328-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 engine, the strongest in its class, and seven speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control (ASC).  A basic, premium, and sports line each provides an All-Wheel Drive model. In addition, the Q50 Hybrid follows suit with rear- or All-Wheel drive suited to Premium or Sport models, but have a 3.5-liter V6 with an increased 356-horsepower output.

Exterior:

The BMW's signature "kidney" grille meets competition with the Q50's new "double-arch" grille. TheCarConnection.com praises the "striking sheet metal" that compliments the low, wide sit of the Q50. 

Interior:

Leatherette and sleek aluminum trim come standard to the Q50, with leather and Maple accents available on Premium. Expect six-speaker audio, two USB ports and aux input, rearview monitor, and Bluetooth standard, with Bose audio in Premium model. But INFINITI's InTouch and InTuition LCD dual-screen control system minimizes buttons and controls with smart software.

While Autoweek.com finds the 335i's IDrive software improved, the menu options still confuse them. Furthermore, they believe the "muddy" standard audio necessitates paying $875 for premier audio. Pedals also prove annoyingly close. Lastly, packaging frustrates (Bluetooth phone in one, with Bluetooth audio in another). 


 

Fuel Economy:

The Q50 delivers on mileage in both the standard and hybrid models. The EPA estimates range 20/30 to 20/29 mpg city/highway. The AWD models only drop to 19/27. Opting for the Q50 hybrids produces 29/36 mpg and 28/35 mpg. The Hybrid Premium Sports line shows a strong 28/34 mpg to 27/31 mpg.

All in all, mileage for the 335i sticks close to Q50 ranges. The hybrid model 335i barely succeeds automatic models with EPA estimates of 25/33 versus 23/33 mpg city/highway, and the numbers can't compete with the Q50 Hybrid Premium. In comparison, manual models run 20/30 mpg and AWD measures 23/28 mpg. 

Technology:

We've already covered safety technology, where the INFINITI takes a lead over the BMW due to its multitude of cutting-edge features -- items like forward-collision alert with automatic braking and an Active Lane Control feature that can sense changing road conditions and steer you back on course.

But the Q50's focus on technology is apparent elsewhere, too. One of our favorite features is the sedan's center console, which uses two stacked display screens -- an 8-inch and a 7-in -- with a wide variety of customization options. Of course, the Q50 also offers an optional hybrid powertrain, which improves fuel economy without compromising on performance. 

In terms of technology, the INFINITI has the edge,.

Value:

When it comes to value, you'll have to start asking yourself exactly what you want from your next sport sedan. If it's features per dollar, our pick would be the INFINITI. The same goes with options pricing, since you can get a fully equipped Q50 for about the price of a base-level 335i. Additionally, the Q50 is both more powerful (328 hp to the BMW's 300 horses) and roomier when the discussion turns to trunk space or passenger room.

Reliability:

In addition to improved reliability, the Q50 also boasts a better warranty than the 335i. While the Q50 offers a 4-year or 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 6-year or 70,000-mile powertrain warranty, the 335i offers just four years or 50,000 miles for both warranties. The Q50 is the more dependable car.

Safety:

It doesn't matter whether you choose the 335i or the Q50; either way, you're dealing with an exceptionally safe new car. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash-test ratings, both the BMW and the INFINITI earned a 5-star overall score -- essentially a perfect rating, comprised of a 4-star frontal-crash rating and 5-star scores in the government's side-impact and rollover tests.

In crash testing carried out by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Q50 holds a slight edge. The Q50 earned the agency's Top Safety Pick+ rating, while the 335i is only a Top Safety Pick -- largely due to the Q50's more modern crash-prevention technology. The Q50 also performed slightly better than the BMW in IIHS's new small-overlap front-crash test.

When it comes to safety features, both the Q50 and 335i are, once again, impressive. But the Q50 expands its slight safety lead here, boasting a few available features that the BMW just doesn't have. Examples include a forward-collision alert system with automatic braking capability and a new Active Lane Control feature that can sense changing road surfaces or wind and steer the car back on course, thus limiting the amount of effort a driver must put in.


Key INFINITI Q50 Advantages:

More horsepower than any 3 Series engine - Q50's V6 engine produces 328 horsepower, significantly more than any BMW 3 Series engine (180 for 320i, 240 for 328i, or 300 for 335i).

Available Direct Adaptive Steering? - Q50's electronic steering system transmits the driver's intentions electronically and directs steering response via electric actuators. The system allows independent control of tire angle and steering inputs, transmitting the driver's steering intentions to the wheels faster than a mechanical system. It also limits unwanted feedback through the steering wheel, such as from hitting ruts or other irregularities in the road surface. Drivers can customize both steering effort and response to their own preferences. BMW 3 Series offers only a conventional steering system.

Standard RearView Monitor - All Q50 models come equipped with the RearView Monitor, which helps enhance visibility when parking or backing up. A backup camera is an extra-cost option on BMW 3 Series, even on their most expensive model.

Available Blind Spot Intervention®1 - Q50's Blind Spot Intervention system helps the driver return the vehicle to its travel lane if another vehicle is detected in the blind spot area. This safety feature is not offered on any BMW 3 Series.

Available Predictive Forward Collision Warning2 - Q50's Predictive Forward Collision Warning system helps alert the driver to a potential collision with a vehicle traveling in front of the vehicle immediately ahead and alerts the driver with visual and audible warnings. BMW 3 Series does not offer this safety feature.


Additional Advantages

LED headlights, fog lights, and daytime running lights

Available power tilt and telescopic steering column (vs. manual)

Available Advanced Climate Control System

Available Active Lane Control

Standard Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition

Standard INFINITI InTuition?

Available front-seat Pre-Crash Seat Belts

Available Lane Departure Prevention3

Available Backup Collision Intervention4

Available Moving Object Detection5

More front shoulder and leg room

Greater passenger volume

Larger fuel tank


Contact Us

Contact

Beaverton INFINITI

9500 SW Canyon Road
Directions Portland, OR 97225

  • Contact Us: (888) 347-9263

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