2014 Infiniti Q50S 3.7 Long-Term Update 3
Frustrations And Futilities
Now past the 10,000-mile mark with our 2014 Infiniti Q50S, we're enjoying the luxury touches and the car’s performance. What really stands out is the array of technology, especially the safety and self-driving tech that we talked about in our last update.
But at the edges of the user experience, we’ve found some frustrations and things you might even call silly. Infiniti wouldn’t be alone in including superfluous programming -- we hammered on BMW for years for the seemingly jillions of combinations of drive settings possible in some of its cars, let alone the complexity of the company’s launch control, and Hyundai has its steering settings with difficult-to-feel effects.
The waiting gameFor the most part, people no longer start their cars, then wait around for a minute before taking off. We want to get in and go. And by “go,” we also mean find a radio station, program the nav, or call up an appropriate commuting song on Bluetooth.
Not gonna happen in the Q50S. It’s as if the software that runs the head unit is being loaded from a data cassette (kids, they were really slow) to a TI-99/4A (also really slow). To gain complete control of all the functions consistently takes between 30 and 40 seconds. If you’ve got somewhere to be, that can feel like an eternity.
It’s not a secret. Internet forums are littered with people mentioning the wait. The InTouch manual itself says that due to the number of apps, the system can take “up to a minute” to fully load.
The question is, why? If it’s that the CPU or data transfer is so slow, surely faster options exist for a 2014 car.
The good news is that all relevant safety functions boot up first and quickly. So if you’re the sort who starts the car and immediately throws it in reverse, it’s only a very minor delay before the rearview camera takes over the 8-inch top display screen.
Fuel-economy fun? Hardly.My plan was to drive an entire week, or tank of gas (whichever came first), in Eco Mode, one of five drive modes on the Q50S (Snow, Eco, Normal, Sport, Personal) Again, not gonna happen. Though the previous section may have reduced my credentials as a patient man, I tried.
Eco mode basically kills the throttle response to encourage you to drive more economically. Additionally, a small green “eco” indicator is illuminated when the computer judges you to be appropriately frugal. It flashes at you, then turns off completely if you’re not saving anything.
About that throttle response: It’s painful. Even in stop-and-go Los Angeles traffic, there’s sort of a minimum standard of “go.” And Eco mode prevents it, unless you really stomp on the gas. It basically provides the opposite performance from what you expect from the Q50S sports sedan.
The setting can save between 5 and 10 percent. If we end up averaging about 20 mpg, that would save maybe between $150 and $200 per year. I’m doubting somebody who forks over $50,000-plus for a car is going to sweat $200.
A better approach to gas savings on luxury sports sedans is the engine stop-start technology employed by Mercedes, BMW, Acura (on the TLX V-6 AWD), and others. It saves without creating a driving experience only a milquetoast would mind.
Note: Infiniti recently modified pricing and packaging for the Q50. The beautiful performance wheel package that adorns our long-termer is still available as a factory-installed option, only on the Q50S, for $1800.
More on our long-term 2014 Infiniti Q50S 3.7:
|Service life||9356 mi|
|Average fuel economy||19.3 mpg|
|CO2 emissions||1.01 lb/mi|
|EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ||20/29/23 mpg|
|Energy consumption||175 kW-hr/100mi|