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Review: 2017 Infiniti Q50

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When it comes to luxury sport sedans, we often believe newer = better. But sometimes an older, wiser design hits the mark so well that it’s a timeless beauty. Like starlets in Hollywood, automotive beauty can be fast and fleeting, but elegance remains permanent. The 2017 Infiniti Q50 has that kind of elegant quality that makes even its relative age a mark of wisdom.

There are four model options for the 2017 Q50, starting with the turbocharged 2.0t, the 3.0t, and the muscular Red Sport 400. The fourth model is the efficient Q50 Hybrid. We drove both the 2.0t and 3.0t this year, and we drove the Red Sport 400 and Hybrid models last year.

We can wholeheartedly recommend most of the Q50’s model trims, as all four are great for what they aim to be. The 2.0t is the baseline model, and is good for everyday driving and around-town getting. The 3.0t might just be the best bang-for-the-buck, with a well-equipped model coming in at around $40,000 in most markets after dealer incentives.

The Red Sport 400 is for true driving enthusiasts who might spend the occasional weekend at the track. The Hybrid model is the only real disappointment of the group, returning less-than-expected fuel economy for the hybrid’s tradeoffs in performance and higher price.

All of the 2017 Q50 models have the same timeless exterior and beautiful interior experience. An understated front grille, hawkeye headlamps, and a rolling curve to the hoodline give a statement of classic movement. The hood’s bold lines are mimicked at the fenders. The 2017 Q50 is a beautiful sedan for the midsize luxury segment and stands as one of the more elegant on the market.

Inside the Infiniti Q50, our only real complaint was with the dual-screen infotainment setup. It’s one of those ideas might have seemed like a great idea on paper, but that didn’t translate well to reality. Especially as the Q50’s interior was not originally designed for both screens. The two screens do not really work well together (nothing can be passed from one to the other, for example), and they are prone to glare and finger smudges as well. Especially the lower screen, with its slight upward slant. This is an idea that should have waited for the car’s full redesign or a complete interior refresh. As it is, it gives the impression of being a last-minute throw-in that disrupts the Q50’s otherwise excellent interior demeanor.

Outside of that, the interior design is otherwise flowing and made up of high-quality materials that are well-formed and chosen for the car. The curve of the dash de-accentuates the lift it’s received to accommodate longer legs, which adds an airy feeling to the front seating. The driver’s cockpit has an excellent controls layout with necessary controls within easy reach. Adjustments are plentiful and allow any driver to find the right position for their preference.

The rear seating is also spacious and with ample headroom, despite the fast-appearing curve of the Q50’s roofline. Classically ergonomic elements like low step-in heights, short sills, high door openings, and wide-swinging doors all come together for easier entry/exit. In addition, the rear seats are positioned high enough that all but the tallest of passengers will find leg and thigh comfort when sitting. Cargo space is also good at 13.5 cubic feet. The rear seats fold to add more when required.

On the road, the 2017 Infiniti Q50 is quiet and well-mannered with a strong driving presence during those times when corners are pushed and acceleration is demanded. In all trims, the highway ride is quiet and superb during normal driving and engine sounds are dynamic and thrilling when the accelerator is pressed. More so in the V6 options, of course, and less so in the hybrid.

The engine options in the Infiniti Q50 are plentiful for the class. The base model’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four outputs a commendable 208 horsepower and 258 foot pounds of torque. This engine is peppy and quick in town and for most highway driving. It can feel a bit slower than the larger V6s when attempting to pass on the freeway. However, the fast-shifting transmission goes a long way towards making up for that. It’s usually quick to downshift and add more power when pressed.

Jumping up to the 3.0t gives you a turbocharged V6 that puts out 300 hp and 295 lb-ft. This engine produces solid output throughout the RPM range and is very good at most any speed. It’s better at highway cruising than is the 2.0t, giving the 3.0t our highest recommendation as an everyday luxury car that isn’t boring.

That 3.0-liter V6 can be further boosted with more robust turbochargers to produce 400 horses and 350 foot pounds in the Red Sport 400 model, which gives drivers a truly track-ready sports sedan. Handling and other performance characteristics of the car are also modified to handle the higher power and better performance expectations this car carries.

Finally, the Q50 Hybrid is powered by a naturally-aspirated 3.5L V6 that mates to an electric motor and small battery pack. The combination produces more than 360 horsepower, but is reluctant to release most of it most of the time thanks to its in-built efficiency-bias. That makes the Q50 Hybrid less interesting to drive and the fuel economy payoff is not as good as might be expected.

Compared to others in the midsize luxury sedan segment, which include the BMW 5 Series, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and the Lexus IS, the 2017 Infiniti Q50 is a solid competitor. It’s design is a bit older than the others, but it’s timeless and elegant as well. The German makes are sportier, in general, and the Lexus is more luxurious on the interior. Yet none of them can boast the combination of timelessness and all-around excellence of the Q50. We found the 2017 Q50 to be a highly enjoyable and underappreciated luxury sedan.

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How To Know When It’s Time To Get A New Family Car

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Whether you have a sensible sedan, a standard minivan, or a versatile SUV, you place a lot of trust in your family car. However, no matter how reliable your vehicle is, you’ll have to replace it with a new model eventually. How do know when it’s the right time to upgrade? Here are some of the top signs it’s a good time to buy a new family car.

1. You’re Paying Expensive Repair Costs

No matter how well you look after your vehicle, time, wear and tear, and age eventually take their toll. When you find yourself having to make minor repairs often or taking your car into the shop several times a year for substantial and expensive fixes, it may be time to consider moving on.

Keeping a car past its prime can cost a lot of money in terms of repair costs. Older cars are generally less efficient as well, so you could be overspending on gas. Mileage is another important factor to consider. Some makes and models can be reliable past 200,000 miles, whereas others become unstable before this milestone. Do some research on your car to determine how likely it is that you’ll run into constant problems if you continue driving it.

2. Your Family Is Growing

Your compact car may have worked fine when you had your first child, but squeezing multiple car seats in the back can be a challenge. If your family is growing in number, or simply growing up, chances are you have more car seats, luggage, backpacks, and sports gear you need to fit in your vehicle. If you’re constantly trying to maneuver things around to make riding in your car comfortable, it may be time to consider an upgrade.

If you choose to upgrade your family car, you can look forward to several benefits beyond just having more space. Newer cars generally have more features, and models designed for families (such as minivans) may have numerous helpful additions. You may find that having a new car with more cupholders, configurable seats, automatic doors, and entertainment systems makes your time driving with the family exponentially more comfortable.

3. You’re Moving to a Different Location

If you are moving to a place with a drastically different climate, it could be wise to buy a new family car. For example, if you’re moving to a sunny coastal climate, you may want to trade in your four-wheel-drive for something smaller and more efficient. Alternately, if you’re moving to a mountain state, it’s probably a good idea to consider switching your convertible out for a reliable and maneuverable SUV.

4. You’re Financially Ready

One of the most challenging parts of upgrading your family car is the financial burden. Whether you buy new or used, chances are taking home a new vehicle will require paying a hefty chunk of cash or signing a big loan. Either way, your personal financial status plays a large part in deciding when it’s time to buy a new car.

However, you can look at it the other way as well. If you are in a good financial spot with excellent credit and a comfortable safety net in the bank, you may want to think about investing in a new car. Buying at a time when you can afford a large down payment and qualify for a favorable loan can make more financial sense than waiting until repairs force you to buy a new car quickly. If you wait, you may not be in such sound financial waters as you are now.

Being able to afford a new car or qualify for a good loan also gives you the flexibility to choose the best option for your family. Maybe you want to move to an electric car to save money on gas and help the environment. Perhaps you want to get an SUV to make it easier and safer to spend weekends camping in the mountains. When you have the time and resources to do all the research and choose the best model for your family, it can take a lot of stress out of the whole process.

Deciding when to upgrade your family car can require a lot of thought. However, there are some standard signs that can indicate it’s time to start considering a new vehicle. Mounting repair costs can make it financially more affordable to get a new car. You may also want to consider upgrading when you’re in a good financial spot with the assets to either pay cash or secure a favorable loan.

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The 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe Will Set You Back $111,900

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2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe

Last month, BMW unveiled the long-awaited 8 Series Coupe to the delight of enthusiasts from around the world, who have been waiting nearly two decades for the Bavarian car company to bring back the iconic luxury sports coupe.

BMW gave us a full run-down on the the 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe, which is powered by a new twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 that puts out 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, launching the car from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 155 mph.

The BMW M850i is equipped with xDrive rear-biased intelligent all-wheel drive, mated to an eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission that has been updated with wider ratios and sportier gear shifts. Standard performance features include M Sport brakes and Adaptive M suspension with Active-Roll Stabilization.

Standard equipment on the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe includes Full LED headlights with BMW LaserLight technology, BMW Individual Merino leather seats, BMW Live Cockpit Professional, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and more.

That all sounds great, but how much will it cost?

The 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe starts will start at $111,900 plus a $995 Destination and Handling fee, with cars arriving in dealerships nationwide on December 8th.

Naturally, BMW has a plethora of options to push that sticker price much higher, including an optional Driving Assistant Professional, a 1,400 watt Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound system, a carbon fiber exterior trim package, just to name a few.

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The 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Is The Demon’s Spawn

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2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye

As you’ve probably heard, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon has already reached the end of its limited-production run, with 3,300 of them produced in less than a year.

Missed out on your chance to purchase one? Well today is your lucky day, because Dodge/SRT just unveiled the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye today, a slightly less powerful Demon spawn, with “only” 797 horsepower and 707 pound-feet of torque, with an eight-speed automatic transmission as the only option.

The Hellcat Redeye will rocket from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, run the quarter-mile in 10.8 seconds at 131 mph, with a top speed of 203 mph, earning it the bragging rights as the “most powerful production V8” and “quickest production muscle car” currently in production.

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye

Needless to say, the Mustang Shelby GT500 is going to struggle keeping up with this bad boy. Same with the Corvette ZR1, which comes up short with 755 horsepower.

Like its Demon brethren, the Hellcat Redeye has 25 major component upgrades, including a larger supercharger, strengthened connecting rods and pistons, high-speed valve train, fuel injection system and improved lubrication system.

It also has the Torque Reserve system that delivers up to 3.9 psi of boost at launch and up to 55% more engine torque, along with the SRT Power Chiller and After-Run Chiller (which use the air conditioning system to cool the intercooler and reduce engine temps).

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye

And new for 2019, the Redeye offers two final drive ratios, a standard 2.62:1 or an available 3.09:1 for enhanced launch capabilities. Helping put all that power to the ground is a high-strength steel prop shafts and 41-spline half shafts, both of which increase torque capacity.

Furthermore, the SRT Hellcat Redeye is available with the Demon’s Widebody package, which allows for some meatier tires (275mm on the standard body cars, 305mm on the widebody cars). That extra rubber helps shave off 0.3 seconds in the 1/4 mile (10.8s vs 11.1s), so to us it seems like a no-brainer. It also looks pretty bad-ass.

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye

No word on pricing just yet, but expect it to fall somewhere between the Hellcat and Demon. And if that ends up being too rich for your blood, you can always go with a “normal” Hellcat, which gets a modest power bump to 717 horsepower and 656 lb-ft of torque.

The 2019 Challenger lineup will roar into dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2018, so you’d better start saving your money now.

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