With their combination of sportiness, style and technology, it’s hard to resist the charm of a sport sedan. Making them even more enticing is how versatile they can be, as many can be equipped with smooth V6 engines and capable all-wheel-drive systems.
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Power or Poise?
You may already be familiar with the Infiniti Q50, a sharp and agile luxury-infused car with a 3.7-liter six-cylinder heart of gold. That motor makes a solid impression, pumping out 328 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. Paired to a quick-shifting seven-speed automatic transmission and its rear-biased all-wheel drive system, the Infiniti always feels engaging. In the dry, the Q50 is quick and it feels that way, hitting 60 MPH from a standstill in under six seconds. On snow covered roads, it has a preference to let its tail end wriggle. Sure that may sound like fun, but all-wheel drive cars are also supposed to provide a sense of confidence and safety, both of which tend to fade when your car is oversteering in a corner.
Despite how much fun the Q50 is, it feels like we are always travelling to the same destination: the gas station. With an average of 21 MPG, the Q50 just can’t keep up with its rival in terms of fuel economy.
Yes that means one of the key areas where the TLX shines is in terms of its efficiency. While the nine-speed automatic transmission in the Acura is a little unrefined at times with jerky or hesitant shifts, the car still manages 25 MPG while driving in snow on winter tires. Furthermore, the front-biased super-handling all-wheel drive system provides a true sense of confidence and stability in snowy and icy conditions. Unlike the Q50, it’s hard to shake the TLX loose. This all helps the TLX keep a competitive edge, despite the fact that its 3.5-liter V6 isn’t as strong at 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque.
Comfort and Sophistication
When it comes to handling and ride comfort, these cars are polar opposites. Our Q50 wasn’t equipped with Infiniti’s steer-by-wire system and fortunately the electric power-assisted steering it uses instead is engaging and communicative. For better or worse, the ride quality is too. The Q50 feels choppy on the roads in comparison to the TLX, which is comfortable while still offering a sense of sportiness. Another highlight is just how quiet the TLX is on the road as very little external sound penetrates the cabin. While the steering of the TLX is on the numb side, it’s easy to drive and right on point with what we expect at this price.
In comparison, the interior of the Q50 feels sporty, although a bit juvenile, mainly due to the aluminum trim.
Both cars use two infotainment screens in the center stack to provide a wealth of information. In the Q50, both screens are touch-sensitive, although you can also use a control knob on the center console to manipulate the top screen.
Although there is slightly more space for passengers in the Q50, it isn’t enough to really sway us away from preferring the cabin in the TLX. Furthermore, the TLX features more trunk space and comes with 60/40 folding rear seats, something that’s an optional extra on the Q50.
|Vehicle||2015 Acura TLX V6 SH AWD||Advantage||2015 Infiniti Q50 AWD|
|Engine||3.5L V6 290 hp/267lb-ft||Q50||3.7L V6 328 hp/269 lb-ft|
|Transmission||9 speed automatic||-||7 speed automatic|
|Fuel Economy||25 MPG||TLX||21 MPG|
|Fuel Economy (l/100kms)||8.4||TLX||11.2|
|Front Head Room||37.2||Q50||39.5|
|Rear Head Room||36.7||Q50||36.8|
|Front Leg Room||42.6||Q50||44.5|
|Rear Leg Room||34.5||Q50||35.1|
|Starting Price w/AWD||$42,495||Q50||$39,855|
|Starting Price w/AWD (CAD)||$40,619||TLX||$41,945|
|As tested Price (CAD)||$48,119||Q50||$43,195|
Features and Pricing
Furthering the appeal of the TLX is the accessibility to high-tech features at a lower cost. Our fully-loaded tester came equipped with a blind-spot warning system, lane departure warning, lane keep assistance, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, front collision warning and more.
At $45,720 including destination, the TLX represents the true bang-for-your-buck winner in the world of premium sedans. In order to match the TLX feature-for-feature, you will need to spend $51,885 on a Q50. Then again it can be less expensive than that if you’re willing to forego some of the high-end accoutrements, as all-wheel drive Q50 models start at $39,855.
The Infiniti Q50 is the sharper sport-sedan but it comes with a long list of compromises. It’s less comfortable, inefficient and expensive when equipped to match the TLX. The Acura is more comfortable and easier to drive year-round, making it a more rounded choice. If you want a bit of everything with minimal compromises, we recommend the TLX.
2015 Acura TLX
2015 Infiniti Q50 AWD