Full Expert Review: 2015 Infiniti Q40
What’s New for 2015
The 2015 Infiniti Q40 is an all-new name for what was previously called the G37 sedan. Naming aside, it returns after a year-long hiatus with essentially the same standard equipment, but much less in the way of options. The old G37’s optional Performance wheel package, Interior Accent package and the Sport package have all been eliminated from the lineup, and a manual transmission is no longer available.
It’s not unheard of for an automaker to continue selling an older version of a particular car after a new generation has arrived. There was a Chevrolet Silverado Classic, for instance, and Nissan recently has kept its old Rogue SUV going as the Rogue Select. Now the latest example of automotive repackaging comes from Infiniti. Just when you thought it was gone for good, the Infiniti G37 is back, but with a different name: Q40.
Infiniti is offering the “new” Q40 alongside its actually newer Q50, which would technically be the latest generation of the old G37. And sure enough, there are still some things to like about the 2015 Infiniti Q40. With sporty handling and a strong V6 engine, the Q40 is certainly fun to drive. It’s also relatively affordable, as Infiniti has given it a starting price that’s thousands less than what you’ll have to pay for many popular entry-level luxury sedans.
Unfortunately, when it’s compared to 2015 standards, the Q40 isn’t as impressive or comparatively luxurious as it once was. Materials quality is only passable and most other entry-level luxury sedans offer a more comfortable ride. From behind the wheel, we like the V6 engine, but many rivals offer more efficient turbocharged four-cylinder base engines these days. The V6 is also noticeably noisy, contributing to the feeling that the Q40 is less refined than its rivals.
In the past, you may have been able to mask a few of these drawbacks by adding optional features, but most of the Q40’s options have been eliminated entirely, in favor of one basic model with the option of Navigation and an upgraded sound system. If you want additional features, you’ll have to look to Infiniti’s Q50 sedan or elsewhere entirely.
Considering the Infiniti Q40’s age and limited appeal, we’d recommend looking at some newer entry-level luxury sedans that offer similar value. The 2015 Acura TLX would be a good place to start, as it offers abundant high-tech features, a spacious cabin, good fuel economy and a comfortable ride. The 2015 Audi A3 is much smaller than the Q40, but is more luxurious and refined. If price is less of an issue, the 2015 BMW 3 Series is a class leader that offers a wide range of available engines, straightforward controls and one of the most comfortable rides in the class. And finally, if you want to stay in the Infiniti family, the Q50 is indeed a more modern take on the likable, but ultimately past its prime, Q40.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2015 Infiniti Q40 is a four-door midsize luxury sedan that seats five. It is available in a single base trim level.
Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic xenon headlights, heated mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated eight-way power front seats, leather upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and an iPod/USB interface.
The Navigation Plus package adds a navigation system, traffic reporting, voice controls and a 10-speaker Bose sound system that further adds Bluetooth streaming audio. A sunroof is also available as a stand-alone option.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2015 Infiniti Q40 is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 328 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic and rear-wheel-drive are standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. Based on past testing of the G37, expect the Q40 to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds, which would be much quicker than similarly priced competitors. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 22 mpg combined (19 city/27 highway) with rear-wheel drive and 20 mpg combined (18/25) with all-wheel drive. Many other competitors offer superior fuel efficiency.
Standard safety equipment on the 2015 Infiniti Q40 includes antilock brakes, stability and traction control, a rearview camera, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. On all-wheel-drive models, a “Snow Mode” helps drivers regulate throttle response over slippery surfaces.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Q40 offers user-friendly controls and good build quality, but things don’t feel as luxurious on the inside as they once did. Overall, most competitors seem to have higher standards, but considering its price, this Infiniti sedan is relatively appealing.
The front seats are comfortable and supportive, with sufficient headroom in the front and rear seats. The amount of rear seat legroom depends on what you compare the Q40 to. Against smaller, but similarly priced competitors like the Audi A3, it’s noticeably more generous. Against similarly sized competitors, the backseat will be average at best. Trunk space, at 13.5 cubic feet, is about average for its class.
You can’t get as many up-to-the-minute high-tech features in the Q40, but the electronic features it does have benefit from controls that are well organized and easy to find. Indeed, the combination of physical buttons, touchscreen and the multipurpose knob that controls the myriad audio, climate and navigation controls are likely to be easier to figure out than newer, more advanced systems.
The 3.7-liter V6 in the 2015 Q40 sedan is strong and provides quick acceleration. While we’re not fans of the coarse noise the engine makes at higher engine speeds, it has more than enough power to put a smile on your face. That’s also true of the car’s handling capabilities, as the Q40 attacks turns with aggression and precision. It remains poised and compliant when driven over less than perfect pavement, but newer rivals will feel a bit less firm.
Although some may bemoan the loss of the previously available manual transmission, the seven-speed automatic is mostly faultless and, when shifted manually, provides quick gearchanges via the column-mounted paddle shifters. To the delight of enthusiasts, downshifts are swiftly executed with precise throttle blips to match revs. In testing, however, we’ve noticed that upshifts, even when in Drive, aren’t as smooth as they should be for this class of car.