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Friday, January 17, 2014

Richmond Review · Page 15

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Welcome to the driver’s seat

This hi new Q50 looks l k great, has a wonderful interior, power to spare and solid handling dynamics. Zack Spencer

Visit the Q50 photo gallery at DrivewayBC.ca

2014 Infiniti Q50 challenges the old order Infiniti has had a bit of an identity crisis over the past year with a wholesale change in the way it names its products. Gone is the JX crossover, it’s called the QX60 now and the G 37 sedan has been replaced with the Q50 sedan. Q signifies for cars and QX for crossovers or SUVs. The outgoing G37 was already a very worthy on-road performer but a bit too simplistic in the inside. Now, Infiniti has taken things up a notch with the Q50, adding a dynamic look, sumptuous interior and class leading technology. Looks It could be argued that the current BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class are a bit conservative, while this Q50 and the major competitor, Lexus IS, are much edgier. This is especially true with the front grille. The rest of the Q50 is nicely sculpted, with flowing lines and an almost elegant rear end. Sold as a base model, sport trim, all wheel drive (AWD), premium, and even a hybrid, there is a broad market for this sedan. Starting at $37,500 and ramping up to the AWD sport model at $49,950, there is a substantial discount with the Q50 when you compare it to a similarly equipped BMW. The base model comes with 17-inch wheels but most of the higher trim levels are equipped with 19-inch wheels. The car seen here is the AWD premium model starting at $43,400. Inside The Q50 centre console is very attractive with two screens placed for radio functions and the second for the

navigation ($1,400 option) opt for the AWD model, and backup camera. The which is a good choice way the lower screen is due to the higher level incorporated is first rate; of interior amenities. it looks like a high quality In addition, the Q50 is iPad that sits flush with the first car to have a the dash, while the higher steer-by-wire system screen is recessed for easier that is customizable and use in bright light. this system is optional Direct Adaptive The only problem with on the AWD models and Steering has its this system is the time it standard on the sport takes to boot-up when critics but for me, the versions of the Q50. you start the car over 30 Direct Adaptive Steering Q50 feels like it is seconds to access the radio has its critics but for an extension of the and other features. Most me, the Q50 feels like driver. people will buy the sport it is an extension of the model ($47,495) or the driver, moving through Zack Spencer premium trim ($43,400) to corners with ease and get heated leather seats, comfort with just the Bose stereo, backup camera with slightest movement of the steering around view cameras, and power tilt wheel. Handling is enhanced thanks to and telescopic steering to name a few a stiffer chassis and the rear suspenadditional features. The base model is sion has been adjusted. a price leader but expect to buy the The downside to equipping the Q50 premium model or above to get the with a V6 is the amount of fuel it car well equipped. In comparison, the burns in comparison to the turbo $53,800, 300hp BMW 335iS AWD is 4-cylinder offerings from the German much more expensive than many of the competition. Rated at 11.1L/100km in top Q50 trim levels. the city and 7.3L on the highway for the AWD equipped model. There is a Drive hybrid version available that drops the The latest trend is to include a turboconsumption down to 7.0L/100km in charged 4-cylinder engine as the base the city and 5.0L on the highway but power plant in most German compact it is a premium offering with a starting luxury sedans. This Q50 is bucking the price of $47,000. trend and sticking with the 3.7L V6

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they had in the previous G37 with a powerful and smooth 328hp. The transmission is a 7-speed automatic that puts the power to either the rear wheels, or all wheels, depending on the trim selected. Most Canadians will

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welcome to the driver’s seat.

to advertise in this weekly feature call today at 604.247.3704

Verdict The benchmark in the premium compact sedan market has been the BMW 3 Series but the gap is narrowing. This new Q50 looks great, has a wonderful interior, power to spare and solid

handling dynamics. On price, the BMW 328i AWD is the closest and starts at $46,200 but is equipped with a 241hp 4-cylinder. The direct competitor on power is the much more expensive 335is AWD. The Lexus IS350 AWD is another premium offering from Japan, and it starts at a very competitive $44,000. As much as the Japanese automakers like to challenge the German makers, they really end up competing with each other. Yes, this is a worthy car but the one thing you cannot factor into the buying decision is the badge appeal that storied brands like Mercedes, BMW and Audi provide.

Question OF THE WEEK:

What is your favourite brand of car and what model specifically do you like? Please explain why you have made that decision.

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QUESTION OF THE WEEK!

Go to drivewayBC.ca to submit your answer.

Safety Tip: When extreme winter road conditions hit, it’s a good idea to think about whether you even need to get behind the wheel. If you have the option, consider public transit or carpool with some who has a vehicle prepared for the conditions. Also consider leaving for work just a little later to allow crews to clear the roads.

Find more online at The Lowdown Power: 3.7L V6 with 328hp Fill-up: 11.1L/7.3L/100km (city/highway) Sticker price: $37,500-$47,950

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zack.spencer@drivewaybc.ca

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Page 16 · Richmond Review

Friday, January 17, 2014

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Five fun coupes for singles the alpha of their one-person wolf So, you’re not marpack, here are a few ried. That’s okay! coupes under $30K You don’t have to consider. kids? No worries. Honda Accord You pretty much Coupe: Base have the pick of the MSRP $26,400 litter when it comes I’m starting off with Many singles I to buying a car. Why? the Accord because Because you don’t know decide to get it’s a cool car. The something a little necessarily have current generation specific requirements less ‘practical’ in the has so much going that need to be met for it and definitely grand scheme of when selecting a has developed more vehicle. Meaning, you things. personality in the don’t need to conredesign. You have the Alexandra Straub sider having a large option of two engines: enough backseat a more economical to fit car seats, unless you want 2.4L 4-cylinder or a more powerful a big back seat for other reasons. 3.5L V6. Either way, you can get them Like, you have a dog that weighs equipped with a 6-speed manual or a as much as an adult. Or you don’t CVT transmission. Only the EX-L Navi need four doors because you’re trim with the V6 has the option of a pretty much the only one going to 6-speed automatic transmission. No be inside the cabin at any given matter how you slice it, you’re getting time. a great car. Better yet, it has a decent Unless your profession requires cargo capacity of 379L so you could you to haul around equipment easily dump your hockey gear inside. or gear, you don’t have to buy a The interior is spacious and comfortcrossover, minivan, sedan or SUV if able, and heck, it looks good. you don’t want to. MINI Coupe/Roadster: That said, many singles I know Base MSRP $25,950/$28,900 decide to get something a little less With room for two, even the base “practical” in the grand scheme of model of MINI Coupe or Roadster is things. Less practicality is usually a hoot. Specs-wise, it has the least spelled with five letters: coupe. impressive engine of the lot (only So, to those individuals who are putting out 121 horsepower,) but by Alexandra Straub

Honda Accord Coupe.

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that can be overlooked because of via driving dynamics. It has one of the best manual gearboxes for a car of its size and has an abundance of pep. They’re not cheap, though. So it has that working against it in some regards. And you could argue that a Mazda MX-5 is a better value (you won’t be wrong) but it’s still loads of fun. Dodge Challenger: Base MSRP $26,995 If you’re driving a Dodge Challenger, you’re getting noticed. You don’t even need to have the grunt and roar of the SRT’s 6.4L V8 HEMI to turn heads. Inside and out, this two-door has style and power. The base SXT trim comes equipped with a 3.6L V6 and 305 horsepower. Kia Forte Koup: Base MSRP $20,550 For just over $20K, the Kia Forte Koup is a solid value. And it’s not a bad looking car either. Inside, the interior is well finished and isn’t cheap. Furthermore, you have many great standard amenities that come with the base model like 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, heated front seats, remote keyless entry, air conditioning and more. VW GTI: Base MSRP $29,375 The 3-door VW GTI is one of my favourite cars. The front-wheel, German engineered bundle of excitement has poise and pizzazz, along with a fabulous interior and a tried and

Dodge Challenger.

Kia Forte Koup.

VW GTI. tested engine. What’s great about the GTI is that it works for all ages. You could be 16 and driving it, or 60, and you’d still look good. You wouldn’t look out of place and people would give you nods of approval. Granted, the current generation is on its way out and the seventh generation (2014 model year) is coming soon. So if you want a killer deal on a 2013, now’s about as good of a time as any. alexandra.straub@drivewaybc.ca

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Driveway - Richmond Review Driveway Jan 17, 2014