2019 Audi A4 vs. 2019 Infiniti Q50

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A4 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Infiniti Q50 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The A4 has a standard Audi Backguard System that uses a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Audi Backguard System moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Q50 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The A4 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Q50 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the A4 and the Q50 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi A4 is safer than the Infiniti Q50:

 

A4

Q50

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

Chest Compression

1 inches

1 inches

Neck Injury Risk

25%

48%

Neck Stress

119 lbs.

145 lbs.

Neck Compression

47 lbs.

85 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

324/341 lbs.

541/294 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Audi A4 is safer than the Infiniti Q50:

 

A4

Q50

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Abdominal Force

219 G’s

262 G’s

Hip Force

308 lbs.

320 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

19 inches

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A4 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q50 has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

The A4’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Q50’s (12 vs. 7 years).

There are over 42 percent more Audi dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the A4’s warranty.

Reliability

The Audi A4’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Q50’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the A4’s reliability 19 points higher than the Q50.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A4 gets better fuel mileage than the Q50:

 

 

A4

Q50

 

2WD

40 TFSI/Auto

27 city/34 hwy

23 city/30 hwy

2.0t/Auto

 

 

n/a

20 city/29 hwy

3.0t/Auto

 

 

n/a

20 city/26 hwy

Red Sport 400/Auto

AWD

45 TFSI/Auto

23 city/34 hwy

22 city/28 hwy

2.0t/Auto

 

 

n/a

19 city/27 hwy

3.0t/Auto

 

 

n/a

19 city/26 hwy

Red Sport 400/Auto

Regardless of its engine, the A4’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Infiniti only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Q50 2.0t.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A4 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The Q50 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The A4 offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Q50 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The A4 Auto’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Q50 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

The A4 stops much shorter than the Q50:

 

A4

Q50

 

70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

165 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

The A4’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Q50’s standard 55 series tires. The A4’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Q50 Red Sport 400’s 40 series front tires.

Suspension and Handling

The A4 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Q50’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A4 is 1.4 inches wider in the front than the average track on the Q50.

The A4 Prestige Quattro handles at .90 G’s, while the Q50 Red Sport 400 pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The Audi A4 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 350 pounds less than the Infiniti Q50.

The A4 is 3.5 inches shorter than the Q50, making the A4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The A4’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Q50 Pure doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the A4 has a standard power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Q50 doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Ergonomics

The A4 has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Q50 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the A4 and the Q50 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the A4 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Q50 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A4 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Q50 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A4 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Q50 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The A4 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Q50, and aren’t available on the Q50 2.0t. The A4 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Q50.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the A4 keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Q50 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the A4 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the A4 will cost $1400 less than the Q50 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A4 is less expensive to operate than the Q50 because typical repairs cost much less on the A4 than the Q50, including $45 less for fuel injection, $21 less for a timing belt/chain and $841 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi A4 will be $10 to $7685 less than for the Infiniti Q50.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® chose the Audi A4 as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Infiniti Q50 isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the A4 first among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Q50 isn’t in the top three.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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