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Consumer Reports slaps Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS for 'dull' character

The once-acclaimed Japanese luxury sport sedans have taken a beating by the nonprofit magazine.

By Clifford Atiyeh Oct 22, 2013 7:24AM
Consumer Reports has declared the 2014 Lexus IS 250 and Infiniti Q50 to be unworthy of sports sedan praise, declining to award either car its coveted "recommended" rating.

In its latest round of tests, the nonprofit magazine's editors found that both compact luxury sedans paled in comparison to their predecessors on the track. The Infiniti and its industry-first steer-by-wire electric steering system was deemed "dull" and the handling "mundane."

"The underwhelming driving experience strips the car of much of its sporty legacy," the editors wrote. "The Q50 also doesn’t ride well and isn’t particularly quiet."

As for the Lexus, also newly redesigned for 2014, Consumer Reports said it was "neither sporty nor luxurious." The steering was "vague" and the carryover 2.5-liter V6 "lacks punch." Like us, they hated the mouse controller for the infotainment system. During our initial tests, we found the IS to have "surprisingly great feel" but noted that the "some of the old IS enthusiastic turn-in has been lost."

It should be noted that Consumer Reports tested the base all-wheel-drive IS 250 and not the rear-wheel-drive IS 350 F Sport we drove, which is tuned to be more aggressive on the street. We haven't yet tested the new Q50.

In any case, it's a blow for both automakers to see their cars score too low to be recommended by Consumer Reports, which retains an uncanny ability to influence automaker decisions. We haven't had a chance to put these models through longer tests and hope we don't come away as disappointed.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

127Comments
Oct 22, 2013 9:00AM
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Is this really a surprise?  Lexus has always been classified as dull.  To quote Top Gear, Lexus is "the best driver simulation on the road today".
Oct 22, 2013 9:40AM
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On the other hand Consumer Reports says the Cadillac CTS drives better than its German counterparts. 
Oct 22, 2013 9:13AM
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"Fly by wire" systems may be great for jet fighters, but they offer no feel in automobiles. I hate the electronic throttle in my G37. Now they've gone and made the steering dull too. I don't think I will continue to buy Infiniti.

Oct 22, 2013 9:42AM
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Just saw Consumer Reports opinion of the new 14 Cadillac CTS they actually used the word LOVE!

After seeing these 2 cars I see why

Oct 22, 2013 10:14AM
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I don't care what anyone says if they dont think bimmers suck  they are retards  they burn oil are way to expensive to fix and anyone who says different has not been a service manager  at a repair shop
Oct 22, 2013 9:48AM
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I have the 2014 Lexus IS 350 AWD F-Sport - incredible machine. It isn't fair to simply say the Lexus IS isn't a quality car when there are numerous variations within the title/model.
Oct 22, 2013 9:42AM
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When I sold my Lexus RX350, I planned on buying a newer RX....but that mouse controller completely changed my mind. Worst update I've ever seen in a luxury vehicle!

Oct 22, 2013 9:12AM
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Everyone is chasing the Trivecta (Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz) when it comes to developing luxury sports sedans. These two imitations are no different.

Oct 22, 2013 10:52AM
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Consumer Reports LOVED the VW Rabbit...................Need I say more!
Oct 22, 2013 9:06AM
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I have a 2008 IS 250 and love it.  The 250 AWD and the 350 are 2 completely different cars in power, luxury and handling.  Stupid to compare.

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