Toyota and Nissan’s Latest Luxury Cars Don’t Make Test Drive Cut

Nissan Infiniti Q50

Both the Infiniti (NSANY.PK) Q50 and the Lexus (NYSE:TM) IS 250 were efforts made by their respective companies to revitalize the midsize luxury sedan segment, which — until this past year — seemed to be falling into a dated lull as companies were busy putting the final touches on their new ranges.

For the most part, the two succeeded. Both cars feature vast improvements to their exteriors. The Lexus boasts new, swooping lines the begin in the front fascia and continue through the radically redesigned hindquarters. The Q50 has also gotten a significant facelift as well as a new moniker that belies its roots as the successor to Infiniti’s popular G37 sedan. Like the Lexus, it has smoother, flowing lines, and a new face that is considerably more aggressive and assertive than the previous model.

However, for all their efforts, the two cars failed to impress those at Consumer Reports, which passed on the two new sedans when choosing to place the coveted “Recommended” rating for the next batch of cars. Lackluster fuel economy, steering, ride comfort, and handling were found to be at fault when reviewing the Lexus IS 250 and Infiniti Q50, Auto News reports. Although the new Infiniti Q50 posted a “very good” score for its overall road test, it gave an “underwhelming driving experience” compared to its predecessor.

“Most perplexing, however, is that the class leader — by a sizable margin — is still the Infiniti G37, which the Q50 was designed to replace. What happened?” CR said, as Auto News noted that the G37 has been the magazine’s top pick in the segment for six of the last seven years.

However, the Lexus didn’t get so lucky. The IS is ”neither sporty nor luxurious” and had the “worst road test score posted by any Lexus sedan in recent memory,” Consumer Reports said. Like the Infiniti, the handling was the sore spot; as the car was reportedly “short on finesse.” Rather than combating the reviews, it appears that both companies are taking the bad news in stride.

“Despite scoring well, the Q50 is still too new for their reliability results which is necessary for them to categorize the car as ‘Recommended.’ We feel strongly that once these reliability results are in, our new luxury sports sedan will be on Consumer Reports’ “Recommended” list,” Auto News quoted Infiniti spokesman Kyle Bazemore as saying in a statement. ”As the Consumer Reports evaluation includes many factors, Lexus is unclear on the cause for the low rating,” said Brian Lyons, a Toyota spokesman. “We look forward to engaging in a discussion with them to get more direct feedback on their experience with the car.”

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