It is a very rare occasion that l receive a car for review that l have never driven or even sat in before but that occasion arrived recently when an Infiniti arrived on the drive. I know nothing about this marque and therefore come at it with no preconceived notions or thoughts, which is rather refreshing.
Infiniti is the luxury arm of Nissan as Lexus is to Toyota and, as most of my readers will know by now, l do not have the greatest affection for Japanese cars I find them flat, dull, uninspiring and a tad boring . Don’t get me wrong, they are incredibly reliable cars and sell by the truck load but they just don’t float my boat. I might now have to review my thinking now that l have spent the last week with the Infiniti Q60S as this is a surprisingly good car.
First impression is that it is a very handsome car with good lines and proportions. There are so few on the road at present that it gets quite a few stares from people trying to work out what it is and therein lies its immediate appeal. They are not common and therefore you do feel as if you are driving something a little bit special. That might change after this review but then Nissan really don’t want it to be a secret l guess. The point here is that as good as its rivals are, and they are very very good, it can be difficult to find your car in a car park if you drive an Audi A5, Mercedes C-Class or BMW 4 series as there are so many of them. Drive the Infiniti and you will have no trouble finding your car and you will be pretty content when you do..
My car is the 3.0-litre Sport Tech with a 7-speed auto box and all-wheel drive and l really cannot complain about its get up and go. 62mph arrives in a very respectable 5 seconds and it will power on to 155mph in great comfort. It boasts a Bose sound system with 13 speakers, Bluetooth, dual touch screens, 360 degree cameras, Sat Nav and all the other bells and whistles you would want. Most importantly, it has no bloody annoying stop/start function that drives me to distraction. The cabin is well laid out but with some oddities. For example, the centre console that houses everything including two screens is slightly angled towards the passenger. This is either ridiculous or it is a trait of being a left-hand drive car that has had the wheel changed over but little else. Also, the two screens sit there as if they have had an argument, as they both do different things but do not look as if they were designed to be together. I also found the radio controls quite fiddly to use and l often judge this by watching my kids work them, as young teenagers, they can work all tech with a speed that defies logic and they stated “This radio system is rubbish Daddy”. Next to the cutting edge systems offered by Mercedes and BMW, this will not do in this very tough sector.
One clever little item is the world’s first ‘by-wire’ fully electronic steering system called the Direct Adaptive Steering system, which removes the direct connection between the steering wheel and the steered axle, and the makers claim it offers smoother and more responsive handling. Interestingly, l didn’t know l had it until l started writing this and to be frank, l didn’t notice any discernible difference.
It does drive very well and feels well planted and l did what l always do – l found the Sport plus button, ripped it off and threw it out the window and it really does have an impressive turn of speed. The suspension seems firm but acceptable, steering is accurate and you could drive all day without problems. There are quite a few high tech annoyances such as the multitude of warnings that you are about to crash or deviating from your lane and if you don’t pay attention, it slams the brakes on. The one that was most annoying is the constant droning buzzer that tells you the door is open when the engine is off and you are exiting. As l have turned the engine off and am getting out of the car, l KNOW the blasted door is open! My final moan is the boot, as if it has been raining when you open it, it dribbles water all over the contents. Such a simple design fault that one might of expected a massive manufacturer such as Nissan to have fixed.
That said, all in all l liked this car. There are very few alternatives to the teutonic dominance on our roads and this is a very good alternative. It’s not as good but then it will mark you out as slightly different from the crowd.
The major problem for Infiniti is, as always, the competition. At £46,000, it is around the same price as the new Audi A5 and £7,000 more expensive than the Mercedes C-Class and BMW 4 Series. It’s good but not that good but l still liked it and would certainly consider it if l were shopping in that sector.
Model tested: Q60S Sport Tech
Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo
Power: 400 bhp
Performance: 0-62 5.0 seconds
Top: 155 mph
Economy: 30.1 mpg combined
Prices from: £46,690.00
As tested: £47,780.00