infiniti Q60 a

It costs: $97,821.
It has: A 298-kilowatt twin turbocharged 3-litre V6 with a seven-speed auto.
We got: 13.8 litres per 100 km in the city, 9.4 in the country. The official combined figure is 8.9.
Consensus: High value cruiser.

infiniti Q60 longIf you want to understand Infiniti’s Q60 Red Sport look no further than the boot – the inside of it actually. There, mounted on the lining of the boot lid you’ll find a little yellow handle and it’s handy if you ever lock yourself inside the boot. Just pull it and the boot will open. This marks the car as being made for America; after years of movies featuring people being locked in boots by bad guys the Americans think such little handles are a good idea and they are now compulsory fitments over there. Ah, only in America.

The little yellow handle, the foot-operated park brake and the run-flat tyres (which means no spare) are sure signs that the Infiniti places America first, and this is possibly why Australians and especially Australian motoring writers don’t understand this car. It is built as a cruiser to eat up the vast distances of the American interstates, to lazily wend along the LA boulevards and soak up the bumps and lumps of the Manhattan road system.

What it wasn’t built to do was attack the Italian alps, or do battle with the darting traffic in Amsterdam or set record lap times around the Nürburgring in Germany. If you’re a ten-tenths driver who thinks of a car as an extension of your very being, then there’s any god’s quantity of them from any god’s quantity of European brands. If you simply want something that’s comfortable, easy, relaxed and unequivocally powerful, something that’s sexy looking and is quiet enough to justify its top notch sound system, this is the one for you. And, by the way, all the equivalent European models are more expensive, some quite significantly.

infiniti Q60 rearThe three-litre V6 is relaxed and comfortable when you’re pottering, but aggressive and quick when you’re feeling similar. At all times it’s delightfully smooth and linear in its power delivery, and it has bags of power to deliver. The seven-speed auto it’s mated to can get a little fussy but most of the time it does what is required quickly and efficiently, and is pretty good at predicting what you want. There are six drive modes, standard, snow, sport, sport plus, personal and eco and switching can have a marked effect on the way the car behaves.

Generally it is very well mannered although the stability control can get quite aggressive when the back comes out, even in sport plus, and it’s not difficult to get the back out with this being a rear-drive car. I spent most of my time in standard mode which yields an extremely comfortable ride, but things tighten up considerably in either of the sport modes and the transmission becomes far more involved in the process.

The handling is entirely acceptable in standard mode and can get quite involving further up the dial, but really my advice is that if you want to get hot and sweaty along a twisting byroad go buy a BMW. The Infiniti is for people who enjoy looking at their surroundings and keeping their passengers calm, and it will probably arrive about the same time anyway. But do watch the electronic steering which offers little in the way of communication. It’s easy to dial in a little too much turn-in.

infiniti Q60 ipThe nice thing about the Q60 is that it looks good. This is a graceful coupe on the outside and a luxury car on the inside, with rich leather and nicely tactile surfaces, a couple of LED screens and a businesslike instrument cluster that, disappointingly, does not offer the option of a digital speedometer between the two big analogue dials. It will take you a few minutes to figures the buttons and switches and a few more to get on top of the software, but get a feel for it and it’s easy and quite intuitive.

This is a really impressive interior, it looks great and the upholstery is seriously good and looks terrific in red. Don’t worry about the two LED screens, there’s no confusion between them and the bottom one looks more like part of the dash most of the time anyway.

The rear seat is mostly ceremonial. I sit well forward and very straight-backed and I’d hesitate to put anyone over a metre-and-a-half tall behind me. Actually I’d hesitate to put a small kid back there too because access isn’t brilliant and they’d spend the journey kicking the back of my seat anyway. And I doubt they’d fit in the boot to try out the yellow handle – it’s compact despite there being no spare wheel. It would handle a weekend away for two but if you’re into buying wine you’ll probably have to use the rear seat as well.

After a week in it I really liked the Q60, and you can’t argue the value.

Published July 2017

 

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