xl
LG
MD
SM
XS
OX HC Magazine
Follow us | Follow OXHC Magazine On Facebook Tweet OXHC Magazine On Twitter OXHC On Instagram OXHC Club
Drive

Infiniti Q50 Review

This 2.0 litre Sport we are evaluating here has an entry price of a relatively modest £34,125
You own a prestige vehicle with a level of comparable ‘exclusivity’

Congratulations; if you’re an Infiniti buyer. Why? Because you are unlikely to have made your choice passively.

It is easy to be persuaded by the credible virtues of proven accomplished brands such as BMW, Audi, and the like.

As it happens Infiniti has been around for over 25 years, but in Europe only since 2008. Buying an Infiniti in the UK then is about a brand that must win you by persuasion and steal you away from the big prestige names.

Niche

It doesn’t compete on a level playing field with the big boys as Infiniti is to Nissan what Lexus is to Toyota – a niche premium brand, credibly able to compete head to head with the competition, but in this case has neither the marketing or promotional financial muscle to be right in there. Ironically, in this regard the brands sits rather comfortably; it doesn’t want to be a mass seller and thus retains relatively modest sales targets.

As a consequence you the buyer, own a prestige vehicle with a level of comparable ‘exclusivity’. Relatively few of us will know where our nearest Infiniti dealer is. Even I don’t.

But when you do find one, you’ll be intrigued by a seductive looking saloon called the Q50….

and  the curious journey begins. It’s not a bad lookin’ motor. (Its predecessor is the G37). Clearly a BMW 3 Series/Lexus IS /Mercs C Class contender; from thereon the story gets strictly personal, but I suggest it may have the following threads…

To Infiniti…

Firstly value, this 2.0 litre Sport we are evaluating here has an entry price of a relatively modest £34,125. The trick is that it comes with a host of standard equipment you’d usually have to pay extra for, such as rear view cameras, USB and Ipod connectivity, blue tooth technology, and too much more to list here. There is an options list of course, but most equipment is standard.

Second, performance. A surprise to some maybe, but sporting performance is a big Infiniti thing, so raise an eyebrow then that this 2.0 litre Turbo has a four cylinder in-line engine set longitudinally of course, and is mated to rear wheel drive; always a good formula for driving fun. The other eyebrow joins it when the Infiniti salesperson tells you you’re good for 152 mph at the top end, and will brush the bench mark 0-62 mph in 5.2 secs.

What’s more, Infiniti have hardly been shy about the fact that they drafted in that pretty handy Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel to tune up the sporty handling of their cars. All credit to him, he’s won a good few races. This one’s not a ‘Vettel Special’ but it will have received his blessing, we suspect. Infiniti claim an average 52 mpg against that performance, which is pretty good.

Our test car had 7 speed auto transmission and the hotly debated Direct Adaptive Steering, which in simple terms performs as the term describes. Some like it, others ‘have views’, but we think it works, so see how you feel when you take the car out on test yourself.

The Infiniti’s driver appeal is enhanced by its relatively compact feel for a mid-range saloon, combined with an exciting flair for handling that dares you to exploit it. You will, of course, because that performance/sporty feel clearly distinguishes it from say ‘a Lexus’.

….and beyond

Finally, there is advantage in sporting ‘difference’ and ‘individuality’ in this highly competitive sector of the market. That said, once converted, it is likely that Infiniti brand loyalty will feature  in your future car purchasing behaviour, for once you have ‘bought into’ the Infiniti Concept it is a fairly reliable delivery on a promise. Owners are unlikely to be disappointed.

 

- Kevin Haggarthy

 

Related Articles: The Lexus NX