Infiniti, Nissan’s posh car making division has been around for a bit, but has yet to establish itself here in the way Lexus has.
These days it sells some thoroughly decent cars, notably and the BMW 1 Series rivaling Q30, which Sue Baker has driven, but I haven’t, looks to be an interesting prospect, and is arriving in UK showrooms for the fist time. It could have a galvanizing effect on its maker’s profile.
Infiniti is better known in America, and to start with its products have perhaps been better suited to Transatlantic and Far Eastern tastes. Models like the enormous QX70 4×4 still rather fall into that category, but the Mercedes C-Class sized Q50 is far more on the money, and not that long ago Infiniti gave its bigger, E-Class rivaling M70 a facelift, re-christening it Q70 in the process and offering it with a 2.2 diesel for the first time.
The car has a certain, slightly brutal presence, with the styling changes Infiniti has carried on its nose and tail making it better looking than before, but nobody could reasonably call it subtle or delicate.
It’s all extremely well finished and assembled, and although perhaps a little narrow, the interior is a comfortable, leather and wood-lined cocoon. Some of my car testing colleagues aren’t keen on the dash and fascia panel, which bulges into the cabin like a Regency chest of draws, but it did look different, and all the controls fell easily to hand.
This heavy car grips well, handles tidily and rides with a Germanic firmness. Its seven-speed, self-shifting transmission has a slightly rubbery feeling when starting off from rest, but otherwise goes about its business quickly and without fuss. The 2.2 diesel sounds a little harsh at idle, but quietens nicely on the move and is more than capable of punting this big vehicle along.
This is a nice car, and one that’s a lot more on the pace than its immediate predecessor, but some of its younger rivals have more cabin space and are ultimately better to drive, but anyone doing a lot of miles and wanting a change from the usual German upper executive models, might find it a very pleasant companion.
Infiniti Q70 2.2d Sport.
Top Speed: 137mph
Combined fuel consumption: 57.6mpg