Road Test: Infiniti Q60 2.0t Premium Tech
An appealing compact executive coupe, with a problematic hole in the range, explains Alex Grant.
SECTOR: Coupe PRICE: £38,000 FUEL: 41.5mpg CO2: 156g/km
In a corner of the market where drivers have a little more choice at their disposal, being different can be useful way to stand out against the obvious products. High value and fuel economy aren’t necessarily dividing lines when it’s an emotional decision, but there’s an obvious gap in the Infiniti Q60’s line-up.
This is the A5 to the Q50’s A4, or 4 Series to 3 Series if you prefer. It’s a handsome, understated two-plus-two, its sweeping bodylines wrapped around a set of standard-fit 19-inch wheels. Distinctive enough not to look like it’s trying to fall in line with the German alternatives, but without the polarising styling of the striking Lexus RC. It’s a conservative entry into a segment which, on the whole, is exactly that.
Brand awareness is a hurdle for Infiniti, though, and the Q60’s main point of difference won’t help. This is only being offered with a pair of turbocharged petrol engines; a 400bhp V6 related to what’s under the bonnet of the Nissan GT-R, or the comparatively sensible 208bhp four-cylinder tested here. For some reason, neither the 2.2-litre diesel nor the high-performance hybrid from the Q50 are being transferred into the coupe.
On a strictly emotional basis, most drivers would have the 2.0t over the 2.2d anyway. Incredibly smooth, quiet and eager to rev, it delivers diesel-like mid-range pulling power and the sort of performance you’d want from a car that looks this purposeful. Yet a combined cycle figure of 41.5mpg – and that seems almost achievable with a little restraint – is hard to feel too short-changed by. Plus, with its gargantuan 80-litre fuel tank, even some eco-tuned diesels can’t match its 700-mile range between fills.
The downsides are fairly typical of a coupe; enough rear-seat legroom for adults, but without the headroom to match, and a compromised boot space that’s significantly smaller than its rivals. Cabin quality is generally high, if a little let down by hints of Nissan in some of the instruments, and the InTouch infotainment with its two touchscreens is feature-rich once you get your head around its myriad menus. As in the Q50, the drive-by-wire steering is optional – but it’s an acquired taste.
Not having a diesel engine certainly narrows its appeal, given that someone with the ability to opt into a petrol coupe has a choice which spans everything from the sublime new Audi A5 to the brawny Ford Mustang. This might be a segment for those with room to make more emotional decisions but, with limited brand awareness to fall back on, the Q60’s full potential is untapped without a rational, tax-efficient engine option.
What We Think
As a product in its own right, the Q60 is an appealing, if pricey, compact executive coupe. But with no diesel engine, and plenty of brand-building still left to do, it’s a bit of a niche choice for the UK.
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