I’m still wondering how a car with a heated steering wheel doesn’t have DAB radio? Perhaps I should just stop whinging and appreciate warm hands.
Today I took a moment to try out the back seats of the Q70. Kind of oddly, there is plenty of knee room – but the front seats lean back low and steeply, like an armchair in one of those 1970s American cars.
I also discovered an enormous cubbybox between the front seats. A two-layer affair that will swallow up all your David Bowie CDs and some.
And the boot? Well, it’s big enough to carry several bodies in an episode of the Sopranos – although the auto boot release from the keyfob only opens the trunk an inch. It doesn’t spring fully open like other executive cars… Baffled again.
If I could think of a tenuous link between David Bowie and a Japanese saloon car I’d be scribbling about that today. DB went through an ‘Eastern’ stage but other than a mention of the VW Beetle in his song Lady Grinning Soul, he didn’t really do much on cars. Shame.
Sadly, I have to write about the Infiniti then. So, I can report that the Q70 does have a decent entertainment system, to listen to David Bowie. The doors vibrate in harmony with the speakers when I switch to Radio 2 – excellent.
But that fact I can’t turn to Radio 6 highlights a fundamental problem. The Infiniti does not have DAB. Now, I struggle with this because I can buy a humble Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa or even a Skoda with this option. Why not a £33,000+ luxury saloon?
The Infiniti is no Heroes car. RIP Bowie.
Look, I’m trying to like the Infiniti. It’s just that every time I get comfortable in the driving seat, something makes me feel like I’m helming a budget 1990s saloon – not a £34,000+ executive car built in 2016.
I’ve been trying to ignore the refinement over poor road surfaces, the clatter from the four-cylinder diesel engine that penetrates the cabin and the serious lack of performance when you press metal to the floor.
But there’s very little to like about this sluggish four-door which is light years away from the best cars in this sector – the BMW 520d and the Jaguar XF.
The Q70 is a disappointing car whatever way you look at it. Oh the seats are comfortable and I like the colour. That’s it.
There’s going to be a massive street party in The Mall this summer to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. If I spot another Q70 on British roads during the next seven days, I’m going to throw an impromptu party of my own.
While this saloon is easily Infiniti’s best model, truth is they don’t sell that many in Blighty. That could be because the BMW 5 Series is better in all departments – apart from the price and said rarity value that is.
I’ve seen the Q70 described as stylish. Well, the exterior is certainly passable but inside, that dashboard is a bit of a Corgi’s dinner. Ergonomically enjoyable it is not.
Then there’s the ride. The suspension set up is soft and while that aids comfort, it means corners and uneven surfaces easily trip up the Infiniti. It could be a long week…
I drove past the BMW garage in Oxford yesterday. It was the start of a new year yet not even a long line of 50 benchmark cars from Munich could entice me to make a second glance.
The reason? Well, it could have been 200 BMWs but the problem with branding these days is every model from BMW, Audi or Mercedes looks quite similar from the front end. How dull.
And what does that say about the people who drive these cars? Unimaginative, crowd-following motorists who don’t have enough imagination to look elsewhere?
Enter this week’s test car. Is the Infiniti Q70 saloon enough of a good car to warrant attention? It’s looking at me on the driveway now. The Q70 certainly looks different but I’m already starting to have my doubts…
Last day with the QX70 and I think it’s going to be a split decision. On the one hand, the bold looks and sumptuous interior make it feel every inch as good as the Range Rover Sport cabin.
On the other, the Infiniti has twitchy handling on all but the smoothest of road surfaces, the diesel engine lacks punch and the rest of the petrol range is incredibly expensive to run.
The steering is sharp and responsive but I think the majority of people will find the firm ride not to their liking. You have the option of ‘sport’ or ‘normal’ suspension settings but the adjustment feels minimal.
So, if you like the fearsome looks and exclusivity of the QX70, I think it would be easy to overlook the other issues. However, I imagine many people will compare it with a BMW X5 and realise the German car is a cut above in every respect…
My neighbour, the Land Rover specialist, has just put a new exhaust on my ancient Series III. A die-hard Range Rover fan through and through, even he was impressed with the sinister face of the QX70.
He’s right – the SUV looks like the Devil’s own chariot when it appears in your rear view mirror. That huge front grille and squat stance are a monster presence.
A cross between a Porsche Cayenne and the old Hyundai Santa Fe, the curvy, bulbous shape is easy on the eye, if slightly dated by modern standards.
The styling of the Infiniti has grown on me. It certainly turns heads – just what you’d expect for a car costing almost £50k…
The days of washing you car on the driveway every Sunday have (fortunately!) long gone. A friend of mine recently told me she had no idea that you were supposed to wash and polish cars on a regular basis to protect the paintwork – her BMW hadn’t seen soap for nine months!
Perhaps Infiniti’s self-repairing paint was designed especially for people like her. It was developed by scientists at parent company Nissan about eight years ago.
A special top layer of highly elastic resin is applied to the bodywork that gives the paintwork flexibility – allegedly ‘healing’ 80 per cent of surface marks.
Now this doesn’t mean that if your Infiniti is keyed by an oik during the night that it will miraculously look perfect again in the morning. However, it does should like the Scratch Shield technology could be another nail in the coffin of car car products – and Sunday mornings polishing on the driveway…
Every car – and I mean every car – has an Achilles’ Heel. It’s the annoying lack of high grade fuel pumps if you own a Ferrari, the tyre noise on a Porsche 911, or the poor side support in the seats of the Mercedes SLK.
The Infiniti has one very painful feature and UK buyers will cringe every time they use it. The tailgate beeps like a reversing lorry when you press the remote opening button!
Yep, it’s a nanny state and the QX – targeted at accident prone/I’ll sue you in the morning Americans – suffers more than most. I can’t seem to override the auto opening feature either and it’s driving me mad.
WHY do I need to be told my boot is opening when I have pressed the button? It opens at about 1mph and is hardly going to give you a serious head injury? Can somebody please tell me the bloody point?
Whether the QX70 receives a good review or not seems to depend on which side of the Atlantic it was written. American motoring journalists are much more positive – UK hacks give the SUV an ‘average’ rating at best.
The reason for this great divide appears to revolve around fuel economy. With cheaper fuel in the US, it’s less of an issue but here, well, that different! Even the normally sober What Car magazine claim ‘the huge costs involved make the QX70 prohibitively expensive to run’.
While even the diesel we’re testing today incurs the maximum rate of company car tax (225 g/km), I’m still achieving more mpg than last week’s hybrid Lexus 450h. 30mpg seems OK to me and the Infiniti is good fun to drive too.
The seats are low, which adds to the sporty feel, the standard, seven-speed auto gearbox shifts smoothly and that V6 diesel sounds quite fruity under the bonnet.
After reading a raft of negative reviews, I’m pleasantly surprised by the Infiniti. It may be a poor man’s Porsche Cayenne but it’s all the better for it…