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…