Luxury crossovers are a dime a dozen these days, especially if you include into the mix models that aren't marketed specifically as luxury items but which pack on the niceties anyway. So, if you're looking to make a splash in this crowded market, you'd better offer something interesting, if not unique.
Into this fray waded Infiniti, the high-end arm of Nissan (the same way Lexus is Toyota's, Audi is Volkswagen's, Genesis is Hyundai's…) with an entry that offers a claimed new type of engine the company says "delivers the perfect combination of power and efficiency." Not that anyone has ever made a claim like that before!
In this case, it's the Infiniti QX50 (which began life as the EX35/37, though that was a very different vehicle) and its "World's First VC-Turbo" engine that – as is depressingly common these days – shrinks from the previous generation's six cylinders to the current turbocharged four. The VC stands for "variable compression" and claims to adapt its performance to your driving style to optimize both efficiency and oomph.
According to Infiniti's Canadian website, the engine "automatically transforms to suit your drive, giving you more power when you need it, consuming less fuel when you don't. It's like having two advanced engines in one seamless package." So, it's like that old commercial about "two, two, two mints in one," except that this isn't mints. more...
With its Q50 sports sedan, Infiniti has managed to make at least one car writer pine for an older car.
In this case, it's me doing the pining, and I'm lamenting the now-dead G, either the G35 or G37. Why? Because the G was more of a driver's car - a sports sedan - than the new Q, which is admittedly a technological marvel - but at what cost to the person for whom a spirited drive is a necessary component of owning a sports sedan?
My angst comes mostly from the car's innovative Direct Adaptive Steering, a kind of "drive by wire" system that sounds great in theory, but which in practice takes too much of the "feel" out of the process of driving, replacing it with a bizarre sensation that the car thinks it's smarter than its driver. While this may be true in some cases (hey, no finger pointing!), it's still not something I'd want when dropping fifty grand on a sports sedan. more...
It has plenty of power and toys, and lots of other things to love. Despite that, the Infiniti EX 37 turns out to be a fairly bland entry into the luxury small sports ute market.
Oh, it's still be an interesting choice, especially if you're a fan of the soon-to-be-dead G series on which it's based. And being a luxury-focused small SUV bristling with comfort and technology, it does offer a lot of stuff. But it doesn't offer as much of the "joie de conduire," for which Infiniti has prided itself on traditionally. more...
Infiniti JX 35 throws down a gauntlet, while Honda's Ridgeline soldiers on
The newest addition to Infiniti's stable is a big SUV/crossover thingy, and Infiniti would have you believe that it's the latest and greatest such vehicle ever to hit these shores.
Not that Infiniti is alone in hyping a new vehicle, of course, but in this case I wonder whether it's more hype than true innovation. This was a vehicle that, despite my affinity for things Infiniti, left me more or less cool to its charms.
And it does have plenty of charms. Don't get me wrong. But I came away from my week in the JX 35 thinking "meh. What else have they got?" more...
Infiniti Makes a Powerful Statement with its Hybrid M
Nissan's upscale division has taken the wraps off a hybrid version of its top of the line M series sedan, and it's a car that actually boasts more power than its "regular" V6 version.
The proves once again that it's no longer necessary to compromise driving enjoyment by opting for hybrid power. Sure, it adds a premium to the price and the gas you save may never make up for it, but if nothing else it offers drivers a way to get a modicum of more motivation without having to go all the way up to the V8-powered M56. more...
Infiniti M56s – Mmm, mmm Good!
Maybe you've seen the commercials, an invisible artist painting the lines of an attractive new sedan, the announcer extolling virtues such as "Forest Air" and silver flakes in the wood grain.
If you haven't, or even if you have and don't remember the car, they're talking about the new Infiniti M, the top-of-the-line sedan from Nissan's luxury division. It's a wonderful car, though not without its frustrations. more...
Infiniti G35x – Gunning for the BMW 3?
The car that finally put Infiniti on the automotive map is reborn for 2007, with new power, a new interior, and plenty of new stuff to excite the driver.
The G35 has been a huge hit for Infiniti and you can hardly drive anywhere these days without seeing them. I never drove the "first generation G" (there was a G20 back in Infiniti's early days, but Infiniti doesn't consider it a "G35" generation), but I thought it was a great looking car and the reviews generally placed it as close to the BMW 3 series as any Japanese sedan had come. more...
Infiniti's new M series is a spectacular vehicle. It's attractive,
fast, loaded with luxury and technology, and a real blast
For what more could anyone ask?
I fell under its spell within minutes of having picked up
my tester, even though I figured I'd be disappointed because
it was the "lower" model of the M series and therefore saddled
with a V6 instead of the 4.5 litre V8. I figured it would
be like its competitor, the Lexus GS 300 AWD which was a
wonderful car though it left me pining for more "fun to drive". more...