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Car reviews - Infiniti - Q60 - 2.0t GT with Enhancement Pack

Our Opinion

We like
Gorgeous exterior styling, classy and sophisticated interior, earnest engine performance, rarity
Room for improvement
Fiddly drive-by-wire steering, overzealous stability control, vehicle weight, more stylish cruiser than sportscar

Gallery

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Infiniti logo20 Nov 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

Overview

AS PART of its model rollout in 2016 and 2017, Infiniti released the G37-replacing Q60 sportscar at the end of last year.

Infiniti said it wasn’t aiming for the Q60 to be a volume seller, but rather a ‘brand builder’ through styling, performance and technology.

At launch, the only variant offered was the base-level GT, joined later by the 2.0t Sport Premium and the more potent 3.0t Red Sport.

Costing $62,900 plus on-roads, the GT is priced competitively against rivals such as the Lexus RC, Audi A5, BMW 4 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe.

Does the Q60 have what it takes to lure buyers away from the usual suspects in the premium segment?

Price and equipment

At $62,900 plus on-road costs, the Q60 GT has the upper hand on all of its rivals’ entry-level offerings.

It undercuts the Lexus RC200t ($64,869), Mercedes-Benz C200 ($66,400), Audi A5 2.0 TFSI ($69,900) and the BMW 420i ($74,900), making it one of the most affordable premium sports coupe.

The Q60 GT tested comes with a $3000 enhancement pack consisting of a Bose audio system, sunroof, surround-view monitor and adaptive headlights, pushing the asking price out to $65,900, still more affordable than the Euros but pricier than the Lexus.

The GT comes standard with parking sensors front and rear, keyless entry, folding door mirrors, dual-zone climate control, semi-aniline leather upholstery, heated seats with eight-way electric adjustment and memory function, sat-nav, auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, voice control and twin 8.0- and 7.0-inch multimedia screens.

It also gets 19-inch alloys, dual chrome exhaust tips and auto-leveling LED headlights and foglights. It is also worth mentioning the Q60’s styling. We reckon it is one of the most stylish and attractive vehicles on sale in Australia today, inside and out.

For those that value looks above all else, there is no better vehicle for the money than the Infiniti Q60.

Interior

Continuing the aesthetically pleasing theme, the Q60’s interior has been laid out beautifully, with flowing lines, ample leather in the trim and upholstery, and classy stitching.

Unusually, the multimedia infotainment screen in the Q60 is split into two screens, with the top 8.0-inch screen controlling the sat-nav, and the bottom 7.0-inch unit housing the audio, air-conditioning and other menu functions.

While slightly confusing at first, the multimedia set-up is reasonably easy to use once you get your head around the dual-screen layout.

Supplementary A/C and radio buttons border the lower screen, which fit snugly and help ease of operation.

The centre console is finished in an attractive combination of gloss black and brushed silver trim, which works well against the black leather and contrast stitching.

Underneath is a small storage nook, much of which is taken up by one auxiliary, one 12V and two USB ports.

Both the shift lever and steering wheel are leather-wrapped with contrast stitching, while the steering wheel-mounted buttons offer easy use. Paddle shifters are absent, and would make a good addition to a sports-oriented model.

The instrument cluster features analogue dials and a digital display, which would feel far more premium with a fully digital cluster. The Q60’s foot-operated parking brake also detracts from the interior’s premium feel.

Seating position is comfortable, with heated seats, perforated leather and electric adjustment with memory function.

More headroom would be welcome, but apart from that, room for front-seat occupants is ample.

The same cannot be said for the rear, however, with the two rear seats largely useless for anyone other than small children.

As is the case with many coupes, the 342-litre boot of the Q60 is on the smaller side, but is still adequate for a normal haul of luggage. Keen golfers should look elsewhere.

The lines flowing across the dash and doors reflect the sleek angles on the Q60’s exterior, and makes for a pleasing environment.

Overall, Infiniti has put together a quality interior package that clearly distinguishes it from its Nissan sister brand.

While the foot-operated park brake and rear seats were a letdown, the rest of the interior offers a compelling list of equipment and luxury for the price.

Engine and transmission

Powering the Q60 GT is a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine pumping out 155kW at 5500rpm and 350Nm between 1250rpm and 3500rpm, with power sent exclusively through the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Engine power for the Q60 is adequate without being inspiring, allowing solid performance without ever pushing the limit.

When you push the accelerator, it takes a moment for power to really kick in, but once up and moving the GT feels lively.

To get the most out of the engine, Sport mode has to be engaged, which makes the engine work much harder and makes it sound more like a sportscar.

The engine willingly accepts hard punishment and sounds mean when pushed, revving almost to redline.

The seven-speed automatic shifts quickly and comfortably and rarely holds gears too long when in sport mode.

A fuel economy rating of 8.6 litres per 100km was achieved in our time with the car, not too far off the 7.7L/100km official combined cycle figure.

While the engine is a capable unit, the GT’s 1698kg kerb weight is definitely felt, and puts it more in the grand tourer category (as the name would suggest) as opposed to an outright sportscar.

A lack of paddle shifters also slightly detracts from the sportiness of the car.

The powertrain in the GT is a hard-working and smooth unit, and has more than enough power for those who like to live and drive at a leisurely pace.

If, however, you crave the thrill of speed and raucous driving, it is definitely worth splashing the extra money to upgrade to the twin-turbo V6 Red Sport range-topper.

Ride and handling

In 2014, Infiniti introduced its drive-by-wire electric steering system – called Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS) on the Q50, which received criticism for its lifeless feedback and technical glitches.

The system has since been updated but it is without a doubt the least appealing element of the Q60, and one that causes unnecessary headaches.

Through corners, DAS works well enough. Steering feel is well weighted and precise enough, and doesn’t fell too dull or lifeless.

The problem comes on the open road. Travelling at highway speeds, the steering feels jittery and unsettled, and is reluctant to stay in a straight line.

For those living in cities with tram services, it is not dissimilar to driving on tram tracks, where the car feels as if it is being shunted from side to side.

The Q60’s ride is on the firmer side, thanks in part to its 19-inch rims, but is not intolerable – rather it gives it a sporty feel.

Detracting from the sporty feel is the car’s traction control system, which is one of the more overzealous systems we’ve come across.

When cornering, the traction control kills the throttle at the slightest sign of wheel spin, which is great for those who drive conservatively, but for those who enjoy spirited driving it can be a bit of a letdown.

The 1698 kerb weight also affects handling balance, and gives the driver slightly less confidence when cornering hard.

Despite the large 19-inch rims, road noise is good, and the build quality of the Q60 is felt with the positive noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels.

Infiniti is still experiencing growing pains with its DAS system, and has some way to go before correcting it and making the Q60 a more driveable car.

Safety and servicing

The Q60 remains untested by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), however the mechanically similar Q50 sedan received a five-star rating when it was tested back in 2014.

Standard on the GT is forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking and six airbags, however it misses out on blind spot warning, lane departure warning with active lane control and pre-crash function for seatbelts that higher-spec versions receive.

It comes with a four-year/100,000km warranty, and Infiniti offers pre-paid servicing for the first two, four or six services, in intervals of one year/20,000km, two year/40,000km and three years/60,000km.

Verdict

Infiniti introduced the Q60 to Australia as a brand-building model, and with good reason, as it is the biggest head-turner in the Japanese manufacturer’s line-up.

It blends fantastic styling, great interior fit and finish and earnest performance with good value, and is the perfect choice for those wanting a two-door coupe that stands out.

However it falls afoul of those who are keener driving enthusiasts, as the DAS system needs re-tooling and the traction control can be overbearing when the car is pushed.

In the end, the question lies with the buyer – style or substance?

Rivals

Lexus RC200t Luxury from $64,869 plus on-roads
Infiniti’s most direct competition comes from compatriot Lexus and its entry-level RC, the 2.0-litre 200t Luxury. At 180kW/350Nm the Lexus is more potent, but is also slightly heavier with a kerb weight of 1725kg.

Mercedes-Benz C200 Coupe from $66,400 plus on-roads
The Mercedes C200 is the Q60’s biggest challenger for the title of most stylish luxury coupe, with the three-pointed star always carrying weight among social elites. Its 2.0-litre turbo engine is slightly underpowered compared to the competition at 135kW/300Nm.

Audi A5 2.0 TFSI coupe from $69,900 plus on-roads
Audi’s newly-updated A5 coupe brings classy interiors, slick drivetrains and a 140kW/320Nm engine, but loses some of the timeless exterior styling of its forebears.

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