Friday, July 11, 2014

Infiniti coupe is a sweet-handling dream

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews also can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website – via the “GALLERY: Reviews of new cars” link at

This review originally appeared in the June 2014 edition of the Northern & Central California Cruisin’ News published out of Folsom, California – mg

Sacramento, California I recently received a 2014 Infiniti Q60 Coupe Journey with a significant amount of ho-hum.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Infiniti’s passenger car lineup.  Like it a lot.  It’s just that I had been in and out so many sporty, peppy, luxo Infiniti cars over the years that I was feeling, well, jaded.

Shame on me.  The Q60 designation might be new to some of you, but let me assure you, you’ll never forget it if you spend a little time in it.

Right off the bat, it looks good. It’s aerodynamically smooth from nose to tail, and Infiniti’s double-arch grille sure hits the right style spot.  Big fenders on the backside are accentuated by an impressive display of LED taillights.  The car looks super-sporty just sitting there.  My ride’s “Venetian Ruby” paint job surely added to the eye-candy factor.

Driving it, the heart rate goes up in a hurry.  The 3.7-liter V-6 is rated at 330 horsepower, and my Q60 was matched to a seven-speed automatic transmission.  Here’s a marriage made in heaven.

I was putting the Q60 through its paces on level ground early on, and it quickly became apparent to me that the gear-to-power-to-suspension equation was so well matched that I could put the car anywhere I wanted in a snap … without even coming close to cutting off a trailing car.

Significantly impressed, I started whipping the coupe through heavy traffic at a fairly aggressive pace.  As I headed up into the Sierra Nevada foothills, I tried to get the back end of the car to loosen up a little bit.  Not a chance.  It was rock-solid.

Five miles up the mountain road, I was just showing off.  The Q60 whipped through high-speed turns with single-minded stability, and it instantly responded in short passing zones, blazing past stragglers three at a time with just a short blip on the accelerator.  Yeah, the $40,000-and-change starting price is worth it when you’re having this much fun.

Alas, my ride was incredibly juiced up with a Premium Package (rear sonar and a power/tinted glass moonroof were part of that deal), a Sport Package (19-inch aluminum alloy wheels and a sport-tuned suspension), a Technology Package (intelligent cruise control might not be loved by all), a Navigation Package (with Zagat Survey restaurant guide, for crying out loud) and an Interior Accents Package (high gloss maple touches did look nice).

All this helped bring the bottom line to $50,405.  So, there, you’ve been warned.

Worth noting: Gas mileage was actually pretty good for a hot V-6, coming in at 19 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

For me, the bottom line with this Q60 was that it was a great “Fantasy Week” car, which is a short way of saying I enjoyed every minute motoring around in a machine that is beyond the reality of my household budget.  The Q60 might not be as instantly recognizable as, say, a Corvette or a horsepower-laden Mustang or a Camaro, but it offers comparable levels of exhilaration and fun that you get in those sporty rides.

Ho-hum?  Not even a little bit. 

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