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Gentle giant not for shrinking violets
Published 13/01/14

www.henleystandard.co.uk/motoring Telephone: (01491) 419419 Email: adverts@higgsgroup.co.uk

www.henleystandard.co.uk/motoring Telephone: (01491) 419419 Email: adverts@higgsgroup.co.uk

THERE are some cars that you cannot help but like and the Infiniti is one of them. Infiniti models come of course in various guises but in my experience the ones I have driven have some standout features in common.

The Infiniti luxury crossover is a big, blustery car with no inhibitions: if you are the shrinking violet type then this car would probably not suit you.

Not that I would call myself an extrovert when it comes to cars. I like to think I am the opposite in my taste: the understated, superfast sports convertible would be my ideal.

However, there is something about an Infiniti that appeals to my sense of what makes a car attractive and more importantly, good to live with. It helps that those good people at Infiniti — Nissan’s luxury brand in case you are wondering — also have a sense of humour.

So the Infiniti test car I have been driving this week — the majestic QX70S 3.0d — came with a delightful number plate, G1 GRR, aimed I would imagine at scaring off unbelievers.

Indeed, I can imagine there are some that do not like the Infiniti at first sight: it sits large and commanding on the road and its 3.0-litre diesel engine sends it galloping along when necessary.

However, like a lot of big cars, the QX70S 3.0d I drove was also a gentle giant and could purr with sedate majesty through city streets.

The diesel V6 has been designed to operate at peak efficiency with Infiniti’s standard seven-speed automatic transmission. I think this is especially helpful in the inevitable traffic queues.On motorways you settle back and let the luxury wash over you.

This new diesel engine — designed with the European market in mind — is as one would expect from a large diesel and is full of power and torque. It can also perform well: 0 to 62mph in 8.3 seconds, which is not bad for a big fellow.

The longest or tallest crossover in its class, the long bonnet and “muscular shoulder line” make this car unmistakably an Infiniti — what its makers term a “signature look”.

There is nothing demure about this distinct Infiniti look and it is easily recognisable on the highways and byways of Dubai.

However, with the QX70S 3.0d aimed squarely at a Euro-marketplace I think this diesel-engined luxury car will certainly appeal to motorists on mainland Europe where diesel appears still to be king.

I think it is the luxurious interior that makes this car special for me and that was what I liked most about it. From its quilted leather seat facings, multi-adjustable front seats with heating and internal cooling, and, for rear-seat passengers, privacy glass, air-conditioning vents, armrests and lots of in-car storage.

Standard interior wood is Cello Flame Maple, with black lacquer and aluminium trim one of the few options.

I liked the diagonally stitched leather upholstery and analogue clock — oh, how I like an analogue clock — the real wool carpet and aluminium pedals. The high-set seats give great all-round visibility. The “command” driving position adds to the driver’s sense of authority. The instrument panel is carefully and thoughtfully laid out. Adding to the comfort zone is a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, adjustable electrically for both reach and rake.

Also electrically adjustable are the seats. The GT driver’s seat comes with 10-way power adjustment, including variable lumbar support to ensure comfort on long drives.

The S gets sports seats featuring 14-way electric adjustment. Both thigh and backrest bolsters can be moved in or out to ensure ideal cornering support.

So with the Infiniti it is no idle boast that you get a truly luxurious car. A tad larger than life for some but with cars becoming more robot-like in function and appearance these attributes are a plus in my book.

* Car tested: Infiniti QX70S 3.0d

* QX70 price range: £42,500 to £54,000

* First ever Infiniti diesel - designed specifically for Europe with driving pleasure front of mind

* Bespoke 175 kW (238 PS) piezo-injection V6 with 550 Nm of torque

* 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds

* 15 per cent lower CO2 emissions than previous model

* Extended cruising range

* European debut of unique new safety feature: Lane Departure Prevention

* Still a sports car at heart - paddle-shift change and available Rear Active Steering

* Choice of luxury GT or sporting S themes

By Nigel Wigmore

Published 13/01/14

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