YOU might think that a traditional way of motoring would be entirely lost in this age
YOU might think that a traditional way of motoring would be entirely lost in this age of digital excess.
Yet a 450-mile round trip last week in a car very much of its time yet with nice traditional touches proved to me that the pleasure of motoring is not entirely lost.
Even the most ardent car enthusiasts would have to admit that motoring on our overcrowded roads today can be stressful: too many traffic hold-ups, too many accidents, too many vehicles competing for space.
Yet this week’s drive, the Infiniti Q70S, came up trumps as far as I was concerned through its sheer panache, road presence and, not least, a new engine for 2015. This large, sleek saloon overcame the irritations of modern motoring with surprising ease.
This is not the first time I have remarked upon Infiniti’s hidden qualities that are not always apparent to drivers who like to appear at the wheel of cars that match over-inflated egos.
But what’s wrong with sensible when the package is sleek, when it provides comfort and good economy in a prestige car whose interior doesn’t shout at you?
True, every carmaker wants their models to have style and desirability. But often looks can deceive: the resulting buy can be unsatisfactory in the long-term. That flash interior that so grabbed your attention when you first saw the car on the forecourt can be wearing after miles of motoring.
So if this is the kind of car that might appeal to you and you bought an Infiniti Q70S, I believe you would grow to like its subtle grandeur, its easy way of passage and its impervious nature when surrounded by stressed out, frantic fellow road users.
Anyway, as they say, the Q70S worked for me. Of course those demanding more energetic models might hesitate to look at the Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury range.
Yet its 2.2-litre diesel engine could respond with some grunt when using the paddle gears (there is also fully automatic transmission). The test car came as part of a new line-up that comprises the Sport version, with what Infiniti says is a more “expressive look to the front bumper”, uprated brakes and 20-inch wheels, among other changes.
Available with selected Premium and Sport models, Tech models come with Infiniti’s Dynamic Safety Shield (intelligent cruise control, lane departure prevention and blind-spot intervention), Bose Premium Surround Sound with 16 speakers and Around-View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and Forest air-conditioning.
I had fun with the intelligent cruise control on our trip to Nottingham and one further drive to Reading.
This took in a lot of motorway driving and the “intelligent” cruise control â?? which, as I have mentioned before, gives the driver an idea of how driverless cars work â?? was a definite boon.
It means that you can set the speed you wish to maintain on open motorway â?? say the 70mph limit. The car will maintain that speed when it is clear to do so but checks itself if another slower vehicle appears in front of it. You can also vary the amount of distance this intelligent cruise control allows between you and the car in front: quite ingenious and labour-saving on the part of the driver.
Infiniti’s upgraded line-up, which has been on sale across Europe this year, starts with the new Q70 2.2d model, powered by a four-cylinder diesel engine developed as part of Infiniti’s strategic co-operation with Daimler.
Coupled to a standard seven-speed automatic transmission with available paddleshift (depending on the model), the new 2.2 diesel unit in the Q70 emits just 129g/km of CO2. As well as the new 2.2 diesel engine, the Q70 for 2015 is available with both 3.7-litre V6 petrol power and, for the flagship, the award-winning Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid powertrain.
Benefiting from the enhancements introduced on the Q50S Hybrid, the latest Q70 Hybrid offers even more performance â?? accelerating from 0 to 62mph in just 5.3s â?? and better efficiency, with CO2 emissions at 145g/km.
• New Infiniti Q70 range costs from £32,650
• 129g/km CO2 2.2 diesel engine replaces 3.0 V6 diesel
• Full LED headlights among a range of new Â equipment enhancements
• Q70 Hybrid now faster and more efficient than ever
• Intelligent technologies that make driving safer and more intuitive