By Nick Jones
Very few cars today are not recognisable at first glance.
But the Infiniti re-wrote the rule book for me.
In all my years writing about cars, this one probably created more confusion than any other simply because no-one – or seldom few – had heard of Infiniti.
Should you be in the market for a stylish, luxury car that stands up to the might of the Germans and no-one for years has, then I suggest you read on.
Available to buy only at selected outlets, the Infiniti G37 saloon here is a poke into a marketplace that is currently packed with BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
It’s a very stylish car for a start, sort of Lexus-like in appearance. No bad thing. It has a rather long bonnet that houses the V6 powerplant (more later) and at the back it has a somewhat squat but stylish assembly. It has colour-coded everything. This is an imposing car with big, luxury underpinnings.
On the inside is where all the quality really goes up a notch.
The first thing you is a lovely oval clock (last oval clock I noticed in a car was in a Maserati) and the leather steering wheel with probably more buttons on it than the computer that sent American astronauts to the moon.
There are lashings of leather and the switchgear is neither cluttered nor difficult to understand.
The driver’s seat is adjustable in a whole host of ways, something I particularly like and I feel is essential in a car that’s going for brand leadership.
Rear seat proportions are generous and they even recline for added comfort on longer trips. There is head and leg room aplenty and the boot offers 450-litres, which certainly trumps most of the opposition.
If I tried to list everything fitted as standard I’d be here all day, but take it from me it has pretty much everything.
My test car was the saloon with four doors, but you can specify a two-door coupe which looks rather svelte. There are also G37x and G37x GT versions which have four-wheel drive.
Four-wheel drive may offer better winter grip but my two-wheel drive test car had four-wheel steering which made it az hoot to drive quickly, particularly through bends.
It als had the i-Key smart entry which senses the key in your pocket so that all you have to do is push the brake pedal to start the engine.
Powering the G37 then is a V6 petrol engine that produces a top speed of 150mph, with 0-60mph taking just 5.9 seconds.
At full throttle, this V6 fairly growls at you, but in a dignified manner that only a V6 can achieve.
I found it to be a relaxed cruiser, very quiet and an accomplished mile-muncher.
You can have either a seven-speed self-shifter or a six-speed manual box – I’d opt for the auto every time.
Emissions are 245g/km from around 26mpg, more perhaps on a decent run out.
I have to say I liked the car, and found it particularly appealing when folk would stare at it, obviously not knowing what it was.
So I’ll remind you, it’s an Infiniti, and it has a heritage which screams reliability – as Lexus grew from Toyota, Infiniti is the luxury arm of Nissan and was created initially for the US market.
But they’re as good and as well-equipped as the German marques with which they will be competing this side of the pond and cost from just £33,508.
Remember the name – Infiniti, they are good.