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2018 Infiniti Q60 Review: A Game Changer For The Brand

Test Drive / Comments

But is it a grand tourer or sports coupe?

The Infiniti Q60 was a car we were really excited about, not so much for its performance but for its promise. We said it would be the model that would put the automaker back in the spotlight. Put another way, the Q60 was going to make Infiniti great again. Needless to say we were thrilled about the prospect of spending a week with the automaker's sporty new coupe, even if we didn't get to drive the 400-horsepower Red Sport model. We were stuck with the 3.0t Premium for seven days instead. What's an extra 100 horsepower anyways, right?

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If it's good enough for Jon Snow then it's good enough for us. The Q60 is supposed to be a sports coupe, but in reality it's more grand tourer than tarted-up two-door. From the outside you wouldn't be able to tell that. The Q60 checks all the sports coupe boxes: stunning design, rakish roofline, aggressive design elements. But the overall look is more elegant and athletic than aggressive, like the body of a figure skater versus the body of a heavyweight boxer. Like some heavyweights, the Q60 3.0t Premium is a bit chubby. It weighs in at 3,774 pounds but its tight lines, aforementioned rakish roofline and muscular shoulders make it seem slimmer.

It cuts an impressive figure, especially from the front. That double arch grille and those LED headlights are stunning. Infiniti was lost in the woods these past few years in terms of its design language. If we're being blunt, its cars looked like crap. The new Q60 and the sedan that birthed it, the Q50, have changed all that. As for the cabin, well that's a bit of a mixed bag. The materials are top-notch and the seats are very comfortable. But the overall design is just a bit on the bland side. The rear seats are practically caskets but up front the experience is something else. Both front seats are eight-way power adjustable and infinitely (no pun intended) comfortable. Our tester had heated front seats as part of the optional $3,200 Premium Plus package.

The leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel feels great and is automatically adjustable. When it comes to comfort the Q60's interior is one of the best in its class, ditto quality. The leather, stitching and brushed aluminum are eye-catching bits in a cabin where the dash is sorely lacking inspiration. It looks like a puzzle, with the pieces slotted in to complete the picture only. As for that center stack, we're not big fans of the stacked screens, although the nav system was surprisingly useful and the touchscreen shockingly receptive to typing. It sounds dumb to tout those two things but you'd be surprised at how many automakers create infotainment and nav systems that prove to be more trouble than they're worth.

As with all cars you don't really know what you've got on your hands until you hop behind the wheel and hammer the gas pedal. The new Q60 lineup offers a range of engines, starting with a 208-horsepower turbo-four and going all the way up to that aforementioned 400-hp twin-turbo V6 in the Red Sport. The 3.0t Premium packs that same twin-turbo V6 but it puts out 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Power is transmitted through a seven-speed automatic transmission. The base model starts at $38,950, but for just $5,350 more you can get the 3.0t trim. For a car this heavy it's worth spending the extra cash. All-wheel drive is also available for a couple thousand extra but we wouldn't opt for it unless you actually need it due to weather concerns.

Turbo lag is minimal and the Q60 gets off the line pretty quickly despite its weight. There are five drive modes to choose and the Direct Adaptive Steering (a $1,000 extra), aka DAS aka steer-by-wire, can be adjusted. You'll never be able to try all the combinations so don't even bother. We left the drive mode in Sport+ and the steering system in Heavy. Even with our highly original custom mode in place the Q60 never really begged to be thrown around. Instead, it proved to be a more-than-capable cruiser, eating up highway miles with ease and passing slower cars at will. Sitting in the ultra-plush drivers seat with the heat turned on was enough to lull us to sleep, that is until we hammered the throttle to push past a slow driver in the fast lane.

The unfortunate thing for Infiniti is that there really isn't an affordable grand tourer segment. If you have two doors, a turbocharged engine and are from Japan then you're a sports coupe whether you like it or not. The 2017 Q60 is definitely sporty when you need it to be, but its larger weight and insistence on teching-up the driving experience render it best suited for longer and more leisurely drives. We still think the Q60 is a game-changer for Infiniti. We were just wrong about the game being played.

Be sure to check out our unboxing video review of the 2017 Infiniti Q60 3.0t Premium to find out what else we loved about this car...and what else we hated.