2014 Infiniti Q60 Coupe AWD – Classy luxury with an aggressive side


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2014 Infiniti Q60 Coupe AWD – Classy luxury with an aggressive side

The Infiniti Q60 Coupe is a great-looking sports coupe with a strong personality. This is a classy luxury car that makes a statement.  It is equally at home blasting down a mountain road as it is waiting for you to finish dinner at the front of the valet area.  The Q60 is the cornerstone of Infiniti’s line, and the Q60 coupe has the performance to match its looks.

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Driven: 2013 Lexus GS 350 AWD

Lets face it. Aside from the practically unobtainable LF-A, things have been pretty boring product-wise at Lexus for a few years.  Sure, there’s been plenty of new hybrids and the occasional sport utility but that’s the problem.  The brand is at a point where, frankly, it needs a little excitement. Que the 2013 GS.  Judging a book by its cover, this will do quite nicely.  We spent three days behind the wheel, so lets take a deeper look  at what the GS has to offer.

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2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible: A little bit of pain mixed with a lot of pleasure

There’s one primary thing a convertible needs to do – look good. If it doesn’t look good, it’s not going to make you look good and what’s the point? After all, deep down, nobody buys a convertible because they are introverted yet worship the sun. Drop the top on a convertible and it’s the picture of Dorian Gray: you’re 20 lbs. lighter, 10 years younger and 30 percent more optimistic about life in general.

The 2009 Infiniti G37 does supremely well from that perspective. This hardtop convertible excels at drawing attention to you in the form of unsolicited praise for its beauty (even from a cop walking the beat). Plus, this “magic car” plastered an ear-to-ear smile on my four-year-old daughter as we went for a top-down cruise on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible

Her happiness almost made me overcome my complaints about this car in terms of its major design flaw: it wasn’t built as a convertible. Basically, Infiniti put a hardtop convertible on its brilliant G37 coupe and called it a day.

It’s a beautiful thing to watch the three-piece roof close quickly as it tucks away into the trunk. That is until you try to use the trunk and discover it has less storage space than the glove compartment. The G37 comes with an optional wind deflector. If you decide not to use it, there’s no room for it in the trunk. So, you’re stuck with it in the backseat, which is the G37’s true trunk.

Now, other hard-top convertibles have compromised space in their trunks, but not as badly as the G37. It’s a deal breaker if you’re in the market for a convertible that can actually seat three or four for a weekend getaway. However, if you’re an Empty Nester with neither kids nor college payments to worry about, get thee to an Infiniti dealer and check out this all-new G37.

It’s a great coupe on a whole bunch of levels. As mentioned, it’s eye candy, which is always nice. No price is available on this model yet, because it doesn’t go on sale until June. (The model loaned to me for a week by Infiniti was a pre-production G37 but I could detect no problems with it.) I would ballpark this convertible starting at around $40,000 before options are thrown in.

2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible

The interior is hard to beat and is first class all the way. The G convertible’s interior includes standard leather-appointed seating, an available Bose Open Air Sound System that dynamically changes equalization based on outside noise, top position and vehicle speed, an adaptive dual zone climate control system that adjusts fan speed in accordance to top position and vehicle speed, and available climate-controlled seats that provide both heating and cooling functions. (Trust me, you’ll love that cooling function on hot summer days.)

A power walk-in device with position memory provides easy access to the second row seats (the front seats move forward automatically at the touch of a button to allow passengers into the rear seats). An available rear wind deflector helps reduce wind turbulence when the top is down. Remember, though, only the tiniest of creatures can fit in the back and there’s no place to store that wind deflector when it’s not in use and the top is down.

Every 2009 G Convertible comes equipped with a standard 3.7-liter VQ-series V6 rated at 325 horsepower. The engine is mated to either an electronically controlled 7-speed automatic transmission with available magnesium paddle shifters or a responsive close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission. The G37S Convertible Sport 6MT adds sport-tuned steering and larger sport brakes, along with 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and W-rated performance tires.

2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible

The G37 I drove came with the six-speed manual transmission. Frankly, from what I’ve read, (and this could be considered heresy among automotive journalists) I think I would have enjoyed the automatic transmission more in the long run. The manual transmission is best left to enthusiastic drivers because it requires an emphatic stomp on the accelerator to get up and go. If you’re idea of fun is ambling along back roads, opt for the automatic.

According to Infiniti, the convertible, with the six-speed manual transmission, averages 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway and runs on premium fuel (as will the convertible). But what’s a few more pennies at the pump when you look this good behind the wheel? Official EPA numbers have not been published on the government website yet.

(Questions and comments about this review and other automotive concerns can be e-mailed to [email protected] All queries are answered.)

2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible Specifications

Wheelbase: 112.2 inches
Length: 183.3 inches
Width: 72.9 inches
Height: 55.1 inches
Curb weight: 4101 lbs.
Engine: 3.7-liter, V6
Horsepower: 325 @ 7000 rpm
Torque: 267 @ 5200 rpm
EPA estimated mpg city/highway: 16/24
Base price: $43,900 (est.)
As-tested price: $48,190 (est.)
Also consider: (a comparative vehicle) Audi S4, BMW 3 series, Mercedes Benz CLK Class

2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible Photo Gallery

Road Test: 2009 Infiniti FX35 AWD

Specifications as-tested

Base Price: $42,350
Options: $10,750
Delivery: $815
As Tested: $53,915
Gas Tank: 23.8 gallons
EPA: 16/21mpg (city/hwy)
Engine: 3.5-liter, V-6 , 303-horsepower
Curb Wgt.: 4,299 lbs.
Length: 191.3 inches
Width: 75.9 inches
Wheelbase: 113.6 inches
Height: 66.1 inches
A High-top Sneaker on Wheels.
A Station Wagon that Morphed with an SUV on Steroids.
What the Aztek should have been via Photoshop.

Road Test: 2009 Infiniti FX35 AWD

Road Test: 2009 Infiniti FX35 AWD

Words: Gerry Miles | Photography: Zane Merva

The SUV that collided with a Sports Car.
Those, and many more since this is a family publication, are some of the names that onlookers gave to the 2009 Infiniti FX 35 when it arrived for a week, bathed in a bright gold – it is Mojave Copper – and sitting on optional 20-inch wheels.

Actually, Infiniti calls the all-new second generation 2009 FX series – there’s an FX 45 and the tested 35 – a bionic cheetah for its athletic, sculpted looks. It’s an apt phrase for such a vehicle that looks fast, athletic and expensive.

However the tested model AWD model, with its optional 20-inch wheels (265/50R20 tires), and shorter, smallish upper body better resembled a puppy that hadn’t yet grown into its paws.

Regardless, this is one vehicle that stands out for a number of reasons, least of which is the polarizing styling that leaves little equivocation in the eye of the beholder.

This is one vehicle that will only take a short drive to discover the copywriters undersold this vehicle’s achievements and abilities.
There’s no way to properly describe the abilities, agilities and technologies that are packed into this amorphous shaped vehicle that has the deft handling of a, well, cheetah, a raw and raucous yet refined ride that belies the FX’s size, and is a technological test bed of the most amazing passive and active safety items I’ve yet seen inside any vehicle that was not a concept car at an auto show.

Road Test: 2009 Infiniti FX35 AWD

Since one never gets to make a second first impression, the FX’s distinctive styling is such that once it’s seen you’ll never forget it – and that’s a reason some will buy this because it won’t be seen on every street corner en masse. Its polarizing stance also sends others running.

From its oversized snout to the short, bobbed backside with short front and rear overhangs, the FX is a stylist’s dream. The large front end is accented by a wide-mouthed grille with rippled inserts and the Infiniti emblem, a thin line of embedded headlights along the top of the fenders that show off the arched hood lines atop the wide open wheel wells. And those gills behind the wheel wells? They work. They funnel air into the engine well and back out.

A 5-passenger mid-level luxury SUV, the FX 35 is big on style and performance but less so with interior space. Up front there’s plenty of room in the tall-backed bucket seats, but those in the back – where two adults rather than three would fit in extended comfort – have a traditional, yet leather clad, 60-40 split bench seat that converts to yield very little in the way of interior cargo capacity.

Though the company claims you can put 4 full-sized golf bags inside, no one or few, as a friend pointed out, would really expect this to masquerade as a minivan/wagon/crossover on steroids.

Road Test: 2009 Infiniti FX35 AWD

The cockpit is full of style, knobs, buttons and a two-tiered dash with a large 8-inch dash screen with more controls, systems and auxiliary functions than one can imagine, especially in a week’s time.

For starters, there’s a Lane Departure Warning (LPW) system that beeps constantly unless switched off, telling you that you probably could not color between the lines nor keep the FX35 between the road’s white lines either.

If the traffic closes in on you as it does in Massachusetts, say on Route 128 and you have to stop before you realize it, the FX35’s Distance Control Assist (DCA) kicks in, slows you down, pushes on the brake and prevent you from running up on the trunk of slow or stalled traffic.
Perhaps the best feature, and one I hope migrates to other vehicles, is the “around view” monitor that shows what’s behind you but also around each side. Four, small wide-angle cameras give a complete 360-degree view that is a great safety aid. Ironically, despite the vehicle’s tall stance and swoopy styling, and what appears to be a narrow rear window, the greenhouse is spacious and there never were blindspots as one would have imagined.

Backing into any spot is a breeze with a clear view from the dash and a colored path on the screen behind the FX that moves as you move the steering wheel, ensuring an accurate parking job.

Regardless of its 4,244 pound curb weight, the FX is light and deft on its 265/50R20 tires and nimble merging through Market Square as well as along the Exeter waterfront, along Route 108 into Durham and across lightly rutted roads.

Road Test: 2009 Infiniti FX35 AWD

Equipped with all-wheel-drive, and an independent front and multi-link rear suspension kept things on the level without any feel of leaning or tilting that its size predicts could be possible.
Rather it’s a refined and righteous ride that doesn’t disappoint and could be considered rewarding with its 16/21 EPA numbers for its 3.5-Liter, 303 hp, V-6 engine offering. For those desiring the need for speed, opt for the FX 50 and the larger, 5.0-liter, 390 hp, V-8 engine. A rear-drive only FX is rated at 16 mpg city/23 highway and 19 combined.

The power is channeled through the only transmission offered for any of the FX models, a new 7-speed automatic transmission that’s hardly no matter how urgently one presses the pedal.

Amazingly, the need for premium unleaded for its motor belies its size as I registered 21 mpgs on my commute, according to the multi-function car computer.

Road Test: 2009 Infiniti FX35 AWD

Call it whatever you want, but the FX35 AWD is a dream car/SUV/crossover that does a lot of things well and even thinks for you with the optional systems available.

You can get performance at a price if you add options that run the sticker up quickly, but I doubt you’ll have a bad day driving this vehicle, enjoying its amenities and all it has to offer, providing cargo room isn’t high on the list.

2009 Infiniti FX35 Photo Gallery

Road Test Gallery: 2009 Infiniti FX35 AWD

Our friend and AutoInsane.com contributor, Gerry Miles, is giving us his take on Infiniti’s mid-size luxury crossover, the FX35.

From Gerry’s review

From its oversized snout to the short, bobbed backside with short front and rear overhangs, the FX is a stylist’s dream. The large front end is accented by a wide-mouthed grille with rippled inserts and the Infiniti emblem, a thin line of embedded headlights along the top of the fenders that show off the arched hood lines atop the wide open wheel wells. And those gills behind the wheel wells? They work. They funnel air into the engine well and back out.

Read Gerry’s complete review of the 2009 Infiniti FX35 AWD

2009 Infiniti FX35 Photo Gallery

Photographer: Zane Merva