Infiniti FX30d GT Premium28 | 01 | 2011Scotcars rating

    Infiniti offroader may be expensive, but if you can afford one it'll keep you smiling


    Now that there’s a new Infiniti centre in Glasgow, there’s no reason for Scottish motorists not to buy one of the upmarket Japanese cars. Well, apart from the cost, the look and the feel of the range that is. It’s actually a straightforward issue. You can either afford one or you can’t; you either like the look or you don’t; and they either feel right or they don't.

    So let’s look at the cost first of all. On the face of it, they’re pricey, but actually they represent fantastic value for money because the cars come with a whole stack of features which otherwise you’d have to pay for. That’s great, as long as you want all the toys, but from what I’ve seen they’re all worth having. As for the look, it’s certainly distinctive and different, and as Infinitis have been available only since last year, you won’t see many others on the road.

    The feel? Well, they feel good, well built, luxurious and robust and that’s especially true about the test car I drove, the big, beefy FX30. It came from Infiniti’s press test fleet which all have distinctive number plates — in this case S50FXX — one of the little foibles of their PR head honcho Wayne Bruce. He’s been in the business a long time and always add a touch of flair to the proceedings. The whole Infiniti image is one of quality, exclusivity and refinement and I believe that’s something which Scots motorists, who can afford it, will take to.   

    On the road

    The test car came in an ‘Umbria Twilight’ paint job or, to the rest of us, off-white. It looked good, but was it worth the extra £679 – the only addition to the purchase price? I’m not sure, but it was of the standard ‘self-healing’ variety which not only offers added protection against scratches and chips, but also repairs them too. I don’t quite understand the technology, but it is clever.

    The chemical make-up of the paint is such that if a scratch appears, the paint expands to cover over it in daylight and the heat of the sun. You may think that could be a problem in Scotland, but I did hear of one series of scratches being removed with the help of a low-set hairdryer!

    I did like the massive six-spoke 21in alloy wheels on the test car, and the continuous damping control meant it gave a lovely smooth ride, whatever the road conditions or however many potholes seemed to leap up from the roads around Renfrewshire. The intelligent all-wheel-drive did a brilliant job in keeping me safe on the frosty — and at times, icy — roads, and although I didn’t get the chance to take it offroad, I’m sure it would hold its head up high. If we get a repeat of the winter we’ve just had, this would be a Godsend.  

    Comfort & Safety

    This is a big car, similar to the Porsche Cayenne, but to my mind, a nicer machine. It feels more manageable and responsive, if a touch lighter – some of the body panels are plastic – and would be more acceptable to a family buyer. The interior is plush with quilted leather seats which are electrically adjustable, heated and ventilated and with memory settings. The keyfob is smart, controlling not only the locks, ignition and doors, but it can automatically close the windows and prompt the welcome lights in and around the car.

    The rear of the car has darkened privacy windows and there’s a huge electric glass sunroof. On the safety side, the lane departure warning system keeps you safe if you drift off on the road. It not only warns you, if you don’t react it will gently apply the brakes on one side to draw you back into your correct lane. There’s also a collision warning system which also slows the car down when there’s a chance of a front bump. All of this, plus much more, is standard but would probably set you back many thousands of pounds as options on other makes.  

    Should I buy one?

    It’s expensive but great value and will see you through the worst of the weather in great comfort. And you’ll have the only one in the street.

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    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £52,813 / £53,492
    Engine / Power: 3.0 V6 diesel / 238PS
    How fast?: 0-62mph 8.3secs,  Max 132mph
    How big/heavy?: H1680mm W2134mm L4865mm / 2150kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 31.4mpg / CO2 238g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: n/a / Band L £425
    Alternatives: Audi Q7; Land Rover Discovery; Porsche Cayenne

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