Infiniti conquers Europe with the twin-turbo Q60 coupe
The Japanese luxury sport coupe costs thousands less than it European competitors but delivers the goods.
The world may be turning to SUVs, but among passenger car makers we're seeing a resurgence of the personal luxury coupe. These sleek two-door sports cars offer high performance, crisp handling, and excellent comfort, at least in the front seats. There is a back seat, but you really wouldn't want to put an adult back there.
Infiniti's entry in the sport coupe category is the Q60, which is available in a variety of engine ratings, and with the buyer's choice of rear-drive or all-wheel-drive. Through a quirk in the way cars are categorized, the Q60 is technically a subcompact, but that's because cars are classed by interior cabin space, and the Q60's coupe profile encloses less space than the Q50 four-door sedan. But Infiniti didn't sacrifice the back seat for nothing. The larger doors on the Q60 make entry and exit easier and more graceful, and the cabin design makes the driver and front passenger's seats spacious, with plenty of headroom.
The Q60 is powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, good for 300 or 400 horsepower depending on the tuning. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard across the line.
The Q60 comes in three trim levels called Pure, Luxe, and Red Sport. Each trim is available with All-Wheel-Drive, which makes the Q60 a great year-round choice for Portland.
As you might expect, Pure trim is the base model, with 300 horsepower and a starting price of $41,750. In this trim, you still get Infiniti's signature split-screen infotainment center, with an 8-inch screen on top and a 7-inch screen lower on the center stack. Infiniti's dual screens offer plenty of space to control climate, vehicle information, and entertainment. Luxe trim adds a lot of nice features, including adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitor, lane-keeping, automatic high-beams, all on top of a comprehensive list of standard advanced safety features.
The top Red Sport trim adds 100 horsepower and 55 lb-ft of torque to the engine, plus GPS navigation and fine semi-aniline leather seat upholstery. A 13-speaker Bose audio system also comes with both Luxe and Red Sport trims. If you buy the Red Sport, you can expect a 0-60 time in the mid-four-second range.
On the road, the Q60 is among the most pleasant cars in its class. It's fast, nimble, and easy to drive well. Visibility is excellent and the presence of blind spot monitoring makes smooth freeway driving a breeze. On a practical note, while the Q60 a great-looking car with muscular lines and a sporty profile, it's not flashy and won't attract unwanted attention.
The Infiniti really shines in comparison to its European competitors. BMW's 4-Series starts about $5,000 higher, but you have to be able to live with BMW's controversial new grille design. Audi's A5 starts about $4,000 more than the Infiniti, but that's really only about $2,000 more when you compare Audi's standard quattro AWD to Infiniti's Pure trim with optional AWD. Mercedes comes in with a lower starting price on its CLA coupe, but the C-Class coupe is a better comparison, starting about $6,000 higher than the Q60. Here's the thing: interior comfort and tech are comparable across the field, but the Q60 beats all of the Europeans on performance, even in the entry-level 300-horsepower trim.
The bottom line on the Infiniti Q60 is that if you're ready to ditch the rear doors for something a little sexier, don't forget to schedule a test drive before you pay extra for a European badge on the nose. Infiniti just might have the better option.
2021 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 AWD
Base price: $60,100
Price as tested: $67,085
Type: Subcompact coupe
Engine: 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 (400 hp, 350 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 19/26
Overall length: 184.4 inches
Curb weight: 4,047 pounds
Final assembly: Los Angeles, California