Driven: 2017 Infiniti Q60 3.0t AWD

Written by Lee Bailie on .

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As is the case with many coupes, the Infiniti Q60’s appeal is largely an emotional one and for good reason – it is a damn good-looking car.

From its flowing, muscular lines that bulge at the haunches, to its large front grille, sleek headlights and tail lights, every detail of the Q60’s exterior is designed to entice and it’s difficult to not feel drawn to its handsome proportions from the moment you lay eyes on it.

While it does bear some familial resemblance to its forebear, the gone but definitely not forgotten G37 coupe, the Q60 is much more closely related to the Q50 sedan with which it shares a platform and drivetrains.

Like the Q50, the Q60 is available in Canada in three basic configurations, with three engines mated to a single seven-speed automatic transmission. The former is also available as a hybrid and has an extra mid-level trim, but the powertrain offerings for the non-hybrids are the same.

The base Q60 (2.0t AWD) comes with a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine (208 horsepower / 258 lb-ft.) mated to a seven-speed automatic. Next up is the 3.0t AWD, which gets a 3.0L twin-turbo V6 (300 / 295), and the range-topper is the Red Sport 400 AWD which gets more output (400 / 350) from the same engine.

As you may have guessed, Canadian models are AWD-only but, like the Q50, RWD models are available in other markets (in the U.S. the Q60 is available in 10 different models).

My tester, a mid-range 3.0t finished in electric indigo blue, is stocked full of standard content for its $52,990 MSRP. The only option box ticked here is for the driver assistance package ($2,000), which adds a suite of collision-mitigation tech (forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, predictive forward collision warning, blind spot warning, back-up collision intervention with rear cross-traffic alert, etc.), rain sensing wipers, front and rear parking sensors and an around view monitor.

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Inside, the well-stocked and finished black interior features heated leather seats, a heated leather steering wheel with power tilting / telescoping, dual touchscreens (8-inch upper, 7-inch lower) that govern navigation, satellite radio and various climate functions, and an 11-speaker Bose audio system.

There’s more, but you get the idea. The Q60 is filled with the amenities one would expect in a $50,000-plus car.

While there is a lot to divert one’s attention from the road, Infiniti designers have included redundant hard keys (thank you!) and a rotary console knob to make the car’s systems less distracting and easier to navigate.

The controls are, for the most part, easy to locate and easy to use with a little time spent behind the wheel. Same goes for the multitude of steering-wheel buttons, although fiddling with them while the car is parked to get a feel for what they do isn’t a bad idea.

The snug cockpit offers a good degree of comfort and adjustability. The seats are quite comfortable and offer good support, which makes an ideal driving position easy to configure.

On the road, the Q60 3.0t offers a reasonably engaging driving experience. The 3.0L VR-series V6 offers impressive off-the-line acceleration, with lots of useable torque at the low end (peak torque begins at just 1,600 rpm) and enough mid-range power to make short work of on ramp passing maneuvers. Once the turbos are fully engaged, the Q60 is a pretty fast car indeed.

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The drive mode selector has five different settings (standard, eco, sport, snow and customize) that enable the driver to tailor the Q60’s performance to his / her preference.

During my time behind the wheel, I spent most of it toggling between standard and sport (eco kills performance, so I chose to skip it for the most part), and while throttle response and a rev bump made sport the most engaging mode, the Q60 is also reasonably pleasing to drive in standard.

The steering receives the benefit of Infiniti’s not universally-loved Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS), an electronic system designed to improve road feel by boosting effort, thereby reducing required input for a more precise feel.

The system is most noticeable in sport and sport plus (available only on the Red Sport 400), but to me it doesn’t feel a lot different in normal driving situations.

Might it make a difference on a track or an autocross course? Perhaps. I drove a U.S.-market RWD Q50 on an autocross course during that car’s 2016 press launch and it did help the car turn and rotate through corners, although the RWD set-up was also a contributing factor. It's all rather moot anyhow because the Q60 isn’t a track car.

It is, however, designed to appeal to those looking for a stylish, well-equipped near-luxury coupe that offers a quiet and comfortable ride with enough power yet doesn’t break the bank.

As for the negatives, there's not much beyond the usual coupe trade-offs: large c-pillar blind spots, small back seat and long doors that can make parking a hassle. The joys of owning a coupe- I know them well.

At any rate, I'd say Infiniti has solidly hit the mark with the Q60. The Q50 offers similar performance and content for less money, but it doesn't come close in terms of sex appeal. The Q60 is the clear winner there.

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SPECIFICATIONS2017 Infiniti Q60 3.0t AWD

BASE PRICE / AS TESTED: $52,990 / $56,985 (incl. $1,995 destination)
ENGINE:
3.0L twin-turbocharged V6
HORSEPOWER:
300 hp @ 6,400 rpm
TORQUE: 
295 lb-ft. @ 1,600 – 5,200 rpm
CURB WEIGHT:
1,768 kg
CONFIGURATION:
front engine, all-wheel drive
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed automatic
FUEL ECONOMY RATINGS (L/100 KM - CITY / HWY. / COMB.):
12.4 / 8.8 / 10.8
WARRANTY (MOS. / KM):
48 / 100,000
ALTERNATIVES:
Audi S5, BMW 435i xDrive, Lexus RC 350 AWD, Mercedes-Benz C 43 4MATIC

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Photography by Lee Bailie

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