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2014 Infiniti Q60 Coupe Journey Review by Steve Purdy +VIDEO


2014 Infiniti Q60 Coupe Journey Review
By Steve Purdy
Michigan Bureau

A sporty coupe based on a mid-size sedan platform seems a great way to spread development costs across a variety of models. Crossovers, wagons and convertibles are other ways. Infiniti does a great job of maximizing use of this rear-wheel drive platform including sharing much with the 2-seat Nissan 370Z sports car. The Q60 Coupe does everything it is supposed to do – look cool, go fast and make money for the company.

Our Q60 Coupe “Journey” test car is the first of three variations of the car formerly known as the G37 Coupe. The mid-level “AWD” model simply adds all-wheel drive with a Snow Mode and the top-level “6MT,”the sportiest, offers a manual transmission, sport tuned suspension, steering and brakes, 19-inch alloy wheels and a few other premium features.

An “IPL” (Infiniti Performance Line) Couple and Convertible (retractable hard top) is also available for about 10 grand extra and boasts 348 horsepower (just a few more ponies, but about the same torque), more high-performance suspension and chassis goodies, and lots of more sporty trim.

The U.S.-built (final assembly in Los Angeles) Q60 Coupe’s profile and stance broadcast its special character with a long hood, short deck, wide stance with low-profile tires and bold, aggressive styling details. HID xenon headlights and a modern, stylish front fascia are attractive, though not head-turning. Rear LED taillights and smooth rear fascia are accented by a large Infiniti badge, a small but cool wing and large dual exhaust outlets. The rear glass slopes quickly to the shallow deck in classic coupe style. The Infiniti brand’s styling language comes through so that anyone who pays attention to cars will know what this is.

Of course one of the disadvantages of this automotive genre (sporty coupe) is limited back seat space. I was traveling with two companions when we picked up the car. Our colleague, TACH senior editor Thom Cannell, graciously volunteered for the rear seat because he wanted a nap on our drive home. Fortunately, Thom is a fellow of diminutive size and, as a fitness trainer he is admirably flexible as well. He squeezed into the deep back seat without much struggle. Once in, though, his head nearly bumped against the rear window and the sun was mercilessly beating onto him as well. He also assessed the ride quality back there as harsh and jumpy. This is a sporty car, after all, and we have the extra sporty suspension package as well, so don’t take that as a criticism. That’s what this car is meant to be.

In the front seat, colleague Bob and I were entirely comfortable and solidly ensconced in the firm, extensively adjustable seats enjoying a good driver-oriented environment. Analog gauges (including the requisite-for a luxury-car analog clock) and controls that made sense along with sporting details (paddle shifters, aluminum pedals, short shifter and well-bolstered seats) provided an excellent first impression of the car. Throttle sensitivity, braking feel and steering quickness are impressively sporty, but suspension tuning that is a bit stiff for ragged Detroit streets. It is fine for decent roads. The rear seat is more for cargo, pets and little people.

By the time we finished our initial drive of a bit more than an hour we were well acclimated and still impressed with the car. Managing the touch screen for navigation controls required an uncomfortable reach from the driver’s seat and the obscure, deeply hidden location of the USB and auxiliary outlets deep within the dark console are my only criticisms from inside.

The basic Journey starts at $40,950, the AWD version at $42,600 and the sport version at $46,050. Our test car has the Technology Package (Intelligent Cruise, Advanced Climate Control, Rain Sensing wipers that didn’t work and brake assist), the Premium Package (power moonroof, rear sonar, premium audio, power lumbar support, power tilt/telescope steering wheel), Sport Package (19-inch wheels, sport suspension and steering, paddle shifters, special front fascia, special sport seats and aluminum pedals), Navigation Package and special wood interior trim. All this adds up to just over $50,000 on the sticker’s bottom line.

One engine powers the three models of the Q60 Coupe – a 3.7-liter, 330-hp V6 making a decent 270 pound feet of torque. A smooth-shifting 7-speed automatic with rev-matching on downshifts comes in the Journey and the AWD versions and a 6-speed manual comes with the top-performing 6MT version. The EPA rates the former combination at 19 mpg in the city, 27 on the highway and 22 combined using premium fuel. We easily managed 24.1 in our week of combined, spirited driving. The manual transmission car is rated a couple of mpg less.

Performance and handling of this 3,600-pound Q60 Coupe are impressive. Acceleration on full throttle is exhilarating and enhanced by a satisfying rumble coming from the dual exhaust outlets. It’s not overly loud or raucous, but just resonate enough to affirm the acoustic engineers on the project were doing their job well. The car remained grippy and poised no matter how hard we pushed it, partly due to the wide, sticky summer tires that are part of the Sport Package.

Infiniti’s new car warranty covers the whole car for 4 years or 60,000 miles and the powertrain for 6 years or 70,000 miles.

Compare the Infiniti Q60 Coupe to other luxury coupes and you’ll find it a bit less expensive than the Germans and not quite as up-to-date with technology. For many of us much of that technology is rather superfluous anyway. As a fun, performance coupe it does its job very well.

ęSteve Purdy, Shunpiker Productions, All Rights Reserved