Infiniti EX37
Infiniti EX

A what? Infiniti? Who makes an Infiniti? These are just some of the questions that were asked during the test week.

Infiniti is not a model but a Japanese manufacturer of upmarket vehicles. To put it into perspective, Infinity is to Nissan what Lexus is to Toyota - a standalone luxury brand.

Although Infiniti has been in existence for twenty years, here in the UK, you'd be forgiven for not recognising the name, as it didn't have any UK representation until September of 2009. That was when the first Infiniti Centre opened, just off the M4, in the outskirts of Reading. During 2010, more Centres are to be opened in London, Birmingham and Glasgow and there are plans for a further four in 2011.

There is a very good reason for my mentioning the coverage and that is because of the Infiniti Total Ownership Experience, which, according to the company, "puts the customer first - even when the customer is not actually driving an Infiniti".

We are assured that this isn't just hype and that the VIP service means that every Infiniti owner gets their own personal Customer Account Manager and, when a service is due, a free collection and delivery provision within a 150-mile radius of an Infiniti Centre.

On top of the one-to-one customer care, Infiniti EX owners also have a total mobility package, including roadside and touring assistance. This is for the customer and not the car, "so they are never left stranded." That applies even if they are not actually in their Infiniti EX. Furthermore, I am told that a visit to an Infiniti Centre is something of an event, with traditional methods of choosing trims and colours, transferred to giant plasma screens.

Infiniti has a good range of cars, from coupes to crossovers. In fact, there are two crossovers - the flagship, Infiniti FX and the Infiniti EX, which was one of the first vehicles to be introduced into the UK and the subject of this report.

The Infiniti EX is classed as coupe-crossover and is aimed at people who are aiming to step up from the former or down from the latter. To give you an idea of the positioning, the company compares the Infiniti EX to the likes of the Audi A5 Sportback, the Mercedes Benz C-Class Estate and the Volvo XC60. In various ways it compares favourably or betters, all of them. However, in some areas it doesn't quite cut it, but I'll come back to that.

The Infiniti EX does indeed posses the elegance pf a coupe, albeit a little more portly. The deep door panels make the car appear larger than it is. This is especially the case in the lighter of the seven colours, three of which are solid. The rest are a metallic finish, which adds £665 to the price.

The flattened front end, with its curvaceous, chromed grille and black lower skirt, is more delicate and refined than the more obvious 4x4s on the market, but tough enough for everyday use.

The long, broad bonnet has subtle contours and marks the start of the smooth arc that takes in the windscreen and sloping roofline before tapering off towards the rear, rather quickly.

There are no wheelarches over the 18-inch alloys, as such, more a bulging of the bodywork and a very faint wave-line at shoulder level.

The rear light clusters have LED illumination and extend from within the tailgate to wrap around the hind quarters. They also serve to bridge the gap between the shoulder curve and a similar design line that stretches across the tailgate - echoing the upper curve of the front grille.


Published : 16/06/10 Author : Melanie Carter

Infiniti EX News

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