SENIOR MOTORSPORTS EDITOR MAC MORRISON: This pains me, it really does: Infiniti's Q60 Coupe reminds me of having a 12-year-old dog that's in reasonably good shape, but simultaneously can't help but remind you constantly that it's old, its best days behind it.
Eleven years ago -- amazing how quickly the time passed -- the original G35 coupe (and sedan) were among my favorite cars on the market. Strong, growly engines, stick shifts, and chassis that liked to be driven hard -- in straight lines, through corners and, yes, sideways all day.
But despite the adoption of the Q prefix and an upgraded VQ engine and other mechanical upgrades along the way, this car feels amazingly similar to what I remember from more than a decade ago. That's not a bad thing on one hand, as I just expressed my enthusiasm for those models at that time. On the other hand, competitors have passed it by in terms of refinement, styling and subjective fun. The Q60's exterior styling doesn't grab my attention as the original G35 coupe's did, and the interior, while assembled well and from quality parts, is quite a bland environment to be in. The drivetrain has always been a bit boy-racerish in character, which is somewhat at odds with the overall package's relative stodginess.
The drive? Still a hoot, though the booming exhaust tone I enjoyed years ago now seems borderline silly, and you are aware at all times of the car's hefty 3,700 pounds. Everything about the experience feels just a half-step slower than newer competitors, but the drive is still immensely enjoyable. Brakes are strong as always, steering well-weighted and the rear-end fun to play with as always.
I do wish Infiniti did not elect to move the seat adjustment controls from the center console (driver's right) to the driver's door-side of the seat bottom because the interior is packaged so tightly that I can barely fit my left hand far enough between the seat and door panel to reach the controls.
Infiniti still manages to sell a number of these cars, and there remains much to like, especially if you don't find its competitors appealing for whatever reasons. I, too, still have love for you, Q60, but just like that old, loyal dog; I know I might have to put you down any day now. It would probably be better for everyone if you just died peacefully before you decline so much that I don't remember you for what you were in your glory days, but rather for what you've become. That's just not the way it's supposed to be -- or at least not how I would've imagined this lineup would turn out all those years ago.
EXECUTIVE EDITOR RORY CARROLL: The 2014 Infiniti Q60 Journey coupe retains the things we liked about the old G35 and G37: the VQ V6, sharp-ish styling and a decent chassis. But, while Infiniti has done an admirable job keeping the old engine and architecture relevant, the Q60 is clearly a car at the end of its production life. It's a fine car, and I'd imagine that it would satisfy a lot of buyers, but it wasn't exactly a segment leader when it came out, and the other cars in its segment have changed pretty substantially over the years.
However, I think a lot of the way we feel about this car comes from the fact that we know how old it is and that it's due for replacement. The styling isn't necessarily fresh, but it doesn't look old, either. The interior isn't top class-leading, but the materials you'll encounter there are similar to those you'll find in a modern BMW 3-series/4-series. It handles well enough to be fun, and despite being a little slow to get moving, it's quick.
If the price is right, you're not worried about having the latest and greatest, and you're not a brand-snob, this car could be really satisfying to a number of potential buyers. But, at $51K, there are just too many other choices.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: I wouldn't call the Q60 old, but it is completely fair to call it a carryover -- it's a G coupe with different badges. So while it might not be time to take it out behind the woodshed, it remains a car that's parked in the gap between the Infiniti of the recent past and the globally competitive luxury brand it has decided that it wants to become.
There are parts of the past that are worth preserving. The engine/transmission combo work well together; I'd love to play around with a manual-equipped car just to see what it's like, but the column-mounted paddles here do give you a fair amount of control over shifting. And that motor does pack a punch -- stand on the throttle from a stop and you'll get a little sideways (before traction control straightens you out, if you have it enabled).
I'd want a better-defined engine note; it doesn't quite sound like a minivan motor, but it only gets throaty after you wind it up.
Since you're buying a coupe for style, not practicality, exterior appearance is probably the area where the Q60 let me down the most. Its proportions are pleasing, but its edges are dulled so much that the car -- which looks good from some angles -- comes off as marshmallow-like from others. This is especially true of the front fascia, which bulges softly over the front wheels…it just looks doughy. The Q70 suffers from the same lack of definition, but I think the Q50 makes better use of the marque's styling cues and gets a little more aggressive in the process.
Inside, you get the typical Infiniti/Nissan center console. Under the skin, it's a winner -- it's one of the more intuitive and accessible systems on the market. Smack-dab in the middle of it all is that silly analog clock, though, which I believe will disappear for the next generation. And though material quality and fit and finish are good, the design and execution of the dash and door panels is nothing dramatic.
Really, though, I could say that about the whole car. What the Q60 lacks is a clear purpose delivered with emotion. Save for its so-so aesthetics, the car does meet all my needs -- for speed, for comfort, for sporty rear-drive fun -- but it doesn't meet them in a particularly memorable way.
Is it supposed to be a luxurious, powerful GT? Or is it an agile, comfortable sports coupe? I don't know; Infiniti seems to have enough solid pieces here to build one or the other. And people are happy with the result -- everyone I know with a G coupe absolutely loves it -- even if it leaves me somewhat cold. Perhaps I'll find the next-gen car more stirring.
EDITOR WES RAYNAL: I suppose comparisons to the BMW 4-series and Audi A5 are inevitable. And while it's easy to write things like “dang this thing is getting old,” flip that around and one could just as easily say “this baby drives quite well for an old-timer.”
That's my feeling. The car leaps off the line, the V6 sounds great (this engine is delicious) -- get this beauty up above 2,500 rpm and things happen quickly. And you can toss it around nicely. There's real agility here, and the balance feels dang close to spot-on. Yes, the ride is just the tiniest bit firm, but nothing too bad. Not harsh for sure.
I like the Q's cabin a lot. It's a nice combo of layout and quality. I also continue to believe Nissan/Infiniti's center screen controls rank right up there with the best.
Somebody above said moving the seat adjustment controls to the seat bottom is a mistake and I agree -- I, too, had trouble initially adjusting things. Once in place, though, it was all good.
Yes, the Infiniti is getting old, but to me it still drives really well, getting down the road quickly and confidently. It feels bigger and a bit softer to me than the 4-series or A5. At my age that's a compliment.
2014 Infiniti Q60 Journey Coupe
Base Price: $41,305
As-Tested Price: $50,405
Drivetrain: 3.7-liter V6; RWD, seven-speed automatic
Output: 330 hp @ 7,000 rpm, 270 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm
Curb Weight: 3,781 lb
Fuel Economy (EPA City/Highway/Combined): 19/27/22 mpg
AW Observed Fuel Economy: 19.0 mpg
Options: Premium package including power sliding/tinted glass moonroof, rear sonar system, Infiniti studio on wheels, premium audio system by Bose with drivers audio stage, memory system: driver's seat, steering wheel, and outside mirrors, driver's seat power lumbar support, power tilt/telescopic steering wheel ($3,250); sport package including 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with summer performance tires, sport-tuned suspension and steering, viscous limited-slip differential, sport brakes with 4-piston front and 2-piston rear calipers, sport front fascia, solid magnesium paddle shifters, 12-way driver and 8-way front passenger sport seats with manual thigh extender, aluminum pedals and footrest ($1,950); Navigation package including Infinity hard drive navigation system, NavTraffic and NavWeather, Zagat survey restaurant guide, DVD-video playback, Infiniti voice recognition ($1,850); technology package including intelligent cruise control, advanced climate control system, rain sensing front windshield wipers, front pre-crash seat belts, brake assist with preview braking ($1,250); interior accents package including: high gloss maple interior accents ($600); trunk mat, trunk net and first aid kit ($200)
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