Infiniti Q50 2.0T

Sport Automatic

Infiniti Q50, front action 2
Infiniti Q50, front action
Infiniti Q50, side action 2
Infiniti Q50, side action
Infiniti Q50, dashboard
Infiniti Q50, badge detail
Infiniti Q50, front action 2
Infiniti Q50, front action
Infiniti Q50, side action 2
Infiniti Q50, side action
Infiniti Q50, dashboard
Infiniti Q50, badge detail

A MINNOW swimming in a tank of sharks might swiftly conclude that survival relies on being different - and staying small.

That way, the giants in nearby waters may conclude you're not much of a threat and leave you alone while they concentrate on the other big fish after their food.

Pull yourself out of the water and into a car park near you and the aquatic scenario plays out thus: there will be lots of BMW, Audi and Mercedes badges, plus a few from Jaguar.

But none at all bearing a chromed oval with a point in the bottom, indicating it's attached to an Infiniti.

They are a bunch of cars from the poshest end of the Nissan business and sold chiefly in the United States, where their petrol-engined bias is not the disadvantage to sales it must be in a diesel-focused Europe.

That's set to change with the decision to build a smaller (Q30) hatchback in Nissan's Sunderland plant later this year in a push to sell lots more Infinitis in Europe.

Until then the Q50 has its work cut out, even with a diesel engine available and a starting price of £27,950. That's a bit close in concept and cost to the cars rival German makers sell in their hundreds of thousands and from which they make very comfortable profits.

The car driven here has a petrol engine and so is probably already disqualified from most middle management user-chooser lists. Which, in several ways, is a bit of a shame.

Common to every Q50, and surely a major plus point, is a body that looks modern, stylish and sporty without pushing boundaries anywhere near odd, simply to stand our from the opposition.

To these eyes it's the pick of the executive saloon bunch, hunched down over its big alloy wheels and looking every inch the urban street fighter in a smart set of clothes.

That handsome metal encloses a cabin giving driver and front seat passengers a nicely cocooned feel but leaving those in the rear a bit lost for leg stretching room. Boot space beats rivals from Mercedes and Audi but gives away a little compared to a BMW 5 Series.

A basic Q50 comes pretty well equipped but Infiniti clearly thinks in a German-like manner when it comes to tempting add-ons. The test car's satellite navigation came as part of a £2,760 pack that included a decent Bose sound system and DAB radio.

Then there' was £2,080 for pack including active cruise control (fine) and an irritating system that tries to steer you between the white lane lines on a motorway and was soon switched off.

Switched off too was the sport setting in the adaptive steering that comes as part of the test car's Sport trim and which made it feel like a hyperactive racer, reacting to every suggestion of pressure on the steering wheel's rim.

Let the Q50 settle down and the petrol engine delivers the goods, pushing this biggish car along at very brisk pace, while staying quiet and calm inside.

Indeed, at town speeds it must be up there limousines on the no-noise count.

Not at all limo-like on poor roads, though, when firm springs and low profile tyres combine to make things too troubled on board for the quietness and comfy cabin to shine through.

No complaints over the 32mpg shown on the trip computer at test's end; the diesel would do a lot better, of course, but not reward with such a powerful reaction to a prod of the right toe.

Even so, you won't park next to a petrol powered Q50 any time soon.

FAST FACTS

Infiniti Q50 2.0T Sport Automatic

Price: £34,125

Mechanical:208bhp, 1,991cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 152mph

0-62mph: 7.2 seconds

Combined MPG:43.5

Insurance Group: 34

C02 emissions: 151g/km

Bik rating: 23%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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