The daddy of all driving experiences

The daddy of all driving experiences

Leanne English, Director of the LEC Consultancy, follows in the footsteps of her father – a former motor trade worker – and gets behind the wheel of a luxury vehicle that impresses them both.

From as old as I can remember cars were a big part of my family’s life. My dad worked in the motor trade for three decades, selling cars and managing dealerships for the likes of Lexus, BMW and Nissan, so it was fairly commonplace for him to come home with a top of the range model which would set you back a pretty penny.

I’d look forward to him coming home each night to see what car he was driving and it was always  the luxury vehicles I appreciated the most. There was something about the way they looked, the smooth lines and shiny exterior which really appealed to me. I always said to myself that one day I’d own a car like that.

So when I was asked to road test the Infiniti Q50 Hybrid, Nissan’s dip into the luxury car market, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. At least I could say I’d achieved what I said I would, albeit on a temporary basis. Small steps right?

The Infiniti Q50 Hybrid is a bold statement of intent from the Japanese car manufacturer and certainly goes against the grain of what most people would expect from a Hybrid vehicle. Designed specifically to wow and give the driver the ultimate experience, the salesman was quick to point out it’s as fast 0-60 as a Porsche. He wasn’t wrong (that’s a slight assumption on my part given I’ve not actually driven a Porsche).

Fully utilising the 359bhp, 3.5 litre petrol engine combined with a 67bhp electric motor, the Infiniti Q50 can certainly move. The power and acceleration are tremendous. However, as you open the engine up and push the car through the speeds, it loses none of the qualities which you’d expect from the £35,000 price tag.

The driving position is excellent, ensuring maximum comfort throughout the journey, giving both driver and passengers a feeling of weightlessness. If you’re planning a long distance drive, this is the car you want to be in.

Infiniti02The engine itself is as quiet as any I’ve experienced, barely purring as you accelerate. It’s clever too, having the ability to switch off to charge its battery when you ease off the accelerator, or are stationary at junctions or traffic lights.

The interior of the Infiniti Q50 Hybrid is spacious and roomy, fitted out with a cream leather interior and heated seats to the front and rear. The dashboard itself looks impressive and is easy to navigate around, though having said that, in the four days I had the car I’d only managed to scratch the surface of the vast array of gadgets it comes with. Maybe a month and I’d have them all sussed.

If there is a downside to the car, it’s the boot, which is fairly small for a vehicle of its size. This was something that, as a golfer, my dad was quick to point out.

Overall though, I was impressed. More importantly, despite the lack of boot space for his golf clubs, so was my dad. Whether either of us would be tempted to buy one over its more established rivals, such as the Audi S4 or BMW335i, remains to be seen.

However, ranging in price from around £27,000 to £40,000, the Infiniti Q50 Hybrid is much more competitively priced which is a big plus. It’s also a very nice car and for these reasons alone, we both agreed that if we were looking for a car at this end of the market, we’d definitely consider it. That I suppose is what Nissan are aiming for.

The car driven by Leanne was the Q50 S 3.5 Hybrid All Wheel Drive.
Hybrid Sport Q50s start at £39,995 (range starts at £27,950).
The car was supplied by Infiniti Centre Newcastle, Middle Engine Lane, Silverlink Business Park, Newcastle, Tyne & Wear, NE28 9NZ