What is it?
This is the Infiniti EX37, which the car maker expects to be the biggest seller, and the first model we have been able to test on British roads. With all-wheel drive and quasi-SUV looks, it is partly a rival for BMW’s X3 and Audi’s Q5, but it sits lower to the ground and has a more sloped roofline.
Infiniti says it is a car for buyers who have outgrown a coupe but aren’t ready for a full SUV. That’s a nice line but also a convenient excuse for the less than spacious rear packaging.
What’s it like?
There’s plenty of equipment and, on the GT version tested here, particularly plush-looking leather. The grade of leather is one of many things Infiniti has changed from the US version. Others include the engine (now 3.7 litres), automatic gearbox (seven speeds instead of five) and suspension settings.
With 316bhp, the straight-line performance of the EX is brisk and the conventional automatic works well, but the biggest surprise is how it corners. The steering is quick, accurate and nicely weighted, and the EX responds to inputs keenly and consistently. To achieve this nimbleness, the EX has a fairly firm set-up, but it rarely feels harsh.
Should I buy one?
Whether the brand will wear a price comparable with that of an equivalently powered Audi or BMW is for buyers to decide. But having driven the EX37 in the UK, it certainly justifies scrutiny for those looking for a break from the norm.