It’s put-up-or-shut-up time for Infiniti in Europe. And after what even they’d describe as the slowest of slow starts over the last three years, Nissan’s premium arm finally seems to be having a decent crack at putting up.
The Japanese luxury car brand is using this Geneva motor show to introduce its new rival for the BMW 3-series: the Q50. Unlike the G37 before it, this car is right-sized for its class. And having seen it close up at a preview event last night, I can confirm that it’s an appealing car.
A bit fussy-looking here and there, but still much more striking than any of the brand’s current saloons, and better proportioned.
More important still, it’s going to launch this summer with the same 168bhp 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine you’ll find in a Mercedes A- and B-class, emitting a competitive 115g/km. It’s the lack of a decent four-pot diesel, more than anything, that’s held the Infiniti brand back in Europe. The Merc one isn’t the best on the market, but it’s competent. And after what they did with Renault’s 3.0-litre V6 diesel for the FX, EX and M models, the firm has already proved that it can put manners on any powerplant.
There will also be a 359bhp, 145g/km petrol-electric hybrid offered.