In city and highway cruising, the paddles didn't come into play, and the transmission shifted through its seven gears smoothly. Partly because of the responsive engine, the car was never caught flat-footed when I need a quick boost for a merge. The cabin appointments added to the comfort of this sort of driving, although the ride quality made me suffer when the pavement turned rough.
Even though Infiniti hasn't shown much recent innovation in the drivetrain, the Q60 still boasts fuel economy of 27 mpg on the highway. However, it drops down to 19 mpg in the city. I saw low 20s for my time in the car, ending with a real-world average of 21.4 mpg.
One tech area Infiniti has pushed in the past is driver assistance systems, including surround-view cameras and self-stopping in traffic. The Q60 doesn't benefit from Infiniti's entire arsenal, but this model came with an adaptive cruise control system and a reasonably advanced rearview camera showing trajectory guidance.
Adaptive cruise let me set my speed and following distance, after which the car automatically slowed down and matched the speed of traffic ahead. I tried it out in heavy traffic, and it performed well. However, the closest following distance it would allow still left a couple of car lengths ahead, inviting other cars to slip in.
The Q60 will have to wait until Infiniti gives it electric power-steering boost before it can get features such as self-steering in traffic or automatic parallel parking.
Faded but functional
Driving over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, a glance at the navigation system showed the car plowing through blue water. At first I thought it had lost its GPS lock and was prepared to note that down as a fault, then realized I was on the recently completed new bridge span, off to the side of the original bridge.
The GPS lock was fine, but the navigation system's maps weren't up-to-date.
To be fair, that's not an uncommon problem with in-vehicle navigation systems, which commonly used stored maps. The Q60 has its maps stored on a hard drive, which, on the positive side, leads to good response times. The maps render quickly and show perspective and plan views.
I particularly like Infiniti's cabin tech interface for the Q60, which combines a dial and buttons with a touch screen. Although those two entry methods are duplicative, I find that the touch screen works well for some things, and the dial for others.
The Q60 also features voice command, but this older system has limited capabilities. It let me make calls by saying the name of contacts on my paired phone, but it didn't offer much control over the stereo. Entering addresses required me to say each piece of a street address at separate voice prompts, which is very tedious.
The Q60's navigation system also lacks any online search capabilities, another indicator of its age.
The car's standard hands-free phone system offers the usual features, such as integrating a paired phone's contact list and making those names available on the screen. It also has an onscreen dial pad, for people who actually still memorize phone numbers.
I could also stream music through the stereo from my Bluetooth-paired phone, although I had to take a minor extra step indicating to the system that my phone should be included as a streaming source. Other audio sources included satellite radio and anything I could plug into the car's USB port.
An 11-speaker Bose audio system, part of the Premium package included on this model, delivered impressive sound. I've heard some mediocre Bose systems in the past, but this one, which Infiniti calls Studio on Wheels, proved very enjoyable. It did a fantastic job of producing bass, making percussive notes that pounded out through the cabin air. Treble notes were also very good, just not quite on the same level.
Tested over time
The G37 was an excellent car when it came out five years ago, but technology has advanced since that time, and looking at the 2014 Infiniti Q60 through that lens, it remains competent, but not quite the star it once was. The power output from the engine is very good, as is its response. The transmission tech isn't quite up to the Q60's sporting ambitions.
More telling is the fixed suspension, which could definitely benefit from adaptive technology with modes for comfort and sport.
Infotainment systems tend to suffer the most with age, but this one mostly shows its venerability through a lack of newer, connected features. It may not do everything that competitive systems do, but it performs well for what it does. For example, the navigation system is still very functional, although the maps could use updating.
Bluetooth and the USB port still work excellently well as audio sources, and probably won't become obsolete for a long time. The Bose audio system, as with any good stereo, also stands the test of time, as good sound quality does not diminish.
|Model||2014 Infiniti Q60|
|Power train||3.7-liter V-6 engine, 7-speed automatic transmission|
|EPA fuel economy||19 mpg city/27 mpg highway|
|Observed fuel economy||21.4 mpg|
|Navigation||Standard hard-drive based with live traffic|
|Bluetooth phone support||Standard|
|Digital audio sources||Bluetooth streaming, iOS integration, USB drive, auxiliary input, satellite radio|
|Audio system||Bose 11-speaker system|
|Driver aids||Adaptive cruise control, rearview camera|
|Price as tested||$50,405|