2021 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 AWD: The smart option
Although the Infiniti Q60 first debuted in 2017, it has aged remarkably well and is still one of the better and most affordable genuine luxury sport coupes. The muscular-looking two-door from Nissan's premium brand delivers the goods while costing thousands less than its European competitors.
The Q60 comes in three trim levels and offers two levels of performance from its twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6. The entry level version produces an impressive 300 horsepower while the top of the line Red Sport 400 cranks out — you guessed it — a full 400 horsepower, resulting in a seriously fast cruiser with a genuinely upscale interior.
Best of all, the suspension doesn't punish the occupants by magnifying ever road imperfection in the name of superior handling. It is a sports coupe not a sports car, after all. Even in the Sport+ mode, the ride is smoother than the base settings of some other luxury sport coupes.
Due a quirk in the way cars are categorized, the Q60 is technically a subcompact, but that's because cars are classed by interior cabin space, and the Q60's coupe profile creates less space than the Q50 four-door sedan. But anyone who sees or rides in it will realize the Q60 is much closer to a compact, and one with a good amount of space in the front cabin. The rear seats are too small for adults but large enough for children and a few extra bags of luggage if the trunk is full.
The Q60 comes in three trim levels called Pure, Luxe, and Red Sport. Each is available with all-wheel-drive, which makes the Q60 a good choice for wet weather Pacific Northwest driving.
Pure trim is the base model, which starts at under $42,000 with the 300 horsepower engine. It nevertheless includes Infiniti's signature split-screen infotainment center, with an 8-inch screen on top and a 7-inch screen lower on the center stack. Luxe trim adds a lot of desirable features, including adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitor, lane-keeping, automatic high-beams, all on top of a comprehensive list of standard advanced safety features. A 13-speaker Bose audio system also comes with both Luxe and Red Sport trims.
Despite its name, the Red Sport is available in several colors, including white and grey. Our tester added 100 horsepower and 55 lb-ft of torque, plus GPS navigation and fine semi-aniline leather seat upholstery. Track tests show you can expect a 0-60 time in the mid-four-second range, which I believe from the few chances I had to find empty roads. But more than that, it was easy to drive fast, with a supple suspension and oversized brakes that easily kept everything under control.
The Infiniti really shines when compared to its European competitors. BMW's 4-Series starts about $5,000 higher, and you have to be able to live with BMW's controversial new grille design. Audi's A5 starts about $4,000 more than the Infiniti, but that's really only about $2,000 more when you consider Audi's standard quattro AWD and compare it to Infiniti's Pure trim with optional AWD. Mercedes comes in with a lower starting price on its CLA coupe, but the C-Class coupe is real comparison, and it starts about $6,000 higher than the Q60.
If you're considering a new sports car, the forthcoming 2023 Nissan Z will be built around the same engine. But if you prefer a luxury sports coupe, don't think you have to pay extra for European performance. The Infiniti Q60 is worth testing first.
Base price: $60,100
Price as tested: $67,085
Type: Subcompact coupe
Engine: 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 (400 hp, 350 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Modes: Eco, Snow, Normal, Sport, Sport+, Personal
EPA estimated mileage: 19/26
Overall length: 184.4 inches
Curb weight: 4,047 pounds
Final assembly: Los Angeles, California
Pamplin Media Group auto writer Jeff Zurschmeide contributed to this review.
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