Tag Archives: 3.7-liter

2014 Infiniti Q50S 3.7 AWD

 

Infiniti’s unique styling gives new Q50 a muscular lookq1

Infiniti’s sedans continue to deliver unique styling that looks muscular and sporty, but with a style that sets them apart from other luxury sport sedans.

My test car, the Q50S 3.7 AWD was a great looking metallic brown, with a hint of copper in it, so the color also made this one pop compared with the various silver/gray or black sport sedans that flood the market. Like last week’s BMW 428i coupe, this sporty sedan featured all-wheel drive, making it a perfect fit for our climate and road conditions.

Like that BWM, the Q50 comes loaded with luxury and performance items while creating a strong argument for it being racetrack-worthy. On the performance spectrum the Q, which replaces Infiniti’s popular G Sedan, handles like a fine sports sedan. Steering is quick and responsive and in normal mode quite easy to handle.

There’s Drive Mode Select here. That allows the driver to pick Snow, Eco, Standard and Sport. Eco naturally cuts power and changes shift points, while Sport gives the car more oomph off the line while stiffening the steering effort substantially. I feel the Sport mode becomes way too heavy for most drivers to enjoy it, but best to test that yourself if you intend to move up to this level of sport sedan. Standard will be where most folks leave the setting.

q2Certainly the car corners well and the all-wheel-drive gives it sure footing on wet pavement. Continue reading 2014 Infiniti Q50S 3.7 AWD

2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring AWD

Sporty looks, but handling falls short

I’ve always liked Mazda vehicles because they look and drive a little sportier than most brands that us average middle class folks can afford.

mazda1That’s why I’m disappointed with the new Mazda CX-9, the large sport-utility/crossover I just tested. It only delivers on half the equation. It still looks a bit sportier than its competition, models like the boxy Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, but handling wasn’t up to Mazda standards.

My dark metallic gray CX-9 did have a new grille, less smiley and cartoonish than the previous model, but with a nose that still looks sleeker in profile than most large crossovers, sort of a tall sport wagon look. And its interior feels high-brow and is well finished. Plus this was the Grand Touring with all-wheel-drive, so it was loaded with electronic goodies.

But here’s the deal. I expect more responsive steering from a Mazda and, sorry to say, this just felt like other large sport-utes or crossovers. Steering is extremely light, but not as responsive as I felt in the last CX-9 I drove. It feels a bit vague with more wheel play than I had expected from past experience. That leads to a bit of lane wander on the highway. Continue reading 2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring AWD