Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 2019 Coupe Review
There’s nothing wrong with being different.
Diversity is what makes the world such an interesting place. And it also gives us cars like this one - the Infiniti Q60.
It’s a luxury sports coupe in the same mould as the Audi A5 Coupe, BMW 4-Series Coupe, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe and Lexus RC. Except it’s not from a well-established brand and is instead part of Nissan’s largely invisible prestige division that has struggled to gain traction ever since it launched here (for the second time) in 2012.
Sales have been modest, with just 91 Q60s sold in Australia in 2018 from a total of only 649 Infinitis; a fraction of the numbers sold by the established German brands.
But despite plans to axe its Q30/QX30 small cars, Infiniti has publicly vowed to stick it out in Australia. Late in 2018 it overhauled its Q60 range, cutting $4000 from the price of the 3.0T Red Sport we’re testing here, so we’re giving it a fresh look.
Is the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport right for me?
On the surface the Infiniti Q60 ticks the boxes you expect from a premium coupe. It has the look, with sweeping lines and 20-inch alloy wheels filling out the arches nicely while inside there’s plenty of leather and technology and there’s a powerful twin-turbo V6 engine under the bonnet.
But as the sales indicate, Infiniti has found it hard to attract buyers who want to be seen in a well-polished sports coupe from a far more established brand.
What does the 2019 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport cost?
Infiniti may have slashed $4000 off the price - with the sticker now - $84,900 (plus on-road costs). That’s less than any other six-cylinder prestige coupe, and competitive with the likes of four-pot rivals such as an Audi A5 2.0 TFSI quattro ($81,700), BMW 430i ($82,500) and Mercedes-Benz C300 ($85,500).
Of course, with any brand struggling for sales numbers paying full retail isn’t common. A quick browse around the current market suggests big savings can be had on low kays demonstrators if you’re willing to sacrifice some of that new car freshness.
What is the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport's interior like?
There’s a lot going on in cabin of the Q60 with an array of screens, buttons and trims that creates a busy rather than homogeneous look.
The focal point, whether by design or not, is the twin display screens in the centre of the fascia, with the upper screen displaying the navigation and air-conditioning settings while the lower one handles the rest of the infotainment work. Not only does it look clunky but the upper screen is low-resolution compared to the crisp lower display, which jars and suggests the development budget ran out halfway through designing the infotainment system. In an age of simplified interiors with less clutter and more hi-res screens (see the Range Rover Velar for a good example) it simply looks dated, even though it only hit the market in 2016.
There are some nicer elements, however, such as the thick-rimmed, leather-wrapped steering wheel and Infiniti’s trademark purple colour treatment on the instrument panel.
How much space does the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport Coupe have?
The front chairs are finished in soft leather and offer both comfort and support, lending a premium feeling to experience. There’s good adjustment for the driver too, courtesy of the power adjustable steering column and eight-way power adjustable seat, so finding your ideal seating position is easy in the front.
It’s a different story in the rear. While the powered front seats make it easy to open a space to the rear, once inside there is limited rear leg room and the sloping glasshouse encroaches on headroom for even taller children.
What's the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport's tech like?
Looks aside, the twin-screen set-up is also complicated to use, with a combination of touch controls on the lower screen, a rotary dial for the upper screen as well as physical buttons to dial up other menus. It takes time to get comfortable with the variety of switchgear at your disposal, even for the tech-savvy.
When you do get used to it, there’s plenty of goodies to enjoy. The Red Sport comes equipped with a Bose Performance Series sound system that includes surround sound, active noise cancellation and 13-speakers.
It also comes with navigation with live traffic, a CD player, digital radio and Bluetooth streaming. Another sign of its age, though, is the lack of smartphone connectivity - both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are missing - which is a significant omission on a $85k luxury car.
How reliable is the 2019 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport?
While Infiniti may be a small fish, it's part of the bigger Nissan group and uses large amounts of parts from its parent company.
Underneath the Q60 is a modified version of the Nissan 370Z platform, so there’s plenty of familiarity there. But Infiniti has also introduced its own, more hi-tech elements, such as steer-by-wire, which are yet to be proved in the long-term.
How safe is the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport?
As you’d expect given its price and position there’s plenty in its arsenal, including forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist and rear cross-traffic alert. It does miss out on the latest in mild-autonomous functionality that its German competition (most notably the C-Class Coupe) can boast.
What is the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport's warranty like?
Infiniti Australia covers it's cars for the first four-years/100,000km, which is above average for the premium end of the market.
What are the on-going costs for the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport Coupe?
There’s a six-year capped price servicing plan covering the Q60, for its 12-month/15,000km check ups. However, the visits don’t come cheap, a minor service will set you back $590 while a major can hit more than $1400, which is steep even for a luxury car.
Is the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport value for money?
On the surface the answer is, yes. The Q60 Red Sport offers V6-performance for the same cost as its four-cylinder German rivals. And it doesn’t skimp on equipment to hit that price either, with plenty of creature comforts.
However, in the long-term the Q60 will hurt you come resale time (especially if you pay full retail) which hurts its value prospects regardless of its bang-for-buck.
What's under the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport's bonnet?
Undoubtedly the star of the Q60 Red Sport is the engine, a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine that endows the car with enough performance to make it a rival to the likes of the Audi S5 Coupe and Mercedes-AMG C43.
The V6 is good for 298kW of power and 475Nm of torque, which compares favourably to the 260kW/520Nm Audi and the C43’s 287kW/520Nm. When you line up the Red Sport against its closest rival on price, the $85,500 Mercedes C300 Coupe with its 190kW/370Nm 2.0-litre four-pot, the Infiniti offers a serious performance advantage.
The engine pulls hard to reveal a strong mid-range of torque, but it what it delivers in punch it lacks in character. There's no snarling exhaust as it climbs through the rev range or fizzy top-end that encourages you to find it. It pulls the numbers but not the heartstrings.
In saying that, it does feel a little unwieldy when you really stomp on it, but that is more to do with the the chassis - and its electronics - trying to harness the power, rather than it ever feeling too powerful.
The seven-speed automatic transmission could also be more engaging. It's beautifully suit to around town work, seamlessly slurring through the gears as if it was invisible. But then, even in its sportiest setting, it never feels rifle quick when you're asking for it to be, which makes it feel a little lazy for a sports coupe.
How much fuel does the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport Coupe use?
The official combined urban/highway cycle is 8.9-litres per 100km.
What's it like to drive the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport?
If you're after a good-looking and comfy car to cruise gently around in - from the corporate carpark to the country club - the Q60 nails the brief. The ride is nicely composed at low speeds and the willing engine makes for effortless performance.
However, this isn’t built for only that. It’s very name, Red Sport, implies that it delivers something more. In that regard it’s a far less convincing package.
The previously mentioned steer-by-wire system is the biggest cause for complaint. By doing away with a traditional mechanical linkage in favour of the more hi-tech ‘’Direct Adaptive Steering’ Infiniti has made life too complicated for its own good. The resulting steering lacks linear progression across the rack and uneven weighting, which leaves the driver unsure at times where exactly the front wheels are pointed.
Coupled with a hefty kerb weight of more than 1700kg, a ride that gets choppy and tends to crash when you pick up the pace plus a rear-end that struggles to harness the peaky nature of the V6 and the net result is a car that is less than the sum of its parts.
How does the 2019 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport compare to the competition?
If you’re after a luxury coupe with some sporty character there are more complete options than the Q60 for similar money - albeit at the expense of performance. The Audi, BMW and Mercedes are all more enjoyable to drive and finished with a higher degree of polish.
The Infiniti Q60 Red Sport ticks a lot of boxes for a prestige coupe with a powerful engine, stylish looks and loads of luxury goodies. But the lack of refinement, complex interior and expectation of a heavy hit come resale time all count against it heavily.
Find one at the right price (well below the $85k advertised) and there’s still an enjoyable car to be had.
Stephen has been interested in cars as long as he can remember. Speed is in the blood as his great-grandfather was a motor racing pioneer in Australia, establishing several land speed and racing records. Based in Sydney, professionally he has been writing about everything on four-wheels since 2001…