CLASS WAR

Nis­san gives driv­ers a pair of wor­thy lux­ury op­tions

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News - MARK HINCH­LIFFE mark.hinch­liffe@cars­guide.com.au

Nis­san’s In­finiti brand is ready to take on BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Lexus mod­els in the mid-sized lux­ury SUV mar­ket

THE new­est brand has stalled on the start­ing line.

In­finiti is to Nis­san what Lexus is to Toy­ota. Ex­cept Lexus has a host of mod­els and deal­ers while In­finiti has launched with just two mod­els and two deal­ers.

In the next few months a Mel­bourne dealer will join Sydney and Bris­bane and their show­rooms will be open. Ade­laide and Perth fol­low by the end of next year.

At least the two mod­els they have launched are qual­ity ve­hi­cles which will tar­get grow­ing sec­tors: the FX mid­sized lux­ury SUV and theM lux­ury sedan.

VALUE

The FX is com­pet­i­tive on price with the es­tab­lished Audi Q7, BMWX5/X6, Mercedes ML and Lexus RX. In com­mon with the Lexus and un­like the Euro­peans, it comes with a full suite of stan­dard fea­tures.

TheM­lines up re­spec­tively against the A6, 5 Se­ries, E-Class and GS and is also heavy on stan­dard kit.

Both In­fini­tis ask $1500 for metal­lic paint, the war­ranty is four years/ 100,000km and ser­vices can be done only at qual­i­fied cen­tres, which is not par­tic­u­larly prac­ti­cal at the mo­ment. Against that, the road­side as­sis­tance pro­gram is all-en­com­pass­ing.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The older model, the FX is pow­ered by V6 petrol or diesel en­gines or a 287kW 5.0-litre petrol V8 that guz­zles 13.1L/100km.

TheMrange is all V6, in petrol, diesel or hy­brid. The lat­ter has an im­pres­sive to­tal out­put of 268kW and uses less fuel than the diesel. It will also op­er­ate in full elec­tric mode up to 100km/h if there is enough bat­tery charge.

All mod­els have seven-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sions with down­shift rev match­ing and

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