Oh, the humanity

As if Corby needs another reason to rail against society

STEPHEN CORBY

WHAT kind of arsehole would you have to be?

Seriously, thatís the question you canít stop asking when someone slams into your parked car Ė be it beautiful and brand new like my Infiniti Q50 or even wheezing and decrepit Ė hears the horrible crunch, shatter and scrape of impact, and simply drives off.

No apology, no note, no goddamn human decency. Not since someone egged an Aventador outside my house have I so severely questioned the worth of humanity.

I donít think it was someone in my street who did the deed to the right-rear corner of my brand spankers Infiniti, shattering the brake light and leaving some ugly scratches, mainly because no one in my street drives a big, dick-headed SUV, and looking at the height at which the damage occurred Iím completely illogically going to blame someone who owns a BMW X5.

The problem is that we canít work out exactly when it happened. I suspect it was at the stupidly crowded local supermarket car park, where we would have approached the car front-on afterwards and thus missed out on crunching through the broken plastic.

No matter, I just hope whoever it was has been hit by a bus. Or a comet. Or struck down with incurable bowel explosiveness.

Other than being slightly cursed, what are we to make of this Q50? Well, it sure makes you feel unique. Iíd never previously seen one on the road (in Australia at least; there are plenty in the US). And yet, such is the magical illogic of coincidence, Iíve clocked two others in the month Iíve had it, one even painted the

What a load of DOS

Thereís something late-í90s Microsoft about the multi-screened Operating System for the Q50, which offers layers within layers of adjustment for everything from steering feel to overall sportiness.

Itís all very flashy and yet slightly overwhelming. And thereís a mouse-like knob wheel that you can operate it with if you want, but Iíve never even touched it because there are so many other ways to do things. ďSimplisticĒ and ďintuitiveĒ are not words that come to mind. But at least thereís not a helpful paper clip in sight.

same colour, which Iíd describe as Purple Rain. It looks black most of the time, but in the right light, or when itís wet, there are purple sparkles.

Paint aside, its styling is best described as inoffensive, or Japanese, which is basically the same thing. The fact that the Infiniti badge Ė one that has generated at least feigned curiosity from car-disinterested friends Ė closely resembles the branding on a Great Wall is an unfortunate coincidence.

A happy soul in the bustling Infiniti garage where I got mine fixed Ė a swift and painless experience Ė informed me that my vehicle is expected to compete with Audiís A4, BMWís 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class. And that business is so booming the brand will soon open a new dealership in the far-western Sydney suburb of Castle Hill. Where not a lot of Euro brands, or dealers, lurk.

Itís easy to see the market that Infiniti is aiming for, particularly with its sharp pricing and high spec levels Ė my Q50 has every gadget under the sun, and at least two buttons to operate each of them Ė but difficult to describe it as a raging success.

Infiniti launched locally in 2012 and I would personally like to hear from each person who has bought one, so we can form a bit of an exclusive club.

Itís easy to see why the Q50 is the brandís biggest seller. It offers a lot of quality and nice primo touches, like an eight-way powered driverís seat that moves in an out every time you start it, just in case youíre of a portly stature. And something called InTouch Apps, which sounds very modern.

And a Plasmacluster air purifier and Grape Polyphenol Filter. Because nobody wants Grape Polyphenols getting up their nose.

The 155kW 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder engine drives the rear wheels, as it should, and is alluring enough without being overly erotic, and the carís fuel economy adds to its value offering. My car is the base GT spec and costs $50,990, plus $1500 for that premium purple paint.

The Q50 seems a bit like the first episode of one of those slightly obscure TV series on Netflix. Itís kind of cool, yet very American, and Iím not sure if I like it or not. Yet.

If it can avoid heartless arseholes for a while, we might have a chance to bond.

The price of incompetence

So what does a car-park bingle cost you? Well, only about 20 minutes hanging around the pleasantly appointed Infiniti garage Ė and a cool $429.47 Ė because thatís what it took to replace the brake light that was shattered. Iím still saving up to have the paint scratches and the small dent fixed, however, which will amount to another $1500 or so, thanks to the unkind person who left me to face the bill for their incompetence.

INFINITI Q50

Date acquired: April 2015 Price as tested: $52,400 This month: 1080km @ 12.0L/100km Overall: 1080km @ 12.0L/100km

WEEK 5 34 0 0 1 6 9 6 34

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