Packing up and packing it in

Corby gives the Infiniti a final workout before leaving for Italy

STEPHEN CORBY

LOOK, itís not you, itís me. Iím not even breaking up with you, or returning you early, itís just that I want to see other cars, on the other side of the world.

Besides, Iíve become a little bit obsessed with one tiny foible of yours, and Iím worried that if we donít go our separate ways I might set fire to you.

Yes, the time for me to bid farewell to the Infiniti Q50 has come because my family and I have decided to move to Italy, where this brand doesnít even exist (although thatís not the reason Iím going, to be fair).

As this monthís fuel figures suggest, this meant a final few weeks of frantic short trips, many of them conducted with the Q50 loaded to the gunwales with boxes, toys and things my wife seems to believe Iíve been hoarding unnecessarily for years.

It has been surprising how much you can jam into this voluminous sedan if you really try, but it has meant that Iíve been driven slightly spare by the design quirk of not being able to open the boot with a simple press of the release button on the bootlid, even when the car is unlocked and the engine is switched off.

Why, with my arms full, should I have to jab the key fob, or the remote switch on the dash?

The heat is on. Or is it?

Iíve always thought that seat heaters offering three levels of bun-toasting are simply overkill, but theyíre decidedly more useful than bum-warmers that donít seem to do anything. My Q50 came with single-setting seat heaters for driver and passenger and yet, even in the midst of a particularly brutal winter week in Sydney, I couldnít tell if they were on or not. Urinating in your own pants would be a more effective way of keeping warm, but then youíd probably get electrocuted by the seats.

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No, really, why? Itís possible that within some deep, dark menu I can change this, but life is too short to find out.

In general I remain slightly baffled by the tech-trickiness of the Q50, which offers something called the ďInTuition TM fully customisable digital environmentĒ with ďup to 96 settingsĒ. Intuition would suggest that it knows what I want, but I can assure you it doesnít.

Iím also less than convinced by the Direct Adaptive Steering with customisable ratio, because no matter how hard I try I canít feel the difference between the heavy and light settings. This could be because they both feel too light, or it may be that my senses are not as sensitive as I had hoped.

Nor does the car seem to benefit much, in handling terms, from being rear-wheel drive.

Iím yet to feel excited or invigorated by the Q50, although short city trips are perhaps not the best way to form a relationship.

But here we run into a typical problem with assessing such things.

Is the Q50 aimed at someone like me? No.

Is it supposed to be sporty? No again. So what we really need to consider is whether Iíd be satisfied with my Infiniti purchase if I wasnít me, but was the type of person whoíd buy one with their $52,400.

And other than a slight roariness from the overworked 2.0-litre turbo-petrol fourcylinder around town, I think I would be, because I quite enjoyed our few long trips together, thereís plenty of space for a small family, and there is a certain quirky pleasantness about the styling.

As Australiaís almost invisible brand, Infiniti might not be on your shopping list, but if youíre in the market for this sort of car, perhaps it should be.

INFINITI Q50

Date acquired: April 2015 Price as tested: $52,400 This month: 287km @ 15,54L/100km Overall: 2580km @ 12.71L/100km

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