Nissan's luxury division, Infiniti, is slowly making a come-back in South Africa. With the intention of offering “something a little different” to the dominating BMWs and Audi's, the EX is Infiniti's take on the mid-sized premium softroader (compact SUV) segment. Launching bravely into a section that already has established German competitors, and with no significant price or value advantage, the Infiniti EX is going to have to appeal to a higher sense of individuality and those wanting to 'break away' from the crowd in terms of brand loyalty and styling.
The Infiniti EX comes in three different spec-d variants, namely the basic EX, an EX GT and an EX Premium model. Its outside appearance exhibits the stance of a compact SUV but also somehow incorporates coupe-like styling. It has a double-arch grille which blends in with the smooth contours of the body and is accented by interestingly shaped xenon headlights. Chrome detailing forms a strong character line towards the rear where LED tail lights together with an integrated spoiler and swooping side windows give the EX a coupe-like feel. Wide wheel arches housing 18 inch alloys give it that purposeful stance and that all important SUV ride-height we've all come to know and love.
Inside the Infiniti EX you'll find a luxurious environment with ample space. As always, when it comes to cars for sale in this segment, one can expect high-end nice-to-haves. There are plenty of soft touch surfaces and tasteful accents of wood and chrome throughout. The dashboard lacks the clutter when compared to its rivals and standard specifications on the GT models are comprehensive. There is an 11-speaker Bose premium sound system that forms part of the Connectiviti+ touch-screen interface, which also boasts a 10GB hard drive for music as well as a satnav system and reverse camera. Leather upholstery is fitted all-round and is standard on the GT and GT Premium models. Additionally, the EX has split-folding rear seats which can be lowered or raised at the push of a button.
Two different engine variations are available in the EX range. The Infiniti EX 3.0d is powered at 175 kW and 550 Nm. This 3-litre V6 turbodiesel engine is capable of accelerating from 0-100 km/h in 7.9 seconds and will reach a top speed of 221 km/h. Fuel consumption is quoted at 8.5 litres per 100 km and CO2 emissions are 224 g/km. The second engine option is a 3.7 litres V6 engine capable of 235 kW and 360 Nm. This engine features Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) which contributes to a combined fuel consumption figure of 11.3 litres per km and CO2 emissions of 288g/km. Ã¢Â€Â¨Ã¢Â€Â¨Both engines are fitted with a 7-speed automatic transmission with a Drive Sport (DS) mode.
Buy a car like this and you are assured of excellent safety technologies. The Infiniti EX comes equipped with intelligent all-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes with all their associated electronic traction benefits, six air bags, ISOFIX child seat mountings, active head rests, collision warning (with auto emergency braking), Infiniti-developed bird’s-eye view parking cameras and lane maintenance control via a camera street side of the rear view mirror.
The Infiniti EX makes for an interesting alternative to the usual choices. What sets it apart from the Audi Q3, the BMW X3, the Range Rover Evoque and even the Volvo XC60 D5 Excel, for example, is its unpretentious overall refinement and solidity without the 'show-off'. Although it comes at a slightly higher price tag than its competitors, one could say that this is a small price to pay for being a little unique and not following the crowd. In terms of pricing, the entry-level Infiniti EX30d retails for around R595 000. (Prices may go up or down according to various factors so please consult your dealer for the latest price.)