Our cars: Infiniti M30d - September
Week ending September 30
Driven this week 400 miles
The Infiniti certainly added style to a 360-mile round trip from the South East to Gloucestershire. To be honest, I could have lived without the Rolex-esque clock face, but there's an awful lot more to this car than the bling.
I can't remember the last time I enjoyed such a smooth ride – at full pelt, the powerful 3.0-litre diesel engine chewed up the miles with the gentlest of purrs, and the plush, comfortable seats meant I actually mastered a dignified exit from the car after four hours of what I’d normally think of as M4 traffic-jam hell.
The Infiniti might look like it's got too much attitude for its own good, but under its skin it's an infinitely tameable beast – or maybe it tamed me. My only gripe was the alarmingly sharp braking, which jolted me out of my comfort zone a little too abruptly on more than one occasion.
Week ending September 23
Driven this week 340 miles
I borrowed the Infiniti over the weekend and made a 340-mile round trip to Derbyshire. I think it's a great motorway car and got out of the car at either end feeling fresh. The seats could do with a fraction more support and adjustment, but the M30d is brilliantly quiet and relaxed at speed.
The Infiniti felt pretty handy on twisty Derbyshire lanes, too, and the diesel engine is impressively gutsy.
I'm not a huge fan of the Bose stereo system, though. It only really sounds good when cranked up to a very high volume, which can't be good for your ears.
Week ending September 16
Driven this week: 270 miles
There’s no denying the Infiniti is an expensive car, but you do get lots of equipment as standard, including an impressive roster of safety kit, which is reassuring when I’m transporting my family.
In GT Premium versions, the M has a Dynamic Safety Shield pack. It consists of a range of features designed to stop you having an accident in the first place, then limiting the damage if a crash occurs.
These features include blind spot monitoring and intervention systems, lane-departure warning and lane-departure prevention and forward-collision warning.
If the car detects danger, it doesn’t just give you a warning, it can take avoiding action, such as slowing down or giving a tug on the steering wheel to get you back in lane. It’s pretty impressive technology and it’s all included in the list price. The effect of all this can mean there are a range of beeps, flashes and warnings during a journey, but it’s reassuring to know this is helping you keep alert and safe.
However, regardless of all the equipment, I still wince when faced with the car’s running costs. At 18,000 miles the M was due its second service. Infiniti collected it, dropped off a courtesy vehicle and then brought my car back when the service was done. Simple. The bill: £492.
The first service at 9000 miles cost £280. It’s a fair chunk of cash to pay for less than a year of motoring with my Infiniti. At least I have some time to save up for the next one; it’s at 36,000 miles.
Week ending September 9
Driven this week 300 miles
The Infiniti's second service (the first was at 9000 miles) came round all-too quick, so plans were made to have the car collected from my office and a courtesy car dropped off. The service was done the same day and the car driven back to the office. Great customer service.
What wasn't so great was the price - £490. It's a comprehensive 2.4-hour service, where they change the oil and oil filter and carry out over 50 other checks – but still!
At least I've got time to save up for the next service – it's not until the car gets to 36,000 miles.
Week ending September 2
Driven this week: 1200 miles
It felt like I spent most of the bank holiday weekend on the M6 and M74 during a short visit to my in-laws in Fort William. I think the Infiniti excels at long-distance motorway journeys but not enough to prevent my eldest daughter being car sick. It wasn't the Infiniti's fault, but more to do with spending the night in a car seat as we drove up.
Still, it put the Infiniti to the test. Although I'm not sure how many M30d buyers will appreciate just how easy it is to wipe sick off the leather seats. There's a nasty whiff coming from the seatbelt though, so any ideas on how to remove that would be appreciated.