The problem with being what marketing people call 'an early adopter' is that you can end up acting as a guinea pig for the manufacturer of whatever it is you've bought.
Take our Infiniti G37S coupe, one of the first in the country last November. As an ex-demo car, it came with the optional DVD-based Multimedia package (2300) of sat-nav, reversing camera and Bose stereo system.
Initially I was quite impressed with it, but lately I've been getting increasingly frustrated with some of its functionality and the things it can't do. It doesn't allow full MP3-player integration, for instance, and you can't put destinations into the sat-nav using the postcode of your destination.
However, five months down the line the G range (coupe, convertible and saloon) is now available with the vastly superior hard drive-based Connectiviti+ package. It costs only 50 more than the Multimedia system in our car, and is standard with the new Premium spec.
I've been trying it in an EX37 compact crossover, which Infiniti describes as 'the car that coupe buyers graduate to', and I wish I'd got it on the car I'm running.
It addresses the MP3 player and postcode issues already mentioned, but that's just the start of what's better about it. It can store the content of 300 CDs in its hard drive, and they're automatically downloaded as you play them. It displays the album cover artwork of the tracks, warns you of speed cameras visually and verbally and will help you choose scenic routes to your destination. The 3D graphics are far superior to those on the Multimedia system, too.
Personally, I still prefer a touch-screen to the central control system in the Infiniti, but there's no argument that Connectiviti+ is quicker to operate than the set-up in our car. Hopefully, in future Infiniti will also offer a head-up display that beams sat-nav info onto the windscreen, like the display available in some BMWs.
I like the EX. It rides well, delivers excellent refinement and looks good, and the interior styling and materials are a definite step up on the trim of our car. Apparently, the G range now has a comparable look and feel to the EX.
It all convinces us that Infiniti will soon be in a better position to stand toe-to-toe with prestige German manufacturers, particularly when diesel versions of some models become available later in the year.