November part 1
* Infiniti G Series Coupe tested * Year-long review * Tested by Roger Stansfield...
List price 35,890
Target Price 35,890
Run by Roger Stansfield,
Why its on test Infiniti arrived in the UK making bold promises about quality and service, so it was a chance to try out a brand, as well as a car
I wouldnt exactly describe myself as what marketing people call an early adopter. You wont find me sleeping outside the Apple store to be one of the first to get the latest gadget Ill buy it when its been around for a while.
Nor am I the type to latch on to new music before anyone else. I like things to get established before I hop on board.
Test the car and brand
So it came as a surprise to everyone who knows me when I announced I fancied an Infiniti G37 S Coup. I mean, Id never even owned a coup before, let alone one from a brand that had been in the UK for a matter of days.
The fact is, though, I liked the look of the G37 and was impressed by the promises Infiniti was making about customer service. With a few gentle warnings that a car powered by a 3.7-litre V6 engine might like a drop of petrol and need refuelling fairly often ringing in my ears, I took the plunge.
Its not that easy to go to a dealership and simply hand over a cheque when dealing with a new brand; there arent scores of cars in stock. It needs to be built and shipped half way round the world and if theres one way in which I am impulsive, its that when I want something, I want it now.
Fortunately, the sole Infiniti dealership at the time I ordered my car, which was in Reading (0118 907 1333) had a demo G37S coup that suited my needs: Moonlight White with Graphite leather upholstery, optional seven-speed automatic gearbox, intelligent cruise control and brake assist, and multimedia pack (rear camera, DVD sat-nav and Bose 10-speaker system). On-the-road price: 40,250.
The Infiniti experience
Actually, the word dealership is a bit of an insult to the Infiniti centre in Reading. Its more like the lobby of a five-star hotel, albeit with cars in it. You dont just buy a car but are put through the Infiniti experience.
You can have the G37 in one of eight colours - we like Moonlight WhiteYoure not a customer but a guest and there are no sales executives, only personal consultants. Three weeks after first walking in to meet mine, Nigel Spragg, I was back to pick up my car, and I became only the 10th person in Britain to own an Infiniti.
The discreet personal attention was everything Infiniti promised. The staff at Reading knew who I was (you cant remain incognito when dealing with a brand that has just one sales outlet), although I was assured that everyone gets the same treatment.
When the time came for the first service (at a rather early 9000 miles, but reasonably priced at 225) my new consultant, Shane Sunkel, collected the car from me and returned it, and I had two calls from after-sales manager Ian Sharp with updates.