After 105K miles and 7 1/2 years of ownership, It was time to change my beloved BMW 135i (I6 twin turbo 300HP/300torque / 6 manual) and I look around high and low for a suitable replacement with a manual transmission. This is a review from BMW owner perspective. My 2015 Q60S came fully loaded, in fact there were no options to get, which was quite funny and pleasent for me. The leather quality is good and craftmanship is up to my old BMW. The technology in the car is great and bluetooth and connections works well, the quality of the sound is very good but I miss the DSP capabilities of my old ride (no digital equalizer, etc). On the driving side, the engine feels powerful but in the high rev spectrum, it does not have the quick response of a twin turbo engine but feel agile enough, I have not explored the high end of the tachometer yet, but I am confident I will have a smile, it is still a 2,000 miles engine after all. The space in the back is enough for my 2 daughters on short trips and I am very pleased with the value and amenities of the car. Bottom line is, this car has a very reliable/trusted V6 engine, with Variable Valve and Lift technology but without the add ons that will cause constant repairs in a Turbo engine, like fuel pumps, positive crack valve, sensors, lean conditions, etc. Its is a very powerful car and the delivery of the power is non intimidating, has inexpensive components (normal spark plugs, spare tire, oild stick, jack, etc) that will make you have a smile every time you have to service it. Mising points: The manual transmission feels normal, not really a short throw, crazy agility delivered close to 5K rpm, no 60/40 rear seat.
I should probably start this off by saying I am a long-time Nissan fan.
My previous car was a '95 300zx TT that had been meticulously maintained, but was just getting...well, old. I did consider a new Z; but the last several gens of Z's are just plain fugly to me - plus the newer Z's are cramped inside and feel somewhat cheap. So, after testing the Q60S, the 370Z, the new Lexus RC350 F-sport, the Audi TT, the Hyundai Genesis coupe, and the new Camaro, I decided to go for the Q60S. (I almost went with the Genesis, but the Hyundai dealership here was [non-permissible content removed])
This Q60 Sport is a great car...except for a major flaw, and a few minor quirks.
I won't spend time going over every little thing that you can read about in any good review of the car. It's a blast to drive, VERY quiet, VERY comfortable, and has all the tech a spirited driver could ask for. The driver's seat is one of the best I have ever planted my butt in, the controls are intuitive and well-laid out (though I would now recommend the shift paddles on the wheel), and I've never been able to get the car to lose its cool, even in a good rain! The suspension is dialed in JUST right in my opinion - stiff enough for excellent handling, and supple enough to handle the 3rd World condition roads we have here in Hawai'i. Visibility is good, and with the reverse sensors and camera, you're able to see it all. Brakes are super and haul the car down fast.
The engine is a dynamo - it puts my old stock TT to shame. I don't get what a lot of reviewers say about the engine being noisy - hell, for a 330hp V6 that has a 7000rpm redline, it's smooth and gives all the right noises (Be SURE to get the optional "sport exhaust". Even though Infiniti won't say it, I'm pretty sure it's the IPL exhaust, and lets the engine put out a few more ponies to boot. Regardless, it sounds great, and I get a big grin every time I rev it!)
The major flaw - the transmission. The 7AT in this car is VERRRRY slow in regular drive mode. The tranny in my new Ford paratransit van is better...and that is a horrible thing to say.
I've had the Q60s tranny software updated, and the tranny STILL just sucks. Basically, it acts like it was programmed for best fuel economy and not performance! When warm, there is a hesitation from a stop - like the torque converter is bad; same thing happens around corners occasionally; and at other times it feels like the tranny is having trouble deciding what gear it wants to be in. This gets really frustrating with that 330hp on tap! I drove a QX50 loaner once, and that car embarrasses my Q60s acceleration.
The problem almost goes away when the tranny is in DS (manual sport) mode, but the shifts are still a little slow and the takeoff balky.
The transmission in this car just kills the experience.
[UPDATE: - It appears the problem with this transmission is in the engine and transmission controllers - they don't handle a car using ethanol fuel (which we mainly have here in Hawai'i) when the ambient temperature is around 90 degrees. I've switched to non-ethanol fuel, and/or dumping a bottle of octane booster in the tank, and this pretty much resolves the driveability problem.]
If you decide to get a Q60 coupe, and love to drive - get the MANUAL transmission. I'm glad I only have a 2-year lease on this car. That's how badly the tranny irritates me.
My first little quirk is with the Climate Control. I've had a number of cars with Climate Control, and it appears Infiniti decided to do things a little differently with their version. For example, if you just want fresh air - you have to shut the system off, then turn on the fans, then lower the temp setting as far as you want, and then turn the A/C on, and then off. Ridiculous! If you don't do all those steps - even though the panel says NEITHER the temp control nor the A/C is on, they continue to work anyway! Oh, and you can't have recirculating air unless the A/C is on. There is also sunlight sensors on the dash that seem to override the temperature control. In most cars I've always set the temp at 75, left it there and been happy. With this car, I have to keep changing the temp settings to keep from freezing!
Second quirk is with the doors. The doors are damn heavy, and if there is any kind of strong breeze blowing, they are a bitch to open, and almost impossible to keep open! I've had to come up with a new "exit routine" to keep from getting a leg caught in the door as we usually have healthy Trade Winds here in Hawai'i.
Last quirk - to me, even the upgrade Bose sound system's speakers sound muddy - NOT what I'm used to, as my 300zx had a Bose system. The "driver's stage" setting on the system is cool - it's like surround sound, but the speakers need to be wayyyyy crisper in my opinion. Subwoofer is pretty good, and it's nice to be able to tie my phone audio directly into the car system with a couple of button pushes.