We don’t normally collect manufacturer-supplied long-term test cars from dealerships, but for the latest addition to our fleet we were invited to find out exactly how a customer would take delivery of their car. It seemed like a good idea. Infiniti is, after all, a relatively new brand to the UK, and therefore a bit of an unknown, so it would be interesting to discover if its dealers could offer the level of service you might hope for from a premium brand.
Arriving at the Infiniti Centre in Reading the first impressions were good – and slightly different. Enter the modern-looking building and you find yourself in a hotel-like lobby area with not a car in sight. Instead, examples from the Infiniti range can be found in a separate area, away from the day-to-day hustle and bustle, where they can be viewed in a more relaxed atmosphere. A large configurator screen allows you to discover how various options might look, but I wouldn’t be needing that, because we’d already specced our car, which was, hopefully, waiting for us somewhere nearby.
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Where exactly this was I would soon discover, as sales consultant Shane Sunkel led me to the office where all the paperwork formalities would normally be conducted. It was here where he opened an easily overlooked, unmarked door. It looked like it might open onto a walk-in cupboard at best, but in fact this was Infiniti’s version of Narnia, because behind it was a carefully lit, temperature controlled room containing a single coupe-shaped car beneath a purple car cover – our new G37.
Once inside the room Shane began to pull back the cover to reveal the car beneath. This was the moment of truth: had we got the spec right? You see, rather than the unadventurous silvers, blacks and blues you all too often see on cars in this class, we’d opted for the bold and aptly named Vibrant Red. Thankfully, it really suits the G Coupe’s shape, and the Graphite leather and aluminium trim we’d selected for the interior set it off perfectly.
The rest of the spec had been easier to decide. We opted for the ‘S’ trim level (£35,890), which brings sports seats, leather, 19in wheels, sports suspension, four-wheel active steering and a limited-slip diff, while to partner the 316bhp 3.7-litre V6 we decided to take a punt on the seven-speed automatic gearbox (£1535), complete with column-mounted paddles. To this combination we added just one option, the multimedia pack (£2350), which brings a satnav with Michelin guides, an 11-speaker Bose stereo with a 10GB ‘Music Box’, and a rear-view camera.
During the handover Shane explained all these features and more to ensure that, when he raised the electronic shutters so that I could drive away, I would understand how everything on the car worked (although customers are also offered a ‘second handover’ at a later date to go over anything that they need more help with).
All said and done, it was an impressive introduction both to Infiniti and to ‘my’ Infiniti. Here’s hoping the car is a match for the dealership experience.
|Date acquired||July 2010|
|Costs this month||£0|
|Mileage this month||891|