If you can afford a luxury, up-market saloon it’s nice to have one that you don’t see on every city centre car park.
And if you buy an Infiniti M30d S Premium there’s little chance of being able to park up and calling “snap” when you see the same car next to you – unless you live in London that is.
And even though the Infiniti brand is becoming better known in the UK the number of people who looked at the M30d I was driving and asked me the make, shows that there is still a task ahead for the manufacturer.
But in other ways this exclusivity is a plus point for potential owners, who don’t want a ubiquitous BMW or Mercedes.
And if you are prepared to pay nearly £47,000 for a car you probably do want something that is different.
Certainly from a design point of view the M30d is different. It’s big, it’s curvy and it’s dramatic. Views on its styling were mixed, although the majority of people I spoke to liked the macho image.
Inside the cabin it’s luxury all the way, with superb electrically adjustable leather seats – the driver’s moves you to your predetermined position as soon as you start the engine, black lacquer interior trim and a very imposing split level dashboard. The driver and front passenger seats can be heated or cooled at the touch of a button and the steering wheel can be heated too, a real bonus in winter.
Unusually the S Premium comes with four-wheel-steer, which means the rear wheels turn as well as the front ones to give more responsive steering with less effort.
Some time ago I tried a slalom test arranged by Infinity in two different M series models to prove the benefit of rear-wheel-steer. With front-wheel-steer only I had to steer wildly from left to right to get through the cones. With the four-wheel-steer model barely any movement of the steering wheel was needed in comparison.
This car is also packed with a host of safety features you hope you will never need but are comforting to have on board, including Blind Spot Intervention.
Other manufacturers have systems which warn you when there is a car in your blind spot but on the Infiniti you not only get a warning but the system also prevents you from turning into the path of that vehicle by braking the wheels on one side of the car to pull you back into your lane.
The big 3.0-litre diesel in this car is mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox which gives seamless changes. It can be operated in eco, standard or sport mode as well as manually, using the gear change paddles behind the steering wheel.
On the road there is no disguising that this is a diesel engined car even though this model has double glazing all round. It’s far from noisy but certainly the engine note is louder than I expected.
The ride is firm but exceptionally comfortable and the road holding is excellent making it a very rewarding car to drive.
Despite the weight of this car and even with four people inside, it accelerates at an impressive rate and never seems to show any signs of running out of steam.
And if there are four of you going on holiday this luxury powerhouse has a boot big enough to swallow all your luggage without effort.
The sat nav in the Infiniti is the most accurate and precise I have come across.
With cars you get what you pay for, and even though you are paying a lot for the Infiniti M30d S Premium you certainly get a lot of car for your money – in every respect.
Model: Infiniti M30d S Premium
Mechanical: 2993cc, 238bhp, 6 cyl diesel engine driving rear wheels via 7spd automatic gearbox.
Max speed: 155 mph
0-62mph: 6.9 secs
Combined mpg: 37.7
CO2 emissions: 199 g/km
Warranty: 3 years/60,000 miles