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Infiniti FX30d

We try out marque’s first oil-burner

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

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Infiniti knew it had to offer a diesel to be successful in Europe, and despite the jerky gearbox and higher-than-average running costs, the firm’s first attempt is sound. Different to look at, it comes with huge amounts of kit and impressive handling. Expect to see the 3.0-litre V6 diesel in other models such as the EX 4x4 and G saloon soon.

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IT’S not only Ford which has updated its SUV engine range: here is Infiniti’s first diesel.

Nissan’s prestige brand hit Europe in 2008 with a small luxury line-up. However, as the firm was keen to establish itself as a performance marque, the only options were powerful but thirsty V6 and V8 petrol motors.

Now, to slash running costs, Infiniti is offering the FX SUV with a 3.0-litre V6 oil-burner. Known as the FX30d, it packs 235bhp and 550Nm of torque – that’s more pulling power than the petrol V8-powered flagship FX50. The newcomer sounds great, with a pleasant growl and minimal diesel clatter, while the handling is as entertaining as it gets for a big 4x4. The all-wheel-drive power is biased towards the rear for a sportier set-up, and the only downside is the seven-speed auto: this is fine when it’s left to swap cogs alone, but can be jerky when shifted via the wheel-mounted paddles.

In terms of running costs, the FX30d returns 31.4mpg and emits 238g/km of CO2. That’s much better than the petrol cars, but lags behind cleaner, more efficient diesels such as the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne. Prices start at £44,325 for the base GT and top out at £50,815 for the flagship S with the Premium pack. That competes with fellow luxury 4x4s, yet the Infiniti’s trump card is its hugely generous amount of standard gear, of which there’s too much to list here.

The Infiniti is certainly not the cheapest 4x4 on the road, but you get a whole lot of car for the money, and it’s pretty good to drive, too!

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