What is it?
A posh crossover with a fast V6. Infinitis might be upmarket Nissans, but peel back the EX’s metalwork and you won’t find a Qashqai. Instead, it shares a platform with the G range. So there’s some performance breeding going on here, although the styling doesn’t really allude to it. It’s expensive compared to other crossovers, even BMWs and Audis, but that buys you exclusivity. These things are rarer than Hawaiian Monk Seals. Probably.
Here’s where the EX stands out from the others. This is probably the liveliest compact crossover out there, thanks largely to that 316bhp, 3.7-litre petrol V6 that’ll whip you from 0–62mph in 6.4 seconds and on to 149mph. It’s joined to a seven- speed automatic transmission feeding all four wheels, sending more power to the end that needs it most. It’s a playful thing, but tends to fuss around where a serious German would hunker down and get on with things. If you’ve yet to have your lobotomy, there’s also a diesel version. But even that’s quick, with more than 400lb ft of torque and a redline over 5,000rpm. Neither engine will keep you away from the pumps for long, with the petrol managing 25mpg on the combined cycle while the diesel does just 33.2. But if you’re worried about that, you’re looking at the wrong sort of car. The EX likes to do things differently, and so do the people that drive it.
On the inside
The inside of any Infiniti is a pleasant place to be. The lighting imitates the low-lit feel of a boutique hotel, and everything is soft to touch. There are three spec grades, topped by the GT and GT Premium. Base-level cars include a full colour screen, Bluetooth, parking sensors, dual-zone aircon, 18-inch wheels and Scratch Shield paint. GT adds leather seat facings and satnav, while Premium includes a load of driver aids. Packaging isn’t magical, so space is comparable to something like a big-ish hatchback. Think of the EX as a well-heeled hatch with a higher driving position, and you won’t be too disappointed.
If your budget is already stretched, walk away now. The cheapest EX is £37,130 and the most expensive is £45,810. That’s an awful lot of money for a crossover, and the expense doesn’t stop at the dealership. Those engines, even the diesel, will keep you on good terms with your local fuelmonger, who will be much nicer to you than the man from the bank. And the man from the tax office, come to think of it. At least you get a personal dealer contact, a sort of concierge, who you can call when you need a service. Or if you fancy a ham and lettuce sandwich.