I peered over the bonnet. It stretched further into the distance than the Golden Gate Bridge and for a moment I thought I might need binoculars.
The Infiniti Q30 is a curvaceous beast; part super-model, part muscled-up gym dude. Its curves roll like waves on the Atlantic; all ebb and flow, rise and fall.
They conceal a ballsy 2.2-litre diesel engine that powers from 0-62 in 8.5 seconds. And if you can find a road with no speed cameras and no speed limits, you can squeeze it to 134mph.
The impressive styling, however, is just the start of it. For the aesthetic qualities of the Q30 are backed up by ritzy comfort, state-of-the-art technology, impressive performance and more grunt than a 93 decibel Maria Sharapova serve. 15-Love.
But before we marvel at the satin chrome window trim, dual USB ports and six-speaker sound system or the tyre pressure monitoring system to make sure it's phat tyres can cope with a tarmac feast, let's dwell for a moment on that beautiful exterior.
The Infiniti is, quite simply, drop dead gorgeous. A toothy grille and gentle undulations give the front magnetic attraction. LED auto-level headlights provide high-level illumination while the big-is-beautiful bonnet gives it kerb appeal. The Q30 is a real bobby dazzler, a head-turning, show-stopping stunner.
It's impressive on the inside as it is outside. A leather steering wheel and shift leather stands proudly above a leatherette dashboard and Nappa leather seat finishings. There are wood inserts for the door panels and a centre cluster. Power lumbar support and three heat setting seats for the driver and passenger chairs make driving - or being driven - as pleasurable as taking front row seats at Birmingham's lavishly-upholstered Symphony Hall.
An all singing, all dancing entertainment system that's intuitive and responsive adds to the fun. Dual USB ports with iPod and smartphone connectivity, active noise cancellation, a CD player and Bluetooth streaming, voice recognition and touch street infotainment means you can listen to music in just about any format at a volume that would wake the neighbours.
So well thought out is the media package that the only surprise is there isn't also a vinyl player.
The car hugs the road like a bear with a honey tree. It offers a fantastically smooth and sure ride; providing reassuring grip. It pulls down into the road, giving stability through corners and at speed. The sense of safety is underscored by a four-wheel ABS system, seven airbags - to protect knees and hips, as well as faces - adaptive brake assist, a dash-mounted cruise control and a lane departure warning provide additional confidence.
The Q30 is all about the detail and Infiniti have gone the extra mile. So while we might expect rain sensing wipers, rear parking sensors and a hill start assist, the forward collision warning and stop and auto-dimming driver door mirror are an added bonus.
The Q30 offers three drive modes: Eco, Regular and bloomin' fast - sorry, we meant to say 'sport'. The latter is cheetah-like. Graceful and bristling with power, it eats tarmac like a chocoholic in the Lindt factory.
And it's that drive that's the most impressive aspect of the Q30. Because for all of the whistles and bells, for all of the I’ve-done-quite-well-in-my-executive-life-and-it’s-time-to-enjoy-the-rewards brilliant, and for all of the why-waste-extra-on-a-shiny-BMW-Mercedes-or-Audi-when-this-provides-all-of-their-brilliance-for-a-fraction-of-the-price value; the Q30 is, first and foremost, a delight to drive.
Quick, sturdy, powerful and responsive, it’s an executive model with sports car feel; a luxurious and elegant statement-of-a-car that handles as beautifully as a pro dancer on Strictly.
By Andy RichardsonSubscribe to our Newsletter