Almost every luxury automaker has a coupe-crossover. For example, Audi has the Q5 Sportback, BMW has the X4, while Mercedes-Benz has the GLC Coupe.
Curiously, Japan doesn't have a posh, high-riding slantback, that was until Infiniti -Nissan's luxury division- stepped in to fill the gap.
Infiniti (and Japan's) first foray into the luxury coupe-crossover market is the QX55. On the surface, at least, it looks like a promising contender in its segment. Like most of its competitors, it's bold thanks to that massive grille and distinct LED daytime running lights. With that much presence, this is a crossover for people who like attention, not avoid it.
Even the rest of the body is attention-grabbing, for better or worse. The low roof and high window line is something you'd typically in sports cars and not crossovers. Also, the flanks are devoid of jagged lines and acute angles. Instead, you get soft and gentle curves from the fender to the quarter panel. As for the rear, the high-set taillights have 45 LED nodes on each side, a fact that Infiniti seems to be proud of in this crossover. The tailgate is wide, and to maintain a clean look, they placed the license plate holder in the bumper.
Inside, it has a wraparound dashboard that merges with the door panels to give the occupants the sensation of being cocooned in the cabin. Infiniti seems to be going for old-school luxury in the QX55. Yes, it has the latest in infotainment systems and driver assist systems, but the instrument cluster is analog instead of digital. Some may call it antiquated, but it bucks the trend of adding more screens in cars.
As it is a crossover, it still offers a lot of practicality. Despite the sloped roof, it has a sizable cargo area, and the second-row seats can be folded flat for loading in bulky items.
Now for the engine, and Infiniti chose the downsized turbo engine route. The boosted 2.0-liter engine makes 272 PS and 380 Nm of torque. As for the gearbox, it's not the usual eight-speed automatic we see in most luxury cars these days. Instead, it uses a continuously variable transmission, like most Nissan models these days.
Of course, the odds of the QX55 landing in the Philippines are next to nothing. Infiniti vehicles are not even sold here, at least through official channels. Still, it's an alternative to the German coupe-crossovers, and perhaps Infiniti deserves a pat on the back for being the first Japanese offering in that segment.