Back in 2002, the arresting G35 coupe helped save INFINITI from floundering in obscurity. Unfortunately, the brand's two-door efforts since then haven't been as impressive – until the Q60, that is. The 2018 INFINITI Q60 is as attractive as anything else on the market, and should have no trouble wooing the right-brain romantics yearning for some distinctive style.

Best Value

INFINITI offers the Q60 in four different trim levels: Pure, Luxe, Sport, and Red Sport. While Pure and Luxe come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as standard, we'd opt for the Luxe with the optional 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. It offers 300 horsepower of strong performance, yet, at $44,500, is more affordable than the Sport and Red Sport, both of which utilize the V6 but carry fifty-grand-or-more price tags.

The Luxe is also strong in features as well as in performance. Standard equipment includes a moonroof, 13-speaker Bose stereo, Homelink, and dual-zone climate control. To the well-equipped base model, we'd add the Sensory Package, which comes with more extras than a late-night as-seen-on-TV commercial. We'd also get the ProAssist Package, which comes with all the requisite active safety features that are fast becoming the norm these days.

Here's our Q60 as it would look on pick-up day:

  • Model: 2018 INFINITI Q60 3.0t Luxe
  • Engine: 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6
  • Output: 300 hp / 295 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy: 19 City / 27 Hwy
  • Options: Sensory Package ($3,200, navigation, INFINITI InTouch Services, voice recognition for navigation functions, SiriusXM real-time traffic information, heated steering wheel, memory function for steering wheel, driver's seat, and side mirrors, heated front seats, remote engine start), ProAssist Package ($2,250, automatic emergency braking, rain-sensing wipers, surround-view camera, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensor, forward collision warning)
  • Base Price: $45,495 (including a $995 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $50,945

Performance

INFINITI Q60

At first blush, the racy INFINITI Q60 looks like it should be carving corners and eating apexes with the nonchalance of a professional athlete playing T-ball. However, the Q60's athleticism isn't quite that impressive; it's more of a powerful cruiser rather than any Corvette slayer.

This is especially true of the base models. The Pure and Luxe both get their motivation via a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four that makes 208 hp and 358 pound-feet of torque, and is hooked up to a seven-speed automatic transmission. It's a combo tasked to move 3,700 pounds, so zero-to-60 times fall right around seven seconds – not exactly an automotive Flash. But despite not being the fastest coupe in town, this powertrain will more than suffice for those looking for style over performance.

For those who want a little more bite to go with the Q60's bark, there's the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 that's optional in the Luxe and standard in the Sport and Red Sport. In Luxe and Sport, this six makes 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque; in Red Sport, horsepower hits the 400 mark while torque jumps to 350 lb-ft.

Needless to say, the V6 changes the character of the Q60, making it less a stylish conveyance and more of an actual performance coupe. The Red Sport does add adaptive suspension and a double-wishbone front suspension to its list of tricks, but it still falls well short of track rats like the BMW M3 or Cadillac ATS-V. Instead, consider the Red Sport something like Cadillac's V-Sport line or BMW's M-Sport; it's not quite a full-fledged brute but instead balances roadability with livability.

Our biggest gripe with the Q60 is the available drive-by-wire steering, or DAS in INFINITI-speak. Essentially, it's a system that bypasses a traditional mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the steering components. Instead, it uses electronics and sensors to translate a driver's steering input into turning motion. Though this setup has been around for a few years, it still feels half-baked, with the occasional quirky motion and a penchant for giving off unnaturally artificial feedback in any setting less aggressive than Sport+ mode. Unless you want the extra features included in the package that DAS is bundled with, we'd recommend sticking with the base steering system.

Style

Nothing sells a sporty coupe like style, and this INFINITI has plenty of it. The proportions are classic rear-wheel drive, with a nice distance between the front fender well and the leading edge of the door. The sculpting along the flanks gives the impression of a muscular car, as if the various creases and character lines were modeled after the limbered sinews of an athletic animal. Both fascias look elegantly purposeful, and thankfully lack any unnecessary and distracting bits of razzle and dazzle.

Our one nitpick with the styling regards INFINITI's use of chrome – that front fender hockey-stick piece looks like a pep-boys special, and the chrome adorning that reverse kink under the rearmost bit of side glass seems a little too thick, taking the look from classy to overwrought.

Opening those long doors reveals an interior that's tastefully done and of mostly high quality. Somehow a few Nissan pieces seemed to have sneaked their way into the Q60's cabin, but otherwise we were pleased with the materials and ergonomics.

The seats are very comfortable for anyone of any waist size, and sight lines from the driver's seat are good – this thankfully isn't a Camaro. For a luxury sporting coupe, there's ample room up front and usable room in back, though as with most cars of this ilk, it's still no limousine.

The Best and Worst Things

The style will make this a head-turner at the valet stand, and the V6 will be perfectly suitable for most buyers.

Our only big disappointments are that funky drive-by-wire steering system and the lack of cornering agility. The first is easy to avoid, but the latter will disappoint every time you try to hustle through a corner.

Right For? Wrong For?

INFINITI Q60

Those who want a stylish and luxurious grand tourer for a good price will find the Q60 the bee's knees.

But if sportiness is paramount, this isn't the coupe to buy, even in Red Sport guise. If that's your bag, look at the Germans or the Cadillac V cars.

The Bottom Line

The 2018 INFINITI Q60 is perhaps the best-looking luxury two-door on the market under $50,000. While it looks like it could chomp down a road course, this high-style car is all about looking good and moving swiftly but not hastily. We can applaud that ethos, even if a Cadillac or BMW can easily outgun it on a track. The G35 spurred INFINITI's return to relevancy back in 2002, and we imagine that the Q60 will help do the same to the personal luxury coupe in 2018.