INFINITY Q50 – £34k +
The thing about alternative choices is that they’re only worth having if they don’t stray too far into left field; if they’re viable, basically. A cosmonaut’s wristwatch with laser beams instead of hands and a casing made of recycled ex-Soviet missile parts might seem fascinating, but if it costs twice as much as the average automatic watch, needs six hours of direct sunlight a day to keep it working and isn’t actually very easy to read, the novelty value won’t last long.Nic CackettRoad testerInfiniti’s first model was the 1989 Q45 saloon – a car only an inch longer in the wheelbase than the new Q50It’s a truth that Japanese luxury car maker Infiniti knows only too well. The brand is more than 25 years old, but it has only had an official presence in Europe since 2008.That Infiniti has yet to make more than the faintest impression here has much to do with its negligible brand awareness with the general public, a very small dealer network and a lack of the right kind of engines for the European market.The little-known, equipment-rich, pricey, petrol V6-only Infiniti G37 saloon has been the cosmonaut’s wristwatch of the compact executive saloon market these past five years. Its replacement, however, looks much more sensible – and yet still like something fresh and different.Thanks to Daimler AG, the Infiniti Q50 has a four-cylinder 2.1-
Read more Infiniti Q50 Review | Autocar.
MAZDA 6 – £
Mazda’s recent Kodo Design philosophy, which aims to combine elegant and masculine looks into one striking package.
Of more importance was the introduction of Mazda’s SkyActiv technology to the family car range. This has helped to cut emissions without compromising performance, with the powerful 2.2-litre diesel delivering the efficiency of a much smaller engine. There’s a choice of 148bhp or 173bhp versions, as well as a selection of quiet petrol engines.
As is usual in this market sector, there’s an equally stylish Tourer estate version of the Mazda 6. All models come in SE, SE-L and range-topping Sport trims, each with a generous list of standard and optional equipment.
Read more: AUTOEXPRESS