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March 07, 2014



They have just re-birthed the Infiniti mark here in Australia after the one off Q45 many many years ago. Is Infiniti considered equal to Lexus in the US?

There is a large premium on the Q50 vs the Altima here. Under the skin is a substantially different vehicle (3.7 RWD or AWD - Q50 vs 2.5/3.5 FWD - Altima) but is there really >AU$30,000 difference between the bottom spec Q50 and the top spec Altima?

I must say that having had my Kia for the last 3 years with no issue at all (something my Toyotas or Mitsubishis can't claim) and getting close to the release of the Genesis name (only the V6 sedan will make it here as the V8 has not been engineered for right hand drive) I am tempted to give another Korean vehicle a home. Majorly disappointed that the Optima turbo is not going to be released here. There just isn't the market here to get a RHD version. The 2.4 just doesn't satisfy my want for all the power in the world.....



Infiniti is close to Lexus but Consumer Reports rated Lexus the top quality car this year.

The Q50 is no doubt a much different car than the Altima, but I was disappointed to see how similar the body styles are.


Avo: I currently own a Saab 9-5, older BMW 325i and a Kia minivan (also have a vintage Chevy Monza and get use of a company car, a Toyota Prius). My KIA holds its own when compared to the other more expensive vehicles I own or drive. It's a 2007 and KIA has only gotten better since then. After 120,000 miles, I've had no serous issues with it----everything works as it should, interior materials are holding up beautifully (better than the Toyota by the way). No doubt when I need a new car, KIA will be a strong consideration. They're not selling Saabs in the U.S. right now and if they ever come back----it's going to be at least 5 years from now or longer and I'm not holding my breath. I will look at BMW's lower priced offerings as well as KIA. Lincoln is doing some great things too these days and FIAT is doing a great job with Chrysler. But my first stops will be at BMW and KIA, at least as things stand right now.


Well Angelo, I must admit that when searching for the car 3 years ago I went straight to Toyota on the basis of the Aurion (which would be similar to your Avalon with the corporate 3.5 V6) purely because of the powerful engine. But what a boring car to drive.

The Kia wasn't even on my radar but my wife and I were in awe when we saw it parked on the street outside the dealership. I have NEVER bought a car on looks before but wowsers. Only thing is the ride is a bit firmer than I am used to.

Have always liked a nice soft car. Had a used Citroen XM for 3 years and only got rid of it because of the wonderful French reliability. The hydropneumatic suspension was out of this world but unfortunately PSA have decided no more trick suspension as it makes the car more expensive than it's rivals. An old Merc S class rides serenely (circa 1991 model, maybe just a V12 S600L. Wouldn't want to be seen as being too excessive). Haven't really looked at the BMW as there is no denying the quality and handling promise but my mate has a stock 135i and the ride is atrocious. Doesn't half go and corner though.... :-)

Australia seems to be in a grip of Golf fever, but I just can't see the allure. Servicing cost is over the top and there have been serious reliability issues with the auto tranny. Have you checked out the new MB A Class? Seriously looking at an A250. Looks very nice and price seems okayish.

Having said all that though, I have to say that I like the look of the new Altima and the 3.5 Ti-S is right on the money. I believe it now has a proper multilink rear-end which makes it a better drive proposition (assuming the springs and dampers are properly sorted).


Avo: Don't forget the Renault stake in Nissan. If it's French reliability you're worried about...
Having said that, I think the French car makers have gotten better and also, the Nissans still seem to do fine in reliability ratings. Speaking of ride/French cars: I've owned Cadillacs, a Buick---other cars with reputations for smooth ride. The best riding car I ever owned was a Peugeot 505, which was the perfect combination of smooth/cushiony over bumps but firm and decisive in handling characteristics. It didn't "float" but it pampered the passengers and held the road beautifully. But it was just not a very reliable car past 60,000 miles----way too many serious problems. I sold it at 93,000 miles and moved on. If they could have addressed the reliability issues and promoted that car better in the U.S., they'd still be selling cars here. Also, I have to say----my Saab is probably the best all around car I've ever owned. The ride is good, handling very good, interior space generous for it's size---and it's been trouble free---it's a 2004 that we bought new. Sadly, General Motors had no idea how to capitalize on owning Saab---they sold it to a small Dutch sports car company who basically took Saab into bankruptcy. Saab is now owned by National Electric Vehicles Sweden----a consortium of Chinese money, Japanese battery maker and Swedish engineers who are focusing Saab on selling in China for now---and primarily interested in making electric cars. If it all goes well, which I have my doubts about----but if it all goes according to plan and they do well with the concept, they might return Saab to the U.S. in time.

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