“WHAT’S that then?” enquired my visitor as he glanced back at the shining big SUV parked in my driveway.
He had already taken a fair look at the model but the name meant nothing to him and he is by no means alone on that standing.
The model in question was an Infiniti FX which is a luxury big SUV that has not been in this country too long.
My quick explanation was that where Toyota’s luxury brand was Lexus this was Nissan’s equivalent and that was enough to cover the identity of the vehicle.
He didn’t really fancy the front design of the car but I quite like its chunky looks and powerful stance.
The Japanese company’s line-up arrived in Europe in 2009 but its history goes back a lot further as models went on sale in North America in 1989.
The test car was an Infiniti FX30d GT Premium and it was as lavish as its competitors’ offerings at this end of the market.
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to afford the on-the-road price of £51,438 - that included the £679 Umbria Twilight paint job - for this FX you won’t be disappointed with the amount of kit that comes with it.
The interior finish is sumptuous with its quilted leather upholstery and top quality carpeting.
The driver’s seat was excellent, being electrically multi adjustable, and all-round visibility was superb.
The heated front seats were also ideal for the recent cold mornings and I discovered they are cooled as well when I turned the switch to the extreme left rather than centre – a handy feature for the rare occasions when we enjoy hot temperatures.
There is lots of room for driver and four passengers and the rear seats split one-third/two-third for versatility and extra boot space when required.
You won’t need to add any options to this Premium model as its massive standard feature list includes Around View Monitor (ideal for parking), a super sat nav system with touch screen and voice navigation, a 10 GB music box which can store the equivalent of 300CDs, 11-speaker Bose Premium Sound System, Bluetooth for hands-free phone operation, lane departure warning and prevention, frontal collision warning, Bi-Xenon adaptive cornering headlights, rear privacy glass and electric glass sunroof, scratch-shield self-repairing paint and six-spoke metallic-finish 21-inch alloy wheels.
The performance is also impressive as the 3-litre V6 235bhp diesel engine allows the FX to surge to 62mph in just 8.3 seconds and gives it a top speed of 132mph.
The seven-speed automatic gearbox was excellent with instant response through the gears and there is also the opportunity to move manually with the steering wheel paddles.
Handling was also good for a vehicle of this size and ride comfort was superb, even on some pot-holed roads.
You don’t hear much engine or wind noise either as this Infiniti cruises along smoothly and quietly at motorway speeds.
This model is ideal for wintry conditions with an all-wheel drive system that constantly adjusts so that grip is always maximised on slippery surfaces.
It’s not difficult to see why this is the brand’s flagship and top seller – you can see the full range under the roof of Scotland’s sole Infiniti centre which is at Braehead.
The finish is top quality – with EVERY Infiniti laser scanned at the Tochigi production line in Japan to ensure that panel gaps are within prescribed limits.