Matt Myftiu

Matt Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

Wow is a word you shouldn’t overuse.

It’s only applicable when something truly surprises and impresses you.

But in this case, when talking about the 2019 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400, wow is the appropriate word to use. Because once you start driving this rocketship luxury coupe, you’ll find find yourself saying that word a lot.
Between its stunning looks, truly bold performance chops and tech offerings, it makes a strong claim for the crown of best luxury sport coupe. Read on for a full report.


LOOKS

While it hasn’t undergone a major redesign for a couple years, the Q60 (which is based on the Q50 sedan) remains one of the most attractive luxury coupes available, with its long swooping hood and sleek lines.

The interior is plush and more comfortable to driver than most sporty rides, and offers unique silver styling in the trim. A power sliding tinted glass moonroof is included, a feature that’s a must to truly enjoy this type of vehicle.

To be honest, the back seat is there for show only. As with most coupes, think of the Q60 as a two-seater.  The reality is these types of vehicles are about performance, not utility. Nobody will fit in back except maybe small children. It also has a very small trunk, even smaller than most of its competitors, so don’t plan to bring a lot of cargo.

To bring home the performance angle, the Q60 Red Sport features 20-inch aluminum-alloy sport wheels, and all-season performance tires. There are also special exhaust tips and red-painted brake calipers. The Red Sport also includes exclusive aluminum accented sport pedals.

Other options include illuminated kick plates, interior ambient lighting, and a carbon fiber package that offers carbon fiber rear decklid spoiler, exterior mirror covers, fog lamp finishers, and fender vents for just over $2K.

Examples of classy design touches are: Genuine carbon fiber on center console and doors, aluminum front door sill kick plates, chrome INFINITI Double-arch signature grille, welcome lighting on front door handles, and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Saturday, 20 April 2019 08:37

2019 Volvo XC40: Stylish, smooth and safe

It could be argued that there are already enough vehicles in the compact luxury SUV segment, which has been growing like a weed in the past few years.

Good thing Volvo didn’t listen to that school of thought, as their XC40 entry is one recent addition to the segment that delivers both on looks and performance, in addition to safety.

Read on for a full assessment of the 2019 XC40, which has the goods to disrupt this segment and achieve long-term success.

LOOKS

When I got my first look at the XC40, I immediately thought it was one of the sharpest looking rides I have seen in a long time. My test vehicle was a beautiful light blue color, with a white top and a long sunroof. The body was impressively designed with unique deep side lines. And to top it off, a nice little Swedish flag is attached to remind you of Volvo's heritage.

From a distance, it almost reminded me of the look of an classic car from the 60s, a bit of a retro throwback.

Having a strong look is important in this class, as everyone from Audi to Lexus to Infiniti comes with their A-game in terms of design.

When Lexus debuted the RX in the late 1990s, it was one of the original creators of the crossover market that has taken over auto industry in the past two decades. Today, it feels like there’s a new crossover announced every month, but it was a risk back in the day.


The move paid off, as the RX has been a top seller for Lexus for many years, leading sales charts in its class on a regular basis.

But something was holding it back from further success. Unlike some competitors, it only offered a two-row version (housing 5 passengers), and didn’t have a 3-row option for people wanting some extra room for the little ones in back. That has changed with the arrival of the RX 350L option, which boosts capacity to 7 passengers.

How does the three-row edition of the RX measure up to other luxury 7-seaters? Read on for a full report.

 

Mazda, strictly by the numbers, shouldn’t be leading the pack at anything. For background, in 2018, Mazda sold about 300,000 vehicles in North America. Toyota, by comparison, sold more than 2 million vehicles in North America in the same time frame.

Given those numbers, and the assumed budgets behind the scenes that one would imply from them, it’s truly an impressive feat that the Mazda brand continues to deliver quality the way it does.

While there may not be as many of them on the road as other brands, anyone who has ever driven a Mazda will usually have very kind words to say about the experience and how impressive the vehicle design and drive quality was.

Recently I was able to test a Mazda6, the midsize sedan taking on names like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima, Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, VW Passat and Kia Optima. I’m back with a full report on whether the Mazda6 lives up this underdog’s past successes at it battles in this busy segment.

 

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