Drive: Infiniti Q60 competes well with other sporty sedans in the market

The middle name of the most popular civilian motor vehicles of our time is “Utility,” but that doesn't stop some automakers from building a few models that offer little or no trace of that quality. One such is the Infiniti Q60, a graceful, edgy, high-powered 2-plus-2 coupe that takes on the likes of the BMW M440i, Audi S5 and Lexus RC350.

Having driven all of these models except the Audi fairly recently, we couldn't help but notice each of the automakers builds stylish sedans that share many of the finer traits of the three sport coupes. And without exception, the sporty sedans offer tons more of that magical quality, utility, than the coupes do. The coupes look better doing what little they can do, functionally speaking — other than turning heads and ensuring that even the most ordinary folks look good behind the wheel.

So, people who want a little bit of sport and luxury, along with a liberal dose of utility, could do far worse than the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Infiniti Q60 or Lexus IS. These models have bigger trunks, room for five passengers, and easier access and egress, front and back.

Forced to choose from among the four coupes, we'd consult our wallets first. The European models sell more briskly and drive more enthusiastically than the Japanese models, but they also cost more. Our BMW 440i cost nearly $6,000 more than the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400, and almost $12,000 more than the Lexus RC350 F-Sport. All three coupes had all-wheel drive.

Why do these sporty coupes have all-wheel drive? It enhances their handling qualities, especially in wet or snowy weather, compared with rear-wheel-drive systems.

Our Infiniti Q60 Red Sport, priced at $64,985, featured a twin-turbo, 400-horsepower V-6 engine, and a 7-speed shiftable automatic transmission with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. The drive train can be set for economy, standard, sport, sport-plus and personal. The Q60 Red Sport is fast in every setting, but for truly explosive power, the two sport settings are the best choice.

The base Q60, with a 300-horsepower engine and rear-wheel drive, starts at $41,650.

2021 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 AWD

Price: $64,985

Engine: 3.6-liter turbocharged V-6, 400 horsepower, 350 lb.-ft torque

Transmission: 7-speed shiftable automatic

Drive: all-wheel

Weight: 4,047 lb.

Suspension: Digital dynamic, double-wishbone with coil springs, front; multi-link with coil springs, rear

Wheels: 20x9-in. aluminum alloy

Tires: P255/35R20 all-season

Seating capacity: 4

Luggage capacity: 8.7 cu. ft.

Fuel capacity: 20 gallons

Fuel economy: 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway

Fuel type: premium unleaded gasoline

This is an Infiniti, Nissan's premium brand, so it's luxurious as well as sporty. That means it has all the bells and whistles, including remote start, power moonroof, heated front seats and steering wheel, leather upholstery, intelligent cruise control, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wi-fi hotspot, and a full suite of safety warnings and interventions. Options included illuminated kick plates ($420), radiant exterior welcome lighting, $465; and a carbon-fiber package, costing $2,280. The Slate Gray paint listed for $695.

The Q60 has an impressively large gasoline tank — 20 gallons — and consumes 19 mpg city, 26 highway, using premium unleaded gasoline. But the trunk is on the small side, 8.7 cubic feet, compared with 12 cubic feet in the BMW and 10.4 in the RC350. Like its competitors, the Q60 has a back seat mainly for show.

Steven Macoy ( is a longtime car enthusiast and full-time editor who lives in Bethel, Conn.