Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

The petrol version of the EX has the same engine that's in the Nissan 370Z, with 315bhp and plenty of pulling power. It comes with a seven-speed automatic transmission as standard and will reach 62mph from rest in 6.4 seconds with a maximum speed of 149mph.

It is aimed at drivers who, perhaps through a growing family, have outgrown a sports coupé but still want Infiniti EX performance to put a smile on their face.

The gearbox is smooth, but the gearshifts aren't as rapid as some of the best sporty autos on the market, which takes the edge off the driving enjoyment, but there are still plenty of thrills in the engine. It will spin up to high revs with the stirring sound of its V6 - a mild-mannered engine at low speeds - growing ever louder. A sport mode on the gearbox locks out the top two gears (leaving the driver with a range of first to fifth), while it is also possible to shift the gears manually.

Diesel engine

Predictably, the Infiniti EX’s 235bhp diesel has plenty of low-end pull but its progress is slightly blunted by the slow pick-up on the auto box, which can be irritating particularly when you want to overtake on the motorway swiftly. Still, it's not a bad performer. It'll do 0-60mph in 7.9 seconds and then go on to a 137mph top speed.

Parkers recommends

We like the pace of the petrol Infiniti EX but the diesel makes far more sense thanks to better economy and lower emissions.

Although the EX has many of the practical features of a 4x4, it has been designed solely for on-road use. The four-wheel drive system usually sends more power to the rear wheels than the front, although it can react to changes in conditions with up to 50 per cent being channelled to the front when greater traction is needed or 100 per cent to the rear.

The EX has a firm yet forgiving ride. Driving over drain covers and broken sections of road surface does not deliver the jolt some might expect, yet the EX always feels responsive with steering that is direct, but offers enough resistance when turning in to allow smooth cornering on twisty roads. It also has superb brakes, slowing the car down rapidly and progressively from high speeds.