IT MUST be that time of year when every energy company known to man sends an 18-year-old in a suit around to my house in a desperate attempt to make me switch suppliers. One company even offered me a free football shirt for my trouble.
Goodness me those lads – who’ve obviously been sent on ‘Close that Deal’ selling courses by Americans in white suits – must live a lonely existence if, as I suspect, everyone is like me and slams the door shut in their face and says “no thanks”.
The job must be hell. We all know the biggest problem with asking a girl out is that she might say no. Well, that is how I imagine it must be like being a door-to-door a salesman, being rejected 30 or 40 times every single day.
Okay, there is of course some good salesmen who really can sell sand to the desert, but I couldn’t do it because I know most people are either too busy, or simply can’t be bothered, to listen to what the poor chap has to say – especially when he tells you the free football shirt doesn’t include clubs from the Premier League.
That brings me on to the biggest asset a salesman can have. It’s more important than a Windsor knot or an east-end patter. It’s more important than white teeth or a leather-bound filofax.
The single most important weapon in a salesman’s armoury is a decent product.
Imagine, then, what it must have been like for an Infiniti salesman trying to sell 3.7-litre V6 FX or a 385bhp 5.0-litre V8 FX, both powered by petrol? Both very tasty cars that offer plenty of grunt, but neither make much sense to the majority of people living in the UK.
Now imagine the beaming smile on the faces of the Infiniti sales team at their four dealerships in the UK (our closest being Birmingham) when the luxury-arm of Nissan (in the same way Lexus is to Toyota) announced they would be making a 3.0-litre diesel.
The FX is the perfect place for Infiniti to showcase the oil burning engine, for this is an SUV that certainly stands out. Love or loathe its wacky looks, with its low roofline and aggressive bulging bonnet, there is no denying it is a fantastically intriguing car.
Take a look at the photo and make your own mind up about the exterior appearance (for the record, I’m a fan), and let me talk you through the cabin.
It is a salesman’s dream. Selling this car to someone in the market for a £50,000 plush (if rather leftfield) SUV would be as easy as Linford Christie selling lunch boxes.
The cabin is crammed with kit – everything from ‘real cow’ leather seats and parking sensors to multi-view cameras, sat-nav and Bluetooth.
The view out over the long bonnet is impressive and the passengers in the rear will have plenty of space to sit comfortably on a long journey up the M6.
On the road, the Infiniti is equally as inspiring. The 235bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine is refined and the seven-speed automatic gear box is smooth.
It's the torque that’s most impressive, though. At 406lb.ft, the FX30d has even more shove than the FX50 V8 petrol, all of which kicks in low down the rev range at 1,750rpm.
It’s good for 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds and 132mph flat out. The 31.4mpg and 238g/km of CO2 figures are slightly off the pace with other rival SUVs, but even so I am left very impressed.
No longer will I slam the door shut on the salesman, even if he has yellow teeth and a stammer, for this Infiniti FX30d is a product worth hearing about.
You never know, I might even end up leaving the showroom wearing a Doncaster Rovers top! On second thoughts, maybe not!