2014 Infiniti Q70 3.7S Road Test & Review: Introduction
If you’re the sort of driver who prefers to keep the perceived prowess of their motor on the down low, Infiniti’s Q70 (the model formerly known as the Infiniti M) may well fill the bill for you. To look at it, you do get the idea it’s a nice car, but compared to a BMW, Mercedes or an Audi (any of which the Infiniti can match dynamically) the Q70 simply isn’t a standout.
Perhaps for this reason the model has a tendency to get overlooked when most performance sedan intenders go shopping for their next set of wheels. Too bad though, because the Infiniti Q70 is fast, agile, exceptionally luxurious, and a very well-built automobile. Yeah, its styling is a bit on the frumpy side, but there’s a whole lot of other stuff to love about the top Infiniti model.
Of course, this is real life, so everything has a price. Along with the Infiniti’s speed and agility came something of a tight ride with our Q70 3.7S test car. Where the Germans have adjustable suspension systems to fall back upon, our test Infiniti’s suspenders have but one state of tune. This means while the Audi, BMW, and Mercedes can offer up both a cushy ride and adroit handling in the same car, the Infiniti handles really well—and that’s pretty much it.
Well, uh, more or less.
There is a more comfort oriented version of the Q70 3.7S called simply the Q70 3.7, this version of the car is offered with a slightly softer suspension setup for those who value ride over handling.
2014 Infiniti Q70 3.7S Road Test & Review: Models And Pricing
Classified a mid-size luxury sedan, the Infiniti Q70 is offered in five models; the rear-drive Q70 3.7Starts at $50,405, the all-wheel drive Q70 3.7 AWD starts at $52,555, Q70 Hybrid starts at $56,405, the Q70 5.6 starts at $62,905, and the Q70 5.6 AWD starts at $65,405.
All of the above pricing includes Infiniti’s destination and handling charge of $905.
Standard equipment for the rear-wheel drive V6-powered Q70 3.7 includes a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic bi-xenon headlights, foglights, a set of power folding heated and auto-dimming exterior rear-view mirrors, automatic windshield wipers, and a moonroof with a sliding sunshade.
The model also comes with a power-actuated soft-closing trunk lid, keyless entry and start, a dual-zone automatic climate control system; supple leather upholstery for the seats, steering wheel, shift knob, and door panels; a pair of heated eight-way power adjustable front seats with driver memory, and a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.
A rear-view video monitoring system, Bluetooth phone connectivity; and a six-speaker audio system supporting a CD player, auxiliary audio and USB/iPod input ports, and satellite radio, is included as well.
Our Q70 3.7S test car replaced the base 3.7 model’s 18-inch wheels with a set of 20-inch alloy wheels and commensurately sized tires. It also featured a set of magnesium paddle shifters for the automatic transmission, the aforementioned sport-tuned suspension system, a sport-oriented braking system, a sport steering wheel and shift knob, sport seats, and Infiniti’s sport grille and front fascia treatment. The Q70 Sport Package adds $3,750 to the base price.
The Q70 Hybrid is delivered with all of the standard features offered with the Q70 3.7 in addition to a specific set of shock absorbers to deal with the additional weight of the gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain, as well as hybrid-specific instrumentation and display screens.
The V8 powered Q70 5.6 adds a rear parking sensor array and a set of heated and ventilated front seats, as well as a heated steering wheel, and a voice-activated navigation system, employing an eight-inch touchscreen display. Bluetooth audio streaming connectivity and an upgraded 10-speaker Bose audio system with digital music storage is part of the package as well. It should also be noted, many of the tech features of the 5.6 can also be had on 3.7 models as optional equipment by ordering the $4,200 Premium package.
The Sport Package can also be fitted to the Q70 5.6. When it is, the 5.6 also comes with a power actuated rear sunshade, an air purification system, and the 16-speaker Bose Surround audio system. All-wheel drive models are equipped largely the same as the rear-drive models with the exception of course of the all-wheel drive powertrains. Sport packages can be added to AWD Q70s too.
Other option packages include the $3,000 Deluxe Touring Package, which adds…
- White Ash silver-powdered wood trim
- Bose Studio Surround sound system (with tweeters mounted in both front seats)
- Suede-like (Alcantara) headliner
- Premium stitched meter hood for the instrument panel
- Semi-aniline leather-appointed seating
- Infiniti’s Forest Air ventilation system
- Premium soft-touch materials for the dash and armrests
- Power rear sunshade
The $3,050 Technology Package adds…
- Blind Spot Warning and Blind Spot Intervention
- Intelligent Cruise Control (capable of stopping the car if needed)
- Intelligent Brake Assist with Forward Collision Warning
- Distance Control Assist
- Front Pre-Crash Seat Belts
- Active Trace Control (adjusts engine torque and braking at each of the four wheels to help enhance cornering performance)
- Eco Pedal
2014 Infiniti Q70 3.7S Road Test & Review: Design
As we mentioned earlier, the Q70’s exterior design, while readily characterized as that of a premium automobile, doesn’t really have the presence of the Audi A7, BMW 5 Series, or Mercedes E-Class, all of which are direct competitors. Still, even though it’s kinda frumpy-looking, the styling of the car does say the Infiniti is both powerful and well-balanced.
Frankly, we readily admit to being a bit perplexed by the look of the car when the fourth generation version of the (then) Infiniti M was originally introduced in 2010 as a 2011 model. The rippling shoulder line looked a bit disproportionate to us (and it still does). Yes, we know the curve is one of nature’s most pleasing shapes, but somehow Infiniti’s design team got it wrong (from our perspective). We do concede it’s a very muscular look, and we further concede nothing else on the road looks like it.
Thankfully, once you settle inside the car, all of those concerns fall by the wayside. The Infiniti Q70 has one of the most handsome and purposeful interior treatments of any car out there. What’s more, the quality of craftsmanship and the attention to detail is simply outstanding. Tastefully distributed chrome touches provide a nice counterpoint to the wood gracing the center stack, and its shape places all of the controls within easy reach of the driver—while simultaneously pleasing the eye.
2014 Infiniti Q70 3.7S Road Test & Review: Features And Controls
While we’re on the subject of the Q70’s interior treatment, we have to tell you the tech quotient of this car is also exceptionally high. Further, the redundancies built into the system make that tech laughably easy to access. Between the touch screen, voice activation, and physical dials and knobs, practically every comfort and convenience function offers at least three methods of accessibility.
It’s a good thing too, because the roster of features available for the Infiniti Q70 is both long and deep. In addition to the standard features we listed, there are niceties such as the Infiniti’s enhanced intelligent key. This stores the last used audio, navigation and climate control settings, for each of the two keys that come with the Q70 so the car can be tailored either of two driver’s needs the moment the driver’s door is unlocked. It also remembers seat, steering wheel, and exterior side view mirror positions.
Also enhancing the experience are the Q70’s illuminated push button ignition switch, its Homelink universal transceiver, and the car’s rearview video monitoring system. The power windows offer one-touch up/down and auto-reverse features, the power door locks feature an automatic locking feature, and there is retained accessory power for the windows and moonroof after the engine is shut down.
2014 Infiniti Q70 3.7S Road Test & Review: Comfort And Cargo
The sport seats in our Q70 3.7S test car provided hours of comfortable support, with no fidgeting about for optimal positioning within their embrace. Nicely bolstered, the seats also prevented extraneous movement during the assertive cornering maneuvers the Infiniti happily performs. Legroom is abundant for both front and rear-seat passengers, as are shoulder and headroom.
Storage is quite abundant within the cabin as well. The usual compliment of door pockets is fitted (with moldings to enable them to accept bottles and cups), as well a decently-sized glovebox. The center console houses a commodious storage compartment hidden underneath a beautifully finished sliding wood-trimmed panel. This is also where you’ll find the auxiliary input ports for the audio system.
At 14.9 cubic feet, the trunk isn’t the largest one in the class, but it is adequate and features a pass-through into the interior for longer items like skis and etc. Bottom line, this is a luxurious mid-size sport sedan, and it’s suitably outfitted. The wonderfully open feel of the interior of the Q70 further enhances this.
2014 Infiniti Q70 3.7S Road Test & Review: Safety Technology/Ratings
We’re talking about a 21st century luxury/performance car here, so you know the usual spate of safety kit is on hand. Yes, this includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, active head restraints, and a rearview camera.
These can be bolstered with the addition of a variety of items from the available Technology Package. These include a lane-departure warning and prevention function, a blind-spot warning function, and a collision warning system capable of automatically braking the Infiniti to endeavor to mitigate the severity of an impending collision.
In crash testing, the Infiniti Q70 earned five starts in overall testing from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The model scored four stars out of five in frontal crash testing and five starts out of five in side crash and rollover testing. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety awarded the 2013 Infiniti M models a score of good (its top rating) in moderate overlap front crashes, side crashes, roof strength, and for the model’s head restraints and seats. (They have yet to test the Q70, but it’s the same car—only the name changed.)
2014 Infiniti Q70 3.7S Road Test & Review: Engines And Fuel Economy
There are essentially five powertrain options for the Infiniti Q70. The base 3.7-liter V6 engine (fitted to our test car) produces 330 horsepower and 270 ft-lbs of torque. The 5.6-liter V8 delivers 420 horsepower and 417 ft-lbs of torque, while the gasoline/electric powertrain teams a 3.5-liter V6 with a 50kW electric motor for a combined output of 360 horsepower.
All-wheel drive is offered for the 3.7-liter engine and the 5.6-liter engine, while the hybrid Q70 is rear-drive only. A seven-speed automatic transmission routes power to the drive wheels from the engine, regardless of the drivetrain choice.
Fuel economy is rated at 18 miles per gallon in the city, 26 on the highway and 21 combined with the 3.7-liter engine and rear-wheel drive. With all-wheel drive, the 3.7-liter V6 returns 17 mpg in the city, 24 on the highway, and 20 combined.
The 5.6-liter V8 is good for 16 miles per gallon in the city, 24 on the highway, and 19 combined with rear-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive 5.6-liter powertrain achieves an estimated 16 miles per gallon in the city, 23 on the highway, and 18 combined.
The Q70 Hybrid delivers an estimated 29 miles per gallon in the city, 35 on the highway, and 31 combined.
2014 Infiniti Q70 3.7S Road Test & Review: Driving Impressions
If you enjoy the feel of a responsive automobile, you’ll really appreciate the driving characteristics of the 2014 Infiniti Q70 3.7S. We found the car to be nicely balanced, with exceptional throttle response, accurate steering, and very proficient braking. As we mentioned before, the ride is a bit on the tight side, but if you like your cars to bite in the corners, you’ll be more than willing to accept the tradeoff.
If you’re not, you can still experience much of the Infiniti’s dynamic capabilities by going with the standard Q70 3.7. The car uses a different set of double piston shock absorbers (as well as springs) so ride motions are very nicely controlled—though the Q70 still rides a bit more stiffly than its competitors. Thing is, we like our cars to handle crisply, so we weren’t so put off by the tight feeling of the suspension system in our Sport Package equipped test car.
The engine note struck just the right balance between an aggressively sporty (but sophisticated) sound when we were using it hard, and a nicely muted reminder of its capabilities when we were driving it normally. The V6 winds freely in the lower rev range, but it can get a bit thrashy up around redline. Still, it pulls solidly and remains one of our favorite V6 powerplants.
The Infiniti Drive Mode Selector gave us a choice of four settings (Eco, Normal, Sport, and Snow). In the Eco mode, throttle response is severely retarded, ostensibly to improve fuel economy—yeah, we didn’t like it. We ran the car in the sport mode—because well, we do like it like that. The sport mode also makes the transmission shift more aggressively to further improve acceleration.
All in all, the Q70 is a highly competent sport sedan, if you like to drive, you’ll like driving the Infiniti.
2014 Infiniti Q70 3.7S Road Test & Review: Final Thoughts
Interestingly, while the Q70 is currently Infiniti’s top model, its size and equipment offerings place it on footing more closely aligned with the mid-range models from other prestige manufacturers. This is because the original Infiniti Q model, which was a full-size luxury sedan, was discontinued, leaving the former Infiniti M as the brand’s top sedan.
For many years now, Infiniti has flirted with the idea of bringing its full-sized four-door back, but so far that’s all it’s been—flirtation. Thus, this is as good as it gets on the car side of the showroom at your local Infiniti dealer. The good news is the Q70 can hold its own with every other sport sedan out there. It’s quick, agile, nicely equipped, and has a gorgeous interior.
If the styling were a bit less frumpy, we gotta believe Nissan’s luxury brand would have a serious contender in this segment with the 2014 Infiniti Q70 3.7S. As it is, it makes for a nice “niche” car. But the good news for car buyers is the Infiniti should prove to be an excellent value on the secondary market.
2014 Infiniti Q70 3.7S Road Test & Review: Pros & Cons
Outstanding interior treatment, excellent powertrains, wonderful build quality, exceptional driving characteristics…
Frumpy styling, rides a bit on the stiff side (for non-sporty drivers), engine sounds a bit thrashy at redline…