Among the high-end Japanese manufacturers, Infiniti is in something of an interesting position. The brand doesn’t have a full-size flagship offering. Further, the model with which it tries to fill the gap is in fact a long wheelbase version of a mid-size offering designed to emphasize sporting overtones. If this were its only issue, the Infiniti Q70 might have a better shot at being competitive in the full-size luxury Japanese flagship category, however, there are other deficiencies to report.
But wait, we’d be remiss if we didn’t say if you love to drive, and ride comfort is a consideration, but not the consideration, you’ll want to give the Infiniti Q70L a solid going over while you’re shopping for your next ride. You see, the Infiniti Q70L is fast, agile, exceptionally luxurious, and solidly built.
So what’s this about deficiencies?
The styling is a bit on the frumpy side, the Q70L is also starting to show its age, and…
Well wait, before we give you cause to dismiss the car out of hand, read on.
Infiniti offers the Q70L in 3.7 and 5.6 trims, with both rear, and all-wheel drive. Pricing starts at $51,350 for the Q70L 3.7. The Q70L 3.7 AWD starts at $53,500. The Q70L 5.6 starts at $64,550, while the Q70L 5.6 AWD starts at $67,050.
Standard equipment for the Q70L 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, soft close doors, 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 camera, along with 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.
The V8 powered Q70L 5.6 adds a rear parking sensor array, a set of heated and ventilated front seats, 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.
Yes, we know the curve is one of nature’s most pleasing shapes, but Infiniti’s design endowed the car with a few too many (from our perspective). We do concede the Q70L has a very muscular look, and nothing else on the road looks like it. Further, stretching the car for the long wheelbase version does balance the design a bit.
Thankfully, once you settle inside the car, all of those concerns fall by the wayside. The Infiniti Q70L has one of the most handsome 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.
While we’re on the subject of the Q70’s interior treatment, we have to tell you the tech quotient of this car is 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 Q70L 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 Q70L so the car can be tailored to either of two driver’s needs the moment it is unlocked. The key also remembers seat, steering wheel, and exterior side view mirror positions.
Also enhancing the experience are the Q70L’s illuminated push button ignition switch, its Homelink universal transceiver, and the 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.
The 2015 Infiniti Q70L’s seats provide hours of comfortable support, with no fidgeting about for optimal positioning within their embrace. Nicely bolstered, the seats also prevent 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 sport sedan, and it’s suitably outfitted. The wonderfully open feel of the interior of the Q70L further enhances this impression.
We’re talking 21st century luxury car, so antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, active head restraints, and a rearview camera are all present and accounted for. Otional kit includes lane-departure warning and prevention, blind spot monitoring, and a collision warning and mitigation system.
In crash testing, the Infiniti Q70 earned five stars in overall testing from NHTSA. The model scored four stars out of five in frontal crash testing and five stars out of five in side crash and rollover testing. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety awarded the car upon which the Q70L is based a score of “Good” (its top rating) in moderate overlap front crashes, side crashes, and roof strength. The model’s head restraints and seats were similarly lauded.
Model nomenclature, as you may have surmised, is based upon engine displacement. Thus, the Infiniti Q70L 3.7 gets a 3.7-liter V6 engine, which produces 330 horsepower and 270 ft-lbs of torque. Meanwhile, the Q70L 5.6 runs a 5.6-liter V8 delivering 420 horsepower and 417 ft-lbs of torque.
All-wheel drive is offered with both the 3.7-liter engine and the 5.6. 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 18 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.
If you enjoy the feel of a responsive automobile, you’ll really appreciate the driving characteristics of the 2014 Infiniti Q70L regardless of engine choice. We found the car nicely balanced with exceptional throttle response, accurate steering, and 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 likely accept the tradeoff.
The engine note strikes 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 and pulls solidly. The V8 goes like there’s no end to its capabilities.
Interestingly, while the Q70L 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—even with the long wheelbase. This is because the original Infiniti Q model, which was a full-size luxury sedan, was discontinued, leaving the former Infiniti M (upon which the Q70L is based) 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. The good news is that the Q70L can hold its own with every other sports sedan out there. It’s quick, agile, nicely equipped, and has a gorgeous interior.
But as a flagship luxury model, it really isn’t in the game.
Pros: Outstanding interior treatment, excellent powertrains, wonderful build quality, nice power and handling
Cons: Frumpy styling, outclassed by the competition