New & Used Infiniti Q70: In Depth
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The Infiniti Q70 is a four-door sport sedan that, until 2014, was known as the Infiniti M. Now renamed, but essentially the same car, it competes with the Audi A6, Jaguar XF, Lexus GS, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and BMW 5-Series, and, in some edge cases, the Acura RLX, too.
The company's new naming system is bound to generate confusion for a few years more. (Check out our story on Infiniti's naming strategy to find out more about these changes in Infinit's new naming strategy.)
As offered today, the Q70 emphasizes driving performance more than some of those competitors, while maintaining a luxurious feel. Today's Q70 debuted (as the Infiniti M) at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show, and went on sale during Spring 2010.
It was previewed by a stunning concept sedan, called the Infiniti Essence, that revealed styling themes and a design language for the Infiniti brand going forward. The flowing lines helped to boost the car's profile among the crowded set of traditional luxury competitors, which was then expanding to the similarly expressive Jaguar XF.
The 400-horsepower V-8 is paired with a seven-speed automatic and paddle shifters that give 0-to-60-mph acceleration of around 5 seconds--quick for a big luxury sedan not carrying the "AMG" or "M" sub-brand. The alternative engine, a V-6, is almost as quick--but its noise and vibration aren't nearly as well suppressed as in the pricier version, and it's apparent from the driver's seat.
We've always rated the Q70's V-8 powertrain highly, along with its Essence-inspired styling both inside and out, the surprisingly large rear seat, and its superb handling, steering, and ride quality. Fit and finish among the best in class too, and the interior offers a particularly elegant option of silver-buffed wood trim.
All-wheel drive can be ordered on the V-6 (nee M37) and V-8 (nee M56) models of the Infiniti Q70. A Sport Package, available on both rear-wheel-drive and AWD models, adds 20-inch wheels and performance tires, upgraded brakes, and a number of appearance features as well.
New for 2012, the Q70 Hybrid (nee M35h) pairs a performance-oriented single-motor hybrid system to a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The combination puts out more than 350 hp, but gets an EPA combined rating of 29 mpg (27 mpg city, 32 mpg highway). Unlike many hybrids, this model manages to mix fuel efficiency with driving fun. Its steering and dynamics are almost as good as the rest of the range, and the boost in gas mileage--the V-8 with all-wheel drive is rated at just 18 mpg combined--is a strong case for considering the hybrid Q70.
The Q70 sedan is now in its third generation, with earlier generations of the Infiniti M having launched in 2003, 2006, and 2011.