- New extended-length Q70L
- Balanced, responsive handling
- Sensual, stand-out exterior design
- Hybrid's powertrain smoothness
- Adding tech items quickly boosts the price
- Not a status symbol, yet
With a new long-wheelbase model, the 2015 Infiniti Q70 sedan range isn't just fast, fun to drive, and ahead of the tech curve--it's a real alternative to the German elbow-throwers.
The Infiniti Q70 doesn't just serve as a stylish, sporty luxury sedan, it's also as the flagship sedan of the entire Infiniti lineup. And fittingly, this year the Q70 gets a new long-wheelbase model that may pit the Q70 more directly against other flagships like the BMW 7-Series and Jaguar XJR, as well as, perhaps, maybe even help earn it a spot on the shopping lists of those who don't necessarily always do the driving. The Q70 was previously known as the Infiniti M (or the M37 or M56).
Even with the stiff competition from Germany and America, the Q70 remains one of the most elegant and lavish large sport sedans. The Q70 strikes its own chord, rivaling the world's best luxury sedans in presentation without copying them--it's a true original in styling and design. Striking, voluptuous curves and complex surfaces wrap an interior filled with warm wood, semi-aniline leather, and considerably more personality than you'll find in comparably stark European alternatives. While 2015 marks a series of cosmetic changes inside and out, only the most eagle-eyed enthusiasts are going to be able to spot some of them.The new headlight design and redesigned "double arch" grille are the most evident (with a new three-dimensional look to the waved metal mesh), while the front bumper has been reworked and there are new-design foglamps, a flattened trunklid, and new LED rear lamps (plus a new chrome bar).
Powertrain offerings haven't changed for 2015, and that's just fine. Both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions of the Infiniti Q70 are available, and with any of its powertrains the Q70 offers brisk acceleration and responsive handling. The Q70 3.7 RWD and AWD share a 3.7-liter V-6 engine rated at 330 horsepower; the Q70 5.6 RWD and AWD get a 5.6-liter, 420-horsepower (or 416 hp for long-wheelbase versions) V-8. All models get a seven-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode, rev-matching downshifts, and optional paddle shifters.
There's also a hybrid version that has a combined 350-horsepower rating from its combination of a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and lithium-ion-powered electric motor system. Hybrid models achieve 29 mpg city/34 mpg highway EPA ratings, while Q70 5.6 lead up the back of the pack at 15/23 mpg.
In any of these models, the suspension calibration is firm and athletic, yet just compliant enough. Steering is well-weighted and has fair turn-in feel, especially on rear-drive models. And for people who want even more, there's an available sport package, adding 20-inch wheels, enhanced cooling, four-wheel steering, sport seats and steering wheel, and aluminum pedal trim.
The big news for 2015 is the introduction of a new extended-wheelbase Q70L model. With an extra 5.9 inches of legroom and a best-in-class 32.4 inches of knee room, as well as larger rear doors with an auto-closing feature, the Q70L should appeal to those who intend to transport VIPs (or themselves) in the back seat. Heated rear seats, extra reading lamps, and a 12V power outlet are among this model's extras.
In previous model years road noise could be an issue in the Q70, more than other luxury sedans its size. But the addition of more sound insulation and tighter seals, as well as active noise cancellation across the model line, all to help keep the cabin quieter.
The 2015 Infiniti Q70 earns a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Safety equipment includes dual front, side, and curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes' active headrests; stability and traction control; a rearview camera; and parking sensors. Dynamic cruise control, adaptive headlamps, and blind-spot and lane-departure warning systems are also on offer, and for 2015, the Q70 gets even more accident-avoidance technology with Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Around View Monitor (for 360 views around the car when parking), Backup Collision Intervention to prevent backup accidents, and Forward Emergency Braking to mitigate the risk of forward collisions.
The 2015 Infiniti Q70 will, as before, include a very strong set of standard features, with V-6 versions getting heated leather seats; rain-sensing wipers; Bluetooth; Intelligent Key system; automatic climate control; and more. Q70 V-8 versions get Bose audio; Bluetooth audio streaming; voice-activated navigation: an in-dash DVD player; a heated steering wheel; and ventilated front seats. New features this year include an Enhanced Intelligent Key system, enhanced Bose Studio Surround audio, and an Infiniti Personal Assistant concierge service.