The Car Connection INFINITI Q70 Overview
The Infiniti Q70 is a full-size luxury sedan and the biggest car made by the automaker. It's curvy shape has worn well against competitors, but others may do big luxury well.
Until 2014, the Q70 was known as the Infiniti M. It competes with the Audi A6, Jaguar XF, Lexus GS, and the Acura RLX.
With the Q70, Infiniti has a full-size luxury sedan, although it prioritizes sportiness over luxury compared to others in its class.
MORE: Read our 2018 Infiniti Q70 review
The Q70 represents the third generation of the mid-size Infiniti sedan, with earlier generations of the Infiniti M having launched in 2003 and 2006.
Today's Q70 debuted as the third-generation Infiniti M at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show, and went on sale in spring 2010. Along with other Infinitis, it was renamed in 2014; that new naming system is bound to generate confusion for a few years more. (For more details, see the rundown on Infiniti's naming strategy.)
The car was previewed by a stunning concept sedan, the Infiniti Essence, that revealed styling themes and a design language for the brand. The flowing lines helped to boost the car's profile among the crowded set of traditional luxury competitors, which was then expanding with the addition of the similarly expressive Jaguar XF.
The Infiniti Q70's styling has always looked handsome and is aging well. The big back seat, fine handling, communicative steering, and balanced ride also win the Q70 praise. As for the interior, fit and finish are dialed in, and the optional silver-hued wood trim is especially attractive.
When this generation launched, it offered two engines. What was then called the M37 (now the Q70 3.7) packs a 3.7-liter V-6 and is pretty quick on its feet, although it is noisier than its pricier counterpart. For a extra cash, the Q70 5.6 offers a 5.6-liter V-8 with a 0-to-60-mph time of about five seconds, which is very fleet for a standard series-production sedan not wearing a performance label. Although it's starting to get up there in age, we've always enjoyed this model's smooth V-8 engine.
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 is available on both rear- and all-wheel-drive models and adds 20-inch wheels and performance tires, upgraded brakes, and a number of appearance enhancements.
The Q70 Hybrid (which was introduced for 2012 as the M35h) pairs a performance-oriented single-motor hybrid system to a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The combination puts out 350 hp, but gets an EPA combined rating that now sits at 29 mpg city, 34 highway, 31 combined. Unlike many hybrids, this model manages to mix fuel efficiency with driving fun. Its steering and dynamics are almost as good as those of the rest of the range, and the boost in gas mileage—the V-8 with rear-wheel drive is rated at just 19 mpg combined—is a strong case for considering the hybrid Q70. In some situations, however, it is not the most seamless of hybrids, as the engine's starting and stopping can be felt very acutely. This is, in some part, due to the way the hybrid transmission is designed and is a trade-off to the more direct feel offered.
For 2015, the Q70 gained an extended-wheelbase version. This model, called Q70L, adds 5.9 inches of rear leg room and 7 inches to the overall length. The Q70L is available with either V-6 or V-8, but not the hybrid powertrain.
The 2016 model year brought very little change to the Q70 lineup—although there is a new Q70 Premium Select edition brought some sportier exterior cues and special 20-inch wheels, plus semi-aniline leather seats, aluminum trim finish, illuminated kick plates and floormats with contrast piping.
The 2017 and 2018 models were relatively unchanged.