2015 INFINITI Q70 Review

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The Car Connection
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The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
July 2, 2015

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.

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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.

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2015 INFINITI Q70

Styling

The Infiniti Q70 has a voluptous, expressive look that really packs a visual punch--and only grows more lissome with a longer wheelbase.

Even with the stiff competition from Germany and America, the Infiniti 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.

Curvy and crisp, with flowing lines and detailed accents, the Q70's personality is charming and modern. Swelling fenders flow from the agressive grille, flexing from concave to convex along the car's sides, ending in a short, sloped trunk. While the Q70 sits a bit tall on its tires, that added height gives it a somewhat more masculine stance. The extended-wheelbase model, if anything, draws out the shape better, to balance out the car's overall height.

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).

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. There's more wood than in a Jaguar XJ, the semi-aniline leather looks as good as it feels, and even a dash of silver dust buffs up one of the wood trim choices. Two-tone, mulit-layered effects give the dashboard the feel of a high-end jewelry case; the center stack's neatly organized buttons and climate controls sit below a large LCD display for a clean, high-tech look.

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2015 INFINITI Q70

Performance

The Q70 gets overlooked in the German-sedan wars, but it's an able competitor, with snarly V-8 acceleration and accurate steering.

The Infiniti Q70 lineup consists of three different models distinguished by powertrain: the Q70 3.7, the Q70 5.6, and the Q70 Hybrid. The Q70 3.7 and 5.6 models are available with a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. The Q70 Hybrid is rear-drive only.

Powertrain offerings haven't changed for 2015, and that's just fine. 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.

The entry point to the Q70 range, the Q70 3.7 RWD, accelerates briskly. In the past it's been a bit on the noisy side for the Q70's otherwise laid-back demeanor, but more sealing and sound deadening has sweetened its demeanor. But the Q70 5.6 makes a much better companion to the Q70's character--it bellows baritone engine notes and delivers strong acceleration at full throttle, but sails on easily in less aggressive driving.

All models get a seven-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode, rev-matching downshifts, and optional paddle shifters. It snicks off shifts quickly and unobtrusively, whether left to its own devices or operated in the manual mode. Four settings help the Q70 cope with driver demands and road conditions, including Sport, Normal, Eco, and Snow. Infiniti's also massaged the throttle and transmission tuning this year, so the Q70 seems to be a bit smoother and more refined as it cycles through daily driving duties.

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 28 mpg city, 34 mpg highway EPA ratings. It's acceptably quick, but the clutching and declutching of the electric subsystem is noticeable, occasionally abrupt.

Great handling, quick, responsive steering, and ride quality that's not quite supple but definitely not harsh or too noisy make for an elusive mix, but Infiniti's nailed it with the Q70. 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. It's still hydraulically driven, for those who fret about how electric power steering has ruined some great cars. 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. We'd caution against the biggest wheels, and the effect they have on what's already a taut ride.

All-wheel drive is available on both the V-6 and V-8 versions of the Q70, and while it doesn't dull the car's generally balanced handling much, it's more of an all-weather option than a performance pick. A four-wheel-steering system, called 4WAS, is available on Sport Package V-6 and V-8 rear-drive models to further improve dynamic responsiveness.

Large, powerful brakes are standard across the range, while Sport Package models get even more capable stoppers: 14-inch front and 13.8-inch rear ventilated discs with four-piston front calipers and 2-piston rears.

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2015 INFINITI Q70

Comfort & Quality

Infiniti has cut down on the Q70's V-6 grumble--and the added expanse in the back seat really measures up.

The Infiniti Q70 is almost as sporty as the smaller Q50 (which used to be the G37, and is now the Q40), but in terms of interior space and comfort, it's in a league above.

The Q70 is an easy companion, what with its ample space, in-car storage, and roomy trunk. The front seats are exceptionally comfortable, with both driver and passenger getting 10-way power-adjustable seats. Head, shoulder, and leg room is all good, though the thick center console may impinge on knee space for taller adults.

In the second row, the seats are contoured to better fit adults, at least in the outboard positions. Very tall passengers may find the back seat a bit short on head room, but most others will be perfectly comfortable. The only negative in the back seat is the high door line and rear deck lid, which can give occupants a closed-in feeling.

The big news for 2015 is the introduction of a new extended-wheelbase Q70L model. With an extra 5.9 inches of legroom (it's 7.3 inches longer, overall) 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.

While the Infiniti Q70's 14.9-cubic-feet of trunk space isn't all that numerically grand, it's well-shaped and easy to access, making the most of the space. Hybrid models lose a bit of storage space for the battery pack.

On the road noise and vibration front, the Q70 has made some notable improvements in the six-cylinder models. Active Noise Control has been standard across the line, but this year, the Q70 has gained more sealing and sound insulation, and it's obvious. The engine's noise and vibration levels are cut to a much more livable level. (It hasn't been an issue in the rorty V-8 or in the Hybrid, since it uses a smaller-displacement six.)

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2015 INFINITI Q70

Safety

Crash-test scores are impressive, and more safety equipment is now standard.

The Infiniti Q70 scores well in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) testing, with five stars overall. Frontal and rollover scores slip to four stars, but side-impact protection rates five stars.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given the Q70 'good' ratings in all of its crash-test categories—including the small overlap frontal test. And it achieves a 'superior' result in front crash prevention when fitted with the optional Forward Emergency Braking and Forward Collision Warning Systems that are included with the Technology Package. That makes it a Top Safety Pick+ in the eyes of the insurance industry group.

In addition to its positive crash-test scores, the Q70 offers a strong set of standard safety features. The list includes dual front, side, and curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes; active headrests; stability and traction control; a surround-view camera system; 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 a forward-collision warning system, a system to prevent backup accidents, and emergency autonomous braking to mitigate the risk of forward collisions.

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2015 INFINITI Q70

Features

Infiniti has made more content standard on the base Q70 this year, and the long-wheelbase option is a worthwhile $1,500 spend.

The 2015 Infiniti Q70 doesn't skimp on features--in fact, this year, Infiniti has lumped in a package of formerly optional features as standard equipment.

The standard Q70 3.7 had been as well-equipped as any car in its class, including heated leather seats, Bluetooth, automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, and much more. This year, it adds standard navigation, Bose audio, front and rear parking sensors, and surround-view cameras--all for a base price just under $50,000, before destination.

Step up to the V-8-powered models and the Q70 5.6 gains a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, an in-dash DVD player, and more. All of the Q70 5.6's upgrades are available as optional extras on the Q70 3.7.

Other available options include a power sunshade, surround-sound premium audio (with front-seat-mounted speakers), a Forest Air system, and the Infiniti Personal Assistant concierge system.

Several option packages help you sculpt your Q70 to your tastes, including the Sport Package, the Premium Package, and the Tire & Wheel Package.

Both the V-6 and V-8 versions of the Q70 can be ordered as long-wheelbase cars, for an additional $1,500.

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2015 INFINITI Q70

Fuel Economy

The Hybrid is the mileage leader in the Q70 lineup; the V-8 is a thirsty one.

The 2015 Infiniti Q70 has been rated yet by the EPA, and with no powertrain changes, last year's numbers carry over almost completely--save for a 1-mpg improvement on the RWD V-6 car's city mileage.

This year, the rear-drive, V-6-powered Q70 scores an EPA-rated 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. With the V-8, the rear-drive Q70 is rated at 16/24/19 mpg city/highway/combined.

In all-wheel-drive guise, the V-6 Q70 scores 18/24/20 mpg, while the V-8 is rated at 16/23/18 mpg city/highway/combined.

Those gas-mileage ratings won't impress hybrid shoppers--or even fans of some of the greener V-6s on the market--but they're reasonable for a car of this size and performance level.

In contrast, there's the Q70 Hybrid, which scores 29 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, and 31 mpg combined, making a very attractive option in this luxury, performance, and size class.

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May 1, 2016
2015 INFINITI Q70 4-Door Sedan V6 AWD

Excellent Highway Cruiser

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It's a very comfortable car and handles nicely. The Car gets a lot of looks and the upgraded Bose stereo is as good as I ever heard in a vehicle. Went on 3000 k trip, and the comfort of the seats is nothing... + More »
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April 2, 2016
2015 INFINITI Q70 4-Door Sedan V6 RWD

Infiniti Q70S Rocks

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Wonderful car. 3.7 Sport model. More than sufficient power, very good transmission with a learning logic system, very good handling with the 20" wheels and the 14" discs and 245 tires. If you want to set your... + More »
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