2016 INFINITI Q70

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor
June 27, 2016

Buying tip

While we rate the Q70 5.6 the most engaging model in the lineup, beware it's also very, very thirsty.

features & specs

4-Door Sedan V6 AWD
4-Door Sedan V6 RWD
4-Door Sedan V8 AWD
MPG
18 city / 24 hwy
MPG
18 city / 26 hwy
MPG
16 city / 23 hwy
MSRP
$52,000
MSRP
$49,850
MSRP
$65,350

The 2016 Infiniti Q70—especially in its long-wheelbase form—poses an interesting alternative to conservative German luxury sedans.

The 2016 Infiniti Q70 is a bit of a cross-trainer among luxury sedans. It serves a multitude of roles within the luxury brand's lineup, merging the traditional and the contemporary, the comfort-oriented and the performance-focused.

Last year, the Q70 lineup was bolstered by a new long-wheelbase model that finally gave Infiniti full-size model to pit against the Jaguar XJR, BMW 7-Series, and Lexus LS, among others. Prior to last year, the Q70 was known as the Infiniti M, or by its variants, the M37 or M56. 

The lineup remains differentiated by what's under the hood. There are essentially three models in the 2016 Infiniti Q70 lineup: the Q70 3.7, the Q70 5.6, and the Q70 Hybrid. The Hybrid is offered in rear-wheel-drive form only, while the other models offer a choice between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. 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-hp (or 416 hp for long-wheelbase versions) V-8. All models get a 7-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-hp rating from its combination of a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and lithium-ion-powered electric motor system.

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 Q70 is always elegant, in all of its versions and trims. So is individuality; 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. Last year brought a series of minor cosmetic upgrades, including a new grille and LED rear lamps, yet the big news last year was the introduction of the extended-wheelbase Q70L model, with larger rear doors (plus an available auto-closing feature), heated rear seats, extra reading lamps, an extra 5.9 inches of leg room, and best-in-class knee room.

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. You'll still hear the V-8 in Q70 5.6 models—especially during acceleration.

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. Accident-avoidance technology on offer includes Predictive Forward Collision Warning, a surround-view camera system, backup collision warnings to prevent backup accidents, and forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking. The Q70 earns a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS and a five-star overall rating from federal regulators.

The 2016 Infiniti Q70 is the top model in this luxury brand's sedan lineup—and thus, a luxury car through and through. Last year Infiniti took a bunch of formerly optional features and made them standard equipment. And now, for 2016, Infiniti is adding a Q70 Premium Select version that gains a series of appearance extras, ranging from big 20-inch wheels and additional chrome trim to a darkened lower-body look and plush semi-aniline leather seats, illuminated kick plates, and floormats with contrast piping.

But you don't have to go there to get a very well-equipped, comfortable sedan. The standard Q70 3.7 includes heated leather seats, Bluetooth, automatic climate control, and rain-sensing wipers, as well as navigation, Bose audio, parking sensors (front and rear), and surround-view cameras. V-8-powered (Q70 5.6) models gain 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.

The hybrid model earns impressive EPA ratings of 29 mpg city, 34 highway, 31 combined; and that makes it a very attractive option in this class, despite, as we've noted, that it's a little lacking on the drivability and refinement front compared to other Q70 variants.

As for those other models, the best it gets is the rear-wheel-drive Q70 3.7, earning 18/26/21 mpg. V-8-powered Q70 5.6 models are rated at 16/24/19 mpg. In all-wheel-drive guise, the Q70 loses 1-2 mpg. The V-6-powered Q70X scores 18/24/20 mpg, while the V-8 gets 16/23/18 mpg.

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2016 INFINITI Q70

Styling

The Infiniti Q70 is voluptuous and expressive—and it gets even better in long-wheelbase Q70L form.

The 2016 Infiniti Q70 definitely takes a different design and styling path than that of large sport sedans from Germany and America. It's elegant and lavish, but it strikes its own chord, providing an alternative to those rivals without copying them. It's a true original.

The Q70's design is charming and modern; but reach past that and there are plenty of luxury-car cues—and a warmth that's missing from German sport sedans. The sheet metal is curvy and crisp, with flowing lines and detailed accents, and as a whole the Q70's personality is charming and modern.

Last year marked a series of cosmetic changes inside and out, although only the most eagle-eyed enthusiast likely picked those differences out from the street. There's a new headlight design and redesigned, somewhat more flared, enmeshed "double arch" grille. There are new-design foglamps, a flattened trunklid, and new LED rear lamps (plus a new chrome bar).

The rest of the exterior styling carried through. And with swelling fenders flow from the aggressive grille, flexing from concave to convex along the car's sides, ending in a brief decklid, the Q70 has a profile that's certainly not boring. The Q70 sits a little taller on its tires than it could, although that adds to the masculine stance and helps balance out the additional length you get with the extended-length Q70L.

Inside, you'll find a very pleasant mix of contemporary themes and some striking yet traditional luxury-car materials. Surfacing is voluptuous, while fitted with warm wood, semi-aniline leather, and other fine details like silver-dust wood trim. There's more wood than in a Jaguar XJ, and the semi-aniline leather looks as good as it feels. Two-tone, multi-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. There's considerably more personality than you'll find in comparably stark European alternatives.

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2016 INFINITI Q70

Performance

Snarly V-8 acceleration and accurate steering make this an able rival to German luxosedans—yet one with a very different personality.

There are essentially three models in the 2016 Infiniti Q70 lineup: the Q70 3.7, the Q70 5.6, and the Q70 Hybrid. The Hybrid is offered in rear-wheel-drive form only, while the other models offer a choice between rear- and all-wheel drive.

The Q70 family stands apart from most other luxury-sedan offerings on the market, for several reasons. While most other alternatives in this class have turned to downsized turbocharged engines, the Q70 sticks with larger V-6 and V-8 engines—and with a little more emphasis on the sport than on the luxury.

Those first impressions carry through to the driving experience. In any of its combinations, the Q70 accelerates briskly and handles with more of a precise feel than you'll find from other large sedans. In Q70 3.7 RWD and AWD models, there's a 3.7-liter V-6 engine rated at 330 horsepower; meanwhile Q70 5.6 RWD and AWD models get a 420-hp, 5.6-liter V-8 (making 416 hp in long-wheelbase Q70L versions).

The base Q70 3.7 models are a little less coarse and gruff than they were a few years ago, thanks to more sealing and sound deadening. With them you'll find strong acceleration, with all models using a 7-speed automatic transmission with crisp shifts, a manual shift mode, rev-matched downshifts, and optional steering-wheel 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.

The Q70 5.6 models are the ones that really play to the image of the car as a whole; although they're not that much quicker by the stoplight, the big-displacement V-8 is willing to produce a stirring amount of torque at any instant; all the while there's a classic big-displacement V-8 soundtrack.

There's also a hybrid version that has a combined 350-hp rating from its combination of a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and lithium-ion-powered electric motor system. These models do perform reasonably well, and they earn 28 mpg city, 34 highway ratings from the EPA—and while that makes them tempting, there's a lack of finesse in these models (the clutching and declutching of the electric subsystem) that keeps them from feeling as refined as the rest of the lineup.

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 two-piston rears.

Infiniti has actually nailed the handling of the Q70 lineup, with a suspension that doesn't qualify as soft or supple—but not too firm—either. To complement that there's great handling and quick, responsive steering. Altogether it feels firm and athletic, yet just compliant enough, with well-weighted steering and crisp 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.

We'll even go so far as to say that the Q70 is more satisfying from the driver's seat than the Q50. 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. We'd caution against the biggest wheels, though, for the effect they have on what's already a taut ride.

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2016 INFINITI Q70

Comfort & Quality

The abundant back-seat space in Q70L models really makes a difference, while a plush ride counters sporty overtones.

The Infiniti Q70 is nearly as sporty as the smaller Infiniti Q50 (formerly the G37)—and most of our editorial team still thinks the Q70 is a better-driving car. And in space, comfort, and amenities, it's a solid step up in most respects.

Even versus the luxury sport-sedan contenders from Germany and England—models like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the BMW 5-Series, and the Jaguar XF and XJ—the Q70 manages to strike a different chord, in its look, feel, and actual packaging.

The front seats in the Q70 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.

Last year the big news was the introduction of a new extended-wheelbase Q70L version. With an extra 5.9 inches of leg room (it's 7.3 inches longer, overall) and best-in-class knee room, as well as larger rear doors with an auto-closing feature, heated rear seats, extra reading lamps, and an extra power outlet, the Q70L should appeal to those who intend to transport VIPs (or themselves) in the back seat.

In the second row, the seats are contoured to better fit adults, at least in the outboard positions. The back seats could be a bit short on legroom for the very tall, but most others will be perfectly comfortable. The down side of the back-seat area that others are bound to notice is the rather high beltline and rear decklid, which together can give occupants a closed-in feeling. 

That said, the Infiniti Q70 has a trunk capacity of just 14.9-cubic feet (and Hybrid models lose a little more yet), which isn't all that grand. It is easy to access and well-shaped. 

The 2016 Q70 is most certainly not the quietest car in its class; rather, it's one of the noisiest if you count engine noise, as Infiniti has tuned these models so that you hear the engines whenever you're accelerating (and sometimes when you're not). Some unsavory sounds from V-6 models have been quelled the past couple of years, and Active Noise Control is standard across the line and seems to help with that and with road boom. The Q70 has also gained more sealing and sound insulation—but especially if you choose the 5.6, you'll hear that V-8.

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2016 INFINITI Q70

Safety

The 2016 Q70 earns impressive crash-test ratings, and Infiniti has kept its safety equipment competitive.

The 2016 Infiniti Q70 is very impressive—both for the occupant safety that it offers, and for its top-notch active-safety systems on the options list.

Safety ratings reflect that, for the most part. The IIHS has given the Q70 "Good" ratings in all of its crash-test categories—including the small overlap frontal test—on its way to a Top Safety Pick+ award from the organization.

In federal safety testing, the Q70 earns five stars overall, although frontal and rollover scores are at four stars.

The list of standard safety items on the Q70 includes dual front, side, and curtain airbags; active headrests; a surround-view camera system; and parking sensors. And dynamic cruise control, adaptive headlamps, and blind-spot and lane-departure warning systems are also on offer. On the accident-avoidance front you can get forward collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, which aim to prevent backup accidents, as well as emergency autonomous braking to mitigate the risk of forward collisions.

It also achieves a "Superior" result in front crash prevention from the IIHS when fitted with those top accident-avoidance items, as included with Q70's Technology Package.

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2016 INFINITI Q70

Features

There's a long list of features standard here, and the long-wheelbase Q70L model is priced only modestly higher.

The 2016 Infiniti Q70 is the top model in this luxury brand's sedan lineup. And it seems that Infiniti wants to make sure you see this big sedan as a luxury car through and through.

Last year Infiniti took a bunch of formerly optional features and made them standard equipment. And now, for 2016, Infiniti is adding a Q70 Premium Select version that gains a series of appearance extras, ranging from big 20-inch wheels and additional chrome trim to a darkened lower-body look and plush semi-aniline leather seats, illuminated kick plates, and floormats with contrast piping.

But you don't have to go there to get a very well-equipped, comfortable sedan. The standard Q70 3.7 includes heated leather seats, Bluetooth, automatic climate control, and rain-sensing wipers, as well as navigation, Bose audio, parking sensors (front and rear), and surround-view cameras.

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

V-8-powered (Q70 5.6) models gain 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), an air filtration 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. From a functionality standpoint—and for those who love gadgets and tech—the Tech Package is the one to get, with an extensive suite of active-safety features plus intelligent cruise control, adaptive front lighting, an active Eco pedal, and even something called Active Trace Control, which will help steer with selective braking of individual wheels.

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2016 INFINITI Q70

Fuel Economy

The Q70 Hybrid earns good fuel economy ratings, although V-8 variants are very thirsty.

The 2016 Infiniti Q70 is, for the most part, a lineup of rather thirsty sedans. Although there's one exception: the Q70 Hybrid.

That model manages some impressive EPA ratings of 29 mpg city, 34 highway, 31 combined; and that makes it a very attractive option in this class, despite, as we've noted, that it's a little lacking on the drivability and refinement front compared to other Q70 variants.

As for those other models, the best it gets is the rear-wheel-drive Q70 3.7, earning 18/26/21 mpg. V-8-powered Q70 5.6 models are rated at 16/24/19 mpg.

In all-wheel-drive guise, the Q70 loses 1-2 mpg. The V-6-powered Q70X scores 18/24/20 mpg, while the V-8 gets 16/23/18 mpg.

The Technology Package includes an Eco pedal function, which allows a mode that pushes the accelerator back (or makes it harder to press, depending on how you see it) to help you drive more efficiently. We've found that our trip averages actually go down with this feature engaged—because you might end up fighting it to accelerate at the desired pace.

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7.6
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 8
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety 9
Features 8
Fuel Economy 6
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