2017 INFINITI Q70

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Aaron Cole Aaron Cole Managing Editor
June 15, 2017

Buying tip

We like the 5.6-liter V-8 in the lineup, but it's not particularly fuel efficient.

features & specs

3.7 AWD
3.7 RWD
5.6 AWD
MPG
18 city / 24 hwy
MPG
18 city / 25 hwy
MPG
16 city / 23 hwy
MSRP
$52,250
MSRP
$50,100
MSRP
$65,700

The 2017 Infiniti Q70 is a viable alternative to American and German cars of the same ilk, but lacks their personalities

The 2017 Infiniti Q70 wears many hats for the Japanese luxury brand. It's the line's mid-sizer, but in a full-sizer's clothes in long-wheelbase configuration. It's a true hybrid (one of the few for Infiniti) but has a multitude of sport options.

Yep, it's even a cold-weather car in all-wheel-drive configuration.

It earns a respectable 7.3 on our overall scale thanks to good features and a very good safety record, but it feels less than that because of its aged powertrains and relative styling. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Review continues below

Styling and performance

The Infiniti Q70 takes a different approach than mid-size luxury cars from America or Germany. It's much curvier (even more pronounced in the long-wheelbase version) and voluptuous than those lithe cars. It's a style that we can appreciate, and say it has aged well—but we're starting to emphasize the word "aged" now.

Under the hood, the Q70 makes do with relatively old powertrains too. The base 3.7-liter V-6 manages 330 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, but it's relatively gruff and needs help from standard active noise cancellation to cope.

The optional V-8 doesn't boost performance so much as it smooths the edges. It makes 420 hp (416 hp with all-wheel drive) and doesn't make the car feel outright quick, but does come with a classic V-8 soundtrack.

A hybrid is somewhere in between with a V-6 paired to a lithium-ion battery pack. We have our quibbles with this, but it helps the Q70 get up to 30 mpg combined, according to the EPA.

All Q70s come with a slick 7-speed automatic that is a great partner here—it even helps the V-6 stay composed and quiet. Both the V-6 and V-8 models can be equipped with all-wheel drive.

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.

Quality, safety, and features

The Q70 is a true mid-sizer, but can be opulent in long-wheelbase form. Four adults shouldn't have a problem fitting in the primary seats, and the Q70 isn't as cramped as others in its class. The 14.9-cubic-foot trunk isn't hugely capacious (there's less room in the hybrid model too) but it's enough for most gear.

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.

The Q70 has a good safety record and gets mostly good marks from federal testers, while the IIHS has given it a Top Safety Pick award.

Safety equipment includes the standard complement of airbags, stability and traction control, and a rearview camera. A large tech package adds a long list of advanced safety features that is becoming common fare in its class.

Base cars are hard to find, and not particularly well-equipped. Like last year, a Premium Package is available on the Q70 for no additional fee and adds common sense luxury items such as an 8.0-inch infotainment system, premium audio, and leather seating.

7

2017 INFINITI Q70

Styling

Curvy and composed, the Infiniti Q70 looks good—but not great.

The 2017 Infiniti Q70 takes a different approach than similar sedans from Germany or America. It's lavish and curvy, an alternative approach to the common logic.

While we like the Q70's outward appearance, we struggle to say that it's exceptional. We gave it a 7 out of 10 on our styling scale, and will say that it has aged gracefully—but emphasis on "aged" there. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

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.

(It's best in the long-wheelbase version where those curves can stretch out more over the rear haunches, if we can make a suggestion.)

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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2017 INFINITI Q70

Performance

Everything about the Q70's ride is well-sorted, we just wish the engines were too.

There's something to be said for consistency, but the Infiniti's three engine options and two drive configurations may be a little overdue for a refresh.

Under the hood, the Q70 gets the same treatment as last year: a 3.7-liter V-6, 5.6-liter V-8, or hybrid system. The V-6 and V-8 cars can be equipped with optional all-wheel drive.

We gave the Q70 a 7 out of 10 on our ratings scale for a good ride and handling in base configuration. Infiniti's parent company, Nissan, will be putting these V-6 engines out to pasture at some point, so we expect that here—maybe even a highly advanced turbo-4 in the future. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

In Q70 3.7 RWD and AWD models, there's a 3.7-liter V-6 engine rated at 330 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. It's Nissan's corporate V-6 that can be found in just about every car and while it's been a workhorse, it could be past its "sell by" date. The 3.7-liter has a habit of sounding gruff, but thankfully it's paired to a 7-speed automatic transmission with crisp shifts, a manual shift mode, rev-matched downshifts, and optional steering-wheel paddle shifters to get the most out of it.

Q70 5.6 RWD and AWD models get a 420-hp, 5.6-liter V-8 (making 416 hp in long-wheelbase Q70L versions), and are mated to the same 7-speed automatic.

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.

We like the V-8, and compared to the V-6 model, it's fuel economy isn't all that out of whack.

Between the two is the Q70's is 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. The hybrid version performs reasonably well, and it earns 31 mpg combined from the EPA, but there's a lack of finesse in these models (the clutching and declutching of the electric subsystem) that keeps it 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 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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2017 INFINITI Q70

Comfort & Quality

Refined and quiet, the Q70 is the car your grandfather wants to buy.

The Infiniti Q70 competes in a solid set of luxury competitors that seem to impress us at every turn.

We're sure there's a tougher spot to be than up against the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5-Series, Jaguar XF, and Lexus GS—but we just can't think of what it is at the moment. 

Nonetheless, the Q70 manages to hold its own and we gave it an 8 out of 10 in our comfort and quality ratings thanks to good front and rear seats (especially in the long-wheelbase version), and its ability to quietly shuffle four adults from valet lot to valet lot. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Up front, the 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.

In the second row, the seats are contoured to better fit adults, at least in the outboard positions. The back seats in the Q70 could be a bit short on leg room for the very tall, but the long-wheelbase version's extra 5.9 inches of leg room should remedy that. The downside 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.

The Q70L also gets 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.

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. 

Road boom and unnerving vibrations from the coarse V-6 are adequately quelled in the Q70 thanks to standard active noise control. 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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2017 INFINITI Q70

Safety

The Infiniti Q70 has impressive safety scores and good available safety features.

Federal testers aren't yet done testing the Q70, but the IIHS scores so far are good. We don't expect the feds to come in with different scores from last year, so we can confidently carry over scores from last year.

It earned an impressive 8 out of 10 on our safety rating scale thanks to good scores from federal testers in 2016 and the IIHS, and available safety features. Although the features are lumped together for a fairly high price, we still think they're on par with its class. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Federal testers gave the Q70 a five-star overall rating (out of five), which included four stars in the frontal and rollover crash tests.

This year, the IIHS gave the Q70 all top "Good" scores on its battery of tests and a Top Safety Pick designation for the whole effort.

The list of standard safety items on the Q70 includes a standard complement of airbags, active headrests, and a rearview camera system. A free upgrade to the Premium Package adds a surround-view camera system. Adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlamps, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, forward collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, and backup collision prevention are all available in one large $3,300 option.

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2017 INFINITI Q70

Features

Base cars are well-equipped—as long as they're not truly base cars.

This year, Infiniti has added the top-of-the-line Premium Select version to its long-wheelbase model, bringing in line the rest of the Q70 lineup after the range-topping edition was introduced last year.

We gave the Q70 an 8 out of 10 on our features scale based on the Premium Package option, which is a no-cost add-on for the car. Base cars without the package would score much lower, so we highly advise seeking out those cars. The Q70 gets much better if you spend more, including that Premium Select model. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Base cars are equipped with active noise control, Bluetooth phone connectivity, dual-zone climate control, a rearview camera, keyless ignition, leather-trimmed seats and a six-speaker stereo. That's not an entirely impressive list of features for a sedan that starts about $50,000, but we don't expect to see many of those cars on the road anyway.

Finding the Premium Package cars adds for free an 8.0-inch touchscreen navigation system, telematics, a 10-speaker Bose surround sound stereo, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, surround-view camera system, and parking assistants. It's more likely that every Q70 would have at least this feature set.

Getting the Q70 with a longer wheelbase adds on $1,500 to V-6- and V-8-equipped cars.

From there, most Q70s will have one or more packages installed that heap on a variety of features.

A Technology Package ($3,300) adds on many safety features sedan shoppers are looking for, including adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, backup collision prevention, and an Eco pedal that we'd rather do without.

A Deluxe Touring Package ($3,900) adds on top-tier luxury features such as a 16-speaker Bose audio system, power rear sunshade, softer Aniline quilted leather seats, faux-suede headliner, and wood trim.

From there, several sport packages add uprated brakes, summer tires, bigger 20-inch wheels, aluminum pedals, and paddle shifters to the different powertrains and trims of the Q70. It's worth noting that the Q70 doesn't really ever feel "sporty," which is perhaps why the sport options aren't available on the hybrid model.

(Long wheelbase V-8 models skip the Premium, Technology, and Deluxe Touring packages in favor of one, $7,200 Deluxe Technology package that does exactly what you think it does.)

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2017 INFINITI Q70

Fuel Economy

The Q70 comes with three different powertrains, only one is fuel efficient.

This year, the EPA scored the base 3.7-liter V-6, rear-drive Infiniti Q70 at 18 mpg city, 25 highway, 21 combined. Adding all-wheel drive has a small penalty, it's rated at 18/24/20 mpg.

We based our fuel economy rating of 6 out of 10 on these models, considering they're the most likely to be found on U.S. roads. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The good news: The Q70 Hybrid is much better. It's rated at 28/33/30 mpg, according to the EPA. The bad news: V-8-powered Q70 5.6 models are rated at 16/24/19 mpg or 16/23/18 mpg with all-wheel drive.

That's on pace with the rest of its class, but Inifiniti includes an Eco pedal function in some cars that annoyingly "pushes back" when drivers accelerate in the car. It's not entirely helpful, and in some cases, our averages actually went down because we found ourselves fighting with the pedal more.

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January 29, 2018
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7.3
Overall
Expert Rating
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Styling 7
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 8
Safety 8
Features 8
Fuel Economy 6
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