Last year, Infiniti decided to shake things up by renaming its entire lineup to reflect model rank in the brand's hierarchy. Every sedan will now start with a "Q" while all SUV models will now begin with a "QX." For 2015 Infiniti's model formerly known as "M" will now be known as the Q70 and a long-wheelbase offering also is now available to U.S. shoppers, known as the Q70L. So where does the revamped Infiniti Q70 sit in a field filled with the likes of the Lexus GS and Acura RLX? We recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2015 Infiniti Q70 and Q70L to find out.
L offers more room for a small premium
The 2015 Infiniti Q70 5.6 AWD we drove had an MSRP of $65,350 and included the Sport Package ($4,500), Technology Package ($3,300), and a $905 destination and handling fee. With everything accounted for, the final asking price for this particular Q70 stood at $74,055. Opting to go with some extra legroom in the rear seats - 5.6-inches, to be exact - raises the price an additional $1,500 for the Q70L. Any fully grown adult not playing in the NBA will have legroom to spare (and then some) when sitting in the back of a Q70L. We sampled a long-wheelbase model outfitted with a Performance Tire and Wheel Package ($1,150) and a Deluxe Technology Package ($7,200), raising the final asking price to $76,305. The extra space helps to sort the chassis out and delivers a smoother ride because of it. Infiniti will offer both the Q70 and Q70L in the base 3.7-liter V6 and 5.6-liter V8 engine, which are carryovers, and both are available in rear - and all-wheel drive configuration.
Rated at 330 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, the 3.7-liter V6 offers up plenty of power but if that's still not enough, we recommend making the jump to the 5.6-liter V8. Power numbers for the 8-cylinder motivator check in at 420 horsepower and 417 lb-ft. During our time with it, the V8 hustled us around back country roads and long stretches of highway comfortably. The optional magnesium paddle shifters were very responsive while a retuned throttle enhances drive feel. The steering, shocks and springs, and stability control have also been tweaked.
The 7-speed automatic transmission handles gear changes and helps the V6 achieve an EPA-rated 18 city/26 highway for the rear-wheel drive model and 17 city/24 highway when equipped with all-wheel drive. For the sake of comparison, the 2015 Acura RLX and 2014 Lexus GS 350, both equipped with a 3.5-liter V6, earns 20 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 19 mpg city/29 mpg highway, respectively. As for the Q70's V8 engine, rear-wheel drive models earn 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway while all-wheel drive models see a 1 mpg slide in highway ratings.
There's also a Q70 Hybrid model that utilizes a 3.5-liter V6 engine rated at 302 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. A 50 kW motor kicks in an additional 67 horsepower and 214 lb-ft of torque to raise the net output to 360 horsepower. The 2015 Q70 Hybrid earned an EPA-rated 29 city/34 highway.
Give it a quick glance and it's obvious the exterior of the Q70 has been redesigned for 2015. The front and rear fascias, side view mirrors, and taillights have all been redone while the new grille design is flanked by Infiniti's signature LED headlights. A racier front and rear fascia is added when you go with the Sport Package which also includes 20-inch wheels (up from the standard 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels) wrapped in 245/40R20 all-season performance tires.
Inside, a mild refreshing has taken place as seen with revised interior trims, several variants are offered depending on the package you choose. Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection is now available while Forward Emergency Braking and Backup Collision Intervention join the Technology Package. Besides the aforementioned features, the Technology Package also includes Intelligent Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, and Blind Spot Warning and Intervention. The Deluxe Technology Package includes everything previously mentioned plus semi-aniline leather, White Ash silver-powdered wood trim, and stitching on the instrument cluster hood.
Set to go on sale later this fall, the 2015 Infiniti Q70 3.7 starts at $49,850 while the all-wheel drive model will set you back at least $52,000. A base Q70 5.6 commands a $62,850 base price while the Q70 Hybrid carries a $55,900 price tag. A base 2014 Lexus GS 350 starts at $48,625 but delivers 24 less horsepower than a similarly equipped Q70. The 2015 Acura RLX starts at $49,345 but shorts you 20 horsepower when compared against Infiniti's offering.
It may have a different name now but the 2015 Infiniti Q70 is where the "M" badge should have been all of these years. This quiet, comfortable ride, especially so in the long-wheelbase version, is a viable alternative in the luxury segment.
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