By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 7.8
Infiniti's biggest sedan is renamed the 2014 Infiniti Q70 this year, but that's about it for changes. Don't worry, since Infiniti's flagship sedan still delivers the premium luxury experience, high-end style, and first-rate performance it always has. Offering upscale features as standard equipment, the Infiniti Q70 has more standard horsepower than competitors like the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Lexus GS and Audi A6. Its performance-oriented character exchanges some ride quality for a dynamic driving experience, but the lineup features a midsize luxury sedan for nearly any shopper. The Q70 3.7 targets those looking for a luxury value, while the V8-powered 420-horsepower Q70 5.6 adds more oomph. There's also a fuel-efficient hybrid, and Infiniti offers performance-oriented all-wheel drive (AWD) for its non-hybrid Q70 models.
The Infiniti Q70 offers up sharp handling and quick reflexes. If that's your preference, and you don't mind giving up some ride smoothness in return, then this big Infiniti's blend of performance, luxury and value tough to beat.
Despite its classy design and first-rate performance, the Infiniti Q70 doesn't have the kind of curbside cachet as rivals from BMW, Audi and Lexus. Additionally, that class-leading horsepower is great, but if you want class-leading fuel economy, you'll be shopping somewhere else.
For 2014, the Infiniti Q70 gets a new name, dropping its previous M moniker to bring it in line with the rest of Infiniti's new Q-based naming scheme. Rear-drive Sport models also get an oil cooler and revised spring and shock settings, but that's it for changes.
Driving Impressions The 2014 Infiniti Q70 is a blast on the road. The standard V6 engine pulls strongly, the optional V8 is better, and the hybrid threatens to abolish once and for...all the cliche that electrically assisted driving slows things down. There's an impressive array of technology, and as long as you're OK with a stiff ride – a byproduct of the Q70's emphasis on driving performance – you'll have little to complain about. There's technology to enhance the driving experience, like 4Wheel Active Steer and downshift rev-matching, while other tech like lane-keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring subtly help keep you safe. The supportive seats, intuitive dash and iPod integration are among the best around. The Q70 Hybrid, which Infiniti claims is the world's fastest full-hybrid sedan, delivers on its promise of combining the fuel efficiency of a hybrid with the engaging driving dynamics of a performance sedan.
ACTIVE NOISE CONTROL
Every Infiniti Q70 features Active Noise Control to minimize aural unpleasantness caused by the engine. A ceiling-mounted microphone detects low-frequency noise and the system then generates out-of-phase frequencies – the sound waves cancel each other out.
4WHEEL ACTIVE STEER
For increased agility and control at any speed, the 2014 Infiniti Q70 employs an optional 4Wheel Active Steer feature that seamlessly adjusts the steering angle of all four wheels according to speed and driver input.
Outfitted in high-quality materials, the 2014 Infiniti Q70 delivers an inviting in-cabin experience. The Q70's spacious greenhouse comfortably accommodates its occupants, who enjoy 10-way power-adjustable and heated front seats, leather-trimmed seating surfaces and generous rear-seat legroom. The available Deluxe Touring Package adds a 16-speaker Bose audio system, a suede-like headliner and striking White Ash wood trim sprinkled with flecks of real silver. On the other hand, the monochrome information display between the gauges looks dated against competitors using all-digital dashes or multicolor displays. The high-mounted all-in-one control knob means there's nowhere to rest your arm when you use it.Exterior
Combining a muscular stance and a sleek profile, the 2014 Infiniti Q70 is among the most stylish cars in its class. Its curving sheet metal is complemented by xenon headlights for both the low and high beams along with LED taillights. All Infiniti Q70 models ride on standard 18-inch wheels, while the Sport Package (now available on both RWD and AWD models) offers fender-filling 20-inch wheels. That Sport Package also adds a touch of aggression to the Q70's exterior with smoked surrounds for the grille and headlights, unique front end, larger brakes and performance summer tires.
The 2014 Infiniti Q70 3.7 and Hybrid models come standard with Drive Mode Selector (Standard, Eco, Sport and Snow modes), leather seating, heated power front seats, a 6-speaker audio system with USB connectivity, Bluetooth, active noise control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a 7-inch color display for audio/climate/vehicle settings, and keyless entry and start. Moving up to the Q70 5.6 adds a 5.6-liter V8, cooled front seats, a Bose 10-speaker sound system, a navigation system with SiriusXM NavTraffic and NavWeather, and a 9.3GB hard drive for music storage. Safety equipment on every Infiniti Q70 includes active head restraints and six airbags.
Any Infiniti Q70 sedan can be outfitted to your liking, thanks to available Premium, Deluxe Touring and Technology Packages. Creature comforts include a 16-speaker Bose Studio Surround System, power rear sunshade, silver-metallic wood trim, and a "Forest Air" system that provides a clean breeze through the cabin. The Technology Package includes adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and prevention, forward-collision warning, blind-spot monitoring and adaptive front lighting. The Sport Package (for all but the Hybrid) adds 20-inch wheels with summer tires, a sport-tuned suspension, 4-wheel active steering, sport brakes, magnesium paddle shifters, sport seats and special exterior trim.
The 2014 Infiniti Q70 comes with a choice of three engines: a 330-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 (the same engine found in the Q50 sedan), a 420-horsepower 5.6-liter V8, or a gas/electric hybrid powerplant using a 3.5-liter V6 and electric motor for a total of 360 horsepower. All these engines mate to a 7-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode that, on the non-hybrid models, includes a race-inspired downshift rev-matching feature. Unfortunately, that great horsepower comes at a cost; EPA fuel economy ratings are only average for the category, and our real-world driving experience confirms both the Q70 3.7 and Q70 5.6 have a healthy appetite for fuel. Adding AWD to the Q70 knocks off another mpg or two.
330 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
270 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 mpg (RWD), 17/24 mpg (AWD)
420 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
417 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25 mpg (RWD), 16/23 mpg (AWD)
3.5-liter V6 + electric motor
Hybrid system net horsepower: 360
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/32 mpg
With a new name comes new prices. Base Infiniti Q70 3.7 models start at a little more than $50,000 – add $2,150 for all-wheel drive. The V8-powered Q70 5.6 starts at about $62,000, with AWD an extra $2,500. If you're looking for the Infiniti Q70 Hybrid, you'll need to have around $56,500 in your checking account. The prices are about the same as the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, but the Infiniti offers more standard features. A base Audi A6 offers less standard equipment but it undercuts the Q70's starting price by several thousand. Be sure to check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price for what consumers are actually paying for Infiniti Q70s in your area. In terms of resale value, the Q70 is expected to see above-average residuals over time, not quite as high as those offered by BMW or Lexus, but on par with Mercedes-Benz and Audi.