By Matt Degen
Formerly known as the M, the Q70 is Infiniti's flagship luxury sedan. The 2016 Infiniti Q70 is available in a variety of trims and with powertrains that range from a standard V6 to a stout V8 and a hybrid that splits the power/efficiency equation. As befits a luxury-sports sedan, rear-wheel drive (RWD) is the Q70's de facto layout, while all-wheel drive (AWD) is optional for drivers desiring enhanced traction. The long-wheelbase Q70L offers more room in back for passengers. The Q70 has a good combination of verve, value and amenities, but it gets lost in the crowd of more established, more sophisticated rivals like the Lexus GS, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and new Cadillac CT6.
If you're looking for a Japanese midsize-luxury sedan with handsome looks and a focus on comfort and rear-seat passenger room, the Infiniti Q70 is worth a look. And with its complimentary Premium Package bundle of goodies, even a base Q70 packs a lot of value.
Despite strong powertrains and premium cabins, the Infiniti Q70 lacks the badge appeal and accoutrements of its rivals. And while the Q70L has copious rear legroom, it lacks amenities like adjustable seats, entertainment screens and individualized audio and climate controls available in rivals like the Lexus GS and BMW 5 Series.
Only minor changes are in store for the 2016 Q70 after last year's significant makeover. A Premium Select Edition joins with added interior and exterior elements. Also, two new exterior colors are available: the beautiful Hagane Blue and Majestic White (with premium pearl finish).
Though it's hardly the most efficient powertrain, the Infiniti Q70’s optional V8 can hustle you along back country roads and long stretches of highway comfortably. The standard 3.7-liter V6 is...
... no slouch, either. Optional magnesium paddle shifters enable manual control of the responsive transmission. The steering, shocks and springs, and stability control were all enhanced just last year and only sharpen handling. The 7-speed automatic transmission handles gear changes and works well with all three engine choices. Four driver-selectable modes – Standard, Eco, Sport and Snow – optimize the Infiniti's throttle sensitivity and transmission for the task at hand. But we don't like the optional Eco Pedal system. Working in conjunction with Eco mode, this system makes it harder to push on the pedal to accelerate, all in an effort to encourage efficiency. Thankfully the system, which comes on the Technology Package, can be softened or defeated altogether.
ACTIVE NOISE CONTROL
In an attempt to cut down on engine noise, a microphone mounted in the ceiling listens for low-frequency noises and then generates sound waves to balance it out.
AROUND VIEW MONITOR
Four cameras – positioned at the front, rear and under the side-view mirrors – create a bird's-eye view of the Q70 to make parallel parking or backing out of a crowded parking lot easy. Usually an option, Infiniti's Around View system is included in the complimentary Premium Package.
The 2016 Q70’s interior is open and inviting, and passengers won’t have any issues getting comfortable. We particularly like the Q70's driver's seat and positioning. We're not as hot on the dash design. It has a nice vertical flow but too many buttons and dials, which create a busy and potentially confusing layout. Opting for the extra rear-seat legroom in the Q70L gives way to an additional 5.6 inches of stretch-out room. That extra room is about all you get – you won't find the kind of auxiliary audio and climate controls that rear-seat passengers of a Lexus GS can enjoy.
The Q70 is at once elegant, muscular, yet understated. We're thankful that Infiniti has resisted the temptation to add a gaping grille to the Q70, a design that some rivals are attaching to every car they can produce. The new Premium Select Edition – available on standard-wheelbase models – aims to add a more menacing guise with dark chrome trim, darkened lower rear-bumper finisher, rear spoiler and 20-inch wheels that are also darkened. Long-wheelbase Q70 models are 202 inches in total length, compared to the standard 196.1.
Thanks to the complimentary inclusion of the Premium Package – which Infiniti says is a $4,200 value – even a base, 2016 Infiniti Q70 3.7 is a well-equipped sedan that packs quite a value. The sedan comes with a V6 engine, leather interior, 7-inch color display with Around View monitor, heated and ventilated front seats with 10-way-power adjustment, push-button ignition, heated steering wheel, 10-speaker Bose audio system with AM/FM/CD/DVD player with USB and Bluetooth connectivity. In addition to their extra room, Q70L models have heated rear seats.
All-wheel drive is optional on all models except the Q70 Hybrid, which is rear-drive only. And extra rear-seat room can be bought via the long-wheelbase Q70L, also available in all forms except the hybrid. Other major options are bundled into packages and include higher-grade semi-aniline leather seating, power rear sunshade, heated rear seats, sport-tuned suspension and Bose surround-sound system. Tech and safety options include blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure/prevention system, forward and reverse emergency braking, and Infiniti's innovative Predictive Forward Collision Warning, which warns the driver if a vehicle two cars ahead brakes suddenly.
Three powertrains are available for the 2016 Infiniti Q70 luxury sedan, including a hybrid electric. The standard engine is a V6 in the Q70 3.7, while a big, 5.6-liter V8 does duty in the Q70 5.6. The Q70 Hybrid employs a 3.5-liter V6 paired with an electric motor that’s good for a combined output of 360 horsepower and up to 34 mpg. All three engines work with a 7-speed automatic transmission, and gearshifts can be made manually through steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. All models come standard with rear-wheel drive (RWD), and the Q70 3.7 and Q70 5.6 can be had with all-wheel drive (AWD). Minus the hybrid configuration, the Infiniti Q70 is thirsty, reflected in its EPA fuel ratings.
330 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
270 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 mpg (RWD), 16/24 mpg (AWD)
420 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
417 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 mpg (RWD), 16/23 mpg (AWD)
3.5-liter V6 + 50 kW electric motor
Hybrid system net horsepower: 360 @ 6,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/34 mpg
The 2016 Q70 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $50,755. A V8-powered Q70 5.6 begins at $63,755. Long-wheelbase variants run $1,500 over the standard-wheelbase versions, and AWD is an extra $2,150 for V6 models and $2,500 for V8 variants. The Q70 Hybrid, meanwhile, begins at $56,805. Fully loaded, a Q70 can reach into the mid-$70,000 range. At these prices, the Q70 undercuts a BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CT6, Jaguar XF, Acura RLX and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and is line with a V6-powered Lexus GS (but several thousand higher than the new turbo-4 Lexus GS 200t). It's also higher than a base 4-cylinder Audi A6. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Infiniti. In the long run, the Q70's resale value is expected to trail that of the leading Lexus GS.