Vital Stats

Engine:
5.6L V8
Power:
420 HP / 417 LB-FT
Transmission:
7-Speed Auto
Drivetrain:
Rear-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
4,313 LBS
Seating:
2+3
Cargo:
14.9 CU-FT
MPG:
16 City / 23 HWY
Base Price:
$51,350
A quick look at a scatter plot that charts rear legroom against luxury sedan MSRPs reveals a dearth of spacious bargains – few, if any, luxury sedans offer exceptionally spacious rear accommodations at a relatively low starting price. To fill the vacuum, Infiniti has made its Q70 available in a Q70L variant – in English, long wheelbase – for 2015.

The artist formerly known as the Infiniti M has been available in stretched-out form in the Chinese market for two years, and the US introduction is accompanied by several updates that include slightly reworked styling cues, and refinements to the drivetrain and chassis. The Q70L's wheelbase extends 5.9 inches (with a commensurate expansion of knee room), while overall length increases to 202 inches, a 7.3-inch bump. Powertrain options include a 3.7-liter V6 which produces 330 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque (starting at $51,350), or a 5.6-liter V8 that yields 420 hp and 417 lb-ft (and climbs to $64,550). The long-wheelbase treatment adds $1,500 to Q70 MSRPs. Not surprisingly, the Hybrid version is not available with the L treatment.

Up to three Q70L rear passengers are treated to reading lamps, a 12-volt power outlet, rear door close assist, and available heated seats. Unlike its Far Eastern counterpart (and competitors like the $61,500 Hyundai Equus), the US-spec Q70L's rear seats don't recline. Bummer.

What to make of this stretched Infiniti that's just 1.2 inches of legroom shy of an S-Class? The Q70 has never quite compared dynamically to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class or BMW 5 Series, and the longer wheelbase makes it even harder for the Japanese sedan to compete when it comes to driving satisfaction. What the Q70L does offer, however, are rather plush interior accommodations that include available semi-analine leather and Japanese Ash trim that's been bedazzled by sprinklings of genuine silver mixed into the lacquer.

A test drive of the 2015 Infiniti Q70L through New York City and into the sinewy roads leading to Bear Mountain revealed even greater rifts between the lengthened sedan and its sporty competitors. Where does this leave Infiniti's Q70L amidst the macrocosm of luxury sedans, which include the Audi A6, Cadillac CTS, and Jaguar XF?

Driving Notes
  • Lengthening the wheelbase adds approximately 100 pounds of mass to the Q70L's curb weight, the equivalent of throwing a skinny kid in the back seat, give or take a few cheeseburgers. It's not a significant increase in tonnage, but the longer body makes the L variant feel noticeably less nimble than the standard-issue Q70, aided by the fact that the steering ratio has not been altered.
  • Ride quality felt somewhat busy but controlled over NYC's notoriously irregular pavement, while rural roads outside of Manhattan revealed a more sedate side to the sedan's damping.
  • The Q70L's cabin is pleasantly quiet, thanks in part to active noise canceling technology and new-for-2015 improvements including added insulation and better seals. There's still a faint but noticeable engine induction sound, which lends an air of sportiness to the aural experience.
  • Our V8-powered tester delivered strong, but not head-pinning, oomph. Despite what seemed like reasonably swift acceleration (Infiniti doesn't publish official 0-60 times), the Q70L's grunt doesn't inspire particularly leadfooted driving.
  • At least visually speaking, the Q70L's driving experience is all about the curves. Two humps dominate the instrument cluster, which is framed by the hood's bulbous profile. Arcs of wood and leather bind the interior, and the center stack is distinguished by its wave-like shape.
  • The Q70L is all about the expanded rear seating area, and a stint in its aft compartment revealed plenty of space, but a disappointing lack of amenities. Legroom is indeed generous, though the passenger experience doesn't feel particularly special. Unlike Hyundai's Equus, the Infiniti doesn't have a panel of controls that make the back perch feel like a first-class airline throne. The seats can be heated but not cooled, and they don't recline.
Perhaps this stretched-out five-seater will gain traction within that obscure segment of the population that would rather be chauffeured in midlevel luxury, rather than take the wheel themselves. We're a bit hazy on this rather specific target demographic, which seems more likely to reside in a Shanghai suburb than in a major metropolitan US city, but suppose the Q70L's sales figures will be the ultimate measure of its success.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 52 Comments
      RWD
      • 3 Months Ago

      It's not just for a niche of mid-level car buyers who wish to be chauffeured. My brother and I were both over 6ft tall by age 12, my father is 6'2". We had a BMW 740iL. A 5-Series would've been plenty nice enough, but we couldn't all fit comfortably at the same time, not even in the 740i.

      For an extended drive with a tall family, a stretched wheelbase is an absolute godsend.

      D E S I G N
      • 3 Months Ago

      Sweet fancy Moses! That is one fugly bastard!

      Plannerben
      • 3 Months Ago

      Maybe it's the mother-in-law market.

      When my beloved grandmother was still alive, my dad routinely checked back-seat room to ensure that she would like it.  Because he certainly didn't want her up front!

      dacelbot
      • 3 Months Ago

      Well, it does look pretty nice. Is this roughly a successor to the M35? I know someone who has one of those and quite likes it.

        Dixon Ticonderoga
        • 3 Months Ago
        @dacelbot

        The Q70 is the renamed M. The current M (that is Q70) replaced the previous M and Q.

         

        Holy hell, Infiniti. It gets more confusing the more I try to explain it.

          futurecars
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Dixon Ticonderoga

          wrong, the current M/Q70 did not replace the Q45, the Q45 was discontinued in 2006, The M/Q70 only fill the spot which it could not do so well. There is a Q80 in the making that is the flagship.

          Bernard
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Dixon Ticonderoga

          @futurecars

          If they are making a Q80 then that's a mistake, at least in the US. It won't sell. The Q70 has it hard enough as is.

          futurecars
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Dixon Ticonderoga

          @bernard, the problem with infiniti is it styling, if infiniti comes with a nice style and a good powertrain it will sell. That what they did with the G35, they need that formula, and infiniti have a new design chief, which will change this styling for the new car due.

        futurecars
        • 3 Months Ago
        @dacelbot

        yep the Q70 is a successor to the M (M37/M56)series, but the M35 was replace by the M37 in 2011.

      tenspeeder
      • 3 Months Ago

      Infiniti just seems a bit lost these days

        jphyundai
        • 3 Months Ago
        @tenspeeder

        Which is why there has been a management shake up recently. Perhaps you are correct. I still like the product though.

      EvilTollMan
      • 3 Months Ago

      Looks ok, but I think it's a bit overstyled.  The kind of design that gets old very quickly.

      jphyundai
      • 3 Months Ago

      Real leg room for real people. There are some singles and empty nesters who will not appreciate extra rear leg room. Then there are the rest of us who will actually use this vehicle to transport real people in the back. We will appreciate it and therefore buy the vehicle. Some say that they would buy a larger Lexus with their money. That's good, it is their money. However, the Lexus they are talking about has already been extended. Therefore, they are talking about something substantially the same in the rear leg room department. For those who do not get the Japanese styling..... Imagine that there are other cultures in the world and you just do not get the culture and therefore you do not get the styling. Every culture does not subscribe to our norms. I like it very much actually. It is a nice change and welcome at that.

      Jonathan Ippolito Ga
      • 3 Months Ago

      The styling is just terrible but at least it has an engine that is better made and more dependable than an AMG V8 .

        jphyundai
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Jonathan Ippolito Ga

        You get the mechanics but not the styling, that's progress at least.

      _M7_
      • 3 Months Ago

      poor name to Nissan Fuga

      Evander Smart
      • 3 Months Ago

      Infiniti dropped the ball, again.  This is what they should've done.

      The Q70 for $50k is fine, but it should ONLY be available in V6 and Hybrid, like the Lexus GS350/450h.  

      The Q70L is $65k, and is ONLY available with the 5.6L 420 HP V8.  It comes pretty much loaded except for two options.  A $3k Technology Pkg, and a $2k AWD package, so it maxes out at $70k.  At over 200", you have a legit bargain entry into the prestige luxury class vs S-Class, the Lexus LS, and the 7-series. And a clear purchasing advantage over Hyundai Equus, giving people a reason to not even go to a Hyundai dealer to even look at a maker with zero luxury pedigree for a bargain.

      BigNorm Jackson
      • 3 Months Ago

      Each is own... I like it, I'd probably rack my head between this, The BMW 535i and the CTS, but I would buy it

      Geoffrey
      • 3 Months Ago

      Did they hire the designer of the mid-90s Mitsubishi Montero?

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