Class: Premium Midsize Car
Miles Driven: 331
Fuel Used: 19.1
Real-world fuel economy: 17.3 mpg
Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 18/26/21 (city, highway, combined)
Base price: $51,350 (not including $905 destination charge)
Options on test car: Technology Package ($3300), Deluxe Touring Package ($3900), Performance Tire and Wheel Package ($1150)
Price as tested: $60,605
The great: Luxurious cabin, generous rear-seat legroom
The Good: Strong, refined drivetrain
The not so good: Mediocre fuel economy
The 2015 Infiniti Q70L looks and feels like a $60,000 car—which is a pretty good trick, considering it starts at $51,350.
That said, the one Consumer Guide® tested actually did hit 60K—$60,605 with delivery, to be exact—but that was with 3 extensive option groups that packed in the luxury and the technology. Thus, it doesn’t have to be a $60,000 car if you don’t want it to be. Plus, CG’s tester was a rear-wheel-drive “L” version with 5.9 inches of extra wheelbase that increases interior room and stretches what we categorize as a “Premium Midsize” car to near “Premium Large” territory. That extra bit of Infiniti adds $1500 to the base price of a rear-drive V6 Q70 on the conventional 114.2-inch wheelbase.
Rear passengers definitely will appreciate the Q70L’s additional leg room and the easy entry and exit through wide doors. There’s generous stretch-out room, but a tall driveline hump down the middle of the floor will crowd a third passenger trying to occupy the middle space. Standard seat heaters have their own controls secreted in the covered storage bin built into the pull-down center arm rest. Front-seat passengers will enjoy plenty of room and comfort, too, and drivers will find over-the-shoulder visibility to be pretty good.
Appointments have a big-time luxury car look and feel, with soft-touch surfaces extending practically from the door sills on up. Among other features, the $3900 Deluxe Touring Package upgrades some of the standard luxury touches by providing semianiline leather seating, silver-powder accents to the Japanese Ash wood trim, and a suedelike headliner.
One place that the Q70L hints at its midsize roots is in the trunk. It’s not especially deep, but it is fairly wide near the back of the car, and liftover is low. (The rear seats do not fold down for temporary added space, but there is a pass-through.) Interior storage for personal incidentals isn’t bad—the glove box and covered console box are pretty big.
The Q70 has an 8-inch touchscreen to display audio and navigation functions, but its position high in the center of the dash is far enough away from the driver as to make actual touching impractical. Perhaps that’s why Infiniti had to go totally “belt and suspenders” and include a staggering array of climate, nav, and audio buttons that extends down a wood-trimmed ledge in the middle of the car.
V6 models come with a 3.7-liter 330-horsepower engine hooked to a 7-speed automatic transmission. In addition to the base setting, “Eco” and “Sport” modes can be selected for different driving characteristics. Selecting Sport delivers quicker throttle response and holds gears a little longer before upshifting. In Sport, this driver found the car palpably livelier in expressway driving, ready to jump ahead with a tap of the accelerator, but it was no slouch in the “Standard” setting. In a brief overnight turn (54 total miles, 61 percent under city-style conditions), this tester averaged 18.30 mpg.
Even with the Performance Tire & Wheel option, ride was comfortable and quiet on the 20-inch alloy wheels. Enhanced sport brakes (another part of the package) delivered excellent undramatic stopping power.
The Q70L is expressively styled, plushly appointed, and priced near the middle of the pack in its class. It’s definitely worth looking into.
Despite their premium price tags, many “plus-size midsize” luxury sedans are trumped by significantly cheaper mainstream-brand midsize sedans when it comes to rear-seat space. It’s nice to see Infiniti offering the choice of extra rear-seat stretch-out room (for an extra fee, of course) with the Q70L. That room is an important selling point, because the Q70L doesn’t stand out from its premium-midsize-class competition in many other areas.
Overall design is one area where the Q70 makes its mark. There are distinctive styling touches inside and out. The interior trim sports attractive, flowing shapes, and the gloss-finish “silver-powdered” wood trim is especially dazzling. The sinuous body sculpting is also striking—the voluptuous hood and front fender design is apparent even from behind the wheel.
I found our Q70L’s ride to be surprisingly stiff, given its luxury mission. Usually, a suspension this taut pays dividends in cornering prowess, but the Q70L doesn’t feel particularly impressive in terms of responsiveness or agility. Its heft is always apparent.
The Q70L’s key selling point is the “L” in its name. If rear-seat space is high on your list of luxury-sedan must-haves, check it out. If not, be sure to check out an Audi A6, Cadillac CTS, or Mercedes-Benz E-Class as well.