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by Tony West and Daryl Payne
For 2015 Infiniti presents a new swagged out extended wheelbase lux Q70. The 2015 Q70L adds 5.9 inches, brawny shoulders, 20 inch wheels, and chrome accents all giving the sedan an upscale sporty edge. The new Q70 lineup now has 9 distinct choices including a rear-wheel drive and an all-wheel drive 3.7 liter V6 and 5.6 liter V8. The lineup also includes a 3.5 liter Hybrid. We reviewed the 2015 Infiniti Q70L with a 3.7 liter V6 and all the bells and whistles. It turned heads everywhere I went. And inside it’s an ultra spacious cabin with premium materials and innovative safety technology.
Sexy Sleek Sporty at Every Angle
The new Q70L stalks the road with its sleek athletic new design and fresh accents. The whip has a refreshed double arched grille with 3D mesh and chrome surround. And LED headlights and LED combination fog lights are standard. Eighteen inch aluminum alloy wheels and dual exhausts with chrome tips are also standard. Twenty-inch wheels are available with the Performance Tire and Wheel Package.
The front stance is wide and brawny. The Q70L has a 114 inch wheelbase – 194 inches long and 72 inches wide. Strong body lines rise from the grille and flow through the body side like a wave. Pronounced shoulders and the waved grille make the Q70 look like a big cat ready to pounce. Yet the profile is smooth and sophisticated. And at the rear, the design of the taillights creates a horizontal flow in motion while the high quality signature lighting evokes a fresh classy image. A chrome rear finisher adds a touch of class.
Chrome trimmed door handles light up when I approach the Q70L. Chrome also lines the windows, side mirrors, front and rear bumper. The sport version has a lower wider stance with a lower rear bumper finished in high gloss paint and 20 inch wheels.
The new Q70L is sleek, sophisticated and a little sinister. The longer wheelbase adds plenty of legroom. And it makes the swag-mobile a gentle lion on the highway. The new Q70L’s aerodynamic design gives it a coefficient drag of just 0.27.
Touring Performance with Innovative Safety Tech
The 2015 Infiniti Q70L’s not bashful on the road. It boasts a 3.7 liter DOHC V6 engine with 330 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm. A 5.6 liter direct injection V8 engine with 420 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque is also available with the Q70L.
A hybrid model features Infiniti’s Direct Response Hybrid System with Intelligent Dual Clutch Control. The 367 horsepower system combines a 3.5 liter 24-valve DOHC aluminum V6 and compact lithium battery with an advanced 50 kW electric motor.
Variable Valve Event Lift combines hydraulic controlled variable valve timing and electronically controlled variable valve lift.
All engines are matched to a 7 speed automatic transmission with magnesium paddle shifters. Manual shifting features downshift rev matching. The Q70L is also pretty efficient, with a 21 mpg combined EPA (26 mpg highway/ 18 mpg city).
The Q70L has a balanced even ride in city driving. The V6 struggles with its sporty identity. Where the Q50’s 6 speed transmission eased seamlessly into higher gears, the Q70L had to take a deep breath to get up the power to speed.
A Drive Mode Selector in the RWD Q70L optimizes throttle sensitivity and transmission mapping. It offers standard, eco, sport, and snow modes. In standard mode, performance is balanced- efficient and comfortable.
Sport mode adds a little aggression, but not agility or added grip. The Q70 feels bulky instead of sleek and sporty. Eco mode features an available Eco Pedal that gives a push back from the accelerator to encourage more efficient driving = lower revs. The Eco Pedal does more harm than good because it keeps revs below 2,000 by counteracting acceleration so I can’t get up.
The Q70 utilizes an advanced Front Mid Ship platform which positions the engine behind the front axle optimizing front to rear weight balance.
The Q70L has standard independent double wishbone front and multilink independent rear suspensions. Available double piston shock absorbers control damping force. All-wheel drive employs an advanced torque split control strategy that directs torque to each wheel according to terrain and road conditions. Active Trace Control adjusts engine torque and braking at each wheel to enhance cornering performance.
While the Q70L is smoother touring around the city, bending corners is difficult in this lux mobile. Front and rear passengers slide all over the car, drinks spill, and trunk items won’t stay in place. The Q70L also has electronically controlled speed sensitive variable assist rack-and-pinion steering. Sounds like a winner. But the steering is rough, not fluid. The wheel jerks and I have to hold it steady on the highway.
The performance of the lux whip didn’t exceed my expectations, especially since it’s brawny with such a sleek muscular body. Safety features however, are very impressive.
Innovative Safety Features
New and improved safety features put the $50k Q70L a step ahead. Standard features include Intelligent Safety Sense, Vehicle Dynamics Control, traction control, ABS and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution.
The Technology Package adds a Blind Spot Monitor and Blind Spot Intervention, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention, Forward Emergency Braking, Intelligent Cruise Control, and Adaptive Front Lighting.
Forward Emergency Braking warns drivers of a potential collision with a vehicle ahead, and can apply the brake. Predicative Forward Collision Warning will warn the driver of a potential collision two cars ahead.
Backup Collision Intervention detects crossing traffic as well as stationary objects when reversing.
The backup monitor provides a bird’s eye 360 degree view of the Q70L for ease with parking. Moving Object Detection, which alerts drivers to moving objects when I’m reversing beeps every time a car passes.
Other available features include Intelligent Key, Distance Control Assist and Front Pre-Crash Seat Belts.
Safety tech in the Q70L uses radar and cameras to keep the whip safe at all times in any driving conditions. While traction control, Active Trace Control, and the Lane Departure Prevention systems could use some tweaking, the Predicative Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Distance Control Assist are on point.
Spacious Cabin with Decadent Design
The inside of the Q70L is huge with room for passengers over 6’5” to sit in luxury. The additional 5.9 inches in the long wheelbase version takes the extended sedan’s rear roominess beyond what the competitors offer. Rear knee room is at a best-in-class 32.4 inches. Drivers have an Entry/Exit system that moves the seat back an inch when I shut off the car, and back up when the engine is activated. The whip adds semi aniline leather seats with the Deluxe Touring Package ($3,900) and plain leather to its Premium Package along with a heated steering wheel and climate controlled front seats. Heated rear seats are standard.
The driver’s seat is long but narrow, which makes it difficult to use the seat adjusters on the side- especially if a man is wearing the watch. A wider framed driver wouldn’t be as comfortable. The leather was also rough and uneventful with no perforation, no two tones, and no contrast stitching. Even the cup holders are narrow in the center console area. Storage is limited the long sedan.
The interior’s main showpiece is a center stack adorned in Japanese Ash Wood. The center stack sticks out so much it’s almost a 3rd passenger in the front. The caramel colored trim with gold accents looks expensive, but it scratches easily and doesn’t match the leather seats. And the console unit has a layout that’s not as functional as the dual screens in the Q50.
The shifter is short, probably to make room for the CD’s to eject cleanly from the player. Then, instead of a clean layout with digital tech and buttons, the Q70L center stack has buttons spread across different rows. The heated seat function is next to the drive mode selector. Climate controls are spread on two rows mixed with audio buttons which are spread on 3 rows. The vents face up at a 30-degree angle.
The rear is where Infiniti could have really stunted- but they didn’t. The rear seats should’ve had dual screens, their own audio controls, or at least a reclining feature. The Hyundai Equus and Genesis are already doing it. The rear does have heated seats and cool LED reading lights. Rain sensing wipers and the rear view monitor are on point. I also like the power rear sunshade, moon roof, and day/night button for adjusting brightness quickly. Power-folding, auto-dim heated outside mirrors with reverse tilt down are nice, except when they don’t return back to their original position after I reverse.
The driver’s dash is simple and neat with gauges and a small driver information center with useful information like oil life and tire pressure.
The Q70L ride wasn’t as tranquil in bad road conditions. At high speeds, I could hear cars roaring passed, and wind loudly through the moon roof.
Standard infotainment includes Bluetooth, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Homelink, a USB port, and a 6 speaker audio system.
The Deluxe Touring Package also includes a Bose 18-Speaker Surround Sound System and a suede-like headliner. The Premium Package includes the 8” WGA touch screen for infotainment, navigation, and settings. Voice Recognition, NavTraffic and NavWeather are also included. Navigation and NavTraffic is great. Zooming in is dope. But NavWeather is OCD and gives warnings about impending weather situations anywhere from 5 – 15 miles from the vehicle. The problem is that the warning never says where the dangerous weather is. It gives multiple warnings back to back, and the weather the driver’s immediate area may be completely different.
The 2015 Q70L has an MSRP of $51,350, more than the Lexus GS, Lincoln, MKZ, and the Hyundai Genesis which offer more contemporary interiors.
While the new Q70L is way ahead on safety technology, all of the major lux and high tech innovations are add-ons. Fully loaded, the whip costs $60,605, on par with a Cadillac CTS, Acura RLX and the Audi A6. The Infiniti Q70L can go toe-to-toe with them all with its exterior design. But the interior needs a makeover to create a luxury, driver-focused functional and tech-advanced interior that sport sedans now have.