It has moved its headquarters to Hong Kong, renamed its lineup, and lost two key executives recently. So it should come as no surprise that Infiniti is undergoing a transition, just like the 2015 Infiniti Q70L we just had in for a few days.
You might remember the Q70 in its former life as the M35/45, which was rebadged for the 2014 model year. For 2015 the Q70L joins the model range, featuring a much longer wheelbase to accommodate a dramatically more spacious rear seat.
If you need rear seat room to go with your sport-leaning luxury sedan, the Q70L is happy to oblige. It’s downright cavernous. (They’ll especially love this car in China, where they’d probably welcome even a long-wheelbase Fiat 500.) Rear-seat L-type passengers have an additional 5.6 inches of rear legroom, thanks to an extra 5.9 inches of wheelbase over the base Q70.
This particular 2015 Q70L came with all-wheel drive and Infiniti’s stout (though aging), naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V-6 with 330 horsepower. Matched with a seven-speed automatic, the V-6 handles hard acceleration and around-town situations with equal aplomb. While the Q70’s optional 5.6-liter V-8 offers more punch, we found very little to complain about with the six. That said, we’re expecting to see a new powertrain family from Infiniti soon that will take advantage of advances in engine technology to increase efficiency without sacrificing power.
At freeway speeds, the 2015 Infiniti Q70L hums along without much fuss, and its cabin proves well-isolated from the incessant buzz of L.A.’s clogged streets and freeways. The Q70L model feels like a bigger car given its stretched wheelbase, but it doesn’t really drive like one. You can really hustle this Q-ship. We easily whip-sawed it into and out of lanes and took on sweepers and other bends in the daily commute, and with AWD, the car is more neutral in its demeanor. There is a Sport mode available that tightens things up a bit and makes the car slightly more aggressive thanks to shift points at higher rpm, but it doesn’t dramatically change the Q70’s character. We could do without features such as the Eco Pedal, which makes the gas pedal feel as though a foam brick was shoved behind it.
Outside, the Q70 has also received a nip and tuck to get it more in line with its smaller Q50 stablemate, and the optional 20-inch footwear enhances the car’s presence. We’d argue that this car is more attractive than before, more like the new Infiniti in shape and mission as it transitions into the future. Inside, the cabin is now familiar Infiniti fare, with a large infotainment screen sitting above a center stack still dominated by a circular dial and button arrangement. There’s an analog clock and other upscale-look touches, including silver-powdered white ash trim on this particular car that looks fittingly upscale.
But in the instrument panel, the Q has an old-school digital readout in the center, part of a mixed bag of options and displays. We’re still big fans of Infiniti’s pioneering Around View Monitor that now comes with a feature that detects moving objects. XM NavTraffic and NavWeather (we love them) are standard on the Q, and the optional technology package comes with all manner of Infiniti’s top-tier safety nannies, including predictive forward-collision warning and backup-collision intervention, which are among the best in the business.
There are a lot of things to like about the 2015 Infiniti Q70L, but given the hyper-crowded field of contenders in its class, many of which are cars that don’t have transitional issues, it will be hard for this car to stand out in the marketplace for now.
2015 Infiniti Q70L 3.7 AWD Specifications
Price:$54,405/$62,755 (base/as tested)
Engine:3.7 DOHC 24-valve V-6/330 hp @ 7,000 rpm, 270 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm
Layout:4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD sedan
EPA Mileage:18/24 mpg city/hwy
L x W x H:202.0 x 72.6 x 59.6 in
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