2015 Infiniti Q70 review: First-class cabin space in the Infiniti Q70, but little else

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CNET Editors' Rating

2.5 stars OK
  • Overall: 5.3
  • Cabin tech: 5.0
  • Performance tech: 5.0
  • Design: 6.0
Review Date:

The Good The 2015 Infiniti Q70 L offers a spacious rear cabin area, and its infotainment interface is intuitive and easy to use. Online search makes it easy to find destinations.

The Bad Acceleration is very sluggish in all but Sport mode, while the fixed suspension doesn't handle rough pavement well.

The Bottom Line The 2015 Infiniti Q70 L needs better ride comfort and a more responsive drivetrain to compete with competitive luxury sedan offerings, and its cabin electronics suite is overdue for an update.

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Infiniti made a technical masterpiece when it upgraded the old G37 for the current Q50, combining next generation steering with an efficient drivetrain and useful cabin tech features. So I was disappointed to see the newly named Q70 sedan, which received only a few upgrades over its predecessor, the Infiniti M.

The most notable changes for the Q70 over the M are a new long-wheelbase model, a hybrid drivetrain option and online destination search integrated with navigation.

Like its predecessor, the Q70 comes with two engine options, a 3.7-liter V-6 and a 5.6-liter V-8, neither representing significant efficiency or power improvements. The more intriguing engine option is the hybrid, with the same drivetrain as the Q50 Hybrid. Infiniti also makes all-wheel drive an option in the lineup.

A base Q70 model with the V-6 engine goes for $49,850, but the example I drove was the Q70 5.6 L AWD, using the V-8 engine driving all four wheels and having a stretched body, which goes for $67,050 before options. Neither the long wheelbase nor V-8 options are available in the UK or Australia, which have base prices for the Q70 3.7 at £40,565 and AU$68,900.

Bigger is better

Infiniti's M model was its flagship sedan, but it lacked the presence and size to compete with other large sedans such as the Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz S-class. Even Hyundai one-upped it with the Equus. The long-wheelbase Q70 seems like an attempt to compete in that larger sedan category. The Q70 L is about 6 inches longer than the standard model and, more importantly, gains 5.5 inches of legroom in the back seat. Rear-seat passengers are treated to a big seating area with plenty of space to stretch out their legs.

2015 Infiniti Q70
Infiniti offers its Q70 model, formerly the M, in a stretched-wheelbase version for 2015. Josh Miller/CNET

All that space is a fine thing, but the rear area of the Q70 L lacks much in the way of amenities. There are no tray tables to set down a laptop, no dedicated audio system controls for the car's entertainment system, not even a USB port or a 12-volt power point. This is a bare-bones first-class compartment.

A nice detail carried over from the M to the Q70 L is the white ash wood trim, making a stylish background for the infotainment controls. Unlike the new dual-screen interface in the Q50, the Q70 L gets Infiniti's old infotainment system. And by old I mean this system goes back about five years. The interface is intuitive to use, but Infiniti scatters the buttons a little too freely. Navigation and car information functions sit near a jog dial, while audio source buttons form a row lower on the center stack. Meanwhile, the hands-free phone buttons sit on the steering wheel.

Really showing its age, the voice command system prompted me for each part of a street address, making destination entry very tedious. Likewise, traffic integrated with the navigation system only covers highways, and not the more extensive surface street coverage offered by other systems.

After seeing the same old maps and destination interface in the navigation system, I was surprised to find a new destination option, Connected Search. This feature made use of the car's own data connection, letting me type any search term and fairly quickly returning an appropriate list of results.

The Q70 L also makes use of this data connection for telematics, letting an owner see the car's location on a map and check its status with a smartphone app.

2015 Infiniti Q70
The wood trim, carried over from the previous M model, shows a beautiful grain. Josh Miller/CNET

Where the Q70 L's infotainment falls behind is with app integration, lacking even Pandora. Instead, audio sources remain conventional, with a CD player, Bluetooth streaming, satellite radio and a USB port for iOS devices and drives. Music plays through a Bose 16-speaker surround-sound system, which includes speakers mounted in the shoulders of the front seats. I don't particularly like surround sound for music playback, but this system sounded very good, with the extra speakers adding subtle depth.

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