Review: 2017 Infiniti Q70 carries its age well
As with the cliches of older people, the Q70 is still capable of doing the basics in life, but when it comes to technology, it's a bit behind the times. The cliche might hold in some ways, but like the surprising older folks who're smartphone savvy and talk to Alexa in familiar terms, the Q70 has its own surprises.
The 2017 Infiniti Q70 is the latest rendition of a sedan unveiled back in 2011 and most recently updated with a refresh in 2015. In car years, that makes the Q70 well past middle age and into the graying years in human terms. Rivals in the sedan market, however, have seen updates that the Q70 has not and that is beginning to haunt the Q70's otherwise well-preserved appeal.
Outside, the 2017 Infiniti Q70 is a beautiful car. It has a combination of luxurious simplicity and modern curvature that bespeaks its status. Although going out of style in current Infiniti designs, the prominent fender humps at the edges of the hood and the sharp, but not wide-mouthed grille and matching headlamps are timeless in their shapeliness. The rolling, but not overly-steep roofline and simple body paneling aid that classic feeling, while the clipped rear deck and well-placed wheels at the corners finish the sportiness expected of a luxury sedan in modern times.
Chrome edging and beautiful wheels are the Q70's nod towards the expectation of today's luxury owners when it comes to "stand out" appearances. The Euro-swoosh of the rear glass at the pillar is another Infiniti hallmark that helps this happen.
Inside, the 2017 Q70 continues with the sleek look this Infiniti has on the outside. The cabin is clean and well-designed with a nicely-placed central control stack for infotainment, radio, and climate controls. The car's dashboard design may be a little snug for some, with today's designs heading more towards an open feeling, but it certainly does add to the sport feel that the Q70 carries. A few complaints are the control knob for the touchscreen, which is redundant and not very useful, and the lack of what are considered basics in today's luxury sedan.
Those basics include adaptive cruise control and similar driver aids, active safety measures, and heated/cooled seating. All of these items are optional in upgrade packages rather than standard, which is out of line with the not-so-entry-level pricing of the Q70, which starts at US$50,100 manufacturer's suggested retail, before delivery.
Also on the downside for the Q70 is its infotainment system, which is dated and not as functional as most modern options from rivals like Cadillac and BMW. The screen is relatively small for the segment and, worse, not as crisp as newer options. Yet it does perform the basics like smartphone connectivity, Bluetooth tethering, and basic hands-free voice control well enough for most everyday use. Some options like navigation and app integration are clunky at best, though, and Bluetooth audio can be sketchy at times.
What we love about the Q70's interior are its roominess, attention to style, and drivability. Seating comfort is excellent whether in the front or the back seats. The distinctive roofline of the big sedan does not translate into pinched headroom in the rear, which was a surprise. The long wheelbase model (Q70L) adds even more rear legroom, making even the tallest of passengers well-accommodated in the back seats.
Parents will appreciate the intelligent application of child safety seat attachment points and the easy access to the over-seat tether points, which are often difficult to reach. Those with a lot of gadgets and gear, though, will not find many places to put them in the Infiniti Q70's cabin, and cargo space is barely average at 14.9 cubic feet (422 liters) in the trunk. The wheel wells infringe on the trunk's interior, making it less useful than it could be.
Where the 2017 Infiniti Q70 really jumps ahead is with its excellent powertrain choices. The standard engine is a 3.7-liter V6 that outputs an honest 330 horsepower (246 kW) and 270 foot pounds (366 Nm) of torque. The 3.7 is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission in either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. This is a good little engine with punchy performance that has enough to keep up with the large Q70 in everyday driving.
The better option, in our opinion, is the beefy V8, which adds the 5.6 badge to the Q70. Our test model was equipped with this in all-wheel drive (RWD is standard) with the seven-speed automatic transmission. That transmission is standard issue and the big V8 growls out 420 hp (313 kW) readily while producing 417 lb-ft (565 Nm) of torque.
With that 5.6L equipped, the 2017 Q70 begins to showcase its shared platform with the little 370Z sports car. Steering and handling are very dynamic, and the strong push of the V8 adds to that with a lot of excitement when pressed. The drive quality of the Q70 is akin to anything European you can name in this segment, and the road feel is both comfortable and dynamic. Shifting is precise and quick, and manual downshifting with the paddles or knob brings a unique rev-matching that adds to the fun.
In short, the 2017 Infiniti Q70 is a thrill to drive and will not disappoint, yet it remains unobtrusive and calm in everyday situations. We hesitate to use the term "masterpiece" for this mix in the Q70, but it does come to mind as a potential adjective.
The 2017 Infiniti Q70 is a somewhat dated, but solid car with a lot of sport and unexpected goodness coming with its age. Some of its aspects are out of date and need an upgrade, but for the money, it's a great car that (in terms of drive quality) competes with higher-priced German makes very well.
Product Page: Infiniti Q70