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2016 Infiniti Q70: New Car Review

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Certified 2016 INFINITI Q70 3.7 AWD
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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader March 2016

In the 2016 Infiniti Q70, you'll find a midsize luxury performance sedan on par with the best BMW, Audi and Cadillac sedans but with more expressive styling. Formerly known as the Infiniti M, the Q70 is offered in nine distinct trims, including a powerful V6, a potent V8, a surprisingly quick hybrid and a stretched-wheelbase model. All but the hybrid are available with all-wheel drive (AWD). Add it all up, and the Q70 is one imposing luxury sport sedan.

Inside, the Q70 wraps its occupants in traditional Infiniti luxury amenities, including a long list of standard items that cost extra in many of the Q70's competitors. A backup camera, Intelligent Key keyless entry and starting, and heated front seats can be found in even the most basic model, with several attractive option packages further helping to flush out the Q70's features. In fact, the only gripe we can find with the 2016 Q70 is the lackluster choice of exterior colors. After all, a body this seductive deserves at least one bright-red option or other vivid hue.

What's New for 2016?

For 2016, the Q70 offers a new Premium Select Edition (standard-wheelbase only). The package brings unique interior and exterior finishes, including specially designated 20-inch wheels, a choice of two semi-aniline leather colors and a suedelike headliner.

What We Like

Elegant styling; lovely interior design; lots of high-tech features; good fuel economy in hybrid models

What We Don't

High prices and poor fuel economy in V8 models; narrow front seats; lack of vivid color choices

How Much?

$50,845-$78,000

Fuel Economy

The base Q70 3.7 is powered by a smooth and lively 3.7-liter V6 that's good for 330 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. In the hybrid model, an older 3.5-liter version of the same engine is mated to a 50-kilowatt electric motor. The hybrid's combined output is slightly better than the standard V6's, producing 360 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The Q70 5.6 uses a powerful 5.6-liter V8, producing 420 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque. All but the hybrid can be equipped with Infiniti's Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. Similarly, all Q70 models use the same 7-speed automatic transmission, which features manual shift control and downshift rev-matching. The transmission also comes with Infiniti's Drive Mode Selector program, which offers four handling settings: normal, economy, sport and snow.

Fuel economy for the Q70 3.7 is rated at 18 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, while the all-wheel-drive version is rated at 17 mpg city/24 mpg hwy. The Q70 Hybrid moves those figures up to a very impressive 27 mpg city/32 mpg hwy. The V8-powered Q70 5.6 goes in the opposite direction: The rear-wheel-drive model delivers 16 mpg city/24 mpg hwy, and the all-wheel-drive model gets 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

There are nine trims in the 2016 Q70 line: Q70 3.7, Q70 3.7 AWD, Q70 5.6, Q70 5.6 AWD, Q70 Hybrid and the stretched Q70L (which makes up four trims).

The Q70 3.7 ($50,845) and Q70L 3.7 ($52,345) bring 18-in alloy wheels, HID headlights, a power glass moonroof, front fog lights, Intelligent Key with push-button starting and remote window control, power-folding heated side mirrors with a tilt-down feature, rain-sensing wipers, an automatic trunk closer, 10-way power driver and passenger seats, heated front seats, an AM/FM/CD stereo with six speakers, an iPod and USB interface, Active Noise Control, Bluetooth, a power tilt-telescopic steering wheel, a rearview monitor, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control and rear console-mounted heat vents. The optional Premium package is complimentary for 2016 (see optional equipment below for a list of its content).

The Q70 3.7 AWD ($52,995) and Q70L 3.7 AWD ($54,495) have the same features as the 3.7, plus Infiniti's Intelligent All-Wheel Drive.

The Q70 Hybrid ($56,895) adds a hybrid electric/gasoline engine and the same standard content as the 3.7.

The Q70 5.6 ($63,845) and Q70L 5.6 ($65,545) add climate-controlled front seats, leather seats, voice-activated navigation, a Bose 10-speaker audio system, Infiniti Connection telematics, Infinit's Around View Monitor, a rear sonar system and a heated steering wheel.

The Q70 5.6 AWD ($66,345) and Q70L 5.6 AWD ($68,045) have the same content as the 5.6, plus Infiniti's Intelligent All-Wheel Drive.

Options packages for the 3.7 trims include the Premium package, which brings navigation, Bose Premium Audio, climate-controlled front seats, a heated steering wheel and a rear sonar system. The Sport Touring package adds the 16-speaker Bose Studio Surround system, the Forest Air air-purification system (it detects foul odors or noxious fumes, closes the system to outside air, and then recirculates air through a Plasmacluster purifier, at which point the clean air is pumped through the cabin at various speeds, simulating a gentle outdoor breeze) and a power rear sunshade. Sport packages are not available on the L trims.

Available on all trims is the Technology package that brings a blind spot monitoring system, lane-departure warning and prevention, Intelligent Cruise Control, distance-control assist, forward-collision warning, backup-collision intervention and adaptive front lighting. The Deluxe Touring package brings semi-aniline leather seating, a Bose Studio Surround system and premium soft-touch features with enhanced wood and leather trim. Finally, a Sport package includes 20-in wheels, magnesium paddle shifters, sport brakes, sport suspension and a sport steering wheel.

The Premium Select Edition is offered only on the Q70 3.7 and 5.6 standard-wheelbase models (see What's New for 2016? section).

Safety

Infiniti equips the Q70 with standard traction and stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes and a tire-pressure monitoring system. The passenger compartment is protected by front, front-side impact, and front and rear side-curtain airbags.

The Q70 is so well constructed that it earned a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Q70 can be equipped with numerous features designed to aid the driver, all of which are bundled in the Technology package. Topping the list is Intelligent Cruise Control, which is a system that uses radar to keep a safe distance between the Q70 and the traffic ahead. The lane-departure warning and prevention system alerts the driver when the car is crossing out of its lane, and it will even nudge the vehicle back over if the driver isn't paying attention. The blind spot monitoring system provides a warning if there's a car in the driver's blind spot, and adaptive front lighting turns the headlights in the direction that the vehicle is steering.

Behind the Wheel

We drove all three models. The V8-powered 2016 Infiniti Q70 5.6 is the one for power junkies, but we also found the V6 and hybrid models to be more than sufficient in acceleration and passing. The Q70 is a marvelous driving machine, striking the right balance between a comfortable ride and adept handling. The Sport Touring package's taut suspension and active rear steering push the Q70 into BMW territory. The 20-in wheels and tires and the firmer suspension, however, turn the Q70 into a car that enthusiasts will love. Luxury-oriented buyers will likely find it too harsh, though.

The 7-speed transmission can be a real bummer at times. In automatic mode, we found the Q70 to be slow to downshift, sometimes seeming as though it were taking its time trying to figure out the best gear for the revolutions per minute. We prefer the manual mode for aggressive driving.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Audi A6 -- The A6 may be the only car with a more elegant interior than the Q70, but its base 2.0-liter turbo engine can't match the Infiniti's V6 in terms of hp or torque. Nothing comes close to the 5.6's V8 power.

2016 BMW 5 Series -- The 6-cylinder 5 Series costs a bit more than the Q70, but it's not as powerful or roomy. We also like the Q70's interior design and layout more than that of the 5 Series.

2016 Hyundai Equus -- The Equus is the surprise player here. Although it doesn't carry the lofty brand image portrayed by Infiniti, you get similar power and fuel economy (pound for pound), with more passenger and cargo volume. The Equus isn't available with all-wheel drive.

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class -- A 2012-2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class can be bought for about the same or less money as a well-equipped Q70. It also offers a more prestigious name, as well as diesel-powered and high-performance AMG models.

Autotrader's Advice

Driving purists with big bank accounts will likely insist on the Q70 5.6 with the Sport Touring package, and who could blame them? For the rest of us who are looking for good performance in an elegant package that spoils its owner, we'd go for the Q70 Hybrid. The hybrid has all the comforts of the stock Q70, sacrificing only some trunk space for the battery pack. With the hybrid, you get the same performance as the gasoline-only V6, plus better fuel economy.

Find an Inifiniti Q70 for sale

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Certified 2016 INFINITI Q70 3.7 AWD
Certified 2016 INFINITI Q70
$33,000
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Infiniti Q70: New Car Review - Autotrader