Road test: Infiniti Q70
We love the styling, but the Q70 is hard work around town
What is it?
The seldom-seen Infiniti Q70 replaces the ‘M’ which launched in 2010. It sits in the large executive car sector alongside the Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series.
How safe is it?
The Infiniti has not been tested by Euro NCAP. However, its Dynamic Safety Shield is fitted on the Premium model we drove, and there are lots of other safety features.
Who should buy one?
Fewer than 1200 Infiniti models in total were sold in the UK in 2015. The car’s economy and performance make it an interesting option for anyone daring to be different.
Road test by James Luckhurst 18 August 2016
DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
Here is a car that looks different, turns heads and leaves you curious to know more. Our first experience of driving the Q70 was out of a tight and busy car park, where we appreciated the excellent all-round vision, the front and rear parking sensors and the small turning circle. This, we found, was a car that liked to talk, and during our week with the car, there was no shortage of pings and beeps from the on-board wizardry, warning of some impending threat.
Finding a comfortable driving position was easy and accurate, thanks to the 10-way electrically adjusted driver seat. Switch the engine off and the seat automatically glides back to make getting out easier. Switch it back on again and the seat re-locates to its most recent driving position. The steering wheel is electrically adjusted for reach and rake.
The driving experience is super-smooth and refined at higher speeds, with no intrusive engine or road noise. We covered a few hundred motorway miles in complete comfort and quiet, experimenting with the little dials that would heat or ventilate the front seats as required. Engaging the speed limiter or cruise control functions was quick and simple, with clear indications on the dashboard.
At lower speeds it all seemed a bit too much like hard work. The stop-start system caused some confusion. When we stopped in traffic, the engine cut, only to jump into life a few seconds later – then cut again. Not quite sure why, because we were not putting extra strain on the engine at the time by using headlights or running the air-conditioning on full.
We have already described the acceleration as efficient. Its 8.9-second time for 0 to 60 is not class-leading, but it delivered decent, controlled performance when required. There is an easy-going seven-speed automatic gearbox, or you can flip the lever over to the right if you’d prefer. Taut and secure on bends and corners, the Q70’s suspension kept any rolling around to a minimum.
SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
The interior offers reasonable space in both front and rear, but not as much as you’d expect from something this size. Sit in the back and you should be fine, even with the front seats at the rear end of their range. A dropping roofline might make life difficult for a six-footer in the rear of some models, but it doesn’t in the Q70. Two air vents will help keep rear passengers comfortable, while they also have a cup holder each and a decent sized receptacle in the armrest. The large transmission tunnel should make you think twice before daring to squeeze a third adult into the rear for any length of time. Save that experience for a child, preferably a small one.
Boot space is reasonable but not generous. The 2.2-litre diesel model we tested offers 450 litres, with soft automatically closing lid. Petrol models have a 500-litre boot, but the hybrid’s battery limits its useable space to just 350 litres.
Due to the low volume of Q70s being sold, there’s no Euro NCAP rating. However, safety is clearly a high priority for Infiniti, and specs throughout the range are generous. Our 2.2-litre diesel Premium model included Dynamic Safety Shield, as well as a useful hill start assist function and front pre-crash seatbelts.There is also a variety of audio alerts if you get too close to anything potentially risky.
The Q70’s interior is classy and expensive-feeling. All models have keyless entry, ventilated front seats, satnav, rear view camera and dual-zone climate control. The Premium spec adds a 360-degree parking camera, adaptive cruise control, voice-recognition satnav, Japanese ash wood trim, front passenger powered lumbar support and an upgraded audio system.
The Q70 sits in the same price range as its rivals, and offers an interesting and competitive alternative to the BMW 518d. Our week at the wheel saw a combined economy of 52.1mpg, not far off the manufacturer’s claimed figure of 58.9. However, the real damage will be in its disappointing resale values, with estimates for residuals as low as 30 per cent after three years.
We love the styling, but the Q70 is hard work around town.
AT A GLANCE:
Price: £34,080 as tested
Performance: 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds
Economy: 58.9mpg combined
Insurance: Group 35E
Tax: Band D (£110 first year)
Figures for the Q70 2.2D Premium