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2014 INFINITI Q70 REVIEW

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/3/2017

Con: Overly firm ride quality; base V6 isn't very fuel-efficient and sounds coarse during hard acceleration.

Interior: Inside, the 2014 Infiniti Q70 is furnished to a high standard. Materials quality is excellent and everything is put together with precision. The spacious passenger compartment is driver-oriented with a definite cockpit feel, yet thanks to the flowing design of the dashboard and center console, passengers won't feel squeezed or cramped. Details like Japanese ash wood accents and a "Forest Air" function for the climate control system (that's meant to replicate a natural breeze) set the Q70 apart from mainstream European sedans.

Most people will be able find a comfortable driving position in the Q70, and outward visibility is better than average for this class. Rear seat occupants will find plenty of headroom and legroom. We also like Infiniti's touchscreen navigation and audio interface, which remains uncomplicated to use. In general, it's much easier to learn than the more elaborate infotainment interfaces in rival sedans.

The Q has a 14.9-cubic-foot trunk, which is average for the segment. The Q70 Hybrid's battery pack reduces capacity to 11.3 cubic feet.

Body: The 2014 Infiniti Q70 is a midsize luxury sedan that comes in three main trim levels -- 3.7, 5.6 and Hybrid -- which are named according to the engine under the hood. Rear-wheel drive is standard on all of these trims, but all-wheel drive is optional on the 3.7 and 5.6 versions.

Standard for the Q70 3.7 are 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic bi-xenon headlights, foglights, power-folding heated and auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, a moonroof, a power soft-closing trunk lid, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated eight-way power front seats with power lumbar support, driver memory functions and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column. Also standard are a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player, auxiliary and USB/iPod inputs, and satellite radio.

With the Q70 Hybrid you get all the standard features offered with the Q70 3.7, along with special shock absorbers, the hybrid powertrain and unique instruments and display screens.

The Q70 5.6 adds a V8 engine, along with rear parking sensors, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a navigation system (with an 8-inch touchscreen display), voice controls, Bluetooth audio connectivity and an upgraded 10-speaker Bose audio system with digital music storage. These amenities are available on the other trims via the optional Premium package.

Once you've added the Premium package (or selected the Q70 5.6), you're eligible for various other option packages, but not all are compatible with each other. The Deluxe Touring package is offered on all trims and adds a power rear sunshade, an air purifier, upgraded leather upholstery and interior trim, and a premium 16-speaker Bose audio system. Selecting this package also unlocks the Performance Tire & Wheel package, which includes 20-inch wheels (with all-season tires) and upgraded brakes.

In lieu of the Deluxe Touring and Performance Tire packages, Q70 3.7 and 5.6 sedans can be outfitted with the Sport package. On the 3.7, it includes special exterior styling elements, 20-inch wheels, summer performance tires (all-season tires for AWD models), sport-tuned suspension and brakes, sport seats, a different steering wheel, aluminum-trimmed pedals and magnesium paddle shifters for the automatic transmission. In addition to this, Sport package-equipped Q70 5.6 models get the power rear sunshade, an air purifier and 16-speaker Bose audio system; these items can be added to 3.7 Sport models via the Sport Touring package.

Finally, there's the Technology package, which requires either the Deluxe Touring or Sport package, depending on the model. It adds adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning and prevention system, a blind-spot warning system, a forward collision warning system, and the "eco pedal" that provides feedback to the driver to encourage fuel-efficient driving.

Driving: Any of three engines in the 2014 Infiniti Q70 will deliver the brisk acceleration most shoppers expect in a midsize luxury car. However, more demanding drivers might notice that the 3.7-liter V6 in the Q70 3.7 sounds surprisingly coarse and unrefined during hard acceleration. If you can spend a bit more, the Q70 Hybrid is a more appealing option for a V6 luxury sedan. Not only is it significantly more fuel-efficient, it's quicker to boot. On the other hand, the not especially frugal V8 in the Infiniti Q70 5.6 is plenty enjoyable, too, as it provides the immediate response and muscular soundtrack that only an engine with eight cylinders can deliver.

Although the Q70 is not a small car, it does its best to play the role of a sport sedan. It's steady around turns and its steering is responsive, with a heavier effort level than you'd expect on a car in this class. Sport package-equipped cars feel particularly adept on tight, twisty roads. Still, we'd think twice about ordering the Sport package on a Q70 that will be driven every day, because this car rides firmly even with the standard suspension.

What’s New: For 2014, Infiniti has renamed its former M midsize luxury sedan the Q70, but there are only a few actual changes. Fuel economy is improved on the Q70 Hybrid, which has a 31 mpg EPA combined rating -- up from 29 combined on last year's M35 Hybrid. Beyond that, rear-wheel-drive 2014 Infiniti Q70s with the Sport package have revised suspension tuning, and all 3.7 Sport models get a supplemental engine oil cooler. The optional four-wheel active steering system is no longer available.

Powering the 2014 Infiniti Q70 3.7 is a 3.7-liter V6 engine rated at 330 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission with four different shift modes (Standard, Sport, Snow or Eco) is standard for this and all other 2014 Q70 models.

Next up is the Q70 Hybrid, which has a 3.5-liter V6 engine that joins forces with a 50-kilowatt electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. Together they produce 360 hp. Note that the Q70 Hybrid is rear-wheel-drive only, whereas other Q70s are eligible for rear-drive or AWD.

At the top of the lineup is the Q70 5.6, which uses a 5.6-liter V8 that pumps out 420 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds performance testing, the Q70 3.7 went from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. The Q70 Hybrid made the same sprint in an impressive 5.5 seconds, while the V8-powered 5.6 sedan did it in 5.2 seconds.

With rear-wheel drive, the Q70 3.7's EPA-estimated fuel economy is 21 mpg combined (18 mpg city/26 mpg highway), which is below average for a midsize luxury sedan with a six-cylinder engine. The Q70 3.7 AWD drops slightly to 20 mpg combined (17 mpg city/24 mpg highway). The rear-drive Q70 5.6 is rated at 19 mpg combined (16 mpg city/24 mpg highway) and the AWD version gives up just a little, with a rating of 18 mpg combined (16 mpg city/23 mpg highway). If fuel economy is a priority, the 2014 Infiniti Q70 Hybrid is far and away the best bet, as it's rated 31 mpg combined (29 city/34 highway). Among medium-size luxury cars, it's just as efficient as the 2014 Lexus GS 450h (/lexus/gs-450h/2014/) and second only to the diesel-fueled Mercedes E250 Bluetec.

Safety: Standard safety features for all 2014 Infiniti Q70 models include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, active head restraints and a rearview camera. Included in the Technology package are a lane-departure warning and prevention system, a blind-spot warning system and a frontal collision warning system that can automatically initiate braking to reduce the severity of an impending collision.

Infiniti's midsize luxury sedan has performed well in Edmunds' 60-0-mph brake testing. The 3.7 model stopped in 115 feet when equipped with summer tires and 120 feet with all-season tires. In addition, the hybrid covered this ground in 119 feet, while the 5.6 needed 112 feet with summer tires (119 feet with all-season tires).

In government crash testing, the Infiniti Q70 earned an overall rating of five out of five stars, with four stars for overall frontal crash protection and five stars for overall side crash protection. In the Insurance Institute for Highway safety tests, the 2014 Infiniti Q70 earned an overall rating of "Good."

Pro: Strong performance with any of the available engines; sporty character; classy, well-built interior; hybrid model's excellent fuel economy.

Edmunds Say: Among midsize luxury sedans, the 2014 Infiniti Q70 distinguishes itself with a high level of athleticism, but it comes at the price of a stiff ride quality. If comfort is a priority, rival sedans may prove more satisfying to own.

Introduction: In case you haven't heard, Infiniti has renamed its M midsize luxury sport sedan the Q70 starting this year. Otherwise, the 2014 Infiniti Q70 is little changed from the car formerly known as the M35h, M37 and M56. It's still likely to fly under the radar of most luxury car shoppers, but if you're looking for a premium-brand midsize sedan that's a little more athletic than the rest, the 2014 Q70 is worth investigating.

At a glance, the Q70's exterior bodywork is restrained almost to a fault. It looks a bit like the smaller Q50, but compared with other luxury sedans in this class, the Infiniti comes up short in visual panache. However, if you take the time to climb inside, you'll find a superb interior that's furnished with high-quality materials and assembled with care. In addition, the Q70, even in base trim, is one of the more overtly performance-oriented premium sedans you can choose. Its V6 and V8 engines are muscular and responsive, and the Q70 goes around turns with a sporty, agile feel that its vaunted German competition has trouble replicating these days without switching on a slew of electronic handling aids.

Alas, there's a price to be paid for this athleticism: middling fuel economy on the 2014 Q70 3.7 and 5.6 models. The 2014 Q70 Hybrid, on the other hand, ranks near the top of the midsize luxury sedan segment with its 31 mpg EPA combined rating, yet is still heroically quick. Ride quality is our other grievance with the Infiniti Q70, as it rides far more stiffly than most premium sedan buyers will expect. Infiniti has revised the suspension tuning on Sport package-equipped cars this year, but if you're considering a Q70 Sport, we'd still recommend a thorough test-drive to make sure it meets your comfort requirements.

Meanwhile, there are a number of other midsize luxury sedans that you might find more satisfying overall. The 2014 BMW 5 Series and 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class represent the establishment in this class, and with their diverse engine lineups, elegant interiors, huge array of tech features and exceptional ride comfort, there's no going wrong with either of these two. If you want something a little different, the 2014 Audi A6 and 2014 Cadillac CTS are intriguing alternatives with a sophisticated style of their own and impressive handling abilities. Although the 2014 Infiniti Q70 is a step behind these rivals in a couple respects, it's still worth considering if you're shopping for a premium midsize car, particularly if you want one that isn't flashy or ostentatious.

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