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2015 Infiniti Q70 Hybrid

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/30/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

The 2015 Infiniti Q70 Hybrid now comes with standard leatherette upholstery on base trims. New 18-inch wheels, Forward Emergency Braking, and an AroundView Monitor with Moving Object Detection are now available on the Q70 Hybrid. Three new exterior colors have been added for 2015: Hermosa Blue, Chestnut Bronze, and Graphite Shadow.

Research

Vehicle Summary

Formerly known as the Infiniti M35h, the 2015 Q70 Hybrid is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 paired to a 50-kW electric motor for a total system output of 360 hp. It has a seven-speed automatic transmission. It is surprisingly fuel-efficient for a powerful car, with an EPA rating of 29/34 mpg city/highway.

Overview

Performance is a strong point with great acceleration thanks to the powerful engine. While the car's handling is good, because the Infiniti is tuned more for comfort, it isn't up to par with many sport sedans. Powertrain operation isn't particularly smooth since its hybrid powertrain lacks the sophisticated software found in its competitors that allow for seamless operation. And the addition of a lithium-ion battery means that cargo space is smaller than in non-hybrid Q70s, shrinking to 11.3 cubic feet from 14.9.

The available Technology package adds blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, distance control assist, and forward and rear emergency braking.The 2015 Infiniti Q70 has a five-star overall safety score from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars) and is considered a Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS, earning a Good score in five categories (Good is the highest possible score) and offering Superior front crash prevention (front crash prevention designations include Basic, Advanced, and Superior).

What We Think

Even though Infiniti markets it as the "driver's hybrid," the 2015 Infiniti Q70 Hybrid is no such thing. In a 2012 First Test review, we noted that while the car is quick in a straight line and "feels lively," its handling limits are not that high due to its comfort-tuned chassis, which "exhibited considerable body roll and plenty of understeer." The hybrid powertrain eats into the trunk space, making the car less practical than gas-powered Q70s. In a comparison test against the Lexus GS 450h and the Porsche Panamera Hybrid, the Q70 placed last due to its powertrain's rough operation, which detracted from its overall refinement. Space inside the cabin, on the other hand, is plentiful even for those in the rear seats.

You'll Like

  • Extremely quick in a straight line for a hybrid
  • Surprisingly fuel-efficient
  • Spacious rear seats

You Won't Like

  • Trunk shrinks compared to gas models
  • Body rolls too much when pushed hard
  • Not really the driver's car that Infiniti claims it to be

Key Competitors

  • Lexus GS 450h
  • Mercedes-Benz E400 Hybrid
  • BMW ActiveHybrid 5
  • Audi A6 TDI
  • Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD

Rating

2 star

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