CRITICS' CORNER

Infiniti's Q70/Q70L is plush with hustle, but short on torque

Nissan Motor Co.'s luxury division has renamed and freshened its big Q70 sedan for 2015. The L version adds more than 5 inches to the back seat and offers true luxury limousine ambiance. Two engines are available, each combined with a seven-speed automatic. Here are some snippets from reviews:

"Indeed, it could be time for Infiniti to turbo- or supercharge the Q70's V-6, if only to raise torque from its meager 270 lb-ft rating. The torque deficit can be remedied, of course, by springing for the optional 5.6-liter V-8 (with more than 400 lb-ft of twist), which turns the Q70 into a silent, low-flying cruise missile, albeit at considerable cost (about $13,000).

"At least the seven-speed automatic transmission demonstrates, for the first time, a genuine willingness to play along in both applications. Infiniti recalibrated the transmission to retain its comfortable shift characteristics in Standard and Eco settings while making the Sport mode decidedly sportier, with rev-matched, predictive automatic downshifts and throttle response that is crisper, if a bit front-loaded. Snappy manual shifts may be summoned via the shift lever or, on Sport package-equipped models, column-mounted magnesium shift paddles." -- Car and Driver

"This particular 2015 Q70L came with all-wheel drive and Infiniti's stout (though aging), naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V-6 with 330 horsepower. Matched with a seven-speed automatic, the V-6 handles hard acceleration and around-town situations with equal aplomb. While the Q70's optional 5.6-liter V-8 offers more punch, we found very little to complain about with the six. …

"At freeway speeds, the 2015 Infiniti Q70L hums along without much fuss, and its cabin proves well-isolated from the incessant buzz of L.A.'s clogged streets and freeways. The Q70L model feels like a bigger car given its stretched wheelbase, but it doesn't really drive like one. You can really hustle this Q-ship. We easily whip-sawed it into and out of lanes and took on sweepers and other bends in the daily commute, and with AWD, the car is more neutral in its demeanor. There is a Sport mode available that tightens things up a bit and makes the car slightly more aggressive thanks to shift points at higher rpm, but it doesn't dramatically change the Q70's character. We could do without features such as the Eco Pedal, which makes the gas pedal feel as though a foam brick was shoved behind it." -- Automobile

"Neither the [Acura] RLX nor [Lexus] GS feel as plush inside as the Q70's generously padded leather seats or quilted door coverings. The wood that adorns nearly the entire center console, as well as various sections of the dash and doors, looks good, too; a pearlescent version I've previously tested is my favorite. The controls still look to be on par with the competition; the small, chromed dials for the heated and cooled seats are another personal favorite -- and then there's just how comfortable the seats are up front with their wide bottoms and backs.

"Shoppers interested in the larger rear confines of the Q70L will be glad to know that it's more than 5 inches of extra legroom versus the Q70; that's an even more significant increase than a simple number can express. Adults will be able to cross their legs if they feel so inclined. My children are still in child-safety seats, but they can open this car's doors and climb into the seats all on their own." -- Cars.com

"Any fully grown adult not playing in the NBA will have legroom to spare (and then some) when sitting in the back of a Q70L. We sampled a long-wheelbase model outfitted with a Performance Tire and Wheel Package ($1,150) and a Deluxe Technology Package ($7,200), raising the final asking price to $76,305. The extra space helps to sort the chassis out and delivers a smoother ride because of it. Infiniti will offer both the Q70 and Q70L in the base 3.7-liter V6 and 5.6-liter V8 engine, which are carryovers, and both are available in rear- and all-wheel drive configuration." -- Kelley Blue Book

You can reach at autonews@crain.com. -- Follow on Twitter
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