2016 Infiniti Q70L AWD Test Drive: Inspired Design and Performance [Review]

2016 Infiniti Q70 Premium Select Edition

Infiniti’s flagship 5-passenger sedan has once again upped the ante in the mid-luxury sedan class with the Infiniti Q70L AWD. Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury division focus for the 2016 model year lineup included: penning a sleeker, more expressive exterior design without sacrificing interior roominess, while enhancing the luxury quotient with elevated levels of hand-craftsmanship; providing a healthy power output along with impressive fuel economy while delivering improved ride and handling qualities; and providing “Safety Shield” features that aid in reducing driving stress factors.

The design was skillfully blended with existing styling cues to maintain the brand heritage and DNA displayed by the 2015 refresh. The form is slippery in terms of aerodynamics from the low-mounted horizontal grille flanked by Infiniti’s signature hood cut lines and headlamp shapes that flow into the pronounced, high front fender wells and strong shoulder character line. A definitive rocker cut-line pulls the entire car’s form into a lower, more sinister stance, displaying genuine rear-wheel drive proportions with its long hood and short deck.

2016 Infiniti Q70 Premium Select Edition

From the front, a strong body line rises from the grille, flowing through the bodyside like a wave and blending into the shape of the rear LED combination lights, forming a compelling profile that highlights the Q70L’s sporty stance. At the rear, the design of the taillights creates a horizontal flow in motion while the high-quality lighting signature evokes a fresh and classy image.

The Infiniti Q70L elevates the luxury level with an extended wheelbase that is nearly 5.9-inches longer than the standard Q70, providing increased flexibility and roominess. This equates to the rear legroom of an SUV in a performance luxury sedan. The improved proportions allow the Q70L to deliver a class-leading interior and cargo volume while providing personal lamps, a power outlet, heated seats and rear door cinchers in the spacious rear passenger area.

]The well-appointed interior reflects the exterior’s sensuous lines of the Infiniti Q70L’s combination of style and spaciousness.] With 110.6 cubic feet of interior room (versus 103.6 cubic feet for the standard Q70), the Q70L stretches the expectations for comfort in class – including the ability of most rear seat passengers to cross their legs.

Infiniti Q70L Bespoke Edition
Infiniti Q70L Bespoke Edition

As with the standard wheelbase Q70, the instrument panel features Fine Vision gauges, gear-like rings on the instrument cluster meters, a 7-inch color vehicle information display, and Infiniti analog clock. Leatherette, heated 10-way power driver and front passenger’s seats, with 2-way power lumbar support, are standard – along with a dual occupant memory system for the driver’s seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors that can be linked to the individual Infiniti Intelligent Key fobs.

Power for the Q70 and Q70L is delivered by either an advanced 3.7 liter, DOHC, 24-valve V6 engine with sequential multi-port fuel injection that puts out 330 horsepower at 7,000 rpm along with 270 pound-feet of torque at 5,200 rpm; or a 5.6-liter DOHC, 32-valve V8 engine with sequential multi-port direct injection gasoline, which generates 420 horses and 417 pound-feet of torque at 6,000 rpm.

The transmission for both engines is an electronically controlled 7-speed automatic with Adaptive Shift Control. A driver-adaptive learning algorithm senses driving style and adjusts automatic shifting accordingly. Manual- shift mode offers sequentially selectable manual gearshifts and downshift rev matching. Infiniti Drive Mode Selector allows the driver to choose from Standard, Sport, Snow or Eco modes and controls throttle responses, transmission shift points, and hill-start assist. Both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available.

Infiniti Q70L Bespoke Edition

Available advanced technologies include Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Around View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection, Backup Collision Intervention, and Forward Emergency Braking.
Also offered are an advanced Infiniti Navigation System, Bose® Studio Surround® premium audio system, Blind Spot Warning, Blind Spot Intervention, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Prevention systems, Enhanced Intelligent Key, Intelligent Cruise Control, Distance Control Assist and Front Pre-Crash Seat Belts.

My test Infiniti Q70L was finished outside in Hermosa Blue metallic and inside in a Java and Charcoal theme with the Silver infused wood trim accents. The base price was set at $67,050 while options, which included The Deluxe Technology Package, Illuminated Kick Plates, Performance Tire and Wheel Package, along with the Destination Charge increased the final sticker to $76,770.

SUMMARY: The 2016 Infiniti Q70L is an exquisite luxury sedan. It’s not inexpensive, but it certainly comes across as an excellent value given the features and equipment content.

Infiniti Q70L Bespoke Edition

In keeping with driver focus, the Q70L features technologies that enable individuals to customize the driving feel. The Infiniti Drive Mode Selector allows drivers to select from four driving modes – Standard, Eco, Sport or Snow – and the integrated control system adjusts throttle sensitivity and transmission mapping helping to optimize performance. The system also adjusts Active Trace Control and Eco Pedal settings (available with Technology Package).

To encourage eco-driving behavior, the available Eco Pedal provides feedback directly through the accelerator by giving a slight pushback if driving inefficiently. 
The Q70L utilizes the advanced Infiniti Front Mid-ship (FM) platform, which positions the engine behind the front axle, which results in optimizing front-to-rear weight balance. Laser welding is carried out at critical locations to help enhance lateral bending stiffness, torsional stiffness and suspension mounting point stiffness.

2016 infiniti q70

The handling characteristics are precise and sporty, provided by an independent double-wishbone design at the front and multi-link independent suspension in the rear, along with front and rear stabilizer bars. The ride quality is both quiet and comfortable.

Bottom line, the Infiniti team has successfully achieved the goals that they ambitiously set. The Q70 in any of its forms represents a rewarding, safe and secure performance-oriented luxury sedan to pilot in virtually any driving scenario, but the Q70L is the most luxurious – particularly with the increased comfort for rear passengers.

In this TFL ‘first drive’ review, Roman gets behind the wheel of the 2016 Infiniti QX60, which has been refreshed and lengthened for more rear seat legroom.

MSRP $67,050
Price as tested $76,770
Engine 5.6L DOHC V8 w/direct injection, VVEL, CVTCS
Power (hp) 420 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft) 417 @ 5,200 rpm
Transmission 7-speed automatic w/adaptive shift control
Drivetrain layout Longitudinally mounted front engine / all-wheel-drive
Curb weight 4,248 lbs.
EPA-estimated fuel economy mpg 16 / 23(city/highway)