From behind the wheel of the brand new 2015 Infiniti Q70L, connecting with said wanderers proves difficult as the car cocoons you in blissful quiet and comfort, whisking you away from the bustling city as soon as the door closes. Swaddled in high-end materials and gadgets galore, behind the wheel isn’t actually where you want to be in the Q70L.
Instead, take a seat in the back, look to the heavens and enjoy the never-ending and ever-impressive New York City skyline -- I know I did.
What is an Infiniti Q70L?
Well, for starters it’s not a brand new car, but a renamed M56. A midsize sedan, the Q70 offers larger engines and more room over the Q50 sedan, and now with an extended wheelbase version, the Infiniti Q70L warrants competition with some of the German long-wheelbase bigwigs.
2015 Infiniti Q70L 5.6 AWD Price and Specs
At the time of this writing, pricing was not yet confirmed in Canada, but will be available soon.
The Q70 is available with two engines: a 3.7L V6 and a 5.6L V8. I’ll focus on the latter since that’s the title of this review, and it’s the only way you can get a longer wheelbase version in Canada as the 3.7L isn’t available with more rear legroom.
So, the 5.6L V8 will give you 416 horsepower and 414 lb-ft of torque. Unique to Canada is the fact that all Q70s are only available in AWD. In the US, you can get a 3.7L with RWD and a non-long-wheelbase 5.6L the same. However, Infiniti understands our winter needs and so ensures their cars are prepped for anything Mother Nature might throw their way.
Regardless of engine choice, you’ll see power controlled via a 7-speed automatic transmission, available with steering-wheel paddle shifters in 3.7L Sport trim.
Driving the 2015 Infiniti Q70L 5.6 AWD
Driving in New York City is almost as eclectic and flavourful as the language you’ll hear on the street as you squeeze your way through all-day traffic. So, I was happy to escape the confines of the maddening traffic and traverse rolling New Jersey roads with the Q70L.
The 7-speed automatic transmission is passable, albeit a bit reserved. Even in Sport mode, the Q70L took its sweet time to engage the engine when the throttle was pushed aggressively.
Handling is typically Infiniti. Whereas the Q50 boasts fancy new technology in its Adaptive Steering, the Q70L features good ol’ fashioned electronically controlled vehicle-speed-sensing variable assist power rack-and-pinion. Which translates into: connected but still a bit vague as this is a larger vehicle and feels that way around tighter corners at speed.
However, the AWD keeps the Q70 firmly planted, and the 5.6L V8 actually sounds quite meaty with the windows up (the sound is too tinny with the windows down, in my opinion).
Inside and Out of the 2015 Q70L 5.6 AWD
This is one handsome sedan. In non-L wheelbase format, the Q70 could easily be mistaken for the Q50. However, the Q70L has distinctive proportions that set it apart from its little brother and bring about an atmosphere of grandiose statures and lifestyles.
Sporting the new Infiniti front grin as well as the signature sweeping bodylines, the Q70L is attractive, there’s no denying that. Decked out in rich, dark colours, this is an executive car.
Inside, the sophistication continues with glossy wood trim on hand as well as brushed chrome and soft-touch materials. Infiniti have taken their branding to another level by including purple stitching on their leather seats now to tie in the brand’s colour scheme in a subtle way.
Otherwise, it’s typical Infiniti fare in the centre stack, including the entertainment system, which isn’t a bad thing.
Truthfully, you want to be in the back seat of the Q70L. With 41.8” of legroom, the longer wheelbase Q70 boasts the most legroom in its segment, surpassing the A6, BMW 7 Series (non-L) and even the Jaguar XJ. Now, considering the average male inseam is approximately 33”, the Q70L seems to be targeting the longer legged of the human species – I felt absolutely lost in the back, however, it was quite comfortable.
Main gripes? No side sun shades in the rear or foot rests or vanity mirrors. Up front, there is nary a spot for anything in the centre stack. Sure, the wood grain looks nice, but I’d rather not put my iPhone/lip gloss/mints in the ashtray for lack of anywhere else to put it.
Comparing the 2015 Infiniti Q70L 5.6 AWD
Manufacturers are having a blast playing the “look we made our own segment so we’re No.1 in it!” game, and I have to say I’m getting kind of sick of it. No matter what, you will have competition. People will cross-shop. I know, shocking.
So, when it comes to the Q70L, buyers can and probably will look at the Acura RLX, Audi A6 and even the Cadillac CTS as alternatives. What the Q70L boasts (besides the most legroom) is AWD as standard (like the Audi, of course).