Infiniti’s off-beat offering should appeal to those who put high emphasis on comfort
Photos by Azfar Hashim
If you’re currently looking around for a large luxury sedan and already have the 5 Series, A6, E-Class and even XF in mind, I would have to apologize and tell you to stop reading at this point. Because Infiniti’s Q70, as seen here, does not deserve to be compared to the abovementioned Europeans; it’s pretty much on its own.
I’m sure right now you’re asking, ‘Why so?'
Well, to begin with is the fact that it doesn’t come fitted with a force-fed power plant. Contrary to the BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar or even its younger sibling the Q50 (which received a turbocharged heart courtesy of Mercedes-Benz), this Q70 gets a naturally aspirated 2.5-litre V6 paired to a 7-speed automatic transmission; via that combination, power output is a rather conservative 219 bhp while torque some 253 Nm. Zero to 100 km/h takes 9.2 seconds, top speed is a claimed 231 km/h; kerb weight is a rather hefty 1,765 kg, which should explain why it’s no Usain Bolt.
These days when you drive a junior barge, power delivery is rather immediate and you could really give hot-hatches a tough time; not this Infiniti though. Nope.
Instead, it climbs up to speed in a rather gentlemanly manner with the engine sound barely audible. In fact, you need to actually look at the rev counter instead to get an indication of life. Even the gears swapped ratios without any jerks to the point you could be deceived it’s a CVT ‘box (which is not). I don’t know about you, but although I felt like I was driving a cruise ship initially, over time I actually appreciated how classy it goes about doing its job. Plus, there’s that special feeling of being cocooned and actually being able to notice and appreciate the well-sculpted seat and (surprisingly) driver-focused cockpit.
Then when you switch off the radio and decide to shift your own gears via the ‘+/-‘ selector, you do hear some V6 grunt coming from the bonnet, particularly past 5,000 rpm. Ahh… Something you don’t get out of the other European offerings. The GS, you say? FYI, the local dealer has already phased out all NA/hybrid models and only has the turbocharged GS 200t (GST. Geddit? Geddit?) for sale now.
Snow, Eco, Auto, Sport: Choose your preferred mode but frankly, there's no remarkable difference between Auto and Sport
In terms of handling, the Q70 gives the M5 a good run for its money and smacks the E63 AMG right on its rear. Err… Ok, kidding. In all honesty though, it could take high-speed corners confidently; then again, you do wish for less body-roll and a better degree of steering feel. However as mentioned earlier, comfort is the main focus of this car so when munching kilometers, you really do appreciate how supple it rides instead. Road undulations and irregularities are absorbed with aplomb and vibrations kept to a minimal – obviously, cabin comfort are given much attention.
Speaking of cabin, the Q70 seems to be a rather homely space all thanks to the comfortable seats. The front two seats also come with heater/cooler, so you could pick how you’d you like, ahem, your behind done. The rear bench is able to accommodate three passengers but for longer distances, it is best kept at just two; head and legroom is excellent as well when placed next to the 5 Series.
At the start of this review, I mentioned how this particular car shouldn’t be compared to the likes of the 5 Series, E-Class, A6, GS and XF simply due to the fact that it has an entirely different engine and chassis set-up. Its pricing, at $225k with COE, is definitely enticing – unfortunately it still doesn’t offer the same brand cachet as a BMW 520i, which could be had for a similar price tag. The new XF, despite the $2k premium over this Q70, is another thunderous competitor one cannot ignore.
Hence if you want something comfortable, refined and gentlemanly for the daily basis plus the asking price is not much of a bother, it’s ok to be different than the crowd and get this.
This little addition does add class to the Q70's interior
18-inch alloys come standard