by Roger Biermann
The Q70L is the long-wheelbase variant of the Q70 midsize sedan and the largest sedan sold by the luxury Japanese brand. Featuring the same basic line-up of trims and powertrain options, the Q70L is available with either a 3.7-liter V6 or 5.6-liter V8 powertrain configuration, and both are available with either rear- or all-wheel drivetrains. These powerful engines produce 330 horsepower and 420 hp respectively and are built into a 5.9 inch-longer framework than on the standard Q70, which opens up more space in the cabin for comfort. The Q70L is luxurious and comfortable on the inside, and boasts athletic capabilities from under the hood; however, it has little to offer in terms of updated infotainment features and modern technology. The Q70L finds itself competing in the same segment as the Lexus GS and Cadillac XTS, while it's longer wheelbase sees it vying for a share of the sales from the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series as well.
A few changes have been affected for this year model, including standard navigation and a premium Bose sound system, as well as a leather interior, parking sensors for the front and rear of the vehicle, and heated steering wheel. A surround-view camera also makes an appearance as standard on both trims. No exterior enhancements are noted, and whilst the hybrid option on the range has been discontinued, there is a newly redesigned Q70 model in the pipeline.
The Q70L is fitted with LED headlights and foglights as well as LED turn signals that are integrated into the power folding exterior mirrors. 18-inch double ten-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels are standard, as is a power sunroof, while there is an optional rear spoiler as well - although spoilers somewhat detract from the classy image the Q70L wishes to portray.
The curb weight on the rear-wheel drive variant ranges between 3,964 lbs and 4,136 lbs, and 4,156 lbs and 4,328 lbs for the all-wheel drive. The length of the long-wheelbase Q70L is 202 inches, which is noteworthy as it is 5.9 inches longer than the standard Q70. The wheelbase, at 120.1 inches, is substantially longer than other vehicles in the mid-size sedan class and is closer to the 124.6 inches on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which features in the large luxury sedan segment.
Seven colors are available across the range, including Liquid Platinum, Graphite Shadow, Hagane Blue, Hermosa Blue, Chestnut Bronze, Black Obsidian, and Majestic White, the last of which is the only paint option bearing an extra cost of $500. The color palette matches that of the standard Q70, noticeably lacking in warmer or brighter hues and thus catering to the more stately intentions of the Q70L.
The Q70L is available with two engine options. A standard 3.7-liter V6 produces 330 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque, while the larger option, a 5.6-liter V8, produces 416 hp and 414 lb-ft. Both engines are mated to a standard seven-speed automatic gearbox, and both drive the rear wheels as standard, although all-wheel drive is available as an option. The V8 is naturally the better performer, managing the 0-60 mph sprint in a scant 5.5 seconds, and is better suited to the larger wheelbase of the Q70L, not just for its outright performance, but for the buttery smooth torque delivery that suits the Q70L's luxurious intentions.
With the extended wheelbase, the Q70L is designed to give a limo-like experience to passengers, and while the comfort levels in the cabin provides a lavish experience, the vehicle does translate road bumps to the interior and has less than impressive handling around corners, due in part to its extended length. The standard suspension tends to be quite firm, and sub-standard damping results in a significant amount of bounce over larger bumps This doesn't lend itself well to rear-passenger comfort. Despite this, the steering is precise when it needs to be (when negotiating parking spaces or back roads) and firm on the open road. Braking on the Q70 range is superb, and rates better than most rivals - the vehicle responds immediately, and confidently when the brake pedal is pressed.
The Q70L variants have the least impressive gas mileage estimates when compared to leading rivals in this segment, with the 3.0 Luxe achieving 18/25/21 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles when equipped with rear-wheel drive. In the all-wheel drive configuration, these figures dip to 18/24/20 mpg. Naturally, the more powerful engine on the 5.6 V8 model is even more fuel-hungry, attaining only 16/24/19 mpg for the rear-wheel drive, and 16/23/18 with all-wheel drive upgrade. Both trims have a fuel tank capacity of 20 gallons; the base variant, the 3.7 Luxe thus has a range of 420 miles on a full tank of gas, which is the most fuel-efficient model in this lineup. By contrast, the V8 with all-wheel drive equipped has a range of only 360 miles. All engine types use premium unleaded gas.
A five-seater sedan, the Q70L has an extended wheelbase in order to maximize cabin space. This results in 5.6 inches additionally available for passengers in the rear, providing leg-room that would seat even taller passengers with ease and space to stretch out. Headroom is also ample, with six-foot adults comfortably seated in both the front seats as well as the back. Both front seats are ten-way power adjustable and have additional lumbar support. The middle rear seat would prove to be a little tight for a fifth adult but would be fine for smaller body sizes. The rear seats, although generously spaced and comfortable, do not recline. The interior ultimately provides well-supported seating all around.
The trunk provides for ample storage space with its 14.9 cubic foot capacity and is sufficient when packing two large suitcases, or your weekly shopping. Above-average in size for this segment, the loading area is also conveniently wide, although the interior trunk narrows towards the back of the seats. The rear seats do not fold down and, unlike some other Infiniti variants, the Q70L cannot be customized to do so either.
Interior storage spaces are better on the long-wheelbase variant of the Q70 and include two seatback pockets, front and rear cupholders, an illuminated glove box with lock, and a full floor console with covered box. A mini overhead console with small item storage is available, and narrow bins in the front doors are also equipped. Although this is not as generous as rivals in this segment, it is an improvement on the standard Q70's lack of convenience stowage in the cabin.
The Q70L is based on the same standard features of the shorter wheelbase variant 3.7 Luxe, and includes ten-way power adjustable seats in the front (with power lumbar support), climate-controlled front seats, leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel, entry/exit assist, keyless entry and push-button start, a surround view monitor, and front and rear sonar system. Heated rear seats, as well as additional 12V power outlets and rear reading lamps, are included on the Q70L, as are soft-close rear doors. A moonroof is also present, and the option to add various driver assists by means of bundled packages for purchase.
Standard infotainment systems are plentiful and are based on an eight-inch touchscreen situated in the center of the dashboard. Linked to a premium ten-speaker Bose sound system, the Q70L also has Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and the option to stream audio. Satellite radio, Sirius Traffic, and Travel Link as well as InTouch Navigation are standard and can be operated via voice recognition software that needs to be very precisely loaded and is not backed up by any form of artificial intelligence. Despite the high number of standard features, the system itself is dated and slow to respond, with old-fashioned graphics that are low-resolution and seem to lag. Android Auto and Apple CarPLay are not available and present a real drawback when considering the problematic Bluetooth pairing memory as well.
A four-year/60,000 mile limited warranty is offered on the Q70L, as well as a six-year/70,000 mile warranty on the powertrain. Whilst there have been no recalls on this vehicle, the J.D. Power and Associates gave this vehicle a reliability rating of average (three out of five) in the Vehicle Dependability Study.
According to the IIHS, safety ratings for crashworthiness on the Q70 were generally scored best available ratings of Good, with Superior front crash prevention. The NHTSA ranked the Q70 range as four stars out of five for both frontal crash and rollover tests. Standard safety features are comprised of around view monitor with moving object detection and a front and rear sonar system on both models. While traction control and a total of six airbags are also standard, advanced collision avoidance systems such as forward collision warning, blind spot warning, lane departure prevention and distance control need to be additionally purchased by means of the ProACTIVE package.
The Q70L proves impressive on two fronts: powerful engines that produce satisfying outputs, as well as a spacious, luxurious cabin. Despite these advantages, however, the onboard technology is outdated and fares negatively against rivals such as the Lexus and Cadillac, let alone German opposition. Although numerous features are standard on even the base model, the latest driver assist features must be additionally purchased, and even then pale in comparison to what is available on other vehicles in this segment. Road handling is also less than ideal although the overall ride comfort is sufficient. But other premium sedans offer a better marriage between luxury, power, and driveability. With the majority of complaints centered on aging technology and features, it would ultimately be a better choice to wait for the newly designed model in the hopes that these negatives have been mitigated, or consider the Lexus GS 350 as an alternative.
The cheapest model of the Q70L range is the 3.7-liter variant with rear-wheel drive configuration, which has an MSRP of $50,400 and a destination charge of $995. Further additions can be made to this vehicle in terms of custom paint work (at $500) as well as kick plates and spoilers, performance tires, and the ProACTIVE and Premium Select bundles that range in price between $2950 and $5000 extra. The fully loaded model, the 5.6 Luxe trim with rear-wheel drive costs $65,150 without any further additions made. To configure either of the base models to all-wheel drive adds $2,550 to the total price.
On the base trim, leather upholstery throughout the cabin offers ventilated seating in the front and heated seats in the back, together with rear reading lamps and additional power outlets. An eight-inch touchscreen includes navigation and a premium Bose sound system, all of which is also available on the top-end trim. The only significant difference between the two available trims is the size of the engine. If investing in the Q70L range, the 5.6 Luxe trim is the better option, notably due to the larger V8 engine with more power to cater to the larger size of the Q70L. We recommend equipping the ProACTIVE package so as to make use of the much-needed driver assist features and enhanced safety systems which are not included as standard. Equipping the all-wheel drive configuration does not add anything more to the vehicle's driveability and sense of handling, and can be set aside in favor of an additional bundle for further comfort features such as suede headliners, soft-touch armrests and door inserts and more luxurious interior trim.
Featuring similar engines, both the Lexus and the Q70L have powerhouses beneath the hood. However, the Lexus range includes a hybrid option as well as more powertrain configurations than what is available in the Q70L range. With the Lexus being the cheaper option of the two, the standard features available is quite evenly matched. The Lexus' engine options produce less power on the GS 350 but also prove to be more frugal in terms of fuel economy. Whilst the Q70L is the clear winner in terms of cabin space and comfort, the Lexus provides a much more pleasant and refined ride, with better handling, less road noise, and reduced bump-feedback to the passengers. Both vehicles have outdated infotainment systems, and in general, could do with some upgrades. On the whole, the Lexus is the better option and comes out on top due to better value for money and a sweeter drive at the expense of rear legroom.
Between these two vehicles, the Cadillac has a better entry level price as well as many more standard safety features than what is on offer from the Q70L range. The Cadillac also scores far better in safety tests and - although having a smaller cabin volume - boasts a much larger trunk. Engine outputs are relatively similar, with the Q70L still faring better in terms of outright horsepower. On the base entry models for both brands, the Q70L is the clear winner in terms of infotainment features available and premium sound system, however the lagging and outdated technology detracts from this. The Cadillac does provide a smoother drive than the less-than-ideal handling ability of the longer-wheelbase on the Q70L, and for the price range, would prove to be the better option.