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Car review: Infiniti Q70

The Q70 is Infiniti's executive saloon and a rival to the likes of the awesome German BMW 5 Series. The big problem facing the luxury Japanese brand is that it isn't known too well in the UK. 

Infiniti Q70 exterior

The Infiniti Q70 is in a market where most people are familiar with the main names, including those big German car brands: BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

And that's a shame as it's not only stylish: it's really well built, very refined and extremely comfortable.

But as the Title Partner and Vehicle Performance Partner of Infiniti Red Bull Racing, the Japanese marque is likely to soon be a household name.

Indeed, Infiniti has a far-reaching technical collaboration with the Formula 1 team, and four-time World Champion driver Sebastian Vettel is Infiniti's director of performance. 

Spacious and sparkly

But, I digress. Let's go back to the car on review here – the Q70 S M30d saloon.

On the exterior, the front and rear bumpers are chiselled in their appearance, while the headlights and taillights sparkle like jewels.

Step inside, and finding a contented driving position is simple, with bags of seat and steering wheel adjustment.

Space is no issue either: there's loads of leg and headroom for four tall adults at the front and rear. 

Potholes? No problem

On the move, the saloon car's suspension glides over road imperfections.

This is obviously a good thing, considering Britain's roads are scarred with wheel-wrecking potholes.

As well as that, wind, tyre, and mechanical sound entering the passenger area are barely noticeable.

The 3.0-litre diesel powered car is silky, and punches hard – dashing from 0-62mph in a speedy 6.9 seconds.

Sporty option

The seven-speed automatic gearbox compliments the engine with slick changes up and down the cogs.

The S-spec model I drove is the one to go for if you like a sportier drive.

The Q70 is big and fairly unwieldy by nature but the S model tightens things up. 

It has a stiffer chassis and a four-wheel steering system.

Infiniti Q70 cabin interior

Steep running costs

All this means that through the bends the large Infiniti saloon offers respectable grip and body roll is well harnessed.

All good, so far. But things start to become less alluring when you look at cost.

Although the introduction of a 3.0-litre diesel engine to the range has enhanced fuel economy, it returns less than 40mpg and its CO2 emissions of 199g/km are not remarkable.

This falls behind other premium executive motors.

On top of that, the Infiniti Q70 sits a few tax bands above the BMW 5-Series competitor - and servicing as well as parts are pricey.

Sumptuousness served up Japanese style

Don't get me wrong: the Infiniti is a well-appointed car and the company has an excellent reliability record.

The Q70 feels well screwed together and the superiority of materials used is clear as day, although it still can't quite equal top German adversaries.

The biggest plus point is that sitting behind the wheel of an Infiniti will set you apart from the masses of German business machines munching their way through motorway miles. 

Therefore, if you like being different  - and you like sumptuousness served up Japanese style, then the extra cash you'll splash on running the Q70 may not bother you.

Infiniti Q70: Pros & cons

  • Powerful √
  • Refined √
  • Spacious √
  • Build quality √
  • Running costs X

Infiniti Q70: Fast facts

  • Max speed: 155 mph
  • 0-62 mph: 6.9 secs
  • Combined mpg: 37.7
  • Engine: 2993cc 6 cylinder, 24 valve, turbo diesel
  • Max. power (bhp): 235 at 3750 rpm
  • Max. torque (lb.ft): 410 at 1750 rpm
  • CO2: 199 g/km
  • Price: £42,870 on the road

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Tim Barnes-Clay

Leon Poultney

Tim is an experienced motoring writer with a background in radio and TV journalism. He puts his pedal to the metal each week with his must-read car reviews.

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