For those who want more rear legroom in their sport sedan, Infiniti has added the Q70L — a long wheelbase model.
The stretch added a 5.9-inch longer wheelbase, which provided 5.6 inches more rear seat legroom (41.8 inches total) and 5.9 inches of extra knee room (32.5 inches total). In the Infiniti nomenclature, the Q70 took the place of what was the M-line sport sedan. And the Q70L, by default, becomes the flagship of the sedans, though the EPA still considers it a midsize for cabin capacity.
The Infiniti treatment for the Q70L is a contemporary expression of power and poshness with executive-class rear seating. It is sold in rear- or all-wheel drive with V-6 and V-8 engines and both with a seven-speed automatic transmission with Sport, Standard and Eco modes. Starting prices range from $52,255 for the V-6 RWD to $67,955 for the V-8 AWD.
Today’s tester, a rear-drive Q70L 5.6 (V-8), had an as-tested price of $72,655, with one option group. Standard features include leather-trimmed upholstery (rather than leatherette in the V-6), the AroundView monitor and rearview camera, front and rear parking sonar, navigation system, 10-way power (heated and ventilated) front seats, moonroof, heated steering and heated rear seats, and a trunk cincher (but not a power closer).
The Deluxe Technology Package, $7,200, adds a suite of safety features that is about one sensor away from driving the car autonomously. The network functioned without intrusion into my daily driving and it’s good to know the guards are on ready-alert. Among the features are Backup Collision Intervention, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Warning and Intervention, Intelligent Cruise Control and Distance Control Assist.
Also in the package are some refining elements, such as the attractive Japanese Ash wood trim (with silver powder sprinkled onto the varnish), a 16-speaker Bose audio system, suede-like headliner and a power rear sunshade.
If you can visualize cubic footage, the Q70L cabin has 110.6 cubic feet of roominess compared to 103.6 cubic feet for the standard Q70. The added rear legroom and a higher level of standard equipment translates to $1,500-$1,700 more than the standard model. And among the standard extras are rear power door clinchers.
It is an engaging interior to look at and enjoy, particularly the back seats, which have a leggy room to stretch out and good headroom at 37.7 inches. But the center position is compromised by a tall and wide transmission tunnel.
Trunk space at 14.9 cubic feet is smaller than in some midsize sedans and the opening is not wide and a little shallow for those big-box items.
The front-seat area is big-and-tall friendly with 39.1 inches of headroom and 44.4 inches of legroom. There’s a blind spot at driver’s left where the windshield pillar meets the outside mirror.
Out of place in such elegance is the foot-pumper parking brake, which, with all the electronics in this car, should be electric, and that would free up even more footroom. And despite a big emphasis on the fine meter gauge design and graphics, there is a 1990s-style, econo-box dot-matrix readout between the showy gauges for outside temp, trip meter, odometer and other information. It’s just tacky in this car.
Driven as a sport sedan, its two-ton curb weight (4,129 pounds) is felt and the suspension takes a moment to settle and hook into a curve. The steering weight around town is heavier than it needs to be for a luxury car, but appropriate enough for a sport sedan. The four wheel disc brakes (12.6-inch vented discs front, 12.1-inch vented rear) are the same as on the standard-length Q70 despite another 80 pounds or so for the stretch.
The V-8 is responsive and has no problem motivating the mass (Sport mode is very sharp), but it comes at a cost: 16 mpg city, 24 highway and 19 mpg combined on the required premium. I was averaging 21.2 or so; the 20-gallon tank helps put distance between fill-ups.
Infiniti emphasizes luxury when labeling the Q70L a sport sedan, but it has the feel of trying to be two kinds of cars and neither quite fulfilling the role.
Mark Maynard is online at email@example.com. Find photo galleries and more news at Facebook.com/MaynardsGarage