Just what your mother advised: look for beauty on the outside and on the inside.
The reason people love Armani is because his designs fit you like a second skin: They move with you and always look great, so you look great, too.
And then there’s this: those who are toned and muscular look even better in Armani; the fabrics drape and grip in just the right spots. On the right person, it might just make you a little weak in the knees.
Which is how I felt driving the Infiniti Q70L sedan for a week: A little weak in the knees. And then, I got inside. Its refined space, just the right edit of features and huge, pampering back seat made us feel privileged and special.
This car is for you if:
- You like to feel rich even if you’re not
- You are a luxury car girl
- You love high end design that is still a bit under the radar—luxe but not too flashy
- You like being chauffeured—sometimes
- You like a nicely edited interior (and you don’t like clutter)
- You like a car with a personality and a ‘face’ that shows it
- A personal assistant is always appreciated (this car has one!)
- You want a car that goes with every outfit—casual to cocktail
- You want an interior that complements your handbag and shoes
- You want a car with TONS of space but doesn’t scream “land yacht”
What you should consider:
- Back seat passengers might just take on the air of being pampered
- If you put your handbag on the back seat you have to get out of the car to get it
- Even though the back seat is huge, five passengers are a squeeze
- This is an adult environment—no DVD player or other kid-focused features
- When you drive the Infiniti the way it should be driven, you’ll compromise MPG (this is a BIG engine)
- This is a full sized sedan (even though it’s a sporty drive)
- You’ll have to baby it with premium fuel
Go ahead, swoon over the design, but the thrill is in hitting the gas
I won’t hide the fact that I love Infiniti’s design sensibility: the brand’s signature curvy, sleek lines swoop from one end to the other, framed by muscular fenders, lights and slightly pert trunk lid: Infiniti’s design is like a Gold’s Gym six pack on wheels.
What I might like most about the car’s exterior, though was that despite being a large sedan, it didn’t feel like it. It’s easy to drive, park and back up. The Q70L we drove is an all wheel drive model with 416 horsepower in a V8 engine with a manual drive option (no paddle shifters; you can shift the gear shift through 7 speeds), which was a lot of fun to drive. Even just being lazy and driving in automatic, the car was powerful, responsive and thrilling when merging onto the highway. The Q70 L is also offered in a smaller but certainly ample 330 horsepower V6 engine that gets slightly better gas mileage.
But inside, the Q70L is a different animal, an almost zen edit of ‘content,’ or the features inside a car that make up the in-car experience. And at first, it was almost underwhelming. Soon though, I began to appreciate the quiet sensibility of the car and how the interior features were ‘aligned’ so that the ones I’d use most were front and center, and those that I might not need weren’t in the way.
Eating from the grown up menu—and loving it
My kids get really excited when they get to spend time in a car that is fully outfitted to keep them happy and pampered: DVD player, wireless headphones and reclining back seats are like the car equivalent of chicken nuggets and mac and cheese for dinner: Fun, keeps them quiet, but not how they’ll live when they’re grown up.
The Q70L was more like taking the kids to Per Se for dinner: refined, exacting, no kids menu. Even on our 11-hour road trip they happily gave up kid comforts for grown up indulgences like a Bose sound system—even Fall Out Boy sounds better on a great sound system— enveloping heated leather rear seats (buttons are in the center console that folds out of the back of the seat) and so much rear leg room you half expect an attendant to come by and offer a Shirley Temple.
And then there’s this: A personal assistant
Yes, a personal assistant. Need to send flowers? Get directions? Decide which route to take? Want to know where the next exit with a Starbucks is? Just call your assistant. The PA functions from a phone app—just tap the number on your phone (load it into your address book!) and you’re connected with someone who can help you with just about anything. And as long as your phone’s location setting is on (the system tracks your phone, not your car) the assistant who answers the phone can see where you are and guide you to what you’re looking for, and send you directions via text or email but not directly to your car’s navigation system.
This last point was a bit of a disconnect, but also a bonus: the PA can’t send turn by turn directions to the car (hopefully this will be an update in the future), but then again, you don’t have to be in your car to use it. Which means you can plan a trip, book hotels, find tee times, make restaurant reservations, get recommendations, send flowers and anything else you can think of from the comfort of your desk or living room sofa.
11 hour road trip? Tech and legroom makes it easy
The week we tested the Infiniti Q70L we had a bit of a family emergency and had to make a sudden drive to North Carolina. It was just my daughters and me, and just for a few days, so I’d be behind the wheel all 22 hours on the road (plus whatever we needed in between). It’s times like these that you really LOVE a car that has your back when you need it.
Probably the most endearing feature is adaptive cruise control, the set-and-forget-it system that lets you drive for hours—hours!—without touching the gas. We cruised along nicely merging in and out of traffic, the system doing its job of keeping our speed constant and keeping me relaxed, even when trucks and RVs crowded the highway.
But here’s what I love most about adaptive cruise—especially in the Infiniti: The system looks several car lengths ahead. So it’s not just watching the traffic in front of you, but watching how cars are behaving two cars ahead so it can predict when it will need to slow down or even fully brake. I wish my husband would do that!
Eco drive mode gave us great highway MPG
The Q70L’s Eco setting pushed our MPG to 24 on the highway, and with a 17 gallon tank, we were able to drive 400+ miles before stopping to fill up. That let us bypass a lot of fast food and other distractions and reduce our time on the road. Off the highway, though, I preferred driving in sport mode. The Eco mode’s dialed-down horsepower made the engine feel sluggish in traffic; the Sport mode, though was quick and responsive, and I’m not sure that it made much difference in MPG in stop and go traffic.
Another road trip benefit was the huge, deep trunk. Luggage, backpacks and a couple of boxes fit in easily; we could have fit twice as much, such as luggage for four people and two or three golf bags (or four smaller travel golf bags).
But probably the best feature was the back seat. My 16 year old sat back and read a book for much of the trip. Shocking, because she often complains she can’t read in the car; if the back seat is too cramped and there isn’t enough ambient light or breathing room, she feels claustrophobic and has to spend time looking out the window (or at her phone). But in the Q70L she relaxed and read while I drove. Except when we were all singing along with Wiz Khalifa, which happened a lot.
What We Loved
- Huge back seat
- Drive mode selections: Eco, Sport and Touring
- Great navigation system
- Personal Assistant app
- Distinctive, expressive exterior
- Beautiful interior design
- Bose premium sound system — with speakers right in the seats!
- Heated and cooled seats (front and back)
- Adaptive cruise control
- Lighted door handles
- Around view monitor on rear view camera
- Rain sensing wipers
What You Need to Know
- Base price: about $67,000; price of the model we tested- about $75,000
- Infiniti Connection service included for for 12 months (subscription required after that): automatic crash notification, emergency calling, enhanced roadside assistance, stolen vehicle alert, remote door lock and unlock, alarm notification, maintenance alert, and My Schedule
- Premium fuel recommended
- 4 year/60,000 mile warranty
- 6 year/70,000 powertrain warranty
- Personal assistant complimentary for 12 months
- 24/7 Roadside assistance
- Seating for 5 but more comfortable for 4