Just when you thought the crossover market couldn’t get any more crowded
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£34,040 when new
The Infiniti Q-what? You’re forgiven for any confusion about Infiniti’s names. This is the ‘new’ Q70 – a face-lifted version of the artist formerly known as M37. Welcome to Infiniti’s newest attempt at a BMW 5-Series rival. And what exactly is new, besides the confusing name? A nip and tuck of the headlights, new (rather smart) LED tail-lights and a smoothed-out bootlid. You can also now have a Sport version – like Audi’s S line or BMW’s M Sport. It’s worth it aesthetically, bestowing on the bloated Q70 some aggression and stance with flared bumpers and arch-filling 20-inch alloys. Begs the question: what powers the Q70?
At long, long last, an engine of some relevance to Europeans – a 2.2-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel!
Oh, hurrah Hailing from Mercedes’ parts shelf, the Q70’s engine develops a meagre 167bhp, but there’s a healthy 295lb ft on tap from 1,600rpm – on a par with a BMW 520d. As per the sports-saloon commandments, that punch is delivered to the rear wheels only. There’s no manual option – you get a seven-speed automatic with steering-column-mounted paddles from the GT-R. Has Infiniti simply copied everything the Germans do? No. Principally because those usual suspects possess enough sensation about their controls to be considered a sports saloon. The Q70 is nothing of the sort. It wants to be a much more stately, comfy barge of a machine. And that’s alright, if you like that sort of approach… But you don’t? Soft suspension for comfort’s sake is fine, but this is a heavy car and it squats, rolls, and generally struggles to contain its mass, feeling ungainly – especially as the driver sits so high in the cabin. And even when you’re not driving spiritedly, but just want a little burst of thrust, the gearbox is dim-witted in its reactions, and the engine is not just vocal – it also vibrates through the admittedly well-finished, button-tastic cabin. Lots of kit, then? Yes, but the Q70’s age means there are some faults – DAB radio is missing and the radar cruise is more primitive. Rivals have moved the game on.