With China emerging as a major automotive market, automakers are finding new ways to appeal to that market, and long-wheelbase luxury sedans are currently the best way. It didn’t take long for INFINITI to realize that Americans, too, love these stretched models, and they have begun offering them here with the stretched QX50 crossover and the 2017 INFINITI Q70L.
INFINITI says that stretching the wheelbase of its midsize Q70 by almost six inches (5.9 inches to be exact) has allowed the Q70L to deliver “SUV rear legroom in a performance luxury sedan.” Until INFINITI develops a true full-size flagship sedan, the 2017 INFINITI Q70L is the roomiest four-door in the INFINITI lineup, complementing the compact Q50 sedan and other Q70 models (a standard-wheelbase Q70 and the Q70 Hybrid).
As a fitting followup to our test drive review of the 2017 Q70, this week gives us some seat time in the more spacious 2017 INFINITI Q70L 5.6 RWD.
2017 INFINITI Q70L Exterior:
Despite the added length between the B-pillar and the rear wheels, it’s actually hard to tell the difference between the Q70 and the longer 2017 INFINITI Q70L (click HERE for a side-by-side comparison). The overall styling of this sedan dates back to 2010 when the 2011 INFINITI M sedan was launched, but the 2015 model year introduced a sportier exterior design along with the long-wheelbase Q70L model. Although there haven’t been too many changes to INFINITI’s biggest sedan since then, it is still an extremely sharp car with its scowling face and sweeping body lines.
This tester added the $3,300 Premium Select Edition package, which adds styling cues like the dark exterior trim, rear spoiler and the dark 20-inch, triple-spoke wheels. The dark wheels and trim along with the Graphite Shadow paint provide a great color combination for this sedan.
2017 INFINITI Q70L Interior:
Of the 5.9 inches that was added to the wheelbase, rear-seat legroom in the 2017 INFINITI Q70L has increased by 5.6 inches, and overall passenger volume increased from 103.6 cubic feet up to 110.6 cubic feet; cargo space remains the same at a spacious 14.9 cubic feet. Not that the rear seat of the standard Q70 was cramped by any means, but the added space in the Q70L made for an even more enjoyable passenger experience.
Other than the added legroom, there are no differences between the Q70 and Q70L. The aforementioned Premium Select Edition package does provide a little added flair in the cabin, though, with a stylish graphite leather and white accent piping, suede headliner and aluminum interior trim. While the rear seat can hold three passengers comfortably, the best way to ride in maximum comfort is with the thick center console folded down, which conceals a small storage compartment, cup holders and heated seat switches.
2017 INFINITI Q70L Powertrain:
Like the standard Q70, the 2017 INFINITI Q70L is available with both the 3.7-liter V-6 and a more powerful 5.6-liter V-8 as well as standard rear-wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive. This tester had the bigger engine with its 420 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque, and a rear-drive configuration that sent that power to the back wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission. The added size and weight of the Q70L doesn’t affect the fuel economy as this and the Q70 have identical EPA-rated fuel economy estimates of 16 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway**.
With its 4,136-pound curb weight, the Q70L weighs 93 pounds more than the Q70, but it is still a fun sedan to drive. Overall balance is respectable for the car with steering and suspension that prevents it from feeling like a top-heavy luxury sedan. As it sits, the 2017 INFINITI Q70L 5.6 RWD is a competent alternative to cars like the BMW 550i and Volvo S90. To help give the Q70L a little added sportiness, the Premium Select Edition package also included a sport brake package that added larger front and rear rotors along with four-piston front and two-piston rear calipers.
2017 INFINITI Q70L Safety:
To go along with its high level of luxury, the 2017 INFINITI Q70L brings plenty of safety, too. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Q70 lineup a Top Safety Pick rating, and while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn’t fully rated the Q70, it did receive a four-star rating for frontal crash and rollover protection.
2017 INFINITI Q70L Overall:
The current Q70 has proven to be a strong sedan for INFINITI in a growing luxury market, and the 2017 INFINITI Q70L is an excellent option for buyers looking to maximize space from a mid-size sedan without having to step up to a substantially bigger and more expensive full-size. After a week driving the Q70L, it definitely isn’t as upscale as the Lexus LS (or other rear-drive, full-size luxury sedans), but it is far more entertaining than direct rivals like the Lexus GS, Acura RLX and Cadillac XTS.
So how much does INFINITI charge for a six-inch stretch? Price increases are $1,500 for the Q70L V-6 and $1,700 for the Q70L V-8, leaving this tester with a base MSRP of 64,850*. Adding in the $3,300 Premium Select Edition package, which was well worth the value, resulted in an as-tested price of $69,055.
Make sure to visit your local AutoNation-affiliated INFINITI dealership and test drive the 2017 INFINITI Q70L today!
*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on 2017 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.