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Infiniti’s 2015 Q70L impressive by any name

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Filed under An Addictive Take On Cars, Automotive, Infiniti, Jacksonville, FL

2015 Infiniti Q70L 3-4

Keeping track of all the renamed cars of the past year or two can be a chore. While I have the unique task of trying to sort out all the letter-number combinations, I often find myself alone in my constant endeavor to keep them straight. Infiniti has apparently made an extra effort to keep me on my toes.

>> Get the best price on the Infiniti Q70 from a network of local dealers now. <<

The G37 sedan is now the Q50 and the coupe is now referred to as the Q60. The EX37, JX35, FX37/50, and QX56 officially became the QX50, QX60, QX70, and QX80, respectively. Please don’t ask me why; I’m having a hard enough time remembering all the names, never mind the rationale.

Previously known as both the M37 and the M56 based on engine displacement, Infiniti is now calling the vehicle that I was able to spend more than two weeks reviewing the Q70.

2015 Infiniti Q70L Side

My review vehicle was the stretched version — the Q70L. The “L” signifies that it has a 5.9-inch longer wheelbase than the standard Q70 and lots of legroom, which technically would be the Q70LOL, but I digress.

Not to be hindered by Infiniti’s alphabet soup, my kids affectionately renamed the 2015 Infiniti Q70L “the limo.” And rightly so — the back seat is huge. My 11-year-old, when sitting with her back pressed against the rear seat, could barely touch the driver’s seat with her feet. The rear doors and trunk have a “cincher” mechanism that almost replaces a chauffeur, electronically closing the door once you lazily push it into place.

Fortunately, the driving dynamic of the 2015 Q70L is satisfying enough that I didn’t mind carting my kids around Northeast Florida, even though they proved to be terrible tippers. The Infiniti powerplant is a 416-horsepower, 5.6-liter V-8 engine with 414 pound-feet of torque — channeled to the rear wheels through the downshift rev-matching seven-speed transmission — that is silky smooth and convincingly stout.

2015 Infiniti Q70L Rear 2

Some automotive news outlets have the Q70L racing from 0-60 mph in less than 5 seconds. This means if my chauffeuring happens to land me at the drag strip lined up against Nissan’s 2015 370Z, odds are that the limo will win.

In the center console is a rotary dial that allows the driver to select from four different operating modes. To the far left is SNOW followed by ECO, STANDARD, and SPORT. While the Florida weather gives little opportunity to try out the snow option, although during my test drive we did have the first flurries I’ve seen since I moved here in 2001, the other three modes provide very specific and completely useful driving dynamics.

The ECO mode in the Q70L applies some of the most aggressive fuel-saving techniques I’ve experienced in a car. The optional ECO gas pedal literally becomes harder to press and pushes back at you when you continue your journey to the floorboard. Full throttle is still full throttle, but Infiniti makes you think about it on the way there.

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While nine times out of 10 I found myself driving in standard mode, which provides an excellent balance of power and comfort, I did enjoy my brief stints with the selector knob turned all the way counter-clockwise to sport. The Q70L tangibly tightens up the steering wheel and the seven-speed automatic offers crisper shifts.

The sport mode-activated Q70L holds gears longer and momentarily keeps the revs higher when braking, anticipating your next move. While the massive Q70L may not be your first choice for a car club track day, it is more than capable on a twisty road. Braking is excellent and highway passing is a breeze.

Infiniti has done a great job with the interior. The ergonomic cockpit provides an immersive driving experience. The gauge cluster is easy to read; the steering wheel has just enough controls; and the positioning and angle of the center console makes everything comfortably within arm’s reach.

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The Q70 dash, like the majority of new luxury vehicles that I test, has a lot going on. Infiniti, in the Q70 especially, does an excellent job of making the implementation of the car’s features straightforward. Yes, it takes a little while to master the airplane-like control panels, but it won’t require 40 hours of flying time.

Side note: When shopping for a new vehicle, create an “arm’s-reach” standard. Sit comfortably in the driver’s seat and — without stretching — see how easy it is to put your hand on and adjust every knob, button and touchscreen in the vehicle. While manufacturers diligently work to create a “one-size-fits-most” driving environment, some vehicles are simply going to fit you better than others.

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Infiniti has built a strong reputation for being a leader in safety technology. The Q70L’s $7,200 Deluxe Technology Package option does not disappoint. The predictive forward collision warning is especially noteworthy. Infiniti has created a system that not only warns you when the vehicle directly in front of you changes speed, by using the patented “Superhero X-ray Infini-Vision,” but keeps a watchful eye on the vehicle two cars ahead as well.

In full disclosure, I made up that trademark, but if Infiniti is interested in the name, it is available at a very reasonable cost.

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Also included in the option package is a Japanese white ash wood trim that has been finished with a high gloss lacquer containing genuine silver dust. When the sun shines through the power moonroof and hits the console, the interior actually twinkles a little. My kids’ words, not mine.

Starting price for the 2015 Infiniti Q70L with the 5.6-liter V8 is $64,550. As tested, with the deluxe technology package that also includes a great-sounding 16-speaker Bose studio surround sound system, suede-like headliner, power rear sunshade and a bevy of other safety features, the Q70L rings up at $72,655.

>> Get the best price on the Infiniti Q70 from a network of local dealers now. <<

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