Review: 2016 Infiniti Q70 5.6 AWD

– Detroit, Michigan

The Infiniti Q70 is six years old in 2016 – even if it was badged “M” for half of that span – and a lot has changed since its debut, especially at this end of the market. Long-nosed luxury cars hiding large-displacement engines have mostly been replaced with turbocharged updates, while interior technologies and software have leapt forward even further. (Remember what your smartphone looked like in 2011?)

Because I’m an old, crotchety car guy trapped in a middle-aged, convivial car guy’s body, my first drive of the Q70 in years had me smiling at the slightly old-school formula. What’s not to like about a 5.6-liter V8 breathing good old uncompressed American air, after all? Ultimately I’m not sure the package stacks up well against the current competitive crop, though.

Pros

  • This is a sweet engine. I like the 5.6 in something as outsized as the Infiniti QX80 SUV (where it makes less power), so it’s no wonder it feels so athletic in a sedan that weighs 1,600 pounds less. The V8 pulls really hard when the revs rise above 3,000 rpm; that’s right when the exhaust note moves from “barely-there” to “menacing,” as well. Output figures of 420 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque are not class-leading, per se, but everything else in the class with a V8 either uses a turbocharger (BMW 550i) or is a performance variant (Lexus GS F).
  • There’s an element of chance here, but the Q70 seats fit me perfectly in terms of luxury buckets. The chairs have wide, but still suppo...