Infiniti's value proposition

The Infiniti Q70 has been styled to look more contemporary and upmarket.
The Infiniti Q70 has been styled to look more contemporary and upmarket.ST PHOTOS: KEVIN LIM
The Infiniti Q70 has been styled to look more contemporary and upmarket.
The Infiniti Q70 has been styled to look more contemporary and upmarket.ST PHOTOS: KEVIN LIM

The competitively priced Q70 offers more bang for your buck compared to its rivals

In a world increasingly populated by turbocharged machines, it is good to know that there are still normally aspirated engines out there that make you feel like belting out James Brown's groovy anthem.

The Infiniti Q70 2.5 is fitted with one such engine. Previously known as the M25, the car is powered by a peachy 2.5-litre V6 that makes 219bhp and 253Nm.

Those numbers may not seem like much in today's context, which a turbocharged power plant with a smaller displacement will easily overshadow.

But in the real world, the Q70 feels like it is endowed with a bigger heart, thanks largely to its ultrasensitive and thoroughly linear throttle.

Tap the pedal and you get the kind of response that makes the day brighter and the music louder.


    Price: $212,800 with COE

    Engine: 2,496cc 24-valve V6

    Transmission: Seven-speed automatic with manual select

    Power: 219bhp at 6,400rpm

    Torque: 253Nm at 4,800rpm

    0-100kmh: 9.2 seconds

    Top speed: 231kmh

    Fuel consumption: 9.7 litres/100km

    Agent: Wearnes Automotive

Paired with an excellent seven- speed transmission that is both quick and creamy, it sends power to the rear wheels with imperceptible loss or lag.

The Q70 pulls cleanly away from the lights every time and it continues to pull relentlessly throughout each journey. Progress feels much quicker than Infiniti's stated 9.2-second sprint.

Along the way, it entertains with a barely there exhaust note that is best described as a growly purr. In some ways, it reminds you of performance sedans such as the Lexus GS and BMW 5-series.

But the Q70 lacks the fit and finish of the Lexus and it falls short of the involvement you get from the BMW.

Its cabin is fairly plush, with its adequate share of wood veneer and leather upholstery.

Parts that your elbow, arm and knee come into contact with are generously padded. And there are enough executive amenities to pamper and please.

On the other hand, there are sharp edges around the steering boss, unlined drink holders that make a slight din when they are occupied and instrument gauges that seem rudimentary for a car of its status.

In terms of driving pleasure, the one thing that makes it less engaging than a 5-series is steering feel, or rather, the lack thereof.

Even though the steering is sharp and suitably weighty, it comes across as somewhat artificial and distant. Its connection to the front axle is tenuous and a little vague, compared with the directness you get from the Bavarian tourer.

This, however, does not take anything away from its superb drivetrain. Still, a more communicative steering would have enhanced the driving experience.

The Q70's suspension offers a good compromise of comfort and sportiness, with decent damping action over humps and quick responses that ensure good roadholding around corners and less- than-perfect surfaces.

Performance-wise, there is hardly any difference from the time the car made its debut here three years ago as the M25, except for a slight improvement in fuel efficiency.

The main changes lie in the styling. The car is noticeably racier, with an aggressive chrome mesh grille first seen on the Q50. A more elaborate lower front bumper assembly sets it apart from the rather bland M25.

Headlights have also been dressed up, with ubiquitous LED accents and clever reflective covers. On the whole, the car looks more distinctive, contemporary and upmarket.

Still, there is no getting away from the fact that Infiniti is not quite where the more established luxury marques are. In terms of luxury, attention to detail and comfort, it is not even where relative newcomer Lexus is.

What is noteworthy, though, is its brilliant drivetrain. And the fact that it is priced quite competitively. The Q70 2.5, for instance, is close to $50,000 cheaper than the GS250. Then again, its open-market value is also lower. It is even lower than an equivalent 5-series, which is a four-cylinder.

Ultimately, the Q70 is convincing enough to entice upgraders who want some semblance of luxe and prestige without having to break the bank.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2015, with the headline 'Infiniti's value proposition'. Print Edition | Subscribe