Nissan’s luxury marque Infiniti saw record global sales last year, with deliveries surpassing the 200,000th unit milestone for the first time.
We are not surprised by the fast-growing popularity of Infiniti, as the brand is known for being generous with premium features, safety technologies and driving assistance systems, as well as exemplary driving refinement and ride comfort.
The rear-wheel drive Infiniti Q70, which rivals the likes of the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, is another outstanding sports sedan.
This is the upgraded edition of the Q70, which was launched in Malaysia in mid-2015.
There are three V6 engine variants, namely Q70 2.5L, 3.7L and 3.5L Hybrid.
Several exterior updates give it a more distinctive look, and these include all-LED headlamps, LED combination lights and new bumpers.
The updates aren’t just about aesthetics; according to Infiniti, there are improvements to ride comfort and noise reduction in the cabin.
These include a new seal design between the sliding tubes of the telescoping dampers, for more comfort on bad roads.
Our test drive unit was the 2.5-litre V6 variant, with 218bhp and 253Nm of torque, and a smooth-shifting 7-speed automatic gearbox.
It carries a price tag of RM295,000 and there is a lot of premium comfort and safety features.
Understandably so, as every Infiniti car has to represent the brand’s luxury positioning, especially as it competes in an arena dominated by German automakers and another gigantic Japanese marque.
We won’t delve too much into the details of its features as interested buyers would do better to browse through the sales brochure.
What we would like to highlight is the marvellous attention Infiniti paid to the design and craftsmanship of the cabin.
The interior craftsmanship is fitted with luxurious appointments like the double stitched meter hood, quilted semi-aniline leather seats, white ash silver-powdered wood trim and lots of soft-touch materials.
These provide a luxurious and expensive ambience, and stepping into a Q70 is akin to entering a world of exceptional class.
The cabin has more than adequate legroom, with the car’s 2,900mm wheelbase.
The deep boot has 500 litres for your golf clubs and gear, and weekend shopping at the hypermarket.
As for the motoring experience, the Q70 has a double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear set-up that provides a nice balance of sporty handling and occupant comfort. There is plenty of grunt from the V6 powerplant, to push the car’s 1,692kg kerb weight from standstill to 100kph in 8.5 seconds.
The engine rumble is muted by top-notch sound insulation materials.
To reduce unpleasant engine harmonics, Infiniti also uses Active Noise Control technology, which it says generates “cancelling” sound from the speakers, with the monitoring of cabin noise levels via two microphones in the Q70’s ceiling.
It should be noted that our test drive unit also has the RM35,000 optional Sports Premium package, which includes bigger 245/40 R20 performance tyres, instead of the standard 245/50 R18 tyres.
The Sports Premium package also has a Bose 10-speaker premium audio system, a 9.3GB Music Box, navigation system with an eight-inch colour touch-screen, audio streaming via Bluetooth, voice recognition for telephone audio system, a tyre pressure monitoring system with display, and a sports front bumper with gloss black trim and sports-patterned lower front grille.
With the big performance tyres, the Q70 handles the bends like a thoroughbred road-hugger. There is little body roll and this sports sedan delivers a marvellous driving experience.
There are many reasons to rank the Q70 as a favourite on a shopping list, but chief among them would be the exemplary interior fit-and-finish, abundant creature comforts, advanced safety features as well as superb road handling.
A lot of attention to detail was paid to aspects like cabin material selection and stitching, and even the car’s performance sound via exhaust tuning.
What this boils down to is ultimately, a highly refined motoring experience in the Q70 sports sedan.