Infiniti Q70 Hybrid review
The Infiniti Q70 Hybrid, formerly known as the Infiniti M35h, is a premium four-door saloon that goes head-to-head with the BMW 530e.
Launched in Europe in 2014, the Q70 Hybrid remains an unfamiliar sight on Britain’s roads, with buyers put off by Infiniti's lack of brand equity, a small dealer network and the lure of German badges. Buy a Q70 Hybrid and you’re buying into a select club – exclusivity is guaranteed.
Unlike the increasing number of plug-in hybrid models on the market, the Infiniti Q70 Hybrid is a 'self-charging' hybrid, with the petrol and electric motor working together to maintain a perfect balance of performance and economy. A limited electric-only range is available, but you shouldn’t expect to travel further than a mile before the petrol engine takes over.
The 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine develops 302bhp, with the electric motor adding 67bhp to deliver a total system output of 369bhp. This makes it the most powerful Q70 in the range, out-muscling the 3.7-litre petrol V6’s 315bhp output.
It’s more economical, too, with a claimed 45.6mpg, some 20mpg more than you would hope to achieve in the 3.7-litre Q70. The 2.2-litre diesel remains the economy king, with a claimed 58.9mpg combined. The Q70 Hybrid is relatively economical, then, but you shouldn’t expect Toyota Prius or Hyundai Ioniq levels of efficiency.
There are two trim levels available: Premium and Premium Tech. Both are very well equipped, offering an ‘all but the kitchen sink’ level of standard equipment. Dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated leather front seats, a reversing camera and a seven-speed automatic transmission are all standard features.
The Premium Tech offers an improved specification, including the Safety Shield pack, comprising adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, forward emergency braking, forward collision warning, distance control and reversing collision intervention.
This safety pack isn’t available as an option on the Premium model, so for this reason we’d recommend the more expensive Premium Tech. At £48,000, it’s £4,000 more expensive than the Premium model, but the safety features make the extra outlay worthwhile, especially when you should be able to negotiate a discount off the list price.
Be aware, though, Infiniti's lack of kudos in the UK means that the Q70 Hybrid isn’t great at holding its value. Depreciation isn’t one of this car’s strong points.
Performance-wise, the Q70 Hybrid’s credentials are much stronger. The luxury saloon will sprint to 62mph from rest in just 5.3 seconds before hitting a top speed limited to 155mph. This is 0.9 seconds quicker than the 3.7-litre version – not bad from a four-door saloon with a 3.5-litre V6 engine, especially when you compare the CO2 emissions (145 vs 249g/km).
Strangely, the Q70 Hybrid never feels particularly entertaining to drive. Off-the-line pace is predictably good, but the automatic transmission does its best to hold you back, while the car lacks the precision and poise of a BMW 5 Series when it comes to cornering. The steering is too vague, while the weight of the batteries is all too evident through the bends.
It feels far more at home wafting silently through town on electric power or offering a cushion-soft and silent ride along a motorway. The ride quality could be better on local roads, but the hybrid model is superior to Q70’s riding on 20-inch alloy wheels in this regard.
In summary, the Q70 Hybrid is an easy car to like but a hard car to recommend. It does many things well: the interior quality is good, the level of standard equipment is high and the performance/efficiency balance is good.
However, a new wave of more efficient hybrid and plug-in hybrid models means it’s not economical enough, while it’s not as entertaining as the performance figures would suggest. The small boot, dated infotainment system and the fact that road tax is cheaper on the diesel version are three further gripes.
For a more detailed look at the Infiniti Q70 Hybrid, read on for the rest of our in-depth review.