Infiniti Q50 vs Q70 – How Do They Compare?
A highly-regarded Nissan V6 powerplant in two luxury sports sedans from Infiniti – a recipe for disaster, or pure drifting pleasure?
Infiniti is best known as a JDM car company, but it makes cars specifically for the American market. Rather, it used to – since most Infiniti models are now available on most markets across the globe in the present day.
In this article, we’re focusing on the Q-badged Infiniti’s, as we put two of the most popular models in the range head-to-head to see which one is likely to be better suited for your specific needs whether you’re heading out on the school run or the racetrack.
The luxury sports car market in the USA is a vast market, and both Honda and Toyota had already introduced Acura and Lexus respectively as a part of their campaign to tap into this market.
Nissan would soon follow, and the then 56-year-old Japanese manufacturer introduced the Infiniti brand in 1989 which was for America only.
Infiniti is also involved with Formula One, which makes the cars they manufacture pretty good. Infiniti has collaborated with the Renault Sport Formula One Team on the co-development of the Power Unit’s Energy Recovery System, which recovers and utilizes electric energy to power the internal combustion engine.
The Infiniti Engineering Academy also offers a training program for the most outstanding engineering students who will be fortunate to earn a spot at the Infiniti Technical Centre and Renault Sport Formula One Team facilities.
Infiniti makes a wide variety of sedans for the US market, but the Q-series is the latest lineup from the brand.
Keep in mind that Infiniti is backed up by Nissan, and they’ve given us the GTR, which once set the fastest lap times on the Nürburgring, so they sure know a thing or two when it comes to performance, as well as practicality.
This section will make you more aware of how performance figures matter. The performance will also ultimately dictate how you utilize your car when cornering, and dealing with challenging driving circumstances, especially drifting.
The Q50 was first launched back in 2013. It was an all-new design from Nissan and Infiniti, and the car was designed from scratch. The Q50’s design is based on stunning concept cars from the company’s lead designer Shiro Nakamura, which is very obvious when looking at the exterior.
The exterior in particular has a lot of contour lines, which we think looks magnificent, and adds that sporty look that gives the car more character. Plus, the exterior has been designed in a wind tunnel so that you can expect less drag and higher downforce, giving it a firm feel.
The whole car has been designed with a lot of high-tech engineering, and Nissan has always been ahead in using advanced electronics while designing its cars. Nissan has been utilizing CAD/CAM practices since the 300ZX, an overlooked car with great performance.
The Q50 has multiple engine options, depending on the model year; a 2.0L, inline-4 turbocharged engine from Mercedes, Nissan’s very own V6 – the VQ37VHR, a twin-turbo VR30DDTT V6, and a hybrid variant with a VQ35HR V6 and the HM34 electric motor.
The VQ37VHR is quite an infamous engine from Nissan since it was the first production engine to make use of Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) tech. What’s fun is that this is the same engine used in multiple cars; from the legendary 370Z to the older Infiniti G37.
With a bore and stroke of 95.5mm x 86mm, the VQ37VHR has a power output of 332hp @ max rpm of 7000. Torque production is 270 pound-feet @ 5200 rpm. The VQ37VHR came with the 2014-2015 model of the Q50, but the engine itself has been around since 2008. Since 2016, Infiniti has dropped the 3.7L V6 for the Q50.
The VR30DDTT is a much newer engine compared to the VQ37VHR and was introduced in the 2016 model of the Q50, and the Q50 RedSport. This sport package has a factory-tuned engine with the same code.
The DDTT should tell you that the engine is a twin-turbo setup, capable of producing power in the 300-400 range.
Even though it is smaller, the engine in the base Q50 produces 300hp @ 6400 rpm, while the Q50 RedSport produces 400hp. These figures are quite challenging, and in fact, equal rival models from BMW or Mercedes.
A third Q50 was also produced. This was a hybrid variant and had a 3.5L VQ35HR V6. The combined power output from this model was 359hp and a massive 403 pound-feet of torque.
Overall, whichever model you go for, you’re going to feel the kick, although the car does weigh a lot (around 1800 kilograms), and is the only thing that separates it from a complete sports car. But luxury sedans from other automakers also weigh a lot.
The Q50 comes in both RWD and AWD platforms, but if you’re looking to drift, go with the rear-wheel drive one, for obvious reasons! We even have a Q50 coilover guide for you to check out.
The Q70 was also launched in 2013. The Q70 came as a replacement to the M lineup from Infiniti. The exterior of the car was again designed by Shiro Nakamura and has a much beefier look than the Q50.
The M35 and M45 from Infiniti were not doing particularly well in the US Luxury car market, since the cheaper G37 was favored over other models.
The G37 had what the M models had to offer, luxury, a sturdy suspension, and much more power.
This is why after 2010, Infiniti renamed the flagship M35/45 to the Q70, to boost sales and to keep badging consistent.
The Q70’s dynamic curves are highlighted by the uniquely-styled double-wave hood, which rises to meet the raised front fenders.
The engine is one of the most noticeable changes. The base rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variants are powered by a 3.7-liter engine with 330 horsepower, which is quite similar to the engine used in the Q40 and Q50.
However, the Q70 is available with a 5.6-liter V8 engine that produces 420 hp @ 6,000 rpm. It is the only Infiniti sedan offered with a V8 engine.
The Q70, like the Q50, is also available as a hybrid with a 3.7L engine.
The more powerful and responsive 5.6-liter V8 engine is Infiniti’s most terrifying engine to date, and it delivers exciting performance.
The power numbers are more than enough, with the polish and precision to meet almost any driving scenario or degree of excitement.
A 7-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) is available in the Q70.
The driver-adaptive learning system detects and modifies automatic shifting based on driving style. Pretty neat right?
Downshift Rev Matching and sequentially selected manual gearshifts are available in manual shift mode.
We’d say that the Q70 is a premium model in Infiniti’s lineup. And that massive 5.6L V8 makes it feel more like a muscle car than a sports sedan.
When it comes to comfort, both models offer the basic amenities and top-notch built quality and craftsmanship that all Infiniti models have to offer.
Depending on your trim option though, some features might be absent.
However, The Infiniti Q50 has the more affordable price point, starting with a sticker price of $34,200. While you’ll get all the basic amenities, the Q50 is a smaller variant than the mid-size Q70.
Other than the price tag, both cars have state-of-the-art features and are equally comfortable.
An Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) on the Q50 is present, which increases vision at crossings and around curves by monitoring your steering and rotating the headlights to view around as well as the front, allowing you to easily see at night.
The Sport variant features a sharper-edged front and split 5-spoke 20-inch wheels.
The Q70 is Infiniti’s fully loaded-sports sedan. It features the same performance-level engineering that reacts to you instinctively for a stronger sense of power and authority, but at the same time feels ‘different’.
The sweeping lines of the Q70s interior, however, establish a comfort zone that is exactly adapted to the demands of each visitor. Passenger space is maximized everywhere, from the breadth of its stance to the curve of its canopy.
The Premium Select Edition of the Q70 has very distinctive aluminum interior trim panels rather than just silver plastic.
A premium graphite or stone high-quality leather upholstery, 20″ wheels, and other interior goodies set this variant apart from others.
A rear decklid spoiler is also added, which is something that is present in all sports cars, from Honda’s to Ferrari’s, and which makes the car boast sportiness from the outside.
The front seats are positioned well; providing additional legroom for rear passengers, while the front seats themselves are climate-controlled, flowing cold or warm air through the perforated leather to immerse you in more comfort than you could have imagined.
The projected dependability score for the 2022 Infiniti Q50 is 83 out of 100. A projected dependability score of 91-100 is regarded as the best, 81-90 is considered great, 70-80 is considered acceptable, and 0-69 is considered fair and below average.
Quality scores are based on the first owner’s response and comments on their new purchase, whereas dependability values are based on three years of ownership experience.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not yet issued any safety recalls for the current model of the Q50. The most serious issues with the Infiniti Q50 are steering and braking difficulties seen on vehicles from 2014 to 2016.
Other typical faults include difficulties with airbag deployment on versions from 2014 to 2017 and early tire wear on the 2015 model. Electrical difficulties plagued owners of the 2018, 2019, and 2021 versions.
The 2019 Infiniti Q70 is at the bottom of our list of luxury midsize cars. Its engine lineup gives adequate power, and its interior is spacious, but this sedan’s styling and technological features are out of date. Which is why it has a low-reliability rating.
The anticipated dependability rating for the 2019 Q70 is three out of five, which is below average for the class but around average for the market as a whole. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has only issued one safety recall.
Apart from this, Infiniti has great support, which means that if your car does face an issue, you can get it fixed under warranty.
The 2015 Infiniti Q40 falls short of the top half of the luxury sedan class due to its antiquated interior design, while competitors offer more modern features and higher expected dependability ratings. It does, however, have a regular V6 engine and decent handling.
The 2015 Q40 is a solid purchase; it should be less expensive to buy and maintain than comparable luxury midsize sedans. The Q40 might be a decent pick if you prioritize performance above aesthetics. However, if you want a lot of passenger space or an extravagant cabin, you should go for something else.
The 2015 Infiniti Q40 has only one engine option: a V6 with 328 horsepower. The engine, when combined with a quick-shifting seven-speed automatic gearbox, gets you moving rapidly off the line.
It also has a lot of passing power on the freeway. Weight distribution that is nearly ideal results in sporty handling and nimble corner-carving skills. The Q40 also has speed-sensitive steering, which modifies reaction and weight dependent on speed.
The ride quality is a tad firm, but not as bad as in comparable performance-oriented sedans. The Q40 is also built on the same basis as the sporty Nissan 370Z.
The heated front seats and complete leather upholstery are standard on every Q40. The front seats are supportive and comfy.
The rear seat offers enough headroom but limited legroom. The rear outboard seats in the 2015 Q40 have two complete sets of latch connectors, with an extra top-tether anchor for the middle seat.
The majority of other interior surfaces are made of high-quality materials and are plush and cushioned.
The Q40, on the other hand, isn’t as sophisticated or contemporary as its rivals, as indicated by the absence of optional driver-aid systems other than a rearview camera.
Nonetheless, it has standard features like Bluetooth, satellite radio, and an easy-to-use infotainment system. Some versions include navigation, voice command recognition, and a high-quality Bose audio system.
The Infiniti Q40 was designed to replace the aging G37. Some buyers, however, were taken aback by a $3,200 price rise. The G37 was revived for a final year under the Q40 name in 2015, after which it ultimately got replaced by the Q50.
The Q70 was not selling greatly. Blame it on the recall made for the 3.7L hybrid Q70L, or that people were more interested in the SUVs that Infiniti had to offer. Whatever the case is, the car just did not have enough sales to keep it going.
It was also an overpriced car. You could get a bigger V8 in the Dodge Challenger, or even the Ford Mustang. This fact is what made the Q70 less popular – it had a lot of competitors for the same engine class.
So, after 2019, Infiniti actually announced that they would not continue with the Q70. The V8 is now found in QX80, which is an SUV.
Realistically, it all really depends on what you’re looking for – if you want your Infiniti to feel a bit nimble, we’d say go for the Q50. The Q50 will take turns much better, and some even argue that the interior looks much better than the Q70.
That doesn’t mean that the Q70 is a bad choice. The engine is more powerful, and this makes the car much more tail-happy. The car does feel heavy, but if you’re looking to pull some donuts, this would be the car to do it in! The Q70 also feels like more of a sophisticated executive sedan and the art of automotive luxury – so there’s that too!
In this section, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about the Infiniti Q50 and Q70.
- The Infiniti Q70 sedan has been discontinued since the start of 2020.
- The Q70 had decreasing sales figures because it simply was not a very popular car. If you’re planning to buy one don’t go for the hybrid version – it has a ton of issues.
- The QX80, an SUV, has the same engine – the VK56VD, however, no direct replacement was made for the Q70 - but, there just might be an electric sedan in the near future.
- Very much so! It has all luxury car amenities – perforated heated leather seats, and a cool dash.
- Yes, the Q50 is a mid-size luxury performance sedan, whereas the Q70 is a full-size luxury sedan.