By on August 20, 2014

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Just weeks after Cadillac launched the ATS-L with their unfortunately composed tagline “Coming With Length“, Infiniti has launched their own rival, the Q50L.

Rear seat space is a big deal in China, where having someone drive you around is a status symbol in itself. Long wheelbase variants of everything from the VW Passat to the BMW 5-Series are hot items, and Infiniti, which is looking to establish itself in China, is adding nearly two inches in wheelbase.

Power comes from a new Daimler-derived 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder making 221 horsepower and 258 lb-ft, backed by a 7-speed automatic. Most significantly, the Q50L will be the first Chinese-built Infiniti.

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32 Comments on “Infiniti Q50L Is Also “Coming With Length”...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    A chauffeured mid-size, with a 2.0L turbo, in Midnight Boudoir Purple. They’ve got the right idea!

    Ugh.

    EDIT: At least it won’t have a proven VQV6!

  • avatar
    maxxcool7421

    “”Power comes from a new Daimler-derived 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder””

    Horrifying …

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Two inches? Evidently Infiniti is not coming with the length needed.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Cars are taxed on displacement in China. Taxes for displacement above 2.5 liters are set at confiscatory levels, and there are additional steps at 2.0 and 1.6 liters. Adding a VQ of 3.0, 3.5, or 3.7 liters would push the cost of ownership of this vehicle into territory where it can’t compete.

  • avatar
    22_RE_Speedwagon

    Are we talking about a Q50L or a Q70L? God I miss cars with real names.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    I’ve never understood why car makers are so stingy with rear leg room.

    The only thing I can think is that they’re afraid it will cannibalize more expensive sedan sales?

    It can’t be CAFE ratings, reconfiguring a car to have more legroom should give close if not identical fuel economy.

    I think 9 out of 10 people who buy a 4 door sedan would like to have more legroom even if it meant a smaller trunk. An extra 3 inches of rear legroom is a game changer, suddenly an SUV doesn’t feel like a requirement if you have kids.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “suddenly an SUV doesn’t feel like a requirement if you have kids.”

      Bingo. Since they hate you, with notable exceptions such as Accord and Camry, US mfgs ensure the sedans are inferior in rear passenger room so you have to “move up” to the CUV/SUV/Minivan. This does not happen in China, apparently due to social trends in that country.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        I really do think there’s something to that. A car company like Hyundai could probably carve itself a niche by offering smaller sedans with plenty of legroom since they don’t rely so heavily on SUV sales.

        It’s become a popular meme that people with SUVs don’t really need them and just have one to show off, but I’ve owned a smaller sedan with a kid and a car seat, and it’s a nightmare.

        If CAFE changed tactics and just made car manufacturers have more rear legroom across their fleet instead of their current fuel economy standard, I bet the average vehicle on the road would have better MPGs.

        • 0 avatar
          wstarvingteacher

          Someone has that niche. Nissan with cube and versa have huge amounts of rear legroom.

        • 0 avatar
          bkmurph

          “If CAFE changed tactics and just made car manufacturers have more rear legroom across their fleet instead of their current fuel economy standard, I bet the average vehicle on the road would have better MPGs.” This is one of the most thought-provoking comments I’ve read lately. You may be right, you may be wrong, but it’s an interesting idea for sure.

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          Doesn’t the new Corolla offer generous rear leg room?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I don’t think it’s a conspiracy to get everyone to move to CUVs, because most of them (except the very biggest) don’t have much rear leg room either.

      I think it’s because in the US the rear seat is considered a place for kids, or for adults on occasional very short trips. In China the rear seat is a place for the car owner (if driven) or regular adults. US buyers have other priorities which are more important than a comfortable rear seat.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        What are these differing priorities, in your opinion?

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Opulent front-seat areas (demanded by buyers). Large trunks/cargo areas/beds (demanded by buyers). Better fuel economy (demanded by CAFE) for a given front-seat and trunk size.

          I bet that if you observe actual cars on U.S. roads you will see that 90%+ of persons in the back seat are kids. If that pattern changed, market demands here would change.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Yea I think you are on to something. Biggie is Americans just don’t have the money to hire chauffers. Plus in any case driving in the US is nowhere near as stressful as it is in China, so it’s not as “essential” a luxury. Plus cars are cheap here… why stuff an adult in the back seat when odds are high they can have their own?

            I will say this though… I am about average height (5′ 9″, 31″ inseam) and was comfy on short trips in everything from a 2nd gen IS to a last gen Impreza. Unless you are really tall, I don’t think there is really a back seat problem.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @dal20402

            Those are good points, when I see adult rear passengers they are frequently in Panthers, Accords, or older GM G-body FWD.

            @sportyaccordy

            “Plus in any case driving in the US is nowhere near as stressful as it is in China”

            I think that’s relative to a geographic area.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        I’ve rarely heard a car buyer place much of a premium on trunk space in a sedan. If you polled people and asked if they were willing to give up 3 inches of depth in their trunk in exchange for rear leg room, I would bet 9 out of 10 car buyers would choose the larger back seat.

        Also, here’s a newsflash. Kids like more rear legroom also. It just makes for a more comfortable trip when everyone is in the car together. Just because their knees don’t hit the seat in front of them hardly means it’s a comfortable experience.

        What’s puzzling is more rear seat room really is an easy thing to give to a customer at almost no cost.

        I do think in part it’s similar to the reason most car makers no longer make compact pickups, they want you to go up the food chain to their more profitable offerings. I also think CAFE created a lot of these distortions where Americans had to go to an SUV in order to get a roomy back seat.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          You’ve never talked to my grandparents. A large trunk is very “premium” to them. They have said “Look at that car – it’s so nice, look how big the trunk is!”

          And when my grandpa used to refer to his brothers old Cadillac DeVille (1998). “That thing would cruise on the highway at 100 all day long – so smooth! And it had a big trunk!”

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            The grandparents probably also put a premium on vinyl roofs and custom pin stripping. And don’t forget the full size spare. They’re cheatin’ you if they just give you one of those doughnut things.

            Most buyers though that aren’t in the process of getting their keys taken away from them would gladly swap a little space in the trunk for a bigger back seat.

            I think more families would drive sedans instead of SUVs, and that’s probably what the car makers want to avoid. A Chevy Malibu just doesn’t have the profit margin a Tahoe has.

            Before the era of the SUV, sedans by in large had a good amount of room in the rear.

          • 0 avatar
            MRF 95 T-Bird

            Reminds me of an old Seinfeld episode

            How would you feel if we sold the Cadillac? What? The Cadillac I bought for you? It’s too much car, Jerry.
            Oh, come on.
            You love that car.
            What about the Northstar system? I don’t think we even use it.
            Well, it’s a gift, and I want you to keep it.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            LOL I love that Seinfeld episode. Whenever they dealt with cars on there it always lead to brilliance. From using the Northstar system (technically not even correct, as they had a B-body Fleetwood), to the crazy Saab mechanic, smelly BMW, and crazy John Voigt.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Speaking for myself, being kidless, most cars have a good size trunk. What makes a bigger difference is the size/shape of the opening.

          In 06, I was looking at a Cobalt SS S/C. The car had a massive trunk for its size, but the opening was so tiny, I couldn’t get my camping cooler (and other useful, similarly sized items) in, though there was more than enough room in the trunk itself. I passed on the car.

    • 0 avatar
      usernamealreadyregistered

      “I’ve never understood why car makers are so stingy with rear leg room.”

      Nor I. Apparently there’s not much demand for sedans with spacious rear seats. When we were looking for a second car that could hold three kids who were all in car seats at the time, we didn’t find much beyond a used Toyota Avalon that was reasonably priced. The big luxury cars were out of our price range, and I didn’t care to have a Panther or a second minivan/SUV. I’d like to replace with with something that doesn’t scream “old man”, because I’m not, but I can’t bring myself to do it. Being able to cart the kids around in a comfortable second car saves a lot of wear on our new, expensive minivan.

  • avatar
    Strippo

    What about girth? It makes a difference.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Car makers won’t do anything about that. Extra width equals more weight, and even the narrow cars are porkers these days. Imagine what an 80 inch wide full sized car would weigh. The era of overstuffed sofas in the back is over.

      Just as buckets eliminated the six passenger car, narrower cars for weight savings have eliminated the five passenger car. And the fold down arm rest/cup holder in back has eliminated the third kid!

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    I think headroom is a much bigger problem than legroom. I don’t think many people think of an E46 as a spacious car, yet at 6′ I can easily sit behind myself without a legroom problem. Unfortuanately, I can feel my hair touching the roof, and it wouldn’t take a major bump to hit my head on it. For a more modern example, the Buick Regal has plenty of legroom, yet someone 6′ tall probably won’t be happy with the headroom.

    Anyway, I would rather have the trunk space. Adults can suck it up for a short trip, or even up to a couple hours. How often are adults in the back seat for longer? If they are, how often are they returning on the same day? If you are spending the night, what’s the point of fitting adults in the back seat if you can’t take their luggage too?

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      This. The mileage mandated boat tailed roofline profile precludes putting tall people in the back of a car no matter how much leg space there is. It doesn’t help that every other car now has a sunroof to steal another two inches off the top.

      I can see how we got here, I don’t buy a car to sit in the back and nobody else does either, but if the market is no longer concerned with a usable back seat then where did all the coupes go?

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    That photo looks so much like the Altima. I never saw it that way until now.


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