By on May 16, 2015

2015 Infiniti Q70L

With its highest monthly U.S. sales total in more than three years, Infiniti’s flagship Q70 sedan produced a 68% year-over-year increase in March 2015. That performance was followed up in April by a 115% YOY improvement for the Q70, formerly known as the M.

Yet even with particularly outstanding numbers relative to the model’s recent history, the 5-Series rival from Japan’s lowest-volume premium brand continues to be largely forgotten. Or worse, ignored.

Q70 volume has accelerated rapidly over the last seven months. Granted, it’s more common to see startling year-over-year growth from automobiles which have previously reported disastrous lows. Nevertheless, the Q70’s fourth-quarter 50% increase in 2014 preceded a 63% improvement through the first four months of 2015.

As a result of the Q70’s noteworthy improvement, the Q50’s 7% year-to-date improvement, and the Q40’s 8% uptick, Infiniti passenger car sales are up 8% in the United States in 2015. Overall, the U.S. auto industry car volume is flat.

Infiniti Q70 sales chart TTAC

Placing the Q70’s recent sales performance in context involves two different factors: its own history, and the condition of more significant players in its sector.

First, the history. In 2010’s first four months, Infiniti sold 4341 M sedans. That figure fell 6% to 4101 during the same period one year later. Then 2012’s first one-third of M sales slid 20% to 3260. A 40% plunge to 1956 units in the first four months of 2013 before a levelling off (down 0.4%) one year later set the stage for a massive uprising in the first four months of 2015. Yet in comparison with that 2010 achievement, Q70 sales are down 27% this year.

And what of the Q70’s upper-tier segment leaders? Mercedes-Benz’s expansive E-Class range is trending the opposite direction. E-Class sales have fallen 33% in early 2015, but at 14,700 units, it’s still a popular car. (E-Class volume has declined in nine consecutive months.) The BMW 5-Series, on the other hand, is up 10% to a best-in-class 16,359 units. Lexus’s GS is up 11% to 7615 units, more than double the Q70’s 3180-unit, four-month achievement. The Audi A6 and Cadillac CTS have also doubled up on the Q70 despite posting declines of 8% and 42%, respectively.

2015 Infiniti Q70L

Regardless of its more popular history or its more popular alternatives, to what do we credit the Q70’s recent increases? Length.

Infiniti asks for only $1500 more to step out of a Q70 and into a Q70L. The proportions are still handsome; the rear seat is terrific.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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43 Comments on “Still Largely Ignored, Infiniti Q70 Is On The Upswing Thanks To Length...”


  • avatar
    jmo

    I’m thinking it’s more the girth.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Will this be a Dongfeng offering too or doesn’t that JV get the latest Nissan stuff?

  • avatar
    runs_on_h8raide

    “Still Largely Ignored, Infiniti Q70 Is On The Upswing Thanks To Length”

    “Regardless of its more popular history or its more popular alternatives, to what do we credit the Q70’s recent increases? Length.”

    Incoming phallic jokes in 5…4…3…2…1…

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I have no doubt it’s an excellent car. Roomy, reliable, powerful, comfortable, high quality, etc. The price is even pretty good. Problem is it’s just too far off the radar for most people. For every one of these I see on the street, I probably see 30 Mercedes E-Classes, A6s, or BMW 5-Series.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Still a miserable roofline in the rear. Even the Tots for Shots demi-model guy has to slouch to avoid moussing up the liner. Don’t manufacturers get that mainland Chinese are big people nowadays?

  • avatar
    twotone

    Looks like a decent car, but I’d go with the 2015 Hyundai Genisis. 5.0l normally aspirated V8, 420HP, RWD, panorama roof. Nice quiet ride for around $45k.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    I think you are right. The Q50, on the other hand, is handsome, and I see more and more of them, though they too are understated. They look good in silver.

    Is there any manual anywhere in the new lineup?

  • avatar

    The Genesis AWD V6 is a far more feature-rich car and a better deal – even fully loaded.

    I’d take the Genesis over anything from Acura or Infiniti.

    • 0 avatar
      Spartan

      Feature rich compared to the Q70? You may want to re-check that. The Q70 may be old, but it has a hell of a better interior than the Genesis and just as many features.

    • 0 avatar

      BTSR – I have to run my clients around in something that they can feel pampered in, and when comes to leasing I would take the Infinity over the Genesis in a heartbeat. Far better quality interior, which does not make up for the KIA/HYUNDIA usual plethoria of bells and whistles. Unfortunately for infinity, it does not have the cache of a Mercedes or BMW. I know Mercedes are doing better with the younger audience, but a BMW would be my preferred choice if my clients average age was under 40. However when it comes to this size car I find my clients average age closer to 50 and for some reason they like the Mercedes. That little thing at the end of the hood makes all the difference

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        @theswedishtiger

        There is now way you could have ever stepped foot in the new Genesis and have made that ridiculous comment about the interior. While both cars have excellent interiors, I would argue that the new Genesis’s interior is better and would argue that it is much better in the rear compared to an E-Class or 5 series. There is no damn way any of your clients would ever ride around in the back of the new Genesis and complain, no way. Great leather, huge legroom, large, firm supportive seats, rear window shades, heated seats, even a nice large armrest, please please tell me what on earth they would be unsatisfied with?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      V6 AWD?

      Does it have a place to stow your man-purse and grooming kit too? Looks like Big Truck is going soft.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Agreed, Genesis, Charger, and 300C are all.better values. I still can’t understand the love of any Infiniti.

  • avatar
    jmo

    I wonder if a lot of these are being sold to Uber drivers? Or just livery drivers in general?

  • avatar
    jhwool

    The long wheelbase does look better. No one has mentioned that Infiniti is throwing in the Premiium Package at no charge. This gives the car an almost $3000 discount.

  • avatar
    Joss

    +1
    Not an iconic brand.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    It’s a pretty simple formula. People want more rear leg room in larger sedans, and usually the only way people can get it is with a flagship luxury sedan near six figures. So then people feel they have to buy an SUV instead to have rear passenger comfort.

    Adding a few inches in rear leg room is about the easiest engineering “challenge” I can think of, my guess is many brands are purposely stingy in that department hoping a consumer goes up the food chain and buys pricier offerings.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Huh? I’m in a Suburban, Tahoe, MDX, Q7 Uber all the time and they have very limited rear leg room. I think it must be the need
      to cram in the third row. Rather than have extra rear seat room every SUV makes seems to opt for the 3rd row.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      The benefit to an SUV is the headroom. Decently packaged mid-size cars have enough leg room, but some come up short in head room. What’s the point in having 38″ of legroom if anyone over 5’9″ has to slouch or tilt their head to the side?

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Shouldn’t be surprising that adding the Q70L has increased sales, esp. as Infiniti is asking a relatively modest amount for the increase in space.

      The tight interior room (relative to the competition) has been the biggest obstacle to Cadillac ATS and CTS sales (XTS sales, meanwhile have been trending positive).

  • avatar

    Never heard about this car and will probably forget after few days. But still as ugly as any other Nissan. Sales rise most likely because of huge discounts like with other Nissans. I would prefer Hyundai, it looks more like luxury car than Nissan.

  • avatar
    Signal11

    Wait, what?

    Can Tim back up his assertion that the Q70L is driving Q70 sales increases in any way? Because I don’t see any facts or figures to support this assumption whatsoever. What’s the take rate on the L?

  • avatar
    kanu

    Rear legroom is all about gaining advantage in the China market. Nobody in China buys an upscale car with the intention of driving it themselves.

    The China auto market is growing much faster than the US, so that’s where product planners focus their attention. Americans get to choose from whatever automakers think will sell in China. Get used to it.

    Consider for example the current Lexus ES. It’s four inches longer than the previous model, and all of that extra length went into the back seat. Meanwhile, the rest of the car has been noticeably de-contented.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    As a Lexus driver and slight fanboy. I always look at Infinitis and think, “That person could have had a Lexus, how sad.” Just kidding, they’re great cars, I’ll be getting a G37X for winter this year.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      Funny as an Infiniti fanboy I used to say the same about Lexus owner including my wife. I have never owened an Infiniti of any kind though. My dream is a 90 Q45, 96 Q45 and an FX with the V8.

  • avatar
    jayzwhiterabbit

    I really like the car and the styling, which looks less contrived than the current Lexus models. Not to mention that the front fascia of current Toyota and Lexus sedans is rather unfortunate looking. A Lexus, to me, just has that Toyota genericness about it. And I think the interior of the Q70 is richer-looking and sportier than that of the Lexus ES. Don’t get me wrong – I think Lexus cars are of the highest quality and generally will run forever without too much maintenance, Probably not something that can be said with quite the same emphasis regarding Infiniti vehicles.

    Also, I worked at a luxury car dealership for several years, and I prefer the “feel” of Infiniti powertrains – again, just personal preference. I just prefer Infinites a little more than Lexus, but not by a whole lot. Also attracted to the underdog position of Infiniti – especially because if you purchase a Q70, you’re not going to see one or two at every stoplight like the Lexus ES.

  • avatar
    blueflame6

    I’m more-or-less a car person but if you had asked me “Does Infiniti make a car called Q70?” I would have had no clue whatsoever, never mind that it has an extended wheelbase option. Congrats, Infiniti, you’ve emphasized the company name over product so successfully I have no idea what you make anymore. I hope that’s what you were going for.

  • avatar
    cbrworm

    I would love to get an M56s – er Q70s V8.

    I have been enthralled by them since they were introduced. My only issue is that the interior is too…something. I test drove a couple when they were still called the M56s and liked everything about it except that I thought I would be embarrassed to drive people around in it. It seems too “in your face” interior wise. On the flip side, I have no issue driving people around in a 5 series or E class. What I want is the performance of an M5 that is reliable and well built and looks like a normal sedan.

    For a long time I was torn between getting a new FX50S or M56S, but neither of them really fit my personality and they both seem a little too expensive for what I want.

    I prefer the older Infiniti FX/M interior overall, even though the center stack and orange gauges were dated when I bought mine almost 10 years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “For a long time I was torn between getting a new FX50S or M56S, but neither of them really fit my personality and they both seem a little too expensive for what I want.”

      Not really that torn then, were ya.

      The orange gauges were only available in 06 and 07. Every year after that had a revised interior and new gauges.

      • 0 avatar
        cbrworm

        I have two ’06 infiniti’s w/ orange gauges. There are very few nits I have to pick with these cars, gauge color is one of them. On the FX, the primarily orange display remained until at least ’10

        As far as cars I am interested in, those two are at the top of my list. They just aren’t close enough for me to spend the money. I look at them, drive them, then look at a 1 year old 5 series, or X5 (which both seem better in most ways aside from potential reliability (but my wife’s has been almost fine for 80K miles)), and decide that I really like driving the Cayenne better but it is out of my price range and not reliable. Rinse, repeat. Now that they have dropped the V8 from the FX, I have pretty much scratched it off my list, but I still lust after a new Q70s V8 or the last year of the QX(whatever the FX is)S that had the V8.

        And in the back of my mind I think that maybe my 9 year old infinitis that I have put over 280K on combined might just be more reliable than a new car that I won’t like as much.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Yeah here’s an 09 FX.

          http://www.moibibiki.com/gallery/model-338/infiniti-fx45-interior-3.jpg.html

          That looks VERY outdated. I didn’t like how they put the basic Nissan steering wheel in there either.

          Do you pick a nit about the fuel economy with the 3.5? I kinda do.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    The car lacks presence. Who wants to pay top-of-the-range money for something that looks like an i30? Adding length makes it look more expensive, which helps.

    “One sausage, different lengths” works only if you have a great-looking sausage. The old i/G/M division made more sense.

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