Infiniti Q70 vs Audi A6
We see if new diesel can make Infiniti Q70 a contender as it meets the Audi A6
Since arriving in the UK in 2009, Infiniti has struggled to make an impact in the new car market. While rival Lexus goes from strength to strength, a small dealer network and narrow model range have limited the appeal of Nissan’s luxury division.
However, that’s not stopping Infiniti, as it’s now introduced a new engine and updated pricing for its Q70 executive saloon. There’s a new 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel in the line-up, which Infiniti hopes will make the car more attractive to executive buyers, and a revised range is designed to offer better value for money.
So where does the Q70 now stand in the executive saloon hierarchy? To find out, we’ve lined up a class leader in the form of the Audi A6. It too was subject to an update last year, and the introduction of the 2.0 TDI Ultra diesel has given it cleaner emissions and greater efficiency than ever.
Does the Infiniti have the firepower to challenge the Audi? Or is it a stretch too far for the newcomer?
Click the links above for full individual reviews, and scroll down to see which executive car comes out on top in this test...
Getting in and out of the Infiniti is slightly trickier thanks to its shorter back doors. While space in the back is reasonable when compared to the Audi, the A6 feels roomier thanks to its larger glass area and features two-zone climate control in the back as standard. Our Audi’s light grey leather seat upholstery can be substituted for black leather at no extra cost.
The only extras available on the Q70 Sport Tech are metallic paint (£680) and a sunroof (£950). Audi offers a long list of extras, including metallic paint (£655), wheels (£630-£2,500), a front and rear TV package (£3,645), vented massage seats (£1,600), night vision (£1,750) and a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system (£6,300).
While the top-spec Q70 is now called Sport, it still carries a red S logo on the bootlid. The only other differences between Sport and Premium models are new bumpers and 20-inch wheels. Setting the A6 S line apart from the SE model is a sporty bodykit and 18-inch wheels, plus LED headlights as standard.
1st place: Audi A6
Finding a winner in this test was easy, as the A6 saloon ran rings around the Q70. The Audi is more efficient, faster, better built and more comfortable. Sure, the ride is on the firm side, but the payoff is a more enjoyable driving experience, and standard suspension is a no-cost option anyway. Standard kit isn’t on the Infiniti’s level, but the only glaring omission is adaptive cruise, and there’s no way you’d feel short changed.
2nd place: Infiniti Q70
Adding a 2.2-litre diesel hasn’t been the leap forward the Q70 needed: while economy is better than in the old V6 diesel, in every other way it feels like a step backwards. The engine is rough and it’s not particularly quick, while the sluggish gearbox, ponderous, wallowy chassis and slightly intrusive driving aids let the car down. The only highlight is the smooth and progressive adaptive cruise control.
|Audi A6 2.0 TDI Ultra S tronic S line||Infiniti Q70 2.2d Sport Tech|
|On the road price/total as tested||£35,935/£39,650||£38,200/£39,830|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)||£16,207/45.1%||£15,127/39.6%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£1,292/£2,583||£1,602/£3,204|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£1,384/£2,307||£1,505/£2,509|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||33/£406/B/£20||36/£447/D/£110|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£17p/m (3yrs)||Free (3yrs)|
|Engine||4cyl in-line/1,968cc||4cyl in-line/2,143cc|
|Peak power/revs||190/3,800 bhp/rpm||168/3,200 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque/revs||400/1,750 Nm/rpm||400/1,600 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||7-spd auto/fwd||7-spd auto/rwd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||73 litres/space saver||74 litres/space saver|
|Boot capacity (seats up/down)||530 litres||450 litres|
|Turning circle||11.9 metres||11.2 metres|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||Variable/121||15,000 miles (1yr)/10|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||12th/26th||N/A|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||91/83/41/5 (2011)||N/A|
|0-60/30-70mph||7.9/7.2 secs||8.4/8.8 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||2.8/3.7 secs||3.7/5.7 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th||5.6/9.5 secs/N/A||7.3/9.6/14.5 secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||144mph/1,400rpm||137mph/2,000rpm|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||44.7/9.8/718 miles||41.1/9.0/669 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||169/110g/km/18%||184/129g/km/21%|
|Adaptive cruise/stability ctrl/sunroof||£3,500/yes/£990||Yes/yes/£950|
|Climate control/leather/climate seats||Yes/yes/no||Yes/yes/yes|
|Met paint/LED headlights/keyless go||£655/yes/yes||£680/yes/yes|