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Car group tests

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. 

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Best executive cars

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?

Infiniti Q70 review

Audi A6 review

Click the links above for full individual reviews, and scroll down to see which executive car comes out on top in this test...

Head-to-head

Passenger space

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.

Optional extras

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).

Sporty changes

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.

Verdict

1st place: Audi A6 

Audi A6 - front tracking

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.

Key specs:

 Audi A6 2.0 TDI Ultra S tronic S lineInfiniti 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%
Depreciation£19,728£23,073
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/cost33/£406/B/£2036/£447/D/£110
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service£17p/m (3yrs)Free (3yrs)
   
Length/wheelbase4,933/2,912mm4,980/2,900mm
Height/width1,455/1,874mm1,493/1,845mm
Engine4cyl in-line/1,968cc4cyl in-line/2,143cc
Peak power/revs190/3,800 bhp/rpm168/3,200 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs400/1,750 Nm/rpm400/1,600 Nm/rpm
Transmission7-spd auto/fwd7-spd auto/rwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel73 litres/space saver74 litres/space saver
Boot capacity (seats up/down)530 litres450 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight1,660/580/2,000kg1,910/495/1,500kg
Turning circle11.9 metres11.2 metres
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (60,000)/3yrs3yrs (60,000)/3yrs
Service intervals/UK dealersVariable/12115,000 miles (1yr)/10
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.12th/26thN/A
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars91/83/41/5 (2011)N/A
   
0-60/30-70mph7.9/7.2 secs8.4/8.8 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th2.8/3.7 secs3.7/5.7 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th5.6/9.5 secs/N/A7.3/9.6/14.5 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph144mph/1,400rpm137mph/2,000rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph53.8/39.7/10.2m46.7/33.9/8.9m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph68/43/54/61dB70/48/46/64dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range44.7/9.8/718 miles41.1/9.0/669 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined60.1/72.4/67.3mpg47.9/64.2/57.6mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined13.2/15.9/14.8mpl10.5/14.1/12.7mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket169/110g/km/18%184/129g/km/21%
   
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/cameraSix/yes/yes/£810Six/yes/yes/yes
Adaptive cruise/stability ctrl/sunroof£3,500/yes/£990Yes/yes/£950
Climate control/leather/climate seatsYes/yes/noYes/yes/yes
Met paint/LED headlights/keyless go£655/yes/yes£680/yes/yes
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/BluetoothYes/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/no/yes
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