Time has been harsher on the cabin of the Q70 than it has been on its swooping exterior, and the best mid-sized executive saloons now set the bar high for interior quality.
Six years ago, Infiniti might have just got away with the use of words like ‘meticulous’, ‘inviting’ and ‘intuitive’ in its description of the M30d’s various appointments and systems.
But the current versions of the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Lexus GS have made the market accustomed to higher standards of perceived quality, apparent technological sophistication and systems usability.
Even so, the Q70 remains a spacious saloon for both driver and passengers, with some pleasingly rich and attractive features. The driver’s seat is comfortable and the primary controls well located. Although they’re busy with switchgear, the high centre console and raised ‘waterfall’ centre stack seem to stretch out towards you to put the multimedia and air conditioning controls within easy reach.
Despite the Q70's cabin feeling a bit low rent compared with its German rivals, you still get plenty of equipment with four trim levels to choose from - Premium, Premium Tech, Sport and Sport Tech. Entry-level models get 18in alloy wheels, LED headlights, keyless entry and start, and sat nav as standard, while the Premium Tech models gain Infiniti's Dynamic Shield protection technology, a 360-degree camera, semi-aniline leather upholstery and a Bose sound system.
The Sport trim adds an aggressive bodykit, electrically adjustable sports seats, magnesium paddle shifters and 20in alloy wheels, while the range-topping Sport Tech models come with a 360-degree camera, a 16-speaker Bose stereo, built-in air freshener and Infiniti's Connectivi+ infotainment system complete with a 30GB hard drive and high resolution screen.
Although the glossy, faux-looking wood veneers of our Premium Tech test car didn’t meet with the universal approval of our testers, the use of satin chrome around the centre console and door handles did attract consistent praise – as did the tactility of the Q70’s leathers. But there’s no mistaking how dated key parts of this interior appear. The instruments, trip computer and multimedia system in particular cry out for renewal.
Even larger adults are given plenty of room in the back seats of the Q70, where there is generous head room and more knee room than in a 5 Series or an A6. But there’s a large and unpalatable compromise to be paid farther back, with a smaller boot than that provided by any of the Q70’s competitors.
What boot space there is suffers from considerable suspension and wheel arch intrusion and, worse still, there’s no option to flop the rear seatbacks down to accommodate longer loads.
The upshot is that the Q70 would be a much less usable saloon than its competition – less usable, even, than many saloons from a couple of classes further down the market segmentation pecking order.