- Frisky powertrains
- Saucy silhouette
- Great handling
- Too many buttons for some
- Back seat slights head, leg room
- Shallow on cargo space
The looks of a coupe, the performance of a sport sedan, and the cabin and features of a true luxury car are all here in the 2014 Infiniti QX70. Provided you don't expect a lot of outdoorsy ability, cargo space, or a roomy back seat, it'll leave you charmed.
The 2014 Infiniti QX70 is just one of the paradoxes in the luxury-crossover class. It's lumped in a vague segment along with vehicles like the Range Rover Evoque and Mercedes M-Class, but it's much more suavely curved and road-biased. We think of it more as a hatchback or a wagon with a performance bent--and in truth we still think of it as the old Infiniti FX, its name before it fell under Infiniti's new naming strategy.
The QX70 forgets about the rugged side of utes entirely, subbing in the dynamic prowess of a sport sedan with a rich luxury-car interior and unforgettable good looks. And it's unified in that mission from overall design and profile down to the fine details. At first glance, it's really the best example of its kind, the usually awkward marriage of a fast, sleek shape and a tall-wagon body. What doesn't work for the BMW X6 actually does here from a styling and design standpoint. The low roof and racy roofline are complemented with just the right amount of sheetmetal sculpting. About the only thing we don't like so much is that there are a few too many details thrown in to clutter what would otherwise be such a clean look. Inside, the same is true, with an overarching design that's warm and inviting, with rich finishes like available quilted leather and subdued wood trim--complemented by a few too many buttons and switches, perhaps.
This is one of the few crossovers that feels at home on a curvy mountain road; with underpinnings derived from Infiniti's sport sedan, it drives with a poise that's almost foreign to this kind of vehicle. You don't need the V-8 if you want a vehicle with a lot of get-up-and-go. In '3.7' models, the 3.7-liter, 328-hp V-6 is shared with other Infinitis; and while it's not quite as smooth as the V-6 engines found in some other crossovers, it allows acceleration to 60 mph in the low 7.0-second range. So-called 5.0 models add Infiniti's 390-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 and standard all-wheel drive. Those models have a different feel--quite a bit heavier yet, but fast in a blistering, muscle-car sense. They're more than a second faster to 60 mph, plus plenty of bad-boy attitude here, but this engine's appetite for premium fuel and the more cumbersome feel overall point back to the V-6 models.
Despite the chunky curb weight (4,200 pounds minimum), the QX70 handles as if it's considerably lighter, and they have a sense of poise and balance on a curvy road that's better than most other SUVs and crossovers.
Inside, the QX70 is delightful—provided you're in the front seats. Like many sports cars and sport sedans, the FX seems to give those in front good comfort and enveloping support while neglecting backseat passengers. It's surprisingly cramped back there. Cargo space also suffers because of the curvy design and high cargo floor. You do get a little too much noise in the cabin from V-8 models, as well as some road noise; and QX70 can get very choppy on urban interstates.
All the standard safety features that you might expect here come standard in the QX70, and as with most luxury vehicles in this price territory, a number of (expensive) high-tech active-safety options might help you avoid an accident in the first place. Lane Departure Prevention follows lane markings on the road, notifies the driver, and can even apply the brakes lightly, while an advanced cruise control system can bring the FX to a complete stop if traffic slows. A surround-view camera system is one of Infiniti's most useful new tech pieces, with its 360-degree view of the parking space around you
Prices have risen very modestly going from the Infiniti FX to the 2014 Infiniti QX70. The QX70 comes in three different models—QX70 3.7, QX70 3.7 AWD, and QX70 5.0 AWD. QX70 models top $60,000, but they include the contents of the Premium, Deluxe Touring, and Technology packages. Big-ticket tech options include a lane-departure warning system, an adaptive suspension, adaptive bi-xenon headlamps, and a navigation system with an especially good display and interface.One sore point throughout the QX70 lineup remains its thirst for premium fuel. While the QX70 3.7 is reasonable, at up to 17/24 mpg, you might try to forget the V-8's 14/20-mpg ratings.