2014 INFINITI QX70 Review

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The Car Connection
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The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
August 18, 2014

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.

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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.
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2014 INFINITI QX70

Styling

The Infiniti QX70 is a rare, unanimous styling success in an awkward niche.

If you need a four-door family vehicle--something that will pass as family-practical--but crave something more visually interesting, the QX70 is a crossover that will fit that bill. It's curvaceous and bold, and evidence that a crossover wagon doesn't need to look like a utility vehicle.

The QX70 is downright voluptuous on the outside, with its coupe-like, curvy look, while it's warm and inviting inside, with materials that would also be at home in a high-end touring coupe.

Change is something this vehicle hasn't needed: its smooth take has stayed fresh, probably because its few rivals haven't succeeded in pulling off the same cross-over appeal. Only the Range Rover Evoque cuts the utility shape into such an interesting new pattern, and it's angular where the QX70 is bulbous, organic.

While the QX70 design goes back to the 2009 Infiniti FX, and it hasn't changed all that much since, it still looks contemporary and like nothing else. The front end was updated with a new grille and headlamps a couple of years ago, while Infiniti hasn't done anything to spoil the carefully sculpted exterior.

If there's one flaw with the design, it's that the exterior of the QX70 isn't quite as clean as the design as the sheetmetal deserves. Busy details clutter a few surfaces, especially in the distracting surfaces molded into the taillights and headlights, and the ducts cut into the front fenders.

Inside, the QX70 is warm and inviting, and with a beltline that runs around the cockpit layout, transitioning seamlessly into the door panels, there's not only a great, distinctive design theme, but such premium, top-lux details and materials--things like quilted leather and wood trims that aren't overly processed.

The rich, elegant look has only one inadequacy, and that's in the layout of the instrument panel; with the lack of an all-encompassing interface like iDrive or MMI, it's also undeniably more cluttered. Although depending on your feelings about such interfaces, that might be a plus.

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2014 INFINITI QX70

Performance

If you want the dynamic prowess of a sport sedan, with just a little bad-boy attitude, the 2014 Infiniti QX70 is the right pick among crossovers.

The Infiniti QX70 isn't just powerful and quick to take off from stoplights. It's 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.

The QX70 is one vehicle that's at its best in base form, in our opinion; adding all-wheel drive piles on a couple hundred pounds, and if it's all-weather traction you need, you're probably better off getting something a little less performance-oriented. Beware that the systems still have a rear bias, plus low-profile performance tires, so the FX isn't a great Snow Belt crossover. We've also noted that AWD models have a somewhat less communicative steering feel, and the QX70 5.0 AWD feels (and is) hundreds of pounds heavier.

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.

Throughout the model line, a seven-speed automatic shifts quickly and smoothly; there's also a sport mode and rev matching. Left in D, the QX70 doesn't go out of its way to snap off downshifts until you're more than a quarter-deep into the throttle--where it lets out a rasp and leaps forward with some mild shift shock.

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.

The QX70 also offers an adaptive set of shocks along with an active rear-steer system, which come with 21-inch wheels; these upgrades add cost and complexity, and don't necessarily net the major handling gains to justify either.

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2014 INFINITI QX70

Comfort & Quality

There's much to love about the snug-fitting front seats, but a tight back seat and shallow cargo capabilities may leave plenty to want.

The strong, sporting slant of the 2014 QX70 does great things for this vehicle's sense of style and for its handling, relative to other crossovers. But these attributes don't add up to a lot of usable space inside--or to the kind of quiet, comfortable interior that you can find in some other luxury crossovers.

The QX70 is a great place for long highway trips--provided you're in the front seat. If you're riding in back, you can't be too lanky as there simply isn't all that much legroom or headroom. The interior is sporty-car snug in places, though in front these models have firm, enveloping seats with a fair range of adjustability and with heating and cooling in most versions. They're great for a long day of driving, and the seating position itself is low enough to ease entry and exit.

In back, the QX70 is tough to get into, with the arch of the roofline getting in the way; and the most surprising find--in this vehicle with about the length and footprint of a mid-size sedan--is that leg room is so skimpy. Folding the seats forward yields more cargo space, but the bin's small to begin with, and the cargo floor is high. The standard power liftgate does soothe the sting of not being able to cart home half the big-box store. 

Delicate details are the surprise inside the QX70, akin to those used in luxury sedans, not utility-minded vehicles. The leather is soft and quilted with subtly colored stitching, and the assembly quality of almost every version we've driven has been excellent.

One thing inside the QX70 isn't quite up to luxury-vehicle standards, and that's cabin noise. You hear coarse road surfaces a bit too much, and V-8 models especially tend to have too much engine noise--in a muscle-car sense, almost--for most tastes. Ride quality varies depending on which model you choose. V-6 models are firm without being at all jarring, though opting for the 20-inch wheels over the standard 18-inchers can induce some real ride harshness. The QX70 can get very choppy on urban interstates, where pavement junctions don't always meet eye to eye.

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2014 INFINITI QX70

Safety

The AroundView monitor in the QX70 is great, although we wouldn't mind more crash-test data.

The 2014 Infiniti QX70 surely hasn't been tested yet by either of the U.S. safety agencies; but since it's essentially the same as last year's Infiniti FX, carried ahead with a new badge, we're applying that model's good results from one agency

Because the QX70 is a relatively low-volume model, it's likely that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) won't test this crossover. But the insurance industry-funded Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) did test the FX and found it "good" rating for front and rear impacts. It wasn't tested for side impacts or roof strength, however.

Bluetooth and a rearview camera system are standard on the QX70; and because of obscured visibility from the curvy sheetmetal it does especially need that camera. There's also Infiniti's AroundView camera system, which mounts fisheye lenses on the underside of its outside mirrors and on the nose and tail of the vehicle. The results are stitched together and displayed on the dash's LCD screen for a 360-degree scan of the surroundings. As a standard feature on the QX70 3.7 and optional on the QX70 5.0, this system is useful for parking in narrow garage and parking lot spaces.

Other safety options are bundled in packages. There's 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.

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2014 INFINITI QX70

Features

Quilted leather, wood trims, top-notch sound systems, and useful technology add up to a full-featured luxury vehicle.

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.

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Other standalone options on the QX70 include a rear entertainment system with dual headrest monitors, roof-rail crossbars, a cargo organizer, and a Tow Package.
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2014 INFINITI QX70

Fuel Economy

The 2014 QX70 has quite the thirst for premium fuel--whether you go by the EPA ratings or our experiences.

The 2014 Infiniti QX70 has a new name, and it's part of a new marketing strategy at Infiniti; but what it's missing is gas mileage that might help bring a new kind of buyer to the luxury brand. The performance-oriented QX70 has some of the lowest EPA mileage numbers in its class--and even considering its opulent interior, they might feel a little wasteful. 

With the base 3.7-liter V-6 in QX70 3.7 models, you'll have ratings of 17 miles per gallon city, 24 miles per gallon highway, or 19 mpg combined, with rear-wheel drive. Ratings drop to 16/22 with all-wheel drive.

Those numbers are in line with many seven-seat crossovers--yet the FX comfortably seats four.

Step up to the QX70 5.0 and its rorty V-8 and fuel economy plummets to 14 mpg city, 20 mpg highway, or 16 mpg combined. And all QX70 models require premium gas.

Our editors, based on many drives of the preceding (and nearly identical) FX model, have found real-world mileage to be in the low range of even those EPA ratings--mid to upper teens in mixed driving with the V-6 and low teens with the V-8.

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February 26, 2015
For 2014 INFINITI QX70

this is the real car that people can afford and enjoy to cruise around with it

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I like the Qx70 5.0 AWD V6,the fact that it allows the acceleration to 60mph in 70second range an the lane-adapture warning system an the adaptive suspension the bi-xenon headlamps also the navigation system
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Styling 8
Performance 8
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