2017 INFINITI QX70 Review

Consumer Reviews
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2018
The Car Connection
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz
June 15, 2017

It's starting to look and feel dated, but the QX70 provides a healthy dose of thrills and, surprisingly, value.

Formerly called the FX, the 2017 Infiniti QX70 makes some deliberate sacrifices for style and performance to be one of the most driver-focused crossovers available. It's certainly dated up against fresher rivals, but the QX70 focuses instead on delivering excellent driving dynamics in a way matched by few other vehicles of its ilk.

If it is practicality or rugged off road ability you're after, the QX70 is, frankly, a poor choice. But if you want to carve corners and sit up higher while still having a little more trunk space than in a typical sedan, the QX70 delivers brilliantly on its mission.

We give it a rating of 6.8, largely based on its style and its snappy handling. It loses some ground for its lousy fuel economy, and it can get expensive with options. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

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Infiniti QX70 styling and performance

From its racy roof line to its svelte sheet metal, the QX70 gives off the appearance of having been beautifully crafted both inside and out. It may be the oldest design in Infiniti's lineup, dating back to the 2009 model year, but the QX70 still manages to look relatively fresh inside and out. That may be in part because its low sales volume makes it such a rare sight, but we still think there's much to like with this hunchbacked tall wagon.

A modestly updated grille and a pair of new paint colors highlight the QX70's design changes for 2017, but its overall look remains closely related to the original Infiniti FX that surprised the auto industry all the way back in 2002. 

Though its interior is heavy on buttons, it is dramatically styled and features a mix of leather, piano black lacquer, and wood trims that feel old-world—in a positive, classic sort of way. The QX70 doesn't use Infiniti's latest infotainment or dashboard layout, but it is conveniently arrayed and its dual cowl-style dashboard has aged very well. 

With its platform derived from the since-replaced G37 sport sedan, a model lauded for its excellent ride and handling, this is one of few crossovers to feel genuinely at home on a curvy mountain road. It drives with a kind of poise that is almost foreign to this kind of vehicle. The QX70's curb weight checks in at a chunky 4,200 pounds, but the QX70 goes about its business as if it's considerably lighter and better balanced. The trade-off is that even with the base 18-inch alloy wheels, this Infiniti rides stiffly. Opt for the available 20 and 21-inch wheels and its ride quality can become downright choppy. 

Though the QX70 once offered a V-8 engine, its lineup has been pared to only a 3.7-liter, 325-horsepower 3.7 V-6 that Infiniti has been phasing out of its other models. The 3.7 isn't as smooth as Infiniti's newer V-6, but it is torquey and matches well to the standard 7-speed automatic transmission. That gearbox includes a sport mode and rev-matching, further hinting at the QX70's performance prowess. 

Rear-wheel drive is standard, but the QX70 offers all-wheel drive for those looking for wet weather traction. 

Infiniti QX70 comfort, safety, and features

Inside, the QX70 is delightful—if you're sitting in the front seats. Like many sports cars and sport sedans, the QX70 delivers good comfort and enveloping support for the driver and passenger, while neglecting rear seat passengers. Cargo space suffers because of the curvy design, high cargo floor, and sloping roof line. For what should be an active lifestyle vehicle, the QX70 isn't really meant to haul a couple of bikes to the trail in its cargo area. 

Even the base QX70 comes well-equipped, as it should for around $47,000. Options are divided into packages, and most QX70s will be equipped with the Premium Package that adds navigation, an surround-view camera system that provides a 360-degree view, and a few other items. From there, buyers can pick between Sport and Limited packages that deliver either a more aggressive or a more premium look inside and out. 

On the safety front, QX70's Technology Package adds adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning—but it requires adding the Premium and either the Sport or Limited packages, which pushes the QX70 to over $58,000.

With rear-wheel drive, the QX70 is rated by the EPA at 17 mpg city, 24 highway, 19 combined. Opt for all-wheel drive and those figures drop to 16/22/18 mpg. 

8

2017 INFINITI QX70

Styling

The QX70 is a rare sight, which makes this muscular crossover all the more interesting to us.

With wagons but a mere blip in the market these days, the QX70 is about as close as an enthusiast can get to a thoroughbred hauler. 

More cohesive than the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and BMW X6 that simply look like their more pedestrian counterparts with their roofs lopped off, the QX70 is a well thought out design that has, admittedly, stayed true to its original design language for a decade and a half. That's enough to earn this stylish Infiniti with 8 points. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Change is something the QX70 hasn't really needed. Its shape has stayed fairly fresh, probably because its few rivals haven't pulled off the same sinewy, muscular appeal. Only the Jaguar F-Type seems to have nailed the bursting-at-the-seams styling, but it's a more conventional crossover aimed at a different buyer. 

For 2017, the QX70 gets a new grille. We like the tall sidewall look of the base 18-inch wheels, but the optional Sport and Limited packages include different 21-inchers.

Inside, the QX70 is warm and inviting and is outfitted with luxurious quilted leather and a choice of wood or lacquer black trims. The new Limited package includes open pore wood with real flecks of aluminum embedded in it for an especially rich look. 

Where the QX70 seems a little less elegant is in its instrument panel. It's more cluttered and button-heavy than newer rivals, although there's something to be said about not having to dig through menus to, say, turn on the heated seats. 

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2017 INFINITI QX70

Performance

Go for the optional 21-inch wheels and the QX70 rides stiffly, but it handles like it's on rails.

We loved the Infiniti G37 sedan, which became a handling benchmark in the compact sedan segment. Well, the QX70 is essentially a G37 with a taller body, and that works remarkably well. 

Sports cars ride stiffly, however, and if it's a plush crossover ride you're after, the QX70 comes up very short. It's because this crossover is almost too focused that we rate the QX70 a 7 out of 10 for performance, dinging it for its firm ride quality even with its base wheel and tire setup. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Not only does the QX70 accelerate briskly, but it also happens to be one the best-handling crossovers on the market. Poised and confident, it relishes aggressive driving.

The QX70 is arguably best in its base form, at least if you live where the weather is sunny and warm most of the year. Adding all-wheel drive piles on a couple hundred pounds of heft that diminishes its light-on-its-feet feel. Even then, the QX70 rides on performance all seasons tires and would benefit from winter rubber for when the snow falls. 

The 325-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 provides strong acceleration from any speed and matches will to the 7-speed automatic that shifts quickly and smoothly. There's also a Sport mode and rev matching, as well as paddle shifters that are made from solid magnesium on the Sport model.

Ride quality varies depending on which wheels you choose. The standard 18-inch wheels provide an experience that is firm without being overly jarring. Opting for the 21-inch wheels included with the Sport and Limited packages can induce some real harshness. The QX70 can feel very choppy on urban interstates, where this sporty crossover and pavement junctions don't always meet eye to eye. 

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2017 INFINITI QX70

Comfort & Quality

Rich inside and out, the QX70 is let down by its limited cargo and rear passenger space.

The QX70 fits four adults snugly, but still feels as personalized as a mass-produced crossover can. 

It doesn't allow for a whole lot of flexibility or cargo space, though. That knocks this cramped crossover down to a 6 for comfort and quality. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The QX70 makes a great place for long highway trips—especially those on a curvy road—provided you're in the front seat. If you're in back, you'll run out of head and leg room if you're taller than 5-foot-7. And let's just hope that you've packed light, since the cargo area will barely swallow a couple of roll-on suitcases.

The interior is sporty-car snug in places, and, predictably, the front row has firm, enveloping seats that offer a fair range of adjustability with available heating and ventilation. They're great for a long day of driving, and the lower-than-typical seating position strikes a nice balance between ease of entrance and visibility.

Getting into the back seat requires dipping your head due to the arching roofline. While the QX70 has a mid-size sedan foot print, rear leg room is skimpy. Folding the seats forward yields more cargo space—and the power liftgate is convenient.

Where the QX70 really scores is in its detailing, which stands in marked contrast to the more utilitarian feel of its family-oriented rivals. The QX70's leather is soft and quilted with subtly colored stitching, and the assembly quality of every model we've driven has been well above average. Infiniti hasn't just picked average wood-looking trim, either; its open pore trim features unique flakes of aluminum embedded in it for an especially rich look.

Cabin noise, however, isn't quite up to luxury standards. You'll hear coarse road rumbling and the engine's growl never really goes away. 

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2017 INFINITI QX70

Safety

Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has subjected the QX70 to all of their crash tests.

The low-volume QX70 hasn't been put through all of the IIHS' and the NHTSA's crash tests, but the handful of assessments that have been made are positive. 

It's because of that lack of data that we can't give the QX70 a score in this category. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The IIHS evaluated the QX70 and gave the crossover its top "Good" rating for moderate front overlap and rear impacts. The QX70 hasn't been subjected to the small front overlap, side impact, or roof strength tests, but it does get an "Advanced" rating for its automatic emergency braking.

Yet getting to that automatic emergency braking means you'll need to break—pun intended—out your check book. Infiniti bundles its adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic windshield wipers, blind spot monitor, and adaptive front lights with automatic emergency braking in a $3,350 Technology Package.

That would be fine if it was available on its own, but you must first select the Premium Package and then pick between either the Sport or Limited packages to order up the safety tech. All told, you're going to spend at least an extra $11,200 to order what we consider to be valuable safety tech. 

On the other hand, a rearview camera comes standard and Infiniti's surround-view camera system that provides a 360-degree scan of the vehicle's surroundings is part of the more reasonably-priced Premium Package. And that extra camera is especially useful since the QX70's wide pillars reduce over-the-shoulder visibility. 

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2017 INFINITI QX70

Features

QX70s are well-equipped and offer two decadent packages, but safety tech requires going for a fully loaded one.

Once you've picked between rear-or all-wheel drive, you'll start with what's already a pretty well-equipped sporty crossover with the QX70.

There's not a lot of personalization available, and the QX70 is a little light on especially high-tech features, but it significantly undercuts its BMW and Mercedes competitors regardless of how you pile on the options. Because of that relatively strong overall value, the QX70 merits an 8 for features. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The standard QX70 includes 18-inch wheels, automatic HID headlamps, a power liftgate, leather seats, automatic dual-zone climate control, a proximity key, and an 11-speaker Bose audio system with an integrated USB port.

From there, the Premium Package builds in navigation, Bluetooth streaming audio (an odd absence from the base car's packaging), a surround-view camera system, memory for the driver's seat, and front and rear park assist. Somewhat addressing the QX70's storage issues, the Premium Package includes aluminum roof rails—on which an aftermarket or dealer accessory roof rack can be installed for bikes, skis, kayaks, and whatever else your active lifestyle might want to throw on it. 

That'll be enough for many buyers, but those wanting more style can go in two directions: Sport or the new-for-2017 Limited.

For $3,550, Sport delivers 21-inch wheels, air conditioned front seats, a black headliner, contrasting stitching, power-adjustable bolsters for the driver's seat, and gorgeous magnesium paddle shifters.

The Limited Package, which can't be combined with Sport, runs $5,000 and includes its own 21-inch wheels, air conditioned seats, open pore wood trim, a dark headliner, and a host of styling bits inside and out that make the QX70 look even more unique than it already does. 

The Technology Package requires either the Sport or Limited packs and it includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with active lane control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, front pre-crash seat belts, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and the adaptive headlights with automatic leveling.

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2017 INFINITI QX70

Fuel Economy

You're not going to pass a lot of gas stations in the QX70.

The QX70 delivers old-school thrills and, as a result, it isn't exactly a fuel miser. 

At under 20 mpg combined for either rear- or all-wheel drive, the QX70 scores a 5 for its greenness. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

With rear-wheel drive, the EPA rates the QX70 at 17 mpg city, 24 highway, 19 combined. Opt for all-wheel drive and you will see those figures decline to 16/22/18 mpg. The BMW X6, on the other hand, is rated as high as 21 mpg combined. 

To add insult to injury, all QX70 models require premium unleaded gas.

Infiniti's new twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 would be a great fit for the QX70 by giving it more power and reducing its fuel consumption—let's just hope that the next-generation model moves in that direction. 

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6.8
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 8
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 6
Safety N/A
Features 8
Fuel Economy 5
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