Our first experience with Infiniti’s new naming scheme
ts huge fuel tank, its comfortable quilted leather seats (heated and cooled up front!), and its Bose 11-speaker sound system make it virtually unbeatable for road trips.
I’ll start with full disclosure, although it won’t come as a surprise to any of our regular readers. I’m an unmarried bachelor in my mid-twenties; I tend to prefer sporty cars with gobs of power. Other than my stint of daily driving a Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI for just over a year, I am not an SUV guy in the slightest. I see the appeal in crossovers, but for personal use, I’d prefer a station wagon every day of the week. Despite all of this, there are a few sport-utilities that do tickle my fancy. For instance, I absolutely adore the Range Rover, the Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen, and of course, the legendary Toyota Land Cruiser. Even still, when I was offered the 2014 Infiniti QX70 for a week, I couldn’t turn it down.
Ever since its introduction for the 2003 model year, the Infiniti FX has been one of the raciest-looking crossovers on sale. It’s gorgeous to look at, pleasant to drive, and makes some brilliant engine noises. It was always the big-boy version of the Infiniti G35/G37, which I truly adore. For 2014, Infiniti has implemented a lineup-wide name change. Their sedans are now all given an alphanumeric designation starting with “Q”, while all their crossovers and SUVs start with “QX”. This vehicle, formerly known as the FX37, is now known as the QX70 3.7. Confused? So is the rest of the world.
Silly name change aside, the QX70 is a lovable crossover. It’s powered by the corporate 3.7L VQ V6 engine, which puts out 325 horsepower in this particular application. The 7-speed automatic transmission is decently quick to respond in manual-shifting mode, but it really needs paddle shifters. Normally I wouldn’t have this complaint in a crossover, but a huge part of the QX70’s appeal is its sportiness. Even still, this QX drives wonderfully. I had almost forgotten the throaty, thrashy sound of this engine. It’s not exactly what I would consider the most refined engine, but it loves being pushed to its limits.
Of course, pushing the QX70 3.7 to its limits yields serious repercussions for the driver; hard driving will put you well into the 15L/100km range. Even when trying to be as economical as possible, I couldn’t manage any better than 13L/100km in combined driving. Let’s put these numbers into context for a second; I was able to get 12.5L/100km in a Range Rover with the supercharged V8. This is a smaller vehicle with a naturally-aspirated six-cylinder. When you take into consideration that the QX70 takes premium fuel only, the $100 fill-ups begin to add up.
My tester was equipped with the Navigation & Deluxe Touring Package and the Technology Package. These two basically load up the QX70, giving it toys such as Lane Departure Warning & Prevention, Intelligent Cruise Control, Intelligent Brake Assist, Bluetooth connectivity, and 20” alloy wheels. Whenever I drive a car with this many toys, I usually have a few nice things to say. However, my biggest complaint with the QX70 starts with these toys. The Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) system is overly intrusive. If a car in front of me slows down, IBA automatically slams on the brakes. I found myself needing to turn it off. Also, the Lane Departure Warning system is ridiculously sensitive. The QX is a wide vehicle and the lanes within downtown Toronto are pretty narrow. I found that it was continuously beeping and braking if systems were left on in any sort of urban situation. For drivers who prefer to apply makeup and continuously iMessage their babysitter to make sure the kids are still alive, the electronic nannies are nice to have.
The 2014 QX70 is a phenomenal long haul vehicle. Its huge fuel tank, its comfortable quilted leather seats (heated and cooled up front!), and its Bose 11-speaker sound system make it virtually unbeatable for road trips. I did discover that driving the QX70 while listening to the Classical Symphony station on XM satellite radio was especially calming. Price of admission for this loaded example is in the $65,000 range. Its Nissan cousin, the Murano, costs $45,000 for the top-tier Platinum model. If you’re not a badge snob and can settle for a CVT transmission (I personally couldn’t), it’s not a bad option to think about.
Would I buy one? It seems that in the last few years, young families have more and more money. I know back in the early 90s, when I was a kid, the ideal vehicle for my parents would have been a small station wagon like a Subaru Legacy or a Honda Accord. If I were to fast-forward my life to where I’d like to be in a few years; married with no more than a kid or two, this QX70 would suit my lifestyle quite well. It’d make for a great companion to the Aston Martin Vantage that I aspire will also be in my garage simultaneously. I see no good reason not to recommend the QX70; except that the original FX name was much, much cooler…
2014 Infiniti QX70 3.7 Gallery