Review of: 2014 INFINITI QX70 AWD 4dr Premium
2014 Infiniti QX70: New name, but that's all
By Jil McIntosh
Jan. 30, 2014
We all have our embarrassing moments. Mine was when I brought home the Infiniti QX70, gave it another look out the window, and then called the place where I’d picked it up, since I was sure I’d been given the wrong vehicle. Wasn’t the 70 the bigger one? Or wait—no—the smaller one? Exactly what was I supposed to be driving?
Ultimately, after checking the badge on the back, I was in the right vehicle. It’s just taking me a bit longer to get used to Infiniti’s new naming system, where all cars are Q and SUVs are QX, with a number to indicate their place in the hierarchy. My QX70 V6 was the model previously known as the FX37.
Pros & Cons
- + Ride comfort
- + Acceleration
- - Interior materials
- - Value for money
- - Price of options
Essentially nothing has changed except for the name. The QX70 comes with a 3.7-litre V6, as mine was equipped, starting at $53,350, while the 5.0-litre V8 starts at $65,100, both with all-wheel drive. Mine was further optioned with a $5,650 Navi & Deluxe Touring Package, which added a map, Bluetooth streaming audio, 360-degree Around View Monitor and 20-inch wheels; and a $3,500 Tech Package, which includes numerous electronic safety functions, which brought it to $62,500 before freight and delivery.
Styling hasn’t changed, and it remains an essentially handsome vehicle, although I find the butt just a little too big. The upswept fenders and power-bulge hood are fun: from behind the wheel, it looks like you’re driving a Porsche Boxster. Dual tailpipes and just enough chrome accents finish it off and give it a more upscale look from its Nissan cousins.
Order the “Graphite” interior, and I’m in. Unfortunately, mine was primarily “Wheat.” Absolutely no manufacturer can make beige plastic look good, and for some reason, Nissan/Infiniti’s version looks particularly low-rent. I never thought I could see $62,500 in my tester, and I suspect that was primarily due to that nasty plastic.
The design of the dash is fine, with an upright centre console that makes it easy to reach all of the controls, and they’re easy to use, too. The seats are very comfortable and supportive, including the rear ones, which fold easily and almost flat for extra cargo space. The seating position is good, too, providing decent visibility all around.
But there are some complaints. There’s not much room between the seat and the armrest, so it’s tough to slide your hand down to the power seat adjuster. The heated-and-cooled seats took an awfully long time to warm up (it was during the bitterly cold “polar vortex,” but another tester in the same conditions warmed up twice as fast and got hotter). And the power mirror button is far too low on the dash. It’s an important adjustment and should be far easier to reach.
That aforementioned Tech Package throws in a whack of electronics, all designed to keep you on the straight and narrow. The lane departure program will warn you if you’re drifting out of your lane, and if you persist, it’ll lightly brake one side of the vehicle to guide you back in. The Intelligent Cruise Control will keep a pre-set distance from the vehicle in front. That same technology is used in a program that determines if you’re coming up too fast on the vehicle ahead, warns you by pushing the throttle back at your foot, and follows up with a chime if that doesn’t get through. If you’re still clueless, it will apply the brakes. The Tech Package also includes rain-sensing wipers, and adaptive self-levelling headlights.
My tester also had the company’s Around View Monitor, which uses four wide-angle cameras to give a bird’s-eye 360-degree view to assist in parking or in tight spaces, slong with a warning system if it detects vehicles moving nearby. I always find it a little tough to use—and that’s my fault, because for some reason my brain doesn’t equate the image with the car’s movement—so I hit the “Camera” button on the dash, which gives me views behind, in front, or alongside the car, instead of overhead.
For all its tech-heavy nature, the QX70 has a great-to-drive nature that takes me back to when cars were just fun. The 3.7-litre V6 makes 325 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque, and its responsive throttle and slick seven-speed automatic transmission keep it on the muscle. The throaty growl on acceleration is great, too. At 13.9 L/100 km, I was above the published fuel economy rate, but I still thought that was pretty good considering how bitterly cold it was.
The all-wheel system is rear-biased and can send all of the engine’s power to the rear wheels alone. When needed, it will redistribute torque up to 50/50 front to rear. When the rear end cut loose on a snowy corner, I activated the “Snow” toggle on the console, which controls the throttle response and does a pretty good job of keeping everything straight.
Steering response is quick, and despite its size, the QX70 feels smaller and almost nimble.
For all that I liked driving it, though, the QX70 never screamed “Buy me!” to me. A vehicle purchase should always be a rational decision, but it helps to have a bit of passion in there, too. Its pricing generally runs the middle of the road between competitors such as Acura’s MDX and Audi’s Q7, but I find those vehicles to be a little more compelling. That’s a subjective observation, of course, but I wonder if it’s because Infiniti has combined this meaty engine and nice handling with an interior that’s just a little too stuffy and utilitarian for it.
If you liked the FX, you’ll like the QX: it’s really just a name change. Despite my complaints, the overall package is pretty good. It’s an enjoyable driver, it’s roomy and comfortable, and if you’re not a fan of all those annoying electronic nannies, you can simply leave them off the options list. And after a week, I even figured out exactly what I was driving. An SUV by any other name…as they say.