Review of: 2016 INFINITI QX70 AWD 4dr Sport
2016 Infiniti QX70S: An old dog that knows some new tricks
By Chris Chase
Jun. 30, 2016
Crossovers and SUVs started as utility vehices, but a more recent development is the creation of performance-oriented crossover models that put more of a focus on style than utility. You can see that in vehicles like BMW’s X4 and X6, the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and the vehicle that predates all of those, the Infiniti QX70.
Pros & Cons
- + Comfortable front seats
- + Acceleration
- + Sharp handling
- - Ride comfort
- - Rear seat space
- - Trunk space
Before Infiniti renamed all of its crossover models with the QX prefix in 2015, the QX70 was labelled the FX 37 and FX 50, the numbers referring to the displacement of the available 3.7-litre V6 and 5.0-litre V8 engines. The V8 is gone, though, leaving that 325-hp V6 the only engine on offer.
The QX70 has received some styling tweaks through the years, but the 2016 model’s basic shape is the same as the original FX’s at its 2003 introduction. Unlike most 13-year-old designs, this one still stands out, even among today’s widening field of crossover “coupes,” with their tapered tail ends.
My tester’s 21-inch black wheels and other black trim elements are part of the optional Sport package.
Styling certainly trumps utility here. Headroom is not generous at any of the four outboard seating positions, and the low windshield header forces the rearview mirror down low so it’s directly in the driver’s line of sight when making right-hand turns.
To be fair, the rear seats are roomier than the exterior suggests, but not by much, and the 700 litres of cargo space behind the rear seats is not a lot for a vehicle of this size.
Both QX70 models get lovely heated and cooled front seats with quilted leather upholstery and power adjustments that, for the driver, includes adjustable thigh and torso bolsters.
Though this is an aging design appearance-wise, Infiniti has worked in a few pieces of modern technology, like Nissan/Infiniti’s “around-view” monitor 360-degree camera system that gives a top-down look at what’s around the car, and intelligent keyless entry is standard.
Navigation is standard in Sport trim, and both versions can be optioned with a tech package that bundles adaptive cruise control with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and prevention, distance control assist, rain-sensing wipers and steerable headlights.
Back at its 2003 introduction, the FX was among the first to bring sharp driving dynamics to the upscale crossover class. While we’d stop short of calling the QX70 anything like the sportiest luxury crossover, it certainly still provides a more engaging driving experience than most crossovers and SUVs.
The big V6 works with a seven-speed automatic transmission to generate strong acceleration, and the motor makes a nice exhaust note while it’s at it.
My tester’s Sport designation doesn’t come with any trim-specific suspension upgrades; both models ride on a firm suspension that creates a harsh ride that will be a turn-off for many drivers who frequently drive the broken pavement found on city streets. The QX70 handles decently, but feels heavy.
Against official fuel consumption estimates of 14.5/10.7 L/100 km (city/highway), my tester averaged 14.9 L/100 km in a week of city driving.
As tends to be Infiniti’s way, the QX70 packs a lot of equipment in at a surprisingly low price. The base model comes in at $53,800, and the Sport trim’s tag is $60,450. The BMW X6 carries a $69,700 starting price, and the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe kicks off at $72,300. You could argue those brands are more prestigious, and both models offer more variety under the hood, extra room in the trunk and more current styling, but if all you’re after is a sport-oriented crossover with upscale features, the QX70 is the best deal going.
All of the vehicles in this class are rolling compromises. All favour comfort for a pair of front seat occupants, leaving those in back to ride along in accommodations not much roomier than those of a compact sedan. A vehicle like this is a lifestyle choice, and purchases like that are typically driven by the heart, not the head, but the QX70’s strong value makes it easier to justify, compromises and all.