It’s the only crossover on the market that looks like its going 55 mpg standing still. And that’s because of its swoopy, sporty, sexy lines that begin with a gnarly looking front end, and ends at a snubbed rear end.
Yes, Infiniti’s QX70 (previously called the FX35 with the V6 engine, and FX50 with the V8, which was is no longer offered – a shame because it was hot) is a standout in the crossover market. Even the pricey Porsche Cayenne or BMW X5 lack the sex appeal of the QX70 AWD crossover. It’s one of a kind.
But the QX70 has other attributes worth considering. One of which is its potent 3.7-liter engine that churns out 325-hp and 267 lb/ft of torque. Transferring this grunt to the wheels is a 7-speed automatic transmission – with paddle shifters – that in concert earns EPA mileage ratings of 16 city, 22-highway mpg. With this much power, a V8 is not really needed because acceleration from a standing stop is V8-like. Ditto when attempting to pass 8-wheelers on an interstate.
After a mere 20-inch step-in into the cockpit, you’re treated to a stylish, eclectic leather interior. The classy light grey perforated, tufted leather seats in my test car were embellished with purple contrasting stitching that grabs the eyes. The front seats also offer extended under thigh support with just the right amount of upper lateral support. The back seats are flatter but equally comfy over the long haul for only two adults, as a high transaxle hump prevents seating for three.
The vertical stack has nicely arranged controls for audio and HVAC and a large LCD screen displays audio, GPS Nav and rearview camera and a split-screen view that shows the Around View (birds-eye) view to show any objects, kids or cars around the circumference of the car. There’s also a lane departure warning when drifting over white/yellow highway lines, plus Moving Object Detection that provides visual and audible warnings both front and back. This is especially helpful when backing out of a parking space and your visibility is blocked when sandwiched between two high-stanced SUVs. The QX70 also came with Intelligent Cruise Control that senses when you’re approaching a car at too great a speed. The system will warn the driver and if not heeded the brakes will automatically engage. That and Distance Control helps the driver maintain a safe distance to the vehicle ahead in traffic.
Back in the cargo area, there’s 24.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, or 62 with the rear seatbacks folded. The latter is accomplished by merely pulling levers in the sidewalls. Perhaps more meaningful, the cargo area measures 35 inches deep, 46 wide and 26.5 high. Flip the seats and depth extends to 68 inches.
You may note the low ceiling height. That’s because of the severely sloping roofline that also requires backseat passengers to duck their heads upon entry/exit. The pinched roofline also cuts rear vis quite a bit as does too tall rear seat headrests. Low profile rests could solve some of that problem.
As for ride and handling, the ride was sporty, meaning a trite stiff. Part of this is due to the 21-inch low profile Bridgestone Dueler tires that are shod on sexy glossy black six spoke wheels. That, and a short wheelbase (114 inches) plus short rear overhang contribute to a firm ride.
Handling, however, is good with a planted feeling especially when taking sharp turns at speed. Here again, the impression is one of sportiness.
Not to be overlooked, there’s a Snow Mode switch on the console for momentarily locking the wheels when getting stuck in snow.
With a myriad of standard features, the QX70 carried a base price of $47,300. But when adding the Technology Package ($2,950), sexy illuminated kick plates ($440), Premium Package ($4,300) that bundles the 8-inch LCD, hard drive, voice recognition, Around View/Moving Object and front/rear radar systems and more, plus the Sport Package ($3,550), that adds the 21-inch wheels, exterior trim, aluminum pedals, sport seats and more, the QX70 bottom-lined at $59,535 with delivery. The vehicle also received the highest “Good” rating after government safety testing.
If you’re looking for sportiness in a crossover that will take your through winter’s worst, and don’t need huge cargo capacity or three row seating, the QX70 will satisfy your needs with a definitive appearance.