Although the name may seem fresh and new, the 2015 Infiniti QX70 has actually been roaming around showrooms in one form or another for a number of years. The QX70 started life as the FX35, and although there have been many upgrades and styling changes since then, the basic architecture remains the same. That's not to say that the QX70 is outdated or irrelevant, but it's beginning to show its age a bit more.
Available only with the V6 engine this year, the QX70 still holds a particular appeal for those who desire the taller ride height and ground clearance of a proper SUV without the substandard handling and so-so performance that often accompany those features. The QX70's cabin enhances the allure. It is filled with all manner of tactile and electronic luxury touches and a host of sophisticated driver's aids that practically drive the car for you.
Another feature that sets the QX70 apart from the rest of the luxury SUV crowd is its fluid styling. A far cry from the linear, boxy formula that defines SUVs from Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus, the QX70 looks like nothing else on the road. Its squat body, prominent front fenders and enormous wheel-and-tire combination give it an almost coupelike feel, which is an attribute that provides strong visual appeal but also limits its rear-seat legroom and cargo area.
What's New for 2015?
The V8 engine is dropped for 2015, as are the Sport package's active rear steering and continuous damping control features.
What We Like
Sleek styling; exhilarating performance; plush interior; lots of electronic goodies
What We Don't
Average fuel economy; stiff ride; small rear seat; limited cargo space
The QX70 is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 engine that generates 325 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. Power is abundant with this engine, although acceleration can feel slightly taxed when you add the weight of the all-wheel-drive (AWD) system.
Fuel economy for the QX70 is rated at 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, while the AWD model is rated even lower at 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy. Premium fuel is recommended but not required.
Standard Features & Options
The Infiniti QX70 for 2015 comes in one trim with the choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. An advanced 7-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) and a manual-shift mode is standard. The ASC technology learns your driving habits and adapts to them. The manual-shift mode allows the driver to manually change gears with the aid of a downshift rev-matching feature that blips the throttle before downshifts.
Standard features on the QX70 ($46,845) include a power rear lift gate, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a rearview camera, Intelligent Key entry with push-button starting, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, leather-appointed seating, Bluetooth, a power sunroof, heated side mirrors, 60/40-split folding and reclining rear seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, an 8-way power driver's seat with power lumbar support, and an 11-speaker Bose audio system with a USB port/iPod interface.
Infiniti offers a number of option packages for the QX70. The Premium package includes two passenger memory settings, a power tilt-telescopic steering column, outside mirrors with a reverse tilt-down feature, aluminum roof rails, hard-drive-based navigation with an 8-in color touchscreen, an Around View Monitor with moving-object detection and Bluetooth streaming audio. The Sport package adds dark-finish exterior accents, 21-in Enkei alloy wheels, adaptive front headlights, sport seats, magnesium paddle shifters and a dark-colored headliner.
For the safety of everyone on board, the Technology package offers a host of systems to help avoid an accident. Intelligent Cruise Control maintains a safe distance between you and the traffic ahead. Distance Control Assist can apply the brakes and help maintain a safe distance in close-quarter city driving by sending audible and physical warnings to the driver when the QX70 is getting too close to the vehicle ahead of it. Lane-departure warning and prevention systems help keep you from drifting out of your lane.
Standard safety equipment on every Infiniti QX70 includes 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake assist, electronic traction and stability control, front side-impact airbags, and front and rear side-curtain airbags.
The 2015 Infiniti QX70 did exceptionally well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's offset and side-impact crash tests but was not tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Behind the Wheel
If you're lucky enough to test drive the 2015 Infiniti QX70 on a winding mountain road, you'll learn all you need to know about why this is the driving enthusiast's luxury SUV. The QX70's well-balanced chassis, tight turning radius and wide stance allow it to round curves that would have other SUVs teetering on their sidewalls. The 7-speed automatic's paddle shifters and automated rev-matching work wonders, allowing us to circumvent the automatic's computer-controlled module that sometimes seems slow to downshift.
From the front seats forward, there is almost nothing bad to say about the QX70's cockpit. The seats are wide and supportive, not too firm yet far from squishy, and covered in high-quality black, beige or java-brown leather. With the Deluxe Touring package, a set of climate-controlled seats replaces the stock set and come complete with lovely quilted stitching that adds even more flair to an already stylish setting.
Other Cars to Consider
BMW X5 -- The X5 delivers a similarly exhilarating driving experience. Its handling is not as precise, and it costs a fair bit more when comparably equipped. On the flip side, the X5 has more overall cargo space than the QX70 and also features a diesel model.
Cadillac SRX -- The SRX emphasizes luxury over performance. Its interior is stunning, and its ride is noticeably softer than the Infiniti's.
Lexus RX -- The RX can't match the QX70's performance credentials, but its softer ride is probably more appealing to most luxury buyers. It also offers a larger cargo hold.
Now that the V8 is no longer an option, we think it's pretty clear that the best combo of luxury and performance would be the QX70 with the Premium, Technology and Touring packages. The Sport packages add a more aggressive look but also a slightly harsher ride.