Automotive

2014 Infiniti QX70 3.7 AWD

Updated: 2013-10-25T16:39:12Z

By TOM STRONGMAN

Infiniti’s QX70 is a sporty crossover with a new grille and a new name. With the introduction of the Q50 sedan, Infiniti has chosen to rename its product line, and the former FX35 is now the QX70.

I think it can be confusing to buyers when a company renames its product line, but Infiniti made the name change to coincide with the arrival of the new Q50 sports sedan.

That said, the QX70 is an interesting vehicle. Infiniti once described it as “a radical expression of sport and utility” because it mates sporty handling with a utilitarian shape.

For 2014, the exterior has been refined a bit for but it still has a chunky nose, sleek roof and bulging fenders.

There are three models: The rear-wheel-drive, 325-horsepower QX70 3.7 starts at $44,950. All-wheel-drive begins at $46,400. The all-wheel-drive QX70 5.0 with a 390-horsepower V-8, starts at $61,500.

Even though I’m not crazy about the QX70’s exterior, I really enjoyed driving it. It is energetic, athletic and luxurious. The 325-horsepower V-6 makes more than enough power for all but the most diehard performance folks. The V-6 can tow 2,000 pounds and the V-8 can tow 3,500.

The V-6 fuel mileage, rated at 16 miles per gallon in the city and 22 on the highway, is not that great, and the V-8 is worse at 14 and 20.

This engine is not the smoothest at high rpm, but at low speeds it is quiet and responsive. The seven-speed automatic transmission makes the most of the engine’s power and it can be shifted with paddles on the steering wheel.

The test car was equipped with intelligent cruise control that slows the vehicle when needed, lane departure warning, adaptive front lighting, navigation system, 20-inch wheels and the around-view 360-degree camera.

The backup camera gives the driver a view as if a camera were mounted on the roof. In fact, cameras in front, back and in the bottom of each rearview mirror combine images for the circular perspective. This function is tremendously handy when backing out of a driveway or seeing if anyone or anything is alongside the vehicle.

The QX rides on a stiff chassis, and the tight structure results in better handling and lack of noise. The QX70’s cabin feels refined and substantial. The gauges are large and easy to read. The center stack contains an LCD screen that is used for the audio and climate control as well as the optional navigation system and backup camera. The mouselike controller and menu system are relatively easy to use.

The front seat has plenty of room, but the back seat is fairly snug. The diamond-quilted pattern on the seats is a nice change of pace. No third row of seats is offered.

The cargo space is a bit small because of the sloping roofline and high load floor.

All-wheel drive is the best choice for all but the sunniest of climates. The big, wide tires probably need to be replaced with genuine winter tires for the Snow Belt.

Price

The base price of the test car was $46,400. Options included the technology package, touring package and premium package. The sticker price was $57,945.

Warranty

Four years or 60,000 miles with a six-year, 70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Tom Strongman’s e-mail is tom@tomstrongman.com

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