By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.8
Like the rest of Infiniti's 2014 lineup, the QX70's appearance is familiar, but its name isn't. That's because Nissan's luxury brand is renaming its vehicles to begin with a Q (cars) or QX (SUVs). So what was for the last decade known as the Infiniti FX is now called the QX70. Though its name is new, Infiniti's brawny 5-passenger SUV still puts the "sport" in sport utility vehicle. With its emphasis on driving dynamics vs. towing, hauling and cargo-carrying pragmatics, the QX70 has more in common with the performance-oriented Porsche Cayenne than utilitarian luxury SUVs like the Mercedes-Benz M-Class or the softer-riding Lexus RX. For drivers who desire a sports car disguised as an SUV, the 2014 Infiniti QX70 delivers.
If you want the high seating position and usefulness of an SUV but the driving manners of a performance car, the Infiniti QX70 is one of just a handful that offer both. On the fiscal side, the Infiniti's starting price is a few thousand lower than that of a Porsche Cayenne.
The QX70's sleek design comes at the cost of diminished rear-seat room and cargo capacity, while its sporty handling and modest ground clearance bar its eligibility for tackling tough off-road trails. If you plan to tow, be aware the QX70's max is just 3,500 pounds with a V8, while a V6 Porsche Cayenne is rated to pull over 7,700 pounds.
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Other than its new moniker, the 2014 QX70 remains the same as the outgoing Infiniti FX. The Limited Edition model is no longer available.
Driving Impressions The Infiniti QX70's nicely balanced weight distribution, all-independent suspension and powerful V6 or V8 engines makes for a fine-handling SUV. Balance also comes into play with the QX70's ride, which...... captures the oft-elusive combination of being comfortable yet sporty. Throw the Infiniti into a corner, and you might be surprised at just how agile it feels for its size. With 325 horsepower, the V6-powered QX70 is plenty capable in rear- or all-wheel-drive form, while the 390-horsepower V8 version that comes standard with all-wheel is seriously quick on its feet. The 7-speed automatic transmission is ready to downshift at a moment's notice and has an effective manual-shift mode that includes a satisfying throttle blip on downshifts. With over seven inches of ground clearance, the QX70 is capable of getting to the trailhead, but you'd be wise to leave the traversing of rocks and creek beds to a true off-roader like its bigger brother the QX80 (nee QX56).
AROUND VIEW MONITOR
Imagine having a bird's-eye view of your vehicle as you back into a parking space. That's exactly what this system replicates by way of four exterior cameras on each side of the QX70. Together, they create a virtual view from above of the Infiniti that's displayed on the dashboard monitor.
3.7-LITER DOHC V6
Nissan's all-aluminum, 4-valve-per-cylinder V6 has long been a sweetheart of an engine. The larger 3.7-liter version that arrived last year carries on the tradition with added power and efficiency to go with its smooth, free-revving character.
Step up and into the 5-passenger QX70 SUV, and it feels more like a sports sedan, from the curved dash to the oblong analog clock. Flowing lines help the Infiniti stand out from hard-angled surfaces of other more rugged SUVs. In the FX, a driver-centric cockpit with a pronounced center-stack confirms the message that this luxury vehicle is for driving first. The front seats are roomy and comfortable, but the 3-passenger rear bench is surprisingly stingy, more comparable to a compact car. Cargo room is also compromised because of the QX70's swooping rear roof, which also creates blind spots. Thankfully, the rear seats fold to haul larger items.Exterior
The Infiniti QX70's outside has softened some over the years since its first incarnation as the FX, but you still won't confuse it with your cousin's Nissan Rogue. The bold and curvy QX70 is a svelte beast whose muscular metal skin bulges like that of a body builder. Among its most prominent features are a long hood that creates the image of momentum and functional air vents just behind the front wheel wells. Sharply ascending rear windows make the QX70's sloping rear roof appear even more dramatic, but their shapely design comes at the cost of outward visibility. Twin tailpipes below the standard power rear hatch round out Infiniti's contoured crossover SUV.
The 2014 QX70 comes in three trims corresponding to engine size and which wheels are driven: the rear-wheel-drive 3.7, the all-wheel-drive 3.7 AWD, and the 5.0 AWD. Spend the least on a base 3.7, and you'll get a luxury SUV well-equipped with leather seating, heated front seats, a moonroof, a power tailgate, a rearview camera, and an 11-speaker Bose AM/FM/CD/USB sound system. This model comes with Bluetooth hands-free for phones, but if you want wireless stream audio, you'll have to reach into your pockets for a top-line version or spend over $4,000 to get it as part of the Premium Package. The QX70 5.0 adds features like navigation, quilted-leather upholstery, 21-inch wheels, the AroundView monitor, and climate-controlled seats.
Major options for the Infiniti QX70 are bundled into packages. The Premium Package ($4,300), available on 3.7 models and standard on the 5.0, includes hard-drive navigation system, AroundView monitor, and power-adjust steering wheel. Building on that are the Deluxe Touring Package ($3,300), and Technology Package ($2,950) which requires the Premium and Deluxe Touring packages. Deluxe brings extras such as quilted-leather seating, maple accents and 20-inch wheels, while the Technology Package ladles on intelligent cruise control, lane-departure warning and forward collision warning. The sole package for top-line 5.0 models is called Sport Technology ($6,250) and brings Continuous Damping Control, Rear Active Steer, and magnesium paddle shifters.
Two engines remain available for Infiniti's midsize luxury SUV: a 325-horsepower V6 or a stout V8. Rated at 390 horsepower, the V8 provides a significant increase in power over the V6 without a huge penalty in fuel economy. Both engines are connected to a 7-speed automatic transmission with both manual-shift mode and Adaptive Shift Control, which basically pays attention to how you're driving and adapts shift patterns accordingly. The QX70 3.7 is available in rear-wheel-drive form (RWD) or with all-wheel drive (AWD). The QX70 5.0 is AWD only. All versions use premium unleaded gasoline. Towing capacity is limited to just 2,000 pounds for V6 models and 3,500 pounds for those with the big V8.
325 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
267 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg (RWD), 16/22 mpg (AWD)
390 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
369 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 mpg
A base 2014 Infiniti QX70 has a Manufacturer's Suggest Retail Price (MSRP) starting at just under $46,000 for a V6 version with rear-wheel drive, while the traction-enhancing AWD version costs an additional $1,450. QX70 5.0 models start at over $62,000 and can top $68,000 with options. The Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, BMW X6 and Porsche Cayenne have similar starting prices as the QX70, but can quickly accelerate toward (and in the case of Porsche, well beyond) the 6-figure mark. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the Infiniti QX70. In terms of resale value, the Infiniti is expected to hold up very well, nearly on par with the Porsche Cayenne.