The Effects of a Name Change
Aside from its new name, the 2014 Infiniti QX70 3.7 is pretty much the same sporty crossover as last year’s model, the FX37. As we previously reported, Infiniti revamped its naming structure. Cars get “Q” badges, while the crossovers and SUVs are “QX”. The numbers signify that vehicle’s place in Infiniti’s lineup. The QX70, for example, sits above the QX50 and QX60, previously known as the EX and JX, respectively.
Phew! With that out of the way, let’s get back to the QX70.
The last time we had a QX70 in the office was 2009, right around the time this current second-generation model launched. Then, it was called the FX35, denoting its 3.5-liter V-6 making 303 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. The crossover got a revised face in 2012 and last year the 3.5-liter gave way to the 3.7-liter V-6 rated at 325 hp and 267 lb-ft. Our tester was a rear-drive model, though all-wheel drive is still available (QX70 3.7 AWD) as well as a V-8 option (QX70 5.0 AWD).
Interestingly enough, the 2014 QX70 3.7 posted numbers almost identical to the JX35/QX60, despite the slight power gains. Both needed 6.1 seconds to go from 0-60 mph and both reached a quarter mile in 14.6 seconds, though the QX70’s trap speed was 1.3 mph faster at 96.2. These numbers are slightly slower than a few of the QX70’s competitors we’ve recently tested, including the BMW X3 xDrive35i and the Audi Q5 3.0T (0-60 mph in 5.6 and 5.5 seconds, respectively). Yes, the X3’s and Q5’s forced-induction engines are definitely strong. But the Germans have another advantage, thanks to eight-speed automatic gearboxes that shift quickly. The QX70’s seven-speed auto does not. In fact, that was one of the few complaints we had about the Infiniti back in 2009. Newer gearboxes from the competition have only magnified the issue. Upshifts are tolerable in most situations, but the transmission likes to take its time downshifting. Steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles aren’t available, so you’ll have to rely on the shifter to manually select gears.
With a 60-0 mph stopping distance of 120 feet, the 2014 QX70 falls in between the X3 (129 feet) and the Q5, which stopped in a sports car-like 105 feet. The Infiniti did relatively well around our figure-eight course, posting a time of 26.8 seconds, beating both Germans (27.3 and 28.5 seconds for the X3 and Q5 respectively). That said, the Infiniti is surprisingly fun to toss around. The QX70 responds immediately to steering input and its suspension does a relatively good job of keeping the 4199-pound crossover composed. The ride, however, can be a bit jarring at times, likely because of our tester’s large 20-inch wheels.
Despite that, the cabin is mostly quiet and features a number of nice touches. Our tester was fitted with a Deluxe Touring package ($3300) that includes gorgeous maple wood and quilted leather surfaces. The front seats are heated and cooled. Still, a few improvements could be made. For starters, the information screen in the instrument panel is still the same monochromatic unit that debuted in 2009. Even the Nissan Altima, which costs about half as much, gets a large multicolor screen. Also, one corner of the front passenger side floor mat on our tester did not quite fit and stuck up, much like an annoying cowlick. Sure, these are minor annoyances, but details matter in this segment.
When this current generation launched in 2009, it was offered with an extensive list of impressive technology, and that still holds true. Our tester’s Premium package ($4300) includes navigation and Infiniti’s Around View Monitor, which was recently improved to detect moving objects. Also included was a Technology Package ($2950) that groups together many safety features such as Forward Collision Warning, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning and prevention. In all, our tester rang in at $56,495, about $10,000 more than its base price.
It’s evident that the QX70 3.7 is nearing the end of its life cycle, and no name change can hide that fact. And its small cargo area may not be completely practical, but overall the sporty crossover is still stylish and a worthy alternative to more expensive options like the BMW X6. Let’s hope the next iteration showcases a more polished interior and a refined powertrain.
|2014 Infiniti QX70 3.7|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$56,495|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, RWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||4199 lb (52/48%)|
|0-60 MPH||6.1 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||14.6 sec @ 96.2 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||120 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.83 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||26.8 sec @ 0.63 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON||17/24 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY||198/140 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS||0.99 lb/mile|