2015 Infiniti QX70

Rating

57/100

Background

The 2015 Infiniti QX70 remains an attractive choice for style-conscious driving enthusiasts who aren’t willing to sacrifice the performance they want in order to get the utility they need. At the heart of this midsize luxury crossover’s appeal is a formula that hasn’t changed much since Infiniti took a real chance at its introduction more than a decade ago when it was known as the FX. Simply put, the QX70 combines a muscular V6 engine and sport-tuned suspension with sleek lines and an SUV body to create a luxury crossover that drives more like an oversize sport sedan. Previously, you could also get the QX (and FX) with a V8 engine. Infiniti has discontinued it for this year, but the QX is still a very capable performer even with the V6.
Inside, the five-passenger interior has a high-end look and feel that’s every bit as luxurious as any of its competitors. A wide array of available technology — including such modern must-haves as Bluetooth streaming sound — guarantees buyers won’t find the QX70 wanting for the latest bells and whistles. Unfortunately, the passenger cabin does have a few notable shortcomings, including cramped rear seats and a smaller-than-average cargo area. The QX70 may be big on the outside, but it doesn’t always feel like it inside. The combination of the firm standard suspension and optional 20- and 21-inch alloy wheels can also make the drive quality a little harsh.
Given its interior practicality, the QX70 can be compared to a slew of luxury crossovers. If its size seems just right, you may save some money by opting for equally luxurious compact crossovers like the Audi Q5 or BMW X3. If you need more space, however, similarly priced sporty crossovers like the BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne or the three-row Acura MDX may be better choices. The fact that the 2015 Infiniti QX70 makes a considerably stronger styling statement allows this athletic luxury crossover SUV to stand apart from either group of potential competitors. For shoppers looking for performance and practicality in one stylish package, the QX70 is a solid choice.

Drive

To experience the 2015 Infiniti QX70 in its element, point it in the direction of the nearest winding stretch of asphalt. There you’ll find its sport-tuned suspension gives it the kind of confident handling seldom seen in such a tall vehicle, a feeling that’s enhanced by its strong brakes and precise steering.
The trade-off, however, is a drive quality that’s definitely on the firm side. Buyers who place a priority on responsive handling will likely find this trade-off acceptable, but even they should be aware that the optional 20- and 21-inch wheels can make the drive a little too rough to live with in day-to-day driving.
The V6 engine produces a throaty exhaust note and acceleration ample enough to make the discontinued V8 seem like overkill. The 7-speed automatic transmission delivers smooth, rapid shifts on its own, and even manages to produce authoritative rev-matching downshifts with a flick of the available steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles in Manual mode.

Exterior

The five-passenger 2015 Infiniti QX70 sport-luxury crossover SUV is offered in a single trim level and with a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive.
Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic bi-xenon headlights, foglights, power-folding heated mirrors, a sunroof, a power liftgate, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated eight-way power front seats (with two-way power driver lumbar), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40-split-folding and reclining rear seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The list of standard electronics includes a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a 7-inch color display screen and an 11-speaker Bose surround-sound sound system with satellite radio, a CD player and an iPod/USB sound interface.
Available options are grouped into packages, starting with the Premium package that includes aluminum roof rails, driver memory settings, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 360-degree "Around View Monitor" parking camera system, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth streaming audio, a navigation system with an 8-inch touchscreen, real-time traffic and voice controls.
The available Deluxe Touring package (Premium package required) adds 20-inch wheels, quilted leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, aluminum pedals, maple wood trim and a cargo cover.
The Technology package (Premium and Deluxe Touring packages required) throws in adaptive xenon headlights, automatic wipers, adaptive cruise control, a forward-collision mitigation system and a lane-departure warning and prevention system.
Finally, an available Sport package bundles 21-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, dark-tinted exterior trim, contrasting stitching on interior surfaces, solid magnesium paddle shifters and ventilated front sport seats with power side bolsters and manually adjustable thigh support.

Interior

Just because the 2015 Infiniti QX70 places a heavy emphasis on performance doesn’t mean designers skimped on the interior. On the contrary, the passenger cabin is a stylish space done up in high-quality materials including soft leather upholstery accented with genuine wood and brushed metal trim.
When it comes to desirable technology, the QX70 offers a long list of options, including an Around View Monitor that knits together the images from four different cameras to produce a single top-down view of the vehicle’s surroundings that can be invaluable in situations like squeezing through tight openings in traffic. Unlike some of its competitors, all controls are refreshingly straightforward and easy to use, including the intuitive touchscreen interface that’s supported by a useful controller knob and button array.
The standard front seats offer all-day comfort, while the power-adjustable side bolsters on the optional sport seats provide an extra measure of support in aggressive driving. The rear seats’ limited head- and legroom makes them best for kids and smaller adults, though, and certainly limits the QX70’s practicality. So, too, does the cargo hold. Even though it offers a decent 25 cubic feet behind the rear seats, there are just 62 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. That’s about what you’d expect from a compact crossover, and its midsize competitors offer more.

Safety

The 2015 Infiniti QX70 comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. The Technology package adds lane-departure warning and lane-keeping systems, along with a forward collision mitigation system and automatic braking.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2015 Infiniti QX70 its highest score of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset test. The QX70’s seats and head restraints were also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
In SUVS brake testing, a V6-powered model stopped from 60 miles per hour in 120 feet, a distance that’s about average for a luxury crossover.

Specs

All 2015 Infiniti QX70 models are powered by a 3.7-liter V6 that puts out 325 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. A 7-speed automatic with a manual shift feature is the only transmission offered. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive (AWD) is optional.
In SUVS testing, a V6-powered QX70 AWD accelerated from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 6.2 seconds, which is quick for a midsize luxury SUV. Towing capacity for all-wheel-drive models is limited to a modest 2,000 pounds, a number that’s a good bit lower than many of its competitors.
The EPA-‘s fuel economy estimate for the rear-wheel-drive QX70 is 19 miles per gallon combined (17 city/24 highway). Numbers for the all-wheel-drive model drop to 18 miles per gallon combined (16/22).

Value

Sporty performance; luxurious interior; abundant standard features; easy-to-use electronics interface; distinctive style.

Verdict

Edgy design, performance and technology help set the 2015 Infiniti QX70 luxury crossover apart from other luxury crossover SUVs. But if versatility is also an important quality for you, other crossovers will likely serve you better.

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