Prior to reviewing the Infiniti QX70, my mind was engulfed with a question; is it possible for a luxury car manufacturer to build a heavy crossover and still maintain their philosophy of keeping the driver connected to the road?
First we have to consider what a difficult task this is for Infiniti. Crossovers are infamously big and heavy, packed full of comforting and helpful equipment and so maintaining the driver’s connection to the road (and thereby maintaining Infiniti’s philosophy) must be very difficult to achieve. So if Infiniti achieve what they set out to do, they should be given some kudos, right?
Yes they should, because within the QX70 you’ll find that Infiniti philosophy alive and well. Despite its mass, this is a car that inspires confidence. What’s more, it comes with one very important characteristic; the more you drive it, the more you enjoy it. Drive it I did, but that part comes later on.
We all know what everybody says about first impressions and the QX70 isn’t one to disappoint. On approaching the car for the first time you are struck by the outstanding exterior design. The form that the QX70 takes is natural, yet aggressive and animalistic. Unquestionably, the highlights of the design are the beautiful sweeping curves that travel over the bonnet before reaching a peak and dropping over the front wheels. Those same curves also sweep down to the front headlights, leading your eye line into that of the peering, intimidating eyes of the QX70. Suddenly you’re being stared down; it’s a wonderful touch of design flair.
Once you’ve shaken its gaze, inside you’ll find a well organised and attractive interior layout. My model was the top of the range “S Premium” so it was jam packed with Infiniti’s best equipment. I took a liking to the heated and cooled leather seats right away. As expected, they are both comfortable and supportive and the endless possibilities with the electrical adjustment found in both the seating and the steering wheel mean that you’ll easily find your perfect driving position.
As soon as you’ve made yourself comfortable you’re ready to start exploring the technology within the car. The satnav and information system is excellent and very easy to use, and I also enjoyed the intelligent cruise control and Bose sound system, but the one piece of tech that I valued above all else was the superb all-around view camera system. It may not have the best resolution in the world, but I cannot tell you how useful it is when you’re trying to manoeuvre this car in tricky places.
The only real change I’d make to the interior would be to simplify the centre console. I think we can lose the CD player now and the abundance of buttons makes it seem a bit too fiddly and fussy. Reorganise this and we’d have a truly excellent interior space.
One press of the start/stop button and you’re ready for the best bit, the drive. This where the QX70 excels, it takes on corners with confidence and composure and there is only a hint of body roll. Underneath you is the intelligent four wheel drive system, which means whatever you may come across you have the grip available and ready to take it on.
As the corners go by, your confidence goes up, and that sensation in such a heavy car is a very welcome surprise. It simply doesn’t feel as heavy behind the wheel as you’d expect. With this comes a drawback; it isn’t as comfortable as I hoped. The car feels quite stiffly set up, and so over a longer journey or a bad road surface this can feel rather uncomfortable. I really think a car like this should be more comfortable.
Aside from that concern there isn’t much I can pick on. The brakes are sharp and effective, and the electronic aids are all excellent, warning you of potential collisions, braking the car if necessary. Lane assist and the adaptive cruise control were also excellent for longer trips, and the 7-speed automatic gearbox was terrific in pretty much all areas I tested it. When it’s all said and done, this car is very good to drive indeed.
What would I tell you if you were going to buy one? Well due to the setup of the car being quite performance orientated I’d not pick this diesel engine. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good engine, destroying hill after hill, and always having enough torque in reserve for overtaking. I found was a little noisy though, and it isn’t that economical, 30mpg was not easy to achieve.
The biggest reason I’d say no to the diesel though is that the QX70 was asking for more and more from me and diesel just doesn’t seem to suit the car, so you can understand why there is a beastly 5.0 V8 waiting to slot into this car. It would be worse to run yes, but the diesel isn’t a hugely economical option anyway, and so if you can afford it I’d say the V8 petrol engine was probably going to be a better choice. It should be a little more refined, more powerful, and more fitting of the terrific handling package.
Next, go for the “S Premium” model with that V8 if you can. Infiniti have some great pieces of equipment available in this car and you’ll never feel like you’re lacking anything if you get the best model. Do note that if you choose the base “GT” car you will miss out on intelligent cruise control, forward collision warning, intelligent brake assist, the lane warning and departure prevention system, and the lovely all-around view monitoring system. If you’re going for the diesel or the V6 petrol though, choose the “GT Premium” edition and you’ll ensure you get all of these. Finally, think carefully before choosing the stunning 21’ light alloy wheels as despite looking fantastic, they won’t help with ride quality.
Concluding, I have to say I was really very impressed with what this Infiniti QX70 can do. The QX70 is a fantastic handling crossover that’s able to defy its two tonne weight, but it is let down by the absence of a more comfortable ride. I’d love to see some hybrid technology implemented into Infiniti’s next generation of this car as that would really improve the running costs, and a cull on buttons would freshen up and modernise the slightly fussy centre console. I’m being picky of course, but in a luxury car you should be. Luckily for Infiniti the QX70 offers a stunning design and an excellent driving experience that other crossovers will struggle to match.
|Confident and composed approach to corners, equipment and tech, beautiful design||Button-heavy centre console, firm ride, running costs||7/10|
|Performance & Economy|
|Engine||2,993cc 6-cylinder turbocharged diesel|
|Transmission||7-speed automatic, all-wheel drive|
|Power (PS / bhp)||238 / 234|
|Torque (Nm / lb.ft)||550 / 406|
|0 - 62 mph (seconds)||8.3|
|Top Speed (mph)||132|
|CO2 Emissions (g/km)||225|
|Combined Economy (mpg)||32.8|
|Kerb Weight (kg)||2,175|