by James Allen
In an ideal world, Infiniti would have ushered in a replacement for the QX70 some time ago. Alas, the distinctively-styled SUV that first went on sale nearly a decade ago is still with us, and unsurprisingly isn’t a real class contender. Don’t write the Infiniti QX70 off just yet, though: whilst it objectively isn’t the best-in-class, there’s still a fair bit to like about the car (namely the engine, space, build quality and standard equipment levels). If you’re after a less obvious premium SUV choice, the Infiniti QX70 is worth having a closer look at.
‘Nicely built and spacious, but starting to look and feel out-dated now’
Considering the Infiniti QX70 dates back to 2009, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the cabin doesn’t look particularly current. Though the materials used are still of a suitable grade and the finish is still to a high standard, the cluttered, fiddly mass of buttons and the small infotainment screen to tarnish the premium ambience a tad. Thankfully, cabin space is good, with head room in particular being impressive despite the sloping roofline. Alas, that tapering rear has had an impact on the cargo size, with the angled trunk lid being the main contributor to the modest 25 cubic feet of space available with the rear seats in place (which extends to a more reasonable 62 cubic feet with the seat backs folded down).
‘Very sporty and responsive to drive. A firm ride is the trade-off for the impressive body control’
Being such a sporty vehicle, it’s unsurprising that the Infiniti QX70 is quite dynamic to drive for such a tall and heavy vehicle. By SUV standards, body lean is very well controlled, which in conjunction with the good grip levels and precise steering responses makes the Infiniti QX70 quite appealing to more dedicated driving enthusiasts. Sadly, the suspension setup that keeps body motion in check also results in a fairly stiff ride. Factor in the refinement levels that are starting to lag behind what never rivals can offer, and the Infiniti QX70 isn’t amazingly well set up for long-distance driving. Also, whilst forward visibility is good, the view out back is rather hemmed in by the thick rear pillars, sloping roofline and tiny rear window.
‘Easily the highlight of the QX70 package. Make sure you budget for frequent gas station stops’
Only one engine is available in the Infiniti QX70 range, and boy is it a potent one. With 325-hp on tap, there’s enough high-end poke to worry other sportier SUVs, though – as max torque only comes in at higher revs – you shouldn’t expect insta-quick overtaking moves on the highway. At cruising speeds, the engine is refined and relaxed (if not quite as smooth as comparable engines in rival cars), with the seven-speed automatic doing a good job of keeping the engine in the optimum rev band. Gear changes prompted by steering-wheel-mounted paddles are smooth, though a bit hesitant on downshifts at times. Fuel economy isn’t great, with even the most efficient model returning 17mpg in the city and 24mpg on the highway.
‘Just the one trim level, but loads of pricey options at your disposal’
Only available in a single standard specification, the $45,850 bone standard Infiniti QX70 is relatively well equipped for the money. Full leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, a reversing camera is available on the stock car. Lots of safety equipment can be specified as optional extras but for some reason you need to tick all the other options boxes first – which is quite excessive if you only want assists like adaptive cruise control. Despite this, the Infiniti QX70 also has a pretty good overall safety rating, though newer rivals do understandable fare better in the crash tests than the Infiniti.
There’s no real getting over the fact that the Infiniti QX70 is getting on a bit. As a result, it’s difficult to recommend the car over fresher, more well-rounded rivals – though the Infiniti QX70 does make an intriguing, less-obvious-choice alternative to the other options out there.