2016 Infiniti QX70

The Basics:

Formerly called the FX, the Infiniti QX70 makes some deliberate sacrifices to be one of the most driver-focused crossovers available.

The 2016 Infiniti QX70 isn’t a trail-ready or rugged crossover by any stretch of the imagination, and it’s not space-efficient either. Instead the QX70 focuses on excellent driving dynamics, handsome looks, and legitimately luxurious interior appointments. At first glance, it’s one of the best-executed marriages of sleek lines, wagon practicality, and fast underpinnings we’ve seen. Where the BMW X6 failed in that mission, the QX70 excels from a design standpoint. Sure, there are a few too many details that might clutter the look from some angles, but it’s otherwise excellent—from it’s racy roofline to its beautiful sheetmetal. Inside, it’s inviting and warm, with rich appointments like quilted leather and subdued wood trim, though there may be a few too many buttons for some shoppers.

With underpinning derived from the since-replaced G37 sport sedan, this is one of the few crossovers that feels at home on a curvy mountain road. It drives with a poise that’s almost foreign to this kind of vehicle. The curb weight is a somewhat chunky 4,200 pounds, but the QX70 handles as if it’s considerably lighter, and it has a sense of poise and balance on a curvy road that’s better more akin to a car than a crossover. The tradeoff is a ride that can get overly firm and very choppy on urban interstates, especially with the available 20- and 21-inch wheels.

The 3.7-liter, 325-horsepower V-6 is shared with other Infinitis; and while it’s not quite as smooth as the V-6 engines found in some other crossovers, it allows acceleration to 60 mph in the low seven-second range. The seven-speed automatic transmission shifts quickly and smoothly, and it has a Sport mode and rev matching.

Inside, the QX70 is delightful—provided you’re in the front seats. Like many sports cars and sport sedans, the FX seems to give those in front good comfort and enveloping support while neglecting backseat passengers. It’s surprisingly cramped back there. Cargo space also suffers because of the curvy design and high cargo floor. You do get a little too much noise in the cabin from the engine, as well as some road noise.

The QX70 carries on into 2016 unchanged. It comes in just one base model with rear- or all-wheel drive. Pricing starts in the mid-$40,000 range, but it can top $60,000 when the Sport, Premium, Deluxe Touring, and Technology packages are added. These include such features as an adaptive suspension, a navigation system with an especially good display and interface, larger wheels and tires, quilted leather, heated and ventilated seats, and numerous other amenities and tech features. A rear DVD entertainment system is offered separately.

The QX70 has a long list of standard and available safety equipment, and it has received good ratings in the few safety tests to which it has been subjected. A rearview camera is standard but we like the available surround-view camera system that provides a 360-degree view of the surroundings. Other safety options are bundled in packages. There’s lane departure prevention that follows lane markings on the road, notifies the driver, and can even apply the brakes lightly, while an advanced cruise control system can bring the QX70 to a complete stop if traffic slows. The available forward collision warning system can also apply the brakes. The QX70 also offers front and rear park assist.

With rear-wheel drive, the QX70 is EPA rated at 17 miles per gallon city, 24 highway, 19 combined. Opt for all-wheel drive and the ratings drop to 16/22/18 mpg. The QX70 seats five, but those numbers are in line with many seven-passenger crossovers. And all QX70 models require premium gas.

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