The crossover segment, whether compact, mid-size or premium, is where the brands are battling it out these days.
The Infiniti QX70 has been one of the oldest players in the premium crossover segment, going by the name of FX from 2003 to 2013, before Infiniti revised the badge names across its SUV and sedan line-up.
The version we drove for this test drive was the QX70 Limited with slightly different and upgraded exterior cues, noticeably the LED daytime running lights replacing the standard QX70 fog lights. The design enhancements also include body-colour side air vents and the dark-finish outside mirror housings. Capping off the exterior are a rear hatch-mounted “Limited” badge and unique 21-inch multi-spoke premium paint-finished aluminium wheels.
On the inside, the QX70 Limited features a special high-contrast black and grey interior treatment and special open-pore wood trim with aluminium flake trim on the console, deep pillow quilting on the centre console and aluminium-trimmed pedals.
I’ve always liked the spirited drive of the QX70. My last experience was in a V8 version which sadly is no longer in production but the V6 doesn’t disappoint either. Handling is one of the key characteristics that sets the QX70 apart from its competitors. It corners like a low-slung sedan while it isn’t and the steering feel is one of the best in the segment. Some might find it too heavy, especially at slow speeds but I quite enjoy its weighty feel and good feedback.
That brings me on to the ride. Being sporty has its perks but also some drawbacks. The ride quality is a bit firm but nothing to worry about on our roads apart from the occasional speed bumps where it’s in your best interest to take it slow.
While the overall package is impressive, there are a few bits and bobs that Infiniti could have done better. The plastics in some areas didn’t really feel on par with the overall quality of the vehicle and the expectations of buyers in this segment. Also, there are a few elements that make the car feel a bit dated, especially the screen in the instrumentation cluster. Cars in much lower segments come with far better screens.
The centre console display, however, is quite impressive and for some, the plethora of keys and dials might seem a bit excessive. The analogue clock is a nice touch.
Like all QX70s on sale currently, this one powered by a 329hp 3.7-liter V6 and its paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission. The transmission is good for city as well as highway cruising but the spirited drivers might find it a bit dull and I think it doesn’t compliment the overall sporty dynamism of the QX70.
Launched 15 years ago, the QX70 is one of the oldest nameplates in the segment. It sits rather uneasily between the QX60 and the QX80. While other brands have larger crossovers in that space, the QX70 is what Infiniti has in store at the moment. In the US, the QX70 breathed its last as a 2017 model year. For the GCC market, there is no word on the future of the QX70.