When Infiniti released its FX35 and FX45 crossovers over a decade ago, some reviewers, hard-pressed to categorize the model, resorted to calling it a sporty SUV. Which is a redundancy when you think about it.
The model continues as the QX70 and it still defies easy characterization. That said, the BMW X6, while slightly longer and wider, comes to mind as another “sporty” SUV and the Porsche Macan bears a striking resemblance in profile and intent, although it’s a bit shorter in length.
Suffice it to say that the Infiniti QX70 and its “Sport” variant, the QX70S (so that makes it a sporty sport utility vehicle with a sport package) is not an SUV at all, at least not in the conventionally understood sense. The QX70S is more like a steroidal luxury hatchback. It’s definitely what its buyers want, rather than what they may need. It goes like stink, it corners like crazy and it looks like it wants to bite you if you get too close. In short, it has character!
The 2016 model carries over unchanged from 2015, with a starting price of $53,800 for the QX70 and $60,150 for the QX70S. Both are fitted with all-wheel drive and a 3.7L 325-hp V6 engine mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. For the record, that engine makes more power than the retired V8 found in QX70’s FX45 predecessor. And for those with boats or small trailers it will tow 1,588 kg (3,500 lb), although a tow package isn’t listed as an available accessory.
Our QX70S came with the optional $3,500 Technology Package, bringing its as-tested price to $65,780 including freight and fees (but check Infiniti.ca for cash discount offers).
QX70S models are very well equipped, including a hard-disk-based navigation system, power liftgate, magnesium paddle shifters, around-view camera, sport seats with manual thigh extensions, 21 x 9.5-inch dark finish alloy wheels, dark finish exterior trim, purple contrast stitching for the interior trim (black only), heated and cooled front seats and adaptive front lighting. Notably, the QX70S variant arrives with a limited choice of four colours – black, white, grey and silver. In comparison, you have a choice of seven exterior and three interior colours with the QX70.
The Technology Package features Intelligent Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, Intelligent Brake Assist and Collision Warning, Rain-sensing windshield wipers, Distance Control Warning and Front Pre-Crash Seatbelts. So equipped, the QX70S is just about as complete as it can be (okay, no head-up display).
And as I say, the 2016 Infiniti QX70S has presence. I can tell you that in black with its huge black wheels, muscular fenders and black exterior trim (“darkened” is an understatement), it turns heads everywhere. My partner, Susan, says it’s a vehicle only a male would buy, although she drives a Volkswagen Tiguan, which is a vehicle… okay, never mind.
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But what sets the model apart visually is the long hood and formidable front end. Easily a third of the QX70S is hood and it really is something of an anomaly to see such proportions these days. I find it quite appealing, although the sinister trim would not be my first choice.