2014 Infiniti QX70

Infiniti's sporty FX midsize crossover range, including the V6-powered FX37 and V8-engined FX50, has been rebadged the QX70 for the latest model year as part of a new, brand-wide nomenclature system.

Don't let the name change fool you - new moniker aside, the QX70 is identical to last year's FX. That means it remains one of the most driver-focused crossovers on the market thanks to a platform shared with the athletic Nissan 370Z sports car. The cushy cabin is also a strong point, although there's less space inside than many competitors.

Overview
Sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover - the QX70's aggressive stance and muscular lines suggest that this crossover is all about performance, and it certainly has all the right stuff under the sheetmetal to back up that impression.

Underpinned by a version of the RWD-based architecture used by the 370Z, the QX70 offers crisp responses to control inputs along with a taut - but not uncomfortable - ride.

Buyers can choose between a pair of stout powerplants. The standard motor is a 3.7-liter V6 with 325 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque, and an optional 5.0-liter V8 cranks up output to 390 ponies and 369 lb-ft of twist - enough to scoot the crossover from zero-to-60 mph in just over five seconds.

Both engines make use of a seven-speed automatic transmission. The V6 is fitted with rear-wheel-drive as standard but can be optioned with all-wheel-drive; the V8 is available exclusively with AWD. Fuel economy is rated at 17/24 city/highway mpg and 16/22 for FWD and AWD V6 models, respectively, while the V8 returns 14/20 mpg.

Step inside, and one will find a sybaritic cabin marked by premium materials like soft leather, brushed aluminum and genuine wood trim. Nary a cheap touch is to be found. Conventional buttons abound due to the lack of an iDrive-style infotainment controller, which may be a good or bad thing depending on personal preferences.

Cargo space is compromised for the sake of style: the FX37's short rear overhang and sloping rear window translate to just 24 cubic feet of trunk room, less than what is offered by some "compact" crossovers like the Honda CR-V. Fold down the rear seats, and storage space swells to a more useful 62 cubic feet.

V6 Standard and Optional Features
The QX70 V6 comes standard with a sunroof, leather upholstery, power-operated, heated front seats, an 11-speaker Bose sound system, dual zone automatic climate control, a power rear liftgate, foglamps, cruise control, a dash-mounted seven-inch color information display and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Optional features are grouped into three separate packages.

The Premium Package includes a navigation system with an eight-inch touch-screen display and real-time traffic and weather services, an around-view parking monitor with front and rear sonar systems, memory functionality for the front seats, power tilt and telescoping functionality for the steering wheel, audio streaming via Bluetooth and more.

The Deluxe Touring Package brings 20-inch alloy wheels, maple interior accents, aluminum pedals and a tonneau cover.

The Technology Package nets a laser-based Intelligent Cruise Control system with Distance Control Assist, a lane-departure warning system, an Intelligent Brake Assist system (which primes the brakes for shorter stopping distances when a possible collision is detected) that partners with a Forward Collision Warning system, rain-sensing wipers and an Adaptive Front Lighting system (which turns the lights to provide better illumination in curves) with HID xenon auto-leveling lights.

Additionally, there's an optional Around View Monitor camera system that provides 360 degree views around the car during parking maneuvers. It is paired with Moving Object Detection, which provides visual and auditory alerts when it detects an imminent collision with a moving object.

V8 Standard and Optional Features

The QX70 V8 comes well equipped with a sunroof, quilted leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats with power adjustability, a navigation system with real-time traffic and weather services, an 11-speaker Bose sound system, dual zone automatic climate control, a power rear liftgate, foglamps, cruise control, a dash-mounted seven-inch color information display, Around View Monitor and 21-inch alloy wheels.

Optional features are grouped into two separate packages.

The Sport package adds sports seats with extra bolstering, solid magnesium paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel, dark-tinted air vents and lower door trim, adaptive headlights that turn to provide enhanced illumination when cornering, a Continuous Damping Control system that employs electronic sensors to measure body and wheel movement and adjust the shocks for improved handling control and ride comfort and, finally, a Rear Active Steer system that selectively turns the rear wheel to tighten the turning circle and provide more responsive handling.

The same Technology Package offered on the V6 model is also available with the V8.

Occupant Protection
All QX70 models come standard with dual front, front side and side-curtain airbags in addition to ABS, traction and stability control systems and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

Key Competitors
Once upon a time, the QX70 was unqieu among luxury crossovers for its emphasis on wild styling over interior space. However, it now faces competition from even more radically styled "coupe-crossovers" like the BMW X6 and Acura ZDX.