Stick Shift: 2015 Infiniti QX70

By: Brandon Randall

 

Photo via Infiniti

Photo via Infiniti

 

My Millennial generation is growing up, having a couple of kids and starting to earn a decent income. We have one foot in our fast paced past and another planted in the future, with mature tastes for ‘the finer things.’ Long gone are the days when we needed to make big compromises to accommodate a young growing family. Before, it was a jolting graduation from hot hatches and american muscle cars to mini vans and long, awkward station wagons. Now the options feel endless and the range isn’t so black and white, but instead, contains every grey shade in between.

Enter the 2015 Infiniti QX70, formerly known as, and nearly identical to the FX37. The FX was, and continues to be, one of the most driver focused, dynamic crossovers on the market. Sharing many components with Infiniti’s sport sedan, the QX drives with a controlled frenzy that’s unexpected in the world of crossovers. The steering is precise, it feels lighter than it actually is, acceleration is smooth and the exhaust tone is deep and throaty. In general, the QX70 portrays a focus on performance and poise way over off-road ruggedness.

Sleek lines, aerodynamic curves and aggressive, distinctive styling set the tone from the outside of the QX70. My model crouched low over black 21” 6-spoke wheels, a dark finish grill and plenty of aluminum accent pieces. Our alloy of choice continues on the inside, nicely integrated against black lacquered interior trim, contrast stitching, paddle shifters and leather wrapped sport seats.

The interior is suave and remarkably comfortable, Provided you stay up front. As is typical of most small crossovers, The back seat is as cramped as a 200 sq ft. IKEA showroom apartment. A high cargo floor and raked roofline cut into the cargo space as well.

Powering the QX70 is a 3.7-liter VQ engine Nissan has used in everything from Skylines and Fairlady’s to convertibles and sedans. Rightly so considering the VQ series engine made its way into ‘Words 10 best engines’ list nearly every year since the list even began. In the 2015 QX70 the V6 is good for 325 hp and is paired to a 7-speed automatic gear-box with adaptive shift controls. It comes in rear-wheel drive with the ever helpful ‘snow mode.’ The QX70 loses the 5.0-liter V8 option for 2015.

After some time with Infiniti’s spunky little crossover, I realized that Nissans focus on performance has come at the expense of too many other crossover ‘must’s.’ So much practicality and utility has been sacrificed in the name of acceleration, handling and dynamic driving. Where’s my cargo space? Where’s the back seat? a combined 19 mpg is disappointing as well.

So while the Millennials don’t want to completely let go of their fast paced younger years, the QX70 doesn’t really prepare them for what a growing family needs.

Photo via Infiniti

Photo via Infiniti

Price as tested: $58,085.00

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