Infiniti QX70 road test: If you liked the FX, you’ll like the QX

2014 Infiniti QX70 3.7

2014 Infiniti QX70 3.7

Quick question: What is the major difference between a 2014 Infiniti QX70 3.7 and a 2013 Infiniti FX37? Quick answer: One year.

For reasons not exactly clear to me, but apparently quite obvious to the Japanese manufacturer’s marketing mavens, Infiniti has decided to rename its line of luxury vehicles to start with the letter “Q.”

So, other than its name there is little that has changed with this off-beat, sport-oriented utility vehicle. And, not much will change for 2015, either. The V-8 engine option is dropped and there is a new optional sport package, and that’s about it.

Infiniti QX70 instrument panel

Infiniti QX70 instrument panel

Anyway, the vehicle began life in 2003 as an FX35, became an FX37 with an upgrade of the V-6 engine in 2013 and morphed into the QX70 3.7 in 2014.

Infiniti identifies the vehicle as a performance crossover. It is built from the same platform as the former G37 sedan (replaced for 2015 by the new Q50 sedan), and has hatchback styling cues similar to a sport-utility vehicle.

I have driven several examples of the vehicle as it has cautiously evolved over the years, and each time have felt that the vehicle is definitely sporty, but not always in a good way, and less utilitarian than a true crossover should be. Still,  there is no question that it is a lot  more fun than some of the competition.

The cargo capacity — 24.8 cubic feet with second-row seatback up, 62 cubic feet with it down — is skimpier than crossovers that could be considered competition, and the back seat is tighter.

Infiniti QX70 front seats

Infiniti QX70 front seats

The rear-wheel drive 2014 QX70 I drove trumpets its sporty intentions with unique styling that features a long hood and short front and rear overhangs. It definitely stands out in a crowd.

The 3.7-liter V-6 engine puts out 325 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Power is routed to the rear wheels (all-wheel-drive is optional on V-6 models) via a 7-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode and rev-matching downshifts.

The 4,200-pound vehicle can race from a stop to 60 mph in a tad over 6 seconds. Top speed is rated at 142 mph, although I can’t imagine why anyone would find the time, the space or the inclination to prove that statistic.