Monday, December 16, 2013

You have needs? Infiniti QX70 fills the bill

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews also can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website – via the “GALLERY: Reviews of new cars” link at

Sacramento, California – What more could one want in a sport-utility vehicle?

After a week in the 2014 Infiniti QX70 3.7 AWD, my answer is: Can’t think of a thing.

Strange as it sounds, I have an emotional attachment to luxo Infiniti SUVs, as a loaded Infiniti sport-ute was one of the first models I was allowed to test drive all by my lonesome years ago.  Flashing forward to now, however, my long-ago experience was more akin to taking a flight in a biplane.  By comparison, this contemporary Infiniti SUV model is a bells and whistles-laden Stealth fighter jet.

The tester’s technology list was long and impressive.

Start out with a lane departure warning system that also doubles as a lane departure prevention system by lightly applying the brakes if you do not respond to an audible warning.

Move on to the distance control assist system that aids the driver with throttling and braking in suddenly slowing traffic.

Then there’s intelligent cruise control (speeds automatically controlled to maintain a safe following distance).  You can adjust following distance via a steering wheel-mounted button.  You can also opt for old-school cruise control should the primo version be too much for your liking.

You also get intelligent brake assist, which has the job of warning of imminent impact. And there’s a forward collision warning system.

Keep in mind that this is the PARTIAL list of techno fireworks.

Most know that I typically don’t like to give up control of a car to various tech systems, but just seeing all these goodies in one SUV struck me as a fairly major engineering accomplishment.

Yes, my QX70 – sharp-eyed readers will note that this is a recent departure from Infiniti’s “FX” nomenclature – did have the full-on Technology Package, the Deluxe Touring Package (leather appointments, maple interior accents, aluminum pedals and 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels) and Premium Package (including voice recognition, hard drive navigation and an eight-inch color touchscreen for multiple uses) that swelled the $46,400 starting price to $57,945.

And for that price, it is good to get a lot.  Beyond the tech show, luxury features ran the gamut, making the QX70 a near five-star rolling hotel suite.  Exterior styling is aerodynamically pleasing, a positive departure from the more boxy Infiniti SUVs of years past.

On the roll, the QX70 was a study in quiet assertion.  Power comes from a 3.7-liter V-6 rated at 325 horsepower.  It propels the QX70 with authority, but be careful on the accelerator, as the torque output is so silky that you can find yourself pushing 80 mph in a hurry.  Interior cabin noise is virtually negated, even during hard accelerations.

This is a highway cruiser that makes a 100-mile jaunt seem like a springtime skip in the park.  You don’t want to get out of the vehicle after a mere 100 miles.  A 300-mile cruise with sweetly amplified music, comfortable seating and rock-solid handling is actually something to look forward to in this QX70.

That extended mileage will cost you, however.  Fuel mileage ratings are a wallet-sapping 16 miles per gallon in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.

My guess is that the typical QX70 buyer doesn’t worry about such trivial things as budgeting for weekly gasoline purchases.  Alas, I’m not part of that sky’s-the-limit group.

But I certainly did enjoy my week in this decidedly classy transporter.

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