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2014 Infiniti QX70 Introduction

The 2014 Infiniti QX70 was previously known as the Infiniti FX. For 2014, Nissan's luxury division has given all of its models a new nomenclature. Now, QX indicates a sport-utility and the 70 in QX70 denotes its relative size, smaller than the QX80 (previously QX56), larger than the QX50 (formerly EX) and QX60 (previously JX). Yes, we are confused, too.

The Infiniti QX70 is a relatively large luxury crossover SUV with sporty handling and a choice of responsive engines. Originally launched as a 2003 model, it was redesigned for 2009 and gained a fresh front-end appearance for 2012. Designed for performance and style, it deftly avoids the boxy proportions of traditional SUVs. The QX70 offer some usable cargo space, but not as much back-seat room and luggage space as the boxier SUVs, in spite of its large size.

Three versions are offered for 2014: The QX70 3.7 comes with a 325-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 and rear-wheel drive; QX70 3.7 AWD has all-wheel drive; QX70 5.0 AWD features a 390-horspower 5.0-liter V8. Fuel economy for the QX70 3.7 is an EPA-estimated 17/24 mpg City/Highway; the QX70 3.7 AWD is rated 16/22 mpg, and the QX70 5.0 AWD is estimated at an even less thrifty 14/20 mpg City/Highway.

The QX70 uses some of the same basic architecture as the Nissan Z and Infiniti Q60 (formerly G) two-door sports cars. Its rear-wheel-drive platform translates to impressively sporty characteristics, whether ordered with all-wheel drive or not. (Note: the QX70 has nothing in common with the Nissan Murano, which is a front-wheel-drive vehicle built on an entirely different platform.)

Primary competition for the Infiniti QX70 line comes from the rear-wheel-drive BMW X6, which costs significantly more.

There are no visual changes for 2014, with the exception of the new model-name badge. We find the wild styling of the QX70 appealing. Certainly, it's not bland. Unlike most manufacturers of crossovers and SUVs, Infiniti found a way to make its creation stand well apart from the pack, serving as a treat for the eye instead of an eyesore.

Infiniti coined the term bionic cheetah for the original FX to denote its sleek, low, stretched-out stance, and its tenacious roadholding prowess. That succinct description remains apt today, for the 2014 Infiniti QX70, summarizing its distinctively lithe and slender visual aura, as well as the fact that it approaches the best of the competition in roadholding talents.

While the exterior styling of the QX70 tends to be polarizing, its interior appears to earn approval from most observers. Touring Package cars (and the QX70 5.0 AWD), in particular, feature fine details, nicely stitched quilted leather seat upholstery, expertly stained Maple wood, and matte-finish surfaces that provide a nice respite from the chrome-plated plastic found in many other vehicles.

Technology abounds, led by the available Around View Monitor, which displays images of everything around the QX70 on the navigation display. Smart cruise control, voice-recognition navigation with real-time weather and traffic, rear-seat entertainment systems, and a host of other electronic items are available.

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