2015 Infiniti QX70S Elite Sport | Road Test
* Phenomenal drive thanks to its wide stance and rev-matching mechanism.
* Impeccable interior.
* Dated, both stylistically and mechanically.
* Frustrating GPS system that gives you the confidence to continue without it.
Introduction & Summary
It was back in the early 1960s that the term Unisex was coined. Connoting not all items were gender-specific, it’s a term that grew in popularity amongst designers, buyers, and wearers of apparels and accessories over the years, but certainly never got much light in the automotive realm.
Formerly referred to as the FX, the QX70S Elite Sport is indeed a cosmetic experiment on the Japanese crossover that has been roaming our streets since 2008. With a few dark chrome accents adorning the QX70S, we find out if the “Elite Sport” is more than a sneaky approach to applying some lipstick onto a pig.
Styling & Design
Below its layer of make-up, reside taut, softly defined contours and tapered creases that contrast the brawny physique of the QX70S. The outcome isn’t a styling disaster, but merely a product that appeals to both – those hailing from Venus, as well as from Mars. Subtle stylistic touches such as the dark grille, side vents, and Enkei wheels are a pleasant addition, but don’t do much in the way of making the spruced up QX70S stand out.
On the other hand, the interior is the result of a raunchy lovemaking session between the Nissan Maxima and the Infiniti Q40, and though it all looks a little familiar, it isn’t all that bad. An abundance of black leather and lacquered trim embellish the cabin, while purple stitching along the gear shift boot, seats and arm rest, add a flair of colour.
With dimensions measuring 4,865mm long, 1,925mm wide, and 1,680mm tall, the Japanese crossover isn’t very difficult to manage. In fact, with four cameras scattered around the vehicle, parking like an ace in the very first attempt is almost a given.
For the audiophiles, a 11 speaker Bose system with CD, USB, and AUX capability that delivers phenomenal sound clarity, coupled with some thumping bass, is present. Whether it’s the likes of Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli, or Rick Ross and YG that you enjoy, you can be assured it will sound great in the QX70S.
Unfortunately, the GPS system isn’t as praiseworthy. Requiring you to continually sift through several menus, categories and smaller lists before finally displaying the inevitable “destination not found”, it’s a daunting process that instills enough confidence in the driver to go on without it.
Performance, Ride & Handling
The 2015 Infiniti QX70S Elite Sport affirms its age with the lack of LEDs along its visage, a monochrome instrument cluster display, and the absence of a drive mode selector along the centre console. But it isn’t all bad, as it’s got enough grunt to match its scowling expression.
A tap of the engine starter switch with the brake pedal depressed and the 3.7 litre V6 springs to life. Directing 329 horsepower and 360 Nm of torque to an All Wheel Drive layout, grip is something that’s virtually endless, with the only restricting factor being the size of the courage platter located deep within the driver.
Mated to an exceptional 7 speed transmission that isn’t in a hurry to sprint into the highest gear at all times, it’s an enjoyable experience, one that’s made even better with superb gear holding and downshift rev matching mechanisms. When carving up the corners, the large magnesium paddles add to the fun, while each gear change and wide throttle opening is accompanied with pleasant aural symphonies.
While the firm suspension setup does a fabulous job of curtailing body roll when driving enthusiastically, it can get in the way of simple, comfortable cruising. With a constant and prominent bounce on the slightest of road undulations, the brand’s inclination to placing greater emphasis on sportiness rather than luxury with the QX70S is evident.
Comfort & Practicality
Comfort comes in the form of large, well bolstered and ventilated seats wrapped in plush leather. With manual leg extensions, rear A/C vents, and no shortage of head or leg room, be it seated in the front or the back, you’re bound to be comfortable.
On the practicality front, boot space measures 702 litres with the second row seats in use and 1,756 litres once stowed away. While it doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s significantly more than the Audi Q5’s 540 litres and Lexus RX350’s 446 litres. Conquering the daily inter-emirate commute, the QX70S Elite Sport proved its practicality further by returning an average fuel consumption of 13.5 litres / 100 kilometres.
Price & Verdict
Offering the ideal blend of power and versatility, the QX70S Elite Sport makes for a compelling case. Granted, the Elite Sport isn’t any more “elite” or “sportier” than the regular QX70S, but it’s still a brilliant vehicle nonetheless. Wearing a price tag of AED 215,000, the QX70S Elite Sport fits neatly between its rivals- the Audi Q5 at AED 210,000 and the Lexus RX350 at AED 245,000.
Appealing to the gals with its stylish frame and to the guys with its exhilarating drive, the QX70S is one of the few vehicles that is worthy of introducing the term Unisex to the automotive realm. So move aside Audi and Lexus, make way for the champ.