What's In A Name?: The 2015 Infiniti QX70

Front 3/4 view of 2015 Infiniti QX70
The 2015 Infiniti QX70.
In automotive circles, the re-naming of Infiniti's entire lineup is old news.  It happened in late 2013.  However, if you do not follow the inner workings of the automotive industry and are simply a luxury crossover owner whose lease is coming up and are beginning to shop around for the next, it might be helpful to note that the Infiniti QX70 is the vehicle you've known for 12 years as the Infiniti FX35 and/or FX37.

Beyond the name change, the mission is the same: To build a crossover that competes directly with the Lexus RX 350 with more power and far more flamboyant styling.

Rear view of 2015 Infiniti QX70
2015 Infiniti QX70 (S Model shown).
The base price is about $3,000 higher than the Lexus, at $45,850.  The extra money goes toward a 3.7-liter V6 engine that puts out 325 horsepower to the RX 350's 270, and a 7-speed automatic transmission with adaptive shift control and manual shift mode with downshift rev matching to the RX's six-speed sequential automatic. The EPA fuel economy estimate is 17 city/24 highway, a near-match to the RX 350's 18/24, which shows what an additional gear can do, virtually erasing the gas consumption penalty of the extra 55 horsepower.

And when you press the throttle in the Infiniti, you know that power is there.  The push, the sound and the surroundings all encourage enthusiastic driving.

The list of standard equipment is as exhaustive as the Lexus', so I will do what I did in that review and send you to the source for that list.

Interior view of 2015 Infiniti QX70
2015 Infiniti QX70 interior.
As long as the list of standard equipment is, so is the list of available options, though they are grouped into packages.  Our test vehicle had only four options, but they added a couple of dozen features and $11,240 to the as-tested price:

Technology Package (Intelligent cruise control, lane departure warning and lane departure prevention, intelligent brake assist, forward collision warning, adaptive front lighting with auto-leveling headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers and front pre-crash seat belts): $2,950.

Illuminated Kick Plates: $440.

Premium Package (Hard drive navigation, nine-inch color VGA touch-screen display, voice recognition, NavTraffic and NavWeather, Around View monitor with moving object detection and front and rear sonar, Bluetooth streaming audio, a single in-dash CD/DVD player, dual occupant memory system, entry/exit assist for the driver's seat and steering wheel, outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down, a power tilt/telescoping steering column and aluminum roof rails): $4,300.

Sport Package (21-inch six-spoke dark finish wheels, dark finish front grille, aluminum roof rails, fog lamp surrounds, outside mirror housings, side air vents, lower side moldings and trunk finishers, interior contrast stitching, a dark headliner, climate-controlled front seats, driver and front passenger seats, a driver's seat with 4-way power bolster adjustment, solid magnesium paddle shifters and aluminum pedals.

With $995 for destination charges, the as-tested price was $58,085.  That's just a bit less than $3,000 above the as-tested price of the RX 350 we tested.

They may be the Jekyll and Hyde of luxury crossover SUVs---the Lexus all about buttery-soft smoothness and the Infiniti encouraging you to indulge your Formula 1 fantasies. Which would you choose?