The Sun Sets on Infiniti's QX70, Not That You'll Mind

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Infiniti is closing the casket lid on the QX70 after a lifetime of middling sales. Despite being on the cutting edge of the premium crossover craze, the model never garnered the same attention — or praise — it received when it was still called the FX.

Dealerships have been notified by the manufacturer that the model won’t return for 2018. The news was later confirmed by an Infiniti spokesperson who explained the brand wanted to focus its attention on the QX50 — which typically outsells the QX70 by a factor of two-to-one in any given month. The automaker sold 16,299 QX50s in North America in 2016, while only delivering 6,742 examples of the midsize QX70.

It’s a long fall from the pre-recession numbers enjoyed when the model was still referred to as the FX. However, even then, the performance-oriented SUV peaked abruptly at 33,282 deliveries in 2003 and struggled to break 10,000 units just a few years later. The initial blow can be attributed largely to the economic downturn while the second likely has something to do with its place in the market.

A bit of a novelty when it came out, the premium crossover/SUV category has grown significantly since Infiniti devised the FX/QX70. It’s now filled with upmarket rivals wearing coveted badges.

While news of Infiniti euthanizing the QX70 is sudden, it’s not entirely unexpected. In addition to the lagging sales stats, the model has been around since 2009 under various monikers. The brand was expected to bring out a replacement within the next few years and that still appears to be the case. According to Automotive News, inside sources have indicated a replacement crossover will arrive in 2021 or 2022, based on the Nissan Murano.

Meanwhile, Infiniti will attempt to rework the QX50 into a more attractive offering for 2018. Perhaps not the most attractive compact crossover at present, the updated model promises a variable compression engine and new platform. The brand also plans to revamp the QX80 SUV by making it more crossover-like within the next few years.

[Image: Infiniti]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • AVT AVT on Jul 24, 2017

    To me, this car died when they renamed it the q70 and dropped the fx50. I really liked the original generation and the fx50 was truly something special. It's performance for the price made it a real gem. Maybe in a few years, I'll start looking at used ones.

  • Joshua Johnson Joshua Johnson on Jul 25, 2017

    As the owner of a 2014 QX70S with the 5.0, and a FX50S before that, I am disappointed in Infiniti for dropping this model without a swan song edition of some sort. After my FX50 was totaled in an accident, I spent a long time searching for a replacement. This included seriously looking at the competition. At one point I was extremely close to pulling the trigger on a Jaguar F-Pace (as Jags are by far my favorite), but in the end I really wanted another V8. This left Porsche with its engineering marvel the Cayenne, and BMW with the X5 and X6. Already having one high maintenance car in my stable and enjoying the relative reliability of the Infiniti during the time I owned the FX50, I declined both and just kept my eyes out for a final model year run of the 5.0 in the renamed QX70. Now that I have one again, I am glad I waited. Additionally, my particular example is painted a beautiful Iridium Blue that gleams in the sun like nothing else. I knew the FX/QX70 was not long for this world since it put style and performance first, and there are compromises to be had for interior space and refinement as a result. Nevertheless, I was hoping against hope for a final run being fitted with the new twin turbo six: a QX70 Red Sport. Instead, the final models are being fitted with spiffed up items from the parts bin. A sad end to the model that started the segment of performance crossovers (or high riding wagons as I call them).

  • ToolGuy Friendly reminder of two indisputable facts: A) Winners buy new vehicles (only losers buy used), and B) New vehicle buyers are geniuses (their vehicle choices prove it):
  • Groza George Stellantis live off the back of cheap V8 cars with old technology and suffers from lack of new product development. Now that regulations killed this market, they have to ditch the outdated overhead.They are not ready to face the tsunami of cheap Chinese EVs or ready to even go hybrid and will be left in the dust. I expect most of their US offerings to be made in Mexico in the future for good tariff protection and lower costs of labor instead of overpriced and inflexible union labor.
  • MaintenanceCosts This is delaying an oil change for my Highlander by a couple of weeks, as it prevented me from getting an appointment before a business trip out of town. Oh well, much worse things have happened.I also just got a dealership oil change for my BMW (thanks, loss-leader prepaid plans!) and this didn't seem to affect them at all.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Gonna need more EV fuel.
  • Lou_BC There's a company in BC that has kits for logging trucks and pickups. They have "turn key" logging trucks too. What they market is similar to what Ram wants to sell. The rig runs on batteries and a generator kicks in when depleted. On the West Coast logging in the mountains they found that the trucks run mostly on regen braking. The generator doesn't kick in much. Going up mountain, the truck is empty.