By on October 16, 2017

2015 Infiniti QX70 - Image: Infiniti2017 was the 15th and final model year for the Infiniti QX70, formerly known as the Infiniti FX. Sad, sad the day.

But is the QX70/FX, a dramatically curvaceous take on the modern idea of a crossover, dead and gone for good? Perhaps not. “We are now asking ourselves what is the QX70’s role?” Infiniti president Roland Krueger rhetorically asked Automotive News, “And what should it be?”

Maybe these questions come a year or two or 15 too late, but the fact that Krueger even broaches the subject suggests a high degree of willingness to reinsert the vehicle back into Infiniti’s lineup. If Nissan’s upmarket brand could copy the degree of success the FX earned early on in its tenure — more than 30,000 were sold in America in 2004 — then the rebirth can’t come soon enough.

“We think about what it was created to be, as the FX,” Krueger says, “but what should it be now?”2006 Infiniti FX - Image: InfinitiAt the height of the FX’s success, the boldest Infiniti was a four-door SUV coupe before four-door SUV coupes were (hilariously named) four-door SUV coupes. The BMW X6 didn’t arrive as a direct rival, albeit further upmarket, until 2008. By that time, Infiniti FX sales had fallen 59 percent since the 2004 peak.

As the QX70, with ever more abundant competition, Infiniti averaged fewer than 6,000 annual sales, a far cry from the 26,000 annual sales the FX averaged during its first half-decade on the market.

Thus, while it may seem obvious for Infiniti to fill the gap between the QX60 and larger QX80 with an alternative to the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE, Infiniti may not feel there’s space in that narrow niche. That’s why Roland Krueger, the successor at Infiniti to current Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen, is asking the question.

Should QX70 equal something else altogether?

2012 Infiniti FX50 - Image: InfinitiWhile Infiniti HQ attempts to answer that question, the company’s next SUV task relates to the replacement of the long-lived QX50, formerly the EX, with a second-generation model next year. More popular in old age as a lengthened model, the QX50 required an inventory build-up while Infiniti waits for the new variant to arrive. “We’ll have enough inventory to run out just as we launch the new QX50,” says Randy Parker, Infiniti’s North American vice president.

Infiniti showed a concept that accurately previewed the second-gen QX50 at the North American International Auto Show in early 2017. Before that model’s arrival, the QX50 was put on hiatus for the 2018 model year.

[Images: Infiniti]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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11 Comments on “The Discontinued Infiniti QX70, Née FX, May Yet Return...”

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I think the big issues with the QX70 are:

    1. Unattractive lease rates. I’m seeing rates of $809 per month right now, which is uncompetitive for this class and price of car. Even if you could be convinced to go with an QX70 over the much newer wares from BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Volvo, etc…why would you when it costs more? And keep in mind, not that many people care about the V6.

    2. The fact that Infiniti let it wither on the vine since 2009. The facelift updates weren’t meaningful, and it feels like a dated, if well-built, mode of conveyance these days.

    3. The fact that Infiniti can just replace it with a five-seat SUV that’s well-styled and that uses the transverse-engined Nissan group platform…essentially, a luxury-badged Murano, or a sawn-off QX60…targeted at the profitable XT5 / MKX / RX segment, and presumably less expensive to produce than the QX70. That seems to be exactly what the upcoming QX50 will be.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with most if not all of this. If a FWD based chassis is good enough for the top selling luxury crossover (RX) it will be fine for the QX70’s replacement.

      The main hangup is the transmissions. Nissan’s partnership with Jatco seems to run deep; and while Jatco has done well with the corporate CVT their conventional planetary autos are awful compared to the competition. Oddly, Nissan hasn’t tried at all to leverage the DCT it developed for the GT-R; that seems like a logical next step.

      In any case, outside of that they have the hardware. Make the base engine the new variable compression 2.0T, and the up optioned engine the new 3.0TT turned sideways. Maybe offer a hybrid version as well. And change the styling to reflect the current language. Priced right I think they’d have something worth talking about.

  • avatar

    If they bring it back it will just be some squished ‘coupe’ version of the QX60 complete with FWD and CVT so who cares anyway.

    Although if the performance CUV segment does take off it will be funny that Cadillac and Infiniti abandoned it considering they largely pioneered the idea.

  • avatar

    Possibly the best example of how and why Infiniti went from being ahead of the game to behind the times. It easily bested the early German SUV efforts, as did most Japanese competitors.

  • avatar

    As a current owner of a 06 FX35 and previous owner of an 03 350Z.

    I think they have one fault in common that ultimately led to there loss of popularity.

    -They didn’t change the design language enough to differentiate the old and new. They stuck with a formula that worked and consumer behavior/market changed in the following 10 years.

    The 2017 QX70 looks just as good as the 2004 FX35 and the 2018 370Z looks just as good as the 2003 350Z.

    Also another peculiarity is that it’s a model built in Japan, but never sold in their home market.

  • avatar

    The proportions are painfully wrong. The rear edge of the windshield is at the midpoint of the car, and the wheels and fenders are way too large. If the lumpy potato that is the Juke had a big brother, the QX70 is it.

  • avatar

    We’re on our second as my wife’s car, she initially had an ’07 FX35 which she loved enough for us to get a ’16 QX70 Sport as a replacement. I agree with Kyree above, for whatever reason dealers don’t move much on price with these when new although killer lease return deals can be had. Ours was an early lease return (16 months) and had 20 000 KMs on it, we got it for $39K (stickers for $64K CAD).

    We like everything about it….great performance from the admittedly coarse 3.7, enough room for us (no kids) but I think even with two kids you’d have more then enough room for stuff….but no, it isn’t a 3 row SUV. We love the looks, different from everything else in the segment. Has all the features that this segment typically has. If Infiniti replaces it was another three box SUV/CUV between the QX60 and QX80, then we’ll look elsewhere for a replacement. However, I think the demographic that we represent just isn’t large enough to support another QX70.

  • avatar

    Yep, they can make more sales and with less overhead expense by building it in the US atop the Pathfinder/Altima platform, with CVT and standard 3.5VQ V6.

  • avatar

    It’s crazy to think how far ahead of the curve Nissan was with the FX and the Murano way back in ’03.

  • avatar

    Best. Looking. Car. Period.

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