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.
Fifteen years ago, buying a practical luxury car to replace a Honda Accord meant going down to your BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, or occasionally, Audi showroom and coming back with a 5-Series, E-Class, GS, or if you were particularly brave, an A6. All these brands except Audi had SUVs at the time though, but they were hardly replacements for a midsize luxury sport sedan. The Mercedes ML handled like a truck while the RX300 wasn’t exactly intended for the sport sedan driver, something emphasized by the number of moms and AARP members who bought them at the time. Meanwhile, my dad test drove an X5 and 5-Series back to back and promptly bought a 530i.
But no one fifteen years ago would have considered Infiniti, whose only rear-drive sedan was the full-size Q45, which no one bought. A few years later, Infiniti went through a product renaissance, bringing out the Infiniti G35 (which many people bought), the M (the one based on the JDM Nissan Gloria few people bought), and an updated Q45 (which even fewer people bought). In 2003, they also brought out a sporty crossover – the FX. It was meant to compete with the X5, Porsche Cayenne, and XC90, but the FX was dramatically better on-road than off-road compared to most of its competitors. The FX, despite being smaller and not capable of tackling off-road trails, became a sales success for Infiniti.
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