Friday - - Motoring -

ex­actly the same as the QX70S De­sign edi­tion that was un­veiled at the Paris Mo­tor Show re­cently.

Be­fore you get car­ried away by the Sport moniker, let me make it clear that all the changes made here are cos­metic, and per­for­mance at­tributes sadly re­main the same. What the al­ter­ations have done is make the QX70 a tad more dis­creet than the reg­u­lar ver­sion. All the shiny bits in the QX have been re­placed by dark chrome. Th­ese in­clude the front grille, fog light sur­rounds, side air vents, and sills and the li­cence plate frame at the back. Adding still more sub­tlety to the over­all pack­age are the smoked head­lights, along with roof rails, mir­ror caps and 21in six-spoke wheels all painted black. While th­ese don’t mag­i­cally turn the QX into a swan, they cer­tainly do lend a bit of palata­bil­ity to its po­lar­is­ing looks.

The dark theme con­tin­ues inside, with black lac­quer trim all around the cabin and black leather up­hol­stery with pur­ple stitch­ing.

How­ever, even with th­ese ad­di­tions, the QX’s in­te­rior doesn’t feel any more up­scale than a top-spec Nis­san Mu­rano’s, and the lay­out of but­tons and knobs makes them hard to ac­cess and op­er­ate.

Since there’s no per­for­mance lift, the QX70S Elite Sport drives and rides pretty much the same as the other QX vari­ants. And see­ing the S after its name, if you were ex­pect­ing to read about the 5.0-litre V8, then you’re in for some more dis­ap­point­ment, as this one has the 3.7-litre V6 en­gine

If you’ve al­ways liked the In­finiti QX but wished it had less bling, then the Elite Sport’s worth a look

un­der its bon­net. There’s noth­ing ex­traor­di­nar­ily great about this 329bhp, 360Nm en­gine, but the mere fact that you get to drive a Nis­san en­gine that’s not lug­ging the bag­gage of a dron­ing CVT is a plea­sure.

Tied to a seven-speed au­to­matic ’box here, the six-pot makes light work of the SUV’s 1,995kg weight, although it feels coarser than many ri­val six-cylin­ders.

The QX70 han­dles with more poise and bal­ance than its size sug­gests, but this comes at the cost of a firm, almost harsh ride.

If you’re some­one who’s al­ways ad­mired the In­finiti QX’s gi­ant bug looks but wished it had a lit­tle less bling, then the Elite Sport with its dark theme over­all is worth a look.

But after sign­ing on the dot­ted line, don’t come back and tell us that there’s noth­ing sportier or more elite about this QX.

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