By Cathy Droz –
When you are still working, and most of your friends are retired, you seize every opportunity you can to take long weekend trips or quick visits to friends, family and especially time with grandchildren.
My middle daughter Julia, her husband and three little girls, (five, four and 15 months) live in Rochester, New York. If you keep track of national weather you know that February in Rochester is very cold and 15 feet of snow is normal. The only way you get out of your house is by shoveling the snow from your front door to the garage or get on a plane to a warm climate.
Needing a break, the crew from New York suggested a quick trip to Arizona and visit to Disneyland and the beach for Sofia’s fifth birthday. Julia asked her sister Melanie, who lives in Phoenix, to take time off from her job and bring her four-year old son. It sounded great, and I’m happy to see them no matter how long they stay or what they want to do. What I didn’t calculate in my mind was the six hour drive to Los Angeles, a day at Disneyland and six hours back the next day. Well, we are always up for an adventure so we left on Thursday at noon to return Saturday about 4pm.
Since I test drive cars and wanted to test the new Infiniti QX70 I was able to have one delivered to my door the night before the trip. At first, I thought, “How can I fit two car seats and three adults in the well-equipped SUV? After all it wasn’t the QX80 with a third row and much more cargo space.
Well, I was pleasantly surprised; the cargo area fit our luggage and all the extras that one might bring to and from Disneyland. We put in two child car seats with me in the middle, Melanie driving, and Julia in the passenger seat. Blissfully unaware of all the noise the two four year olds were making in the Infiniti, Grandpa chauffeured the others in a rented minivan. The temptation to take advantage of the 325 horsepower engine with 267 lbs of torque was always there, but we needed to stay close to the minivan with the rest of the family. At one point we left them in the dust just to see how fast we could go with the V6. The pick-up and speed was so great, we thought it was a V8!
What we really liked about the Infiniti QX70 was the technology and safety features. A few of the items that stuck out were the leather seats (so easy to clean up the junk food the kids were eating and drinking), lane departure preventions and warning (how many times did the driver have to reach back to stop the fighting and swerve a little). We had a moonroof, which was awesome for the Rochester crew; they were actually able to see sunlight. The USB connection port for iPod and other devices (taking turns to plug in one or two at a time) was great. The tethers to get the child safety seats in and out were easy and secure and, last but not least, the sound system was so good we actually took turns choosing the music and singing at the top of our lungs. I must admit we did sing a lot of Disney tunes and if I hear the theme from Frozen one more time I might fly rather than drive next time.
The base price on a QX70 is about $45,650, but Infiniti gave me some extras like the technology, premium, and sport package which brought the price to $58,085.
The Technology package included the lane departure feature I described earlier, rain sensing windshield wipers and front pre-crash seat belts. The Premium package has Hard Drive Navigation, an 8-inch VGA color touch-screen display, voice recognition, Around View monitor with moving object detection, and CD/DVD player. The sport package includes the 21 inch, 6-spoke dark finish wheels and front grille, interior contrast stitching, paddle shifters and aluminum pedals. Very luxurious, yet sporty.
The bottom line was we all felt safe and in total luxury throughout our trip and the gas mileage was close to what they project. We got about 25 highway mph and 17 city mph with all the stop and go traffic in the Disneyland area of Los Angeles.
We did get to the beach so the Rochester kids could feel the sand between their toes and soak up a few rays but that was about ten minutes and we were back on the road.
Our day at Disneyland was a full 9 hours and so much fun. Our trip home was long but the QX70 made it comfortable. We took turns taking naps, even the kids. I’m always happy to have time with family, even if only for 48 hours.
For more on the QX70 go to www.infiniti.com.
For more reviews go to www.highheelscertified.com.