This spring, we tested Infiniti’s full-size SUV, the QX80. Then, in the heat of the summer, we sampled its sporty crossover, the QX70. That left us the fall to try out the Infiniti QX60. Despite what the name might suggest, the QX60 is larger than the QX70, being a 7 passenger crossover. While not as opulent as the QX80, the QX60 does hold the same amount of people for a fraction of the price. We wanted to know if it was a fraction of the capability. So we reached out to Infiniti, and they provided us with a QX60 to take on a trip to the shores of Lake Ontario.
Remaining essentially unchanged from its JX35 days, the QX60 is Infiniti’s lowest priced, three-row people mover; seven luxury seats starting under $45,000. Our tester, almost fully optioned, was still $25,000 less than the monstrous QX80. With that kind of disparity, you’d think the QX60 would fall short of expectation. Not at all. The QX60 is the best Infiniti we’d tested to date. Why? This Infiniti sits at the perfect crossroads of functionality and cost. Unlike the QX80, with its over-the-top SUV styling and big V8 power plant, the QX60 focuses on being a premium offering in the crossover segment. The ride quality is supple, the safety features are non-obtrusive, and the engine is just enough to give the perfect balance of fuel economy and power.
Our trip would take us four hours and 180 miles from our base in Albany to the shores of Lake Ontario. The route is a mix of highways, back roads, and the occasional yield to an Amish buggy. The 3.5L V6 produces 265 horsepower and 248 lb-ft torque to smoothly propel the Infitini along without complaint. In both FWD and AWD applications, the V6 is paired with a CVT. Infiniti’s CVT suffers from none of the stereotypical maladies we’ve experienced in other units. Perhaps the greatest compliment a transmission can receive is that it goes completely unnoticed. In the QX60, that’s certainly true. It was quiet, composed, and always felt like the kept the engine just in the right place. The CVT helped the QX60 average an impressive 23mpg over the course of a long weekend.
Inside, the QX60 is one of the best dressed cars we’d been in for the price. The high quality materials used in the cabin are second to none. The seats are incredibly comfortable and the leather is soft to the touch. The Bose audio system pumps out your favorite music and rear occupants, regardless of seat, have a comfortable ride. The third row should probably be reserved kids, which we don’t have, but we imagine that they would have enough room. The navigation system has a slight learning curve and is still outdated in both looks and functionality. That is seemingly the only drawback to an otherwise dapper, up-to-date interior.
As far as the driving experience, it’s numb. The suspension is comfort-tuned and it does its job wonderfully. The steering is devoid of feedback, but you come to expect that in a luxury SUV. The QX80 certainly wasn’t any better. One thing of note is how long the QX60 is. You notice when you’re merging in traffic that the blind spot monitor is almost constantly illuminated. Seating seven is no easy task, but the Infiniti manages to hide its length from view until you’re behind the wheel. Parking is no trouble, however, with a great rear camera and sensor system. The QX60 made it easy to parking downtown where narrow streets and tight spots are typically not SUV friendly.
The Infiniti QX60 does all that’s asked of it in a very comfortable and well-put-together manner. A true family-size crossover, the Infiniti won’t disappoint with an unparalleled combination of comfort, usability and fuel economy. Looks are subjective, but we think the QX60 is one of the better looking crossovers in its class. Compared to over-styled QX80, at least in our eyes, the QX60 is more appealing. In this case, less is more. But beyond an in-house comparison, the QX60 demonstrates the template for success that all other Infiniti models should follow.
|2015 Infiniti QX60
|Premium Plus Package||$3,000|
|Deluxe Touring Package||$3,450|
|Carpeted Floor Mats||$190|
|As Tested MSRP||$55,785|
Photos courtesy Infiniti: