The Car Connection Infiniti QX60 Overview
The Infiniti QX60 is a large, luxury crossover SUV competing with the Acura MDX, the Volvo XC90, and, despite only having two rows of seats, the Lexus RX. Powertrain choices come in two flavors: a 265-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 and a hybrid 2.5-liter supercharged 4-cylinder making 250 hp. Both are available with all-wheel-drive.
The QX60 was, for a single model year, known as the Infiniti JX before the automaker implemented its new naming strategy. It carried over essentially unchanged from the JX after its name change, though the 2014 model year did bring a second powertrain option.
MORE: Read our 2016 Infiniti QX60 review
The QX60 holds a unique distinction in the current Infiniti lineup as the only model based on a front-drive architecture. It shares its platform with the Nissan Pathfinder, and you can see the less-expensive model's influence somewhat in the overall shape and size, as well as under the hood. Though it's also closely related to Nissan's minivan, the QX60 distances itself from that shape with an extended front end and an arcing roofline that drops lower in the rear. A new grille for 2016 integrates with the lower air intake, but the look is still familiar and it combines with the crescent D-pillar to tie the QX60's design with the rest of the luxury brand's models. We find that the well-tailored sheet metal avoids the bulky look of some similar-sized crossovers. Inside, the material colors are rich, though much of the switchgear and some of the layout is shared with less-expensive Nissan models like the Pathfinder.
While the 2013 JX only offered one powertrain—a 265-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 and continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT)—the QX60 model line adds the QX60 Hybrid. The gas-electric powertrain uses a 2.5-liter supercharged 4-cylinder engine that has a single 15-kilowatt electric motor, with a clutch on either end, between the engine and the CVT. The combined system is rated at about 250 hp. The electric motor assists the engine when accelerating, or captures energy to recharge the lithium-ion battery pack when coasting or decelerating. It doesn't, however, have the ability to run the vehicle solely on electric power, even at low speeds—unlike its closest hybrid-luxury-crossover competitor, the five-seat Lexus RX 450h. The QX Hybrid earns an EPA combined rating of 26 mpg with either front- or all-wheel drive. The non-hybrid QX60 returns 19 mpg city, 26 highway, 22 combined with all-wheel drive and 21/27/23 mpg highway with front drive.
We'd hardly call the QX60's third row adult-friendly for long distances, but the seven-passenger capability it affords will be appreciated by large families. There's also some packaging innovation. For instance, the second-row seat can move forward, even if a child safety seat is latched into place, to give third-row access. And if no safety seat is installed, kids can climb to the third row through a 19-inch gap afforded by the articulating second-row seat. It's worth noting that the battery in the QX60 Hybrid doesn't take up any load-bay space, so cargo capacity is unaffected, which isn't always the case in hybrid versions of conventional vehicles.
All the safety features—and in particular, those with leading-edge active-safety technology—in the QX60 might help win over busy moms and dads. A rearview camera is standard, and there's an excellent Around View Monitor that also scans the area immediately behind the tailgate when the QX60 is put into reverse. Other available safety features include lane-departure warning and prevention, blind-spot warning and intervention, and forward collision warning. For 2016, the forward collision warning system adds emergency braking and pedestrian detection and Infiniti's also adds Predictive Forward Collision Warning that can read two cars ahead.
The QX60 comes with some very welcome standard equipment, such as a moonroof with an electric sunshade. Infiniti also offers an entertainment package to keep rear-seat travelers happy, as well as a premium speaker system from Bose. Seat cooling is available for the front seats while the second row can be optioned with heat. The only big miss on the QX60 is its infotainment setup; it's shared with other Infiniti models and like them has a somewhat convoluted menu structure that can be difficult to navigate.
For 2015, the QX60's CVT received enhanced shift logic for the mode where it mimics an automatic's stepped gears, for more familiar performance.
Changes for 2016 include revised styling front and rear, additional soft-touch surfaces for the dashboard, more sound deadening material, and the two new safety systems mentioned above.