New & Used Infiniti QX60: In Depth
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The Infiniti QX60 is the large luxury crossover SUV that replaced the just-launched Infiniti JX for the 2014 model year. The QX60 has three rows of seating, a V-6 and an optional hybrid drivetrain, and available all-wheel drive. It's a rival for vehicles like the Volvo XC90, the Acura MDX, and the Toyota Highlander.
MORE: Read our 2015 Infiniti QX60 review
The QX60 was christened for 2014 as the successor to the Infiniti JX after the 2013 model year. Under a new naming strategy at Infiniti, all the models in the lineup have new alphanumeric badges, with 'Q' denoting coupes or sedans and 'QX' referring to crossovers. The numbers following refer, roughly, to relative size. The QX carried over essentially unchanged after its name change.
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 arced roofline that drops lower in the rear. Infiniti's familiar grille outline and crescent D-pillar tie it in with the rest of the luxury brand's models, and the well-tailored sheetmetal avoids the bulky look of some similar-sized crossovers. Inside, the material colors are rich, although much of the switchgear is shared with less-expensive Nissan models like the Pathfinder.
While the 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 new powertrain uses a 2.5-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine that has a single 15-kilowatt electric motor, with a clutch on either end, between the engine and the CVT. The combined powertrain 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 with either front- or all-wheel drive, while the standard model delivers 20 mpg with all-wheel drive, or 21 mpg if you choose the front-wheel-drive model.
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 ability to move the second-row seat 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. An excellent Around View Monitor is standard, while there's an optional Backup Collision safety camera, which scans the area immediately behind the tailgate when the QX60 is put into reverse; and that's in addition to Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Brake Assist, and a blind-spot detection system.
The QX60 comes with some very welcome standard equipment, such as a moonroof with an electric sunshade. Infiniti also offers a Theater package to keep rear-seat travelers happy, as well as a WaveGuide 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.
The biggest change to the QX60 since its renaming and its new hybrid model comes for 2015. Its CVT gets enhanced shift logic for the mode where it mimics an automatic's stepped gears, for more familiar performance. Otherwise, today's gas-powered QX60 is very similar to the original JX crossover.