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The 2014 Infiniti QX60 is a new nameplate, but not an all-new vehicle. It's essentially the roomy, three-row Infiniti JX crossover that was introduced this past year, yet with new badging—as part of a naming strategy for the luxury brand that calls out coupes and sedans with 'Q' and crossovers with 'QX.'
The JX already marked some new ground for the brand last year, as it was the first Infiniti with three rows of seating that wasn't truck-based. Compared to the more performance-oriented FX (to be called the QX70) or the large, V-8-powered QX56 (to be called QX80), this is a model that focuses more on upmarket family shoppers, and against models like the Acura MDX, and possibly the Lincoln MKT.
Nothing much has changed about the former JX's look, and that's just fine. This remains a sleek, modern, and well-detailed vehicle, with a long hood that removes any hint of minivan, plus a roofline that drops slightly and looks softer than more slab-sided models such as the MDX. Inside it's definitely stylish and spacious inside, with a rich and restrained look to the cabin trims and practical luxury ruling out over all-out opulence.
What's new to the lineup in 2014 is the QX60 Hybrid, which features Nissan's Direct Response Hybrid technology, combining a 2.5-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine and a single 15-kilowatt electric motor, with a twin-clutch setup connecting it to Nissan's familiar continuously variable automatic transmission. electric motor system—together making about 250 horsepower and connected to a continuously variable automatic transmission. Infiniti anticipates that the system will return an EPA Combined rating of 26 mpg. As for the rest of the lineup, it will continue with a 265-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine, also paired with a continuously variable transmission. Both models will be offered with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
All the rest about the JX's packaging carries over to the QX60, and the QX60 Hybrid, with its compact lithium-ion battery pack tucked under the third-row seat, doesn't interfere with either cargo space or the fold-flat seats. The QX60's third-row seat isn't an afterthought, and we like how the adaptable rear seat folds, tilts, and collapses in several combinations, giving good access to the third row even if there's a child safety seat latched into it—as no other three-row vehicle can, Infiniti says (except for the related Nissan Pathfinder). The first and second rows are comfortable for real-world adults, though the third row (no matter how easy it is to reach) is better used for children than more adults.
A full suite of safety systems will be offered on the QX60 and QX60 Hybrid, including a Backup Collision Intervention system that watches for approaching objects from the sides and rear when the vehicle is in reverse. It can detect objects in the vehicle's path up to about 5 mph, and will identify cross-traffic approaching from the rear at up to 15 mph. Lane Departure Warning is useful though a bit too sensitive, we think, while the Around View Monitor is an essential safety aid for busy parents.
There's no word yet on how the 2014 Infiniti QX60 will measure up with the previous JX in terms of pricing or features, but we're betting its feature set will be essentially the same—with a glass moonroof and rearview monitor standard, and several large packages bringing those active-safety features or infotainment upgrades. The QX60 Hybrid, Infiniti notes, will sell for about $3,000 more than the standard QX60.
- Elegant styling
- Excellent third-row access
- Hybrid promises better fuel economy
- Rear Collision Intervention safety system
- Not all that exciting to drive
- Eco Mode here is for masochists
- Telematics display isn't intuitive