The 2014 Infiniti QX60 has to be a large enough vehicle to hold seven people and their goods. That said, the carmaker has done its best to give its seven-seat crossover good gas mileage, fitting a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) to all models--and, new for 2014, adding a Hybrid model as well.
This isn't a Toyota-style hybrid, however, that can move away from stops using only electric power. There's no smooth, engine-less acceleration away from stop lights. Instead, it's a mild hybrid system like that used in small Hondas, that restarts the engine after stops, adds supplemental torque when more power is needed, and recharges a small lithium-ion battery pack under regenerative braking.
Nonetheless, the system boosts gas mileage from a combined 20 or 21 mpg to 26 mpg, or more than 20 percent. Not bad for a system that only costs a couple of thousand dollars more in certain trim levels. The QX60 Hybrid gets that 26-mpg combined rating with either drive system. That's likely a bit lower than the redesigned 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid will get; last year's Highlander Hybrid, offered with all-wheel drive, was rated at 28 mpg combined. A closer comparison, the Lexus RX 450h hybrid crossover, isn't offered with seven seats--so isn't likely to be cross-shopped with the QX60 Hybrid.
The standard QX60 with gasoline engine is rated at 21 mpg in front-wheel-drive form, and 20 mpg when fitted with all-wheel drive. Infiniti says that's the best fuel economy in its class, though we presume they mean for a non-hybrid. Over a 100-mile South Carolina test drive that included highway travel, suburban errands, and two-lane back country roads, we saw exactly 20 mpg on our top-of-the-line test vehicle.