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The Car Connection Expert Review

Kirk Bell Kirk Bell Senior Editor
June 27, 2016

Buying tip

The QX60 Hybrid's pricing is too high to justify the fuel economy benefit, and it lacks real-world power.

features & specs

AWD 4-Door
AWD 4-Door Hybrid
FWD 4-Door
19 city / 26 hwy
25 city / 28 hwy
21 city / 27 hwy

The 2016 Infiniti QX60 has a rich look and excellent interior space. Suspension changes this year aim to improve dynamics but miss the mark.

The Infiniti QX60 (formerly JX) gets a minor update for the 2016 model year. It is a mid-size, three-row crossover utility vehicle with available all-wheel drive. The QX60 shares its underpinnings with the Nissan Pathfinder, and like its less-luxurious counterpart, offers a hybrid version.

The QX60 is squarely in the center of the luxury crossover market, compared to the QX70 (nee FX), which is sportier and less capacious, and the larger, thirstier, truck-based QX80 (which was previously the QX56). The Infiniti QX60 goes head-to-head with the Acura MDX, the Lincoln MKT, and the Lexus RX, though the RX doesn't offer a third row.

Infiniti has tweaked the QX60's looks this year, with new front and rear ends, highlighted by a larger grille with an integrated lower air intake. This seven-seat vehicle is relatively sleek, nicely detailed, and modern for what could have been a tall and blocky-looking box of a utility vehicle. But the long hood of the QX60 eliminates any hints of the dreaded minivan, and its roofline falls slightly to give a softer look than more slab-sided models, such as the MDX. Inside, the QX60 is spacious and stylish.

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Infiniti fitted the QX60 with stiffer shocks and springs for 2016, aiming for better dynamics. Unfortunately, that doesn't really improve agility while also upsetting the ride a bit. Infiniti might have been better leaving well enough alone. Roadholding remains just adequate, with notable lean in turns. The electric power steering doesn't transmit much road feel, and the vehicle's length becomes most apparent when trying to parallel park or navigate narrower streets.

The base QX60 uses a 265-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Also offered is the QX60 Hybrid. It features Nissan's Direct Response Hybrid technology, which combines a 2.5-liter supercharged inline 4-cylinder engine with a single 15-kilowatt electric motor, using clutches on either end of the electric motor to drive through Nissan's familiar CVT. Together, the two torque sources produce a total of 250 hp, and return an EPA combined rating of 26 mpg. Both models are offered with either front- or all-wheel drive.

Interior quality is the main difference between the QX60 and its Nissan Pathfinder brother. The dash adds a soft-touch cover with contrast stitching. Trims are rich but restrained, with practical luxury trumping all-out opulence. The overall look and feel are upscale, but not as premium as you'd get with BMW or Mercedes-Benz.

The QX60 receives good marks for interior volume and flexibility. The third-row seat isn't an afterthought, and we like how the adaptable second-row 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. The first and second rows are comfortable for adults, though the third row (no matter how easy it is to reach) is best used for children. With its compact lithium-ion battery pack tucked under the third-row seat, the QX60 Hybrid loses neither cargo space nor the fold-flat seats.

A full suite of safety systems is offered on the QX60. For 2016, the forward collision warning system adds emergency braking and pedestrian detection, and Infiniti's adds available Predictive Forward Collision Warning that can read two cars ahead.

The available rear automatic emergency braking system 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, will identify cross-traffic approaching from the rear at up to 15 mph, and can apply the brakes for the driver. Lane departure warning is useful though a bit too sensitive, we think, while the surround-view camera system is an essential safety aid for busy parents, providing a stitched-together overhead view of what surrounds the vehicle.

The 2016 Infiniti QX60 with a healthy list of standard equipment, glass moonroof and rearview monitor included. Several large packages bring those active-safety features or infotainment upgrades as options. The QX60 Hybrid, by the way, sells for about $10,000 more than the standard QX60. We don't think it is worth the price.

The standard QX60 comes with front-wheel drive and the gasoline V-6 engine. It is EPA-rated at 21 mpg city, 27 highway, 23 combined. The QX60 AWD falls just slightly to 19/26/22 mpg.




A new grille and front bumper give the QX60 a slightly more aggressive look, but it's still unmistakably a spacious crossover SUV enhanced by an attractive interior.

Infiniti has given the QX60 a few styling tweaks for 2016, mostly to the front and rear ends. The front gets slightly revised headlights, LED fog lights, and a larger grille with an integrated lower intake. The rear features new designs for the tailgate, taillights, and bumpers. The 18- and 20-inch wheel designs are also new.

Altogether, the QX60 represents a successful exercise in adapting sedan styling cues to a large crossover vehicle. The front leads with a large, puckered chrome grille, the fenders swell gently into the body side, and the rear pillar has Infiniti's signature crescent shape supporting a smoothly dropping roofline.

It's not until you get close to it, or see it next to another car, that you realize just how large this crossover is. And since many choose the three-row crossover as a minivan-avoidance measure, it's important to note that the QX60 avoids looking like that oft-dreaded people-carrier by incorporating a long hood.

Inside, even base QX60 models convey a luxurious air. The dashboard, door panels, and seats are all rich but restrained, though the vehicle is designed to accommodate family needs rather than over-the-top opulence. Particularly appealing are the array of two-tone interior treatments that keep the large interior light and airy and subtly underscore the luxury positioning.

Accent trim is wood or matte silver metal. Many parents will likely go for the two-tone as a more pleasant place to spend considerable time ferrying children. Our sole quibble with the interior styling is the analog clock, which verges on becoming as cliched as glossy piano-black trim.

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Retuned suspension settings add firmness without extra agility. The CVT saps some of the V-6's punch, and the hybrid isn't worth it.

Though it has worked as a family vehicle, Infiniti felt that the QX60 didn't offer the sporty dynamics associated with the brand. With that in mind, company engineers fitted the QX60 with stiffer shocks and springs. Unfortunately, that doesn't really improve agility while also upsetting the ride a bit. Infiniti might have been better off leaving well enough alone.

Roadholding remains just adequate, with notable lean in turns. The electric power steering doesn't transmit much road feel and the vehicle's length becomes most apparent when trying to parallel park or navigating narrower streets.

The QX60 offers a choice of two powertrains. The standard engine is a 3.5-liter V-6 that produces 265 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with the latest iteration of Nissan's continuously variable transmission (CVT). This engine provides adequate—not very enthusiastic—performance. Infiniti offers a choice of four different drive modes: Eco, Standard, Sport, and Snow. Eco is best avoided unless you're on long, flat stretches of road, as we find the pedal feel annoying; it pushes back if you try to accelerate too hard. The Sport mode remaps the CVT so its behavior mimics that of a conventional 6-speed automatic—at the cost of slightly higher fuel consumption—with defined shift points and a linear relationship between engine speed and road speed.

The step-up powertrain is a hybrid. The QX60 Hybrid, uses a supercharged 2.5-liter inline-4 paired with a single 15-kilowatt electric motor, with clutches on either side of the motor, driving through an adapted version of the same CVT. The engine and motor together produce a maximum of about 250 horsepower. Unlike hybrids from Toyota or Ford, the QX60 Hybrid can't move away from stops using only electric power. Instead, it's a mild hybrid system that adds supplemental torque when more power is needed, restarts the engine after stops, and recharges a small lithium-ion battery pack under regenerative braking. The hybrid system boosts gas mileage from either 22 or 23 mpg combined for the V-6 version to 26 mpg combined with either drive configuration.

The Infiniti QX60 is mostly quiet inside, partly because the CVT keeps engine speeds low for fuel efficiency. When it's asked for full power, the engine gets somewhat louder. However, Infiniti has added the expected swathes of luxury noise insulation, including even more this year, so it never gets particularly unpleasant.

Both powertrains can be ordered with front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive system prioritizes drive to the front wheels until it senses wheel slip or other traction problems, and then it can shift up to half the torque to the rear wheels. In other words, the QX60 is not equipped for off-road rock climbing, but it will be a very practical vehicle for muddy horse paddocks and snowy weather.

The QX60 V-6 is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds with the accessory trailer hitch fitted, though Infiniti expects only a fifth of owners will ever tow anything.

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Comfort & Quality

While the front seats could use a little more support, the clever second-row adapts to child car seats particularly well and allows easy access to the third row.

The QX60 shares its design with the Nissan Pathfinder, and the biggest difference between the two is interior quality. The styling is mostly the same this year, but Infiniti adds a soft-touch dash with contrast stitching and a new gearshift design. The overall look and feel is upscale, though not quite up to the quality of BMW or Mercedes-Benz.

As a people-hauler, the QX60 is designed for easy entry and comfort inside. It achieves those goals, with some special features that make it stand apart from the competition.

The front seats are comfortable but not particularly heavy on bolstering.

The second-row bench can slide 5.5 inches forward or back, letting all three rows of occupants negotiate the best blend of leg room and comfort. With the second row fully to the rear, there's an excess of leg room for second-row passengers, but a compromise position leaves good room for adults. However, if you choose the optional seat-cooling feature for the front seats, the space underneath them is filled with hardware, leaving no room for the second-row passengers' feet.

Infiniti is also proud of the access to the third row. On the passenger side, the second-row seat can be folded forward to give access to the third row even if a child-safety seat remains strapped into it. Parents who have struggled to fit a child safety seat will understand just how valuable that is. That feature also makes it is easier to clamber in and out, though like all third rows, it's best suited to kids and agile teenagers. Like many third rows, the cushion is low to the floor and older passengers may find the knees-up riding position uncomfortable for anything but the shortest of trips.

The QX60 provides plenty of cargo room. With both rows folded down it offers a competitive 76.5 cubic feet. The back of the second-row seat is split 60/40, and even the third row is split 50/50. There's 15.8 cubic feet of space behind the third row, as much as a decent-sized compact sedan's trunk. The space is the same in both the V-6 and hybrid versions, which is a nice touch.

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As an IIHS Top Safety pick that gets mostly five-star federal ratings, the QX60 offers safety that's good, but not quite class-leading.

The QX60 has fared well in crash tests. The NHTSA gives the 2016 Infiniti QX60 an overall rating of five stars, its highest level. It received five stars for side-crash safety, and four stars each in frontal-crash and rollover tests. The IIHS gave the QX60 "Good" ratings in all of its tests, and gave its forward collision system only a "Superior" rating, which earned it Top Safety Pick+ honors.

For a vehicle this large, the rear-quarter vision is pretty good, provided you're not using the third row. Its headrests are thankfully designed to fold down, which opens up vision through the rear window, but when they're raised, there's not a lot of daylight left in the rear. Unfortunately, folding down those headrests means pulling a pair of tabs after you've walked around to open the rear liftgate.

The 2016 Infiniti Q60 comes standard with six airbags, including side-curtain bags that protect passenger heads in all three rows, and the usual traction control, electronic stability control, and anti-lock brakes. A rearview camera is standard, and an optional surround-view camera system uses some of the vehicle's sensors to detect moving objects.

Other available safety systems include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning and intervention, and lane departure warning and prevention. We have found the lane departure warning system more sensitive than those in other vehicles, and that can become annoying. 

For 2016, the forward collision warning system adds emergency braking and pedestrian detection, and Infiniti adds its available Predictive Forward Collision Warning that can read two cars ahead.

The QX60's rear automatic emergency braking system works when the vehicle is put into reverse. Sonar sensors in the rear bumper scan the surroundings for objects, and radar in the rear quarter panels looks for objects and over longer distances. If it detects anything moving into the vehicle's path, it automatically applies the brakes after alerting the driver with both audible and visual warning signals. It works at speeds up to 5 mph for objects directly behind the car, and up to 15 mph for cross-traffic coming from the sides.

Infiniti's telematics service will contact the nearest emergency responder if an airbag triggers or it senses a crash. It can also locate stolen vehicles, and unlock the vehicle remotely at the owner's request. Parents with teens who are just getting their drivers' licenses can set up Drive Zone and Speed Zone alerts that will notify them via text or e-mail when the vehicle exceeds a predefined speed or crosses the boundaries of a designated geographic area. The system allows both "stay within" or "keep out" zones.




The QX60 is available with a full spate of luxury features, but its infotainment system is confusing and dated.

The 2016 Infiniti QX60 starts around $43,000 for base models, with prices passing $53,000 for the hybrid and if you choose liberally from the list of optional equipment. All-wheel-drive—available in all trim levels—adds $1,800 to the price of the V-6 and $1,400 to the Hybrid.

All models are well equipped. Standard features include an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, keyeless ignition, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a universal garage door opener, HID headlights, LED fog lights and daytime running lights, a power liftgate, a moonroof with an electrically retractable sunshade, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

A six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system that plays MP3 files and comes with three free months of satellite radio is standard. It comes with a USB port, and speed-sensitive volume adjustment. Drivers control the audio, navigation, and other infotainment features using a fixed mouse-like controller below the 7.0-inch touchscreen.

A Premium package comes with a Bose 13-speaker audio system; memory for the driver's seat, steering wheel, and outside mirrors; outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down feature; driver's seat two-way power lumbar support; a heated steering wheel; remote engine starting; and roof rails.

A Premium Plus package adds a navigation system with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, voice recognition, real-time traffic and weather information; the Infiniti Connection telematics system; a surround-view camera system with moving object detection and front and rear park assist; rain-sensing wipers; illuminated kick-plates; and Bluetooth streaming audio.

There's a Driver Assistance package that adds backup warning, adaptive cruise control, blind spot warnings, Active Trace Control, front and rear park assist, and a smart Eco Pedal that resists hard acceleration under certain driving circumstances.

The Deluxe Technology package comes with the Driver Assistance package features plus 20-inch wheels, a 15-speaker Bose surround sound audio system, a second and third-row moonroof with power rear sunshade, maple interior trim, heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row seats, a power up-folding third-row seat, lane departure warning and lane departure prevention, blind spot intervention, forward collision warning with emergency braking and pedestrian detection, front pre-crash seatbelts, and cross bars for the roof.

Buyers can also order an entertainment package that adds two 7.0-inch screens on the backs of the front-seat headrests for second-row video viewing.

Infotainment mixed bag

Although its display is crisp and clear, the infotainment system isn't without its flaws. The menus are convoluted, and the mix of dials, knobs, touchscreen commands, and controller use is among the least intuitive in any vehicle we've tried to figure out on the fly. We strongly recommend that shoppers considering the QX60 take the time to find a handful of commands they're likely to use, and make sure they're comfortable with this interface before signing on the line.

One unusual option is the Infiniti Personal Assistant service. For a monthly fee, drivers can be connected by phone to a concierge—an actual live human being—who will attempt to answer questions. Separately, the QX60's telematics package provides one year of free destination assistance, along with access in the vehicle to Google Calendars.

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Fuel Economy

The volume V-6 is fairly effiicient for the class, but it's hard the achieve the Hybrid's good EPA ratings in the real world.

Infiniti has done its best to give this seven-seat crossover good gas mileage, fitting a CVT to all models as well as offering a hybrid model.

The standard QX60 comes with front-wheel drive and the gasoline V-6 engine. It is EPA-rated at 21 mpg city, 27 highway, 23 combined. The QX60 AWD falls just slightly to 19/26/22 mpg.

The QX60 Hybrid is offered in very limited numbers. In fact, you have to order it to get one. The hybrid is a mild system, which means that it can't move away from stops using only electric power. Instead, it restarts the engine after stops, adds supplemental torque when more is needed, and recharges a small lithium-ion battery pack under regenerative braking.

The Hybrid's EPA ratings are pretty good, though. The EPA ratings are 26/28/26 mpg with front-wheel drive and 25/28/26 mpg with all-wheel drive. Those numbers are just a bit lower than those for the all-wheel-drive-only Toyota Highlander Hybrid (27/28/28 mpg), but it would be much easier to achieve the Toyota's ratings in the real world.

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