- Elegant styling
- Excellent third-row access
- Comfortable for a family
- Rear Collision Intervention safety system
- Less polished on road than it should be
- Infotainment lags rivals
- Costly, ineffective hybrid
The 2017 Infiniti QX60 has a rich look and excellent interior space, but it doesn't deliver the driving polish that it should.
Infiniti was fairly early to the three-row luxury crossover game with its JX, which has been continuously updated—and renamed—to become the 2017 QX60. Sharing its underpinnings with the Nissan Pathfinder, the QX60, like its less-luxurious counterpart, offers front- or all-wheel drive and a hybrid variant.
Instead of trim levels, Infiniti offers a number of packages on the QX60 that build on the base model: Premium is the volume package, while Premium Plus adds navigation and is a requirement for a host of safety items bundled together in the optional Driver Assistance Package.
More power headlines the changes for 2017 after a 2016 refresh.
The QX60 sits squarely in the center of the luxury crossover market and goes head-to-head with the Acura MDX, Volvo XC90, and Audi Q7.
The crossover earns a 6.8 overall on our ratings scale, based mostly on its good interior room, flexible second row, and quality appearance inside and out. With a more buttoned-down chassis and a different transmission, it could have scored even higher. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Infiniti QX60 styling and performance
Infiniti tweaked the QX60's looks last 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 tastefully 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 profile, and its roofline falls slightly to give a softer look than more slab-sided models, such as the MDX.
The automaker fitted the QX60 with stiffer shocks and springs for 2016, aiming for better dynamics. Any improvement to agility is offset by a firmer ride somewhat unbecoming of what's billed as a luxury crossover. Infiniti may have been better off leaving things alone since roadholding remains just adequate, with notable lean in turns and a tendency to nose plow when pushed.
For 2017, Infiniti bumps up the QX60's 3.5-liter V-6 engine to 295 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, increases of nearly 10 percent all around. The V-6 now boasts direct injection but remains paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional. A low volume QX60 Hybrid is also available, but dealers don't generally stock it and Infiniti considers it to be a special order-only item.
QX60 comfort, safety, and features
Inside, the QX60 is spacious and stylish, but decidedly similar to the much cheaper Nissan Pathfinder.
Interior quality remains the primary difference between the QX60 and its Nissan Pathfinder brother. The Infiniti boasts an overall upscale aura that doesn't quite deliver the upmarket look and feel of a pricier Mercedes-Benz or BMW.
The QX60 receives good marks for interior volume and flexibility, on the other hand. 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 when there's a child safety seat latched into it. That's a feature not offered on many rivals. 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.
QX60 offers a full suite of safety systems—including automatic emergency braking—bundled in the Driver Assistance Package, but opting for that requires adding the pricey Premium and Premium Plus groups. It's with that package that QX60 merits the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick award.
2017 INFINITI QX60
The QX60 cuts a distinctive profile outside, but its interior looks and feels a lot like the Nissan Pathfinder on which it is based.
A few cosmetic tweaks have helped update the QX60 from the JX that hit the market for the 2013 model year, but the differences are generally minor. Revised headlamps, LED fog lights, and a larger grille with an integrated lower intake mark the changes up front, while the rear features new designs for the tailgate, taillights, and bumpers. The standard 18- and optional 20-inch wheel designs were updated in 2016.
Enough differences between the QX60 and the Pathfinder mean we think its styling merits a 7 out of 10; both inside and out, it is a distinctive, attractive vehicle. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Altogether, the QX60 represents a successful exercise in adapting sedan styling cues to a large crossover vehicle. The crossover's front end leads with a large, puckered chrome grille, the fenders swell gently into the body side, while the rear pillar has Infiniti's signature crescent shape supporting a smoothly dropping roofline. That crescent shape isn't on every Infiniti yet, but it is a distinctive detail that we think helps set the brand apart.
It's not until you get close to it, or see it next to another car, that you may realize just how large this crossover is. And since many buyers opt for 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 and a more upright body.
Inside, even base QX60 models convey a mostly luxurious air. The dashboard, door panels, and seats are all rich but restrained, though this crossover has been designed to accommodate the needs of a growing family rather than to spoil with 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. Much of the QX60's design is shared with the Nissan Pathfinder, but the Infiniti has far superior detailing and overall looks and feels like a properly upscale vehicle.
The base QX60's interior is trimmed with matte silver metal-effect trim. Wood accents require stepping up to the Deluxe Technology Package, a hefty upcharge for a more luxurious-feeling interior. One minor quibble with the interior's styling is its analog clock, which verges on becoming as cliched as glossy piano-black trim.
2017 INFINITI QX60
Infiniti has improved its crossover's ride quality, but it remains unsettled against rivals. And its CVT does it few favors in the refinement department.
Infiniti positions its lineup by emphasizing its models' sporty dynamics, but the QX60 feels like something of an outlier. That's not necessarily a terrible thing, since buyers looking for a family vehicle aren't usually after corner-carving agility, however.
It's handling that holds the QX60 back in this category, though. It doesn't steer crisply or ride well enough, and its powertrains get a little groany when pushed. We give it a 5 out of 10, representing an average overall score. It earns a point for its ride quality but loses one for its subpar transmission. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The QX60 offers a choice of two powertrains. The standard engine is an updated-for-2017 3.5-liter, direct-injected V-6 that produces 290 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. The V-6 is paired exclusively with the latest iteration of Nissan's CVT. We haven't yet tested the 2017, with 30 more horsepower and 22 more pound-feet of torque, it should provide improved acceleration over the adequate, but not very enthusiastic, 2016 version.
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 and feels more like a gimmick than a real driving aid. 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. Most drivers will, predictably, leave the system in Standard, which works well enough but does deliver some of the droning inherent to CVTs when pushed.
The step-up powertrain is the QX60 Hybrid, which uses a supercharged 2.5-liter inline-4 paired to 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, among others, 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 front- or all-wheel 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, so it remains pleasantly quiet at speed.
Both powertrains are available 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 crawling, but it will provide good slushy weather traction.
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.
Last year, Infiniti fitted the QX60 with stiffer shocks and springs, which slightly improved handling at the expense of ride quality. Ultimately, roadholding remains just adequate, with considerable lean in turns. The electric power steering doesn't transmit much road feel and the vehicle's considerable length becomes most apparent in a congested urban environment.
2017 INFINITI QX60
Comfort & Quality
Upmarket leather trim and a flexible second row that allows child seats to remain in place for third row access help the QX60 here.
With seating for seven across three rows, and lots of interior space to dole out, the 2017 Infiniti QX60 is one of the bigger family wagons in its price class.
It's styled well enough; the QX60's overall look and feel is about on par with Acura but a step below Audi and Volvo, which offer a more imaginative design. Even so, we've given it an 8 out of 10 available points for comfort, utility, and quality. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The QX60 shares its design with the Nissan Pathfinder, and the biggest difference between the two is interior quality—not design. The Infiniti, predictably, features higher-end materials throughout, and it includes as standard contrast stitching on the seats, door panels, and dashboard.
On the comfort front, QX60 scores well. Its doors open wide and its step-in height is comfortably low. Up front, the seats are comfortable but not particularly heavy on bolster. The second row features a convenient slide mechanism that lets it scoot 5.5 inches forward or back, allowing all three rows of occupants to 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 deservedly proud of the access to the third row. On the passenger's 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 much of a boon that feature is.
The third row, like all in the segment, is best suited to kids and agile teenagers. Its cushion is low to the floor and it isn't especially well-padded, but it will certainly be fine for a carpool run.
The QX60 provides plenty of cargo room. With both rows folded, it offers a competitive 76.5 cubic feet. The back of the second row seat is split 60/40, and even the third row has a 50/50 split. There's 15.8 cubic feet of space behind the third row, as much as a decent-sized compact sedan's trunk. Unlike many hybrids, the QX60's interior and cargo storage space is not adversely impacted by the battery pack.
2017 INFINITI QX60
The QX60 receives top marks from the IIHS, but its top safety tech requires adding several extra packages.
The QX60 has fared well in crash tests, earning the coveted IIHS' Top Safety Pick award—but only when ordered up with the optional forward collision warning system included in the Driver Assistance Package. The NHTSA, meanwhile, rates the QX60 five stars overall but gives the crossover a less impressive four stars in the frontal crash test.
For a vehicle this large, rear over-the-shoulder 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 rearview mirror. Unfortunately, folding down those headrests means pulling a pair of tabs after you've walked around to open the rear liftgate.
If Infiniti made its safety tech a stand-alone option, not one that requires adding nearly $10,000 in options to the QX60, we would have rated it higher than the 7 out of 10 score it was awarded, but good crash test scores are a great starting point. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Standard and available safety features
The 2017 Infiniti QX60 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 monitors and intervention, and lane departure warning and prevention, all bundled in the Driver Assistance Package that requires buying both the Premium and Premium Plus packages. We have found the QX60's lane-departure warning system to be more sensitive than those in other vehicles, and that can become annoying.
That package also includes some standout safety features worth noting. For one, the forward-collision warning system looks two cars ahead of you and can automatically apply the brakes if it detects an impending collision. Then there's rear automatic emergency braking that utilizes sonar and radar sensors in the rear bumper and quarter panels to scan the surroundings for objects. If it detects something moving into the vehicle's path when it is backing up, it will alert the driver and, if no action is taken, automatically apply the brakes. It works at speeds up to 5 mph for objects directly behind the QX60 and up to 15 mph for cross traffic coming from the sides. The system is particularly useful in a crowded parking lot.
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 a license can set up 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.
2017 INFINITI QX60
The QX60 has lots of features, but it's hobbled somewhat by an outdated infotainment system.
Infiniti offers two directions with the QX60: V-6 or Hybrid, both of which are offered with either front- or all-wheel drive. The Hybrids come better equipped, as they should for a nearly $10,000 premium, but they're essentially only available when ordered.
Even the base QX60 pampers with a power moonroof and heated leather seats, but most models you'll find on dealer lots will have one of two additional packages—Premium and Premium Plus. For 2017, one of the biggest equipment upgrades is that a previously optional 8.0-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth for mobile phones and streaming audio players is standard on all QX60s.
The QX60's biggest demerit remains the brand's subpar infotainment, but it is generally very well equipped and thus deserves its 8 out of 10 available points. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Infiniti QX60 options
The Premium package adds 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.
From there, the Premium Plus package adds a navigation system, 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.
New for 2017, the package also adds auto-dimming exterior mirrors, automatic high beam headlamps, and a motion-activated tailgate that requires only a foot waved under the bumper to pop it open.
Buyers can also order an entertainment package that adds two 8.0-inch screens with an HDMI port on the backs of the front-seat headrests for second-row video viewing.
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 requires a lot of acclimation. 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 Calendar.
2017 INFINITI QX60
At 22 mpg combined, the Infiniti QX60 is about par for its class.
While the 2017 QX60 hasn't yet been rated by the EPA—we should see a figure closer to its on-sale date this fall—the 2016 came in at a reasonable 21 mpg city, 27 highway, 23 combined. The QX60 AWD falls just slightly to 19/26/22 mpg.
Either way—23 or 22 mpg combined—the QX60 scores a 6 out of 10, since we don't expect its EPA figures to change. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
It's worth noting that those figures reflect the Standard position on the QX60's drive mode selector, not the Eco mode that may help drivers achieve slightly lower fuel consumption by modifying their driving habits.
The QX60 Hybrid, however, ups those figures to 26/28/26 mpg with front-wheel drive and 25/28/26 mpg with all-wheel drive. It is not widely available in showrooms. Toyota's Highlander Hybrid checks in at 27/28/28, owing in part to its ability to operate on only electric power at lower speeds.