Essentially last year’s Infiniti JX35 given a name change and some new options, the QX60 is a roomy, luxurious SUV that shares a platform with the capable Nissan Pathfinder. Powered by either a 3.5 liter 265 horsepower DOHC V6, as in our test-car, or a new-for-2014 hybrid powertrain, the QX60 provides adequate performance for a large vehicle with three rows of seats. Front-wheel drive is standard, but most models will be equipped with Nissan’s “Intuitive All Wheel Drive.” The QX60’s braking performance is impressive for so large a vehicle, with stops from 60 mph coming in as little as 120 feet, which was considered sports-car territory a decade ago.
The QX60 also comes loaded with an array of high-tech safety features, which complement its 5-star overall NHTSA crash test rating. A back-up camera is standard, as are, of course, front, side and curtain airbags, ABS and stability control. Optional are blind-sport warning and intervention systems and a collision mitigation system that uses the optical rangefinder from the automatic cruise control to detect impending forward collisions and then alerts the driver and automatically applies brakes. The system also uses the radar-based rear parking sensors to detect potential rear-collisions.
As befitting our car’s test price, the Infiniti QX60 came with a classy-feeling interior trimmed in leather and real wood. The accents and controls felt high-quality, up to Infiniti’s standard and a big improvement over Nissan products of a few years ago. The HVAC system was easy to use and worked well, and the electronics interface was more intuitive than most these days, with a combination of a large, easy-to-read screen and simple controls. Our midnight-garnet test car also included the AroundView monitor, which provides a virtual 360 degree bird’s eye view of the car, to assist with parking maneuvers.
Less impressive than its amenities was the Infiniti QX60’s fuel economy. We averaged 17.4 mpg in mixed driving. Not terrible for an SUV, but still disappointing considering the QX60’s 19 city/ 25 highway EPA ratings. We’ve yet to try out a QX60 hybrid, but have high hopes for its promising combination of luxury, efficiency and usefulness.