2014 Infiniti QX60 Review
Does the QX60 fit your personality?
For starters, it would not be fair to compare a mid-sized crossover to a 23-year-old flagship sedan. However, you will find some similarities on the outside. The QX60 begins with a sculptured profile with shapes and textures that signify Infiniti’s design tenets. The large grille announces the QX60’s arrival anywhere, but flanked with some small-ish headlamps. The rest of the profile continues in the usual manner with large doors and accessible liftgate.
The key attraction to the QX60 is the swath of glass framed by a chrome crown. The D pillar features a curving sweep that scales back to the rear – the QX60’s signature. Though this model wore twenty-inch medium gray satin finished wheels, the medium profile Bridgestone Dueler tires finish off the look by balancing the QX60’s overall look between aggressive, poised and elegant.
Infiniti has always crafted automobile with an emphasis on elegance. The interior continues this theme with the same amount of round shapes wherever you look and touch. There is a bit of purple tint in the instrumentation when lit denoting the brand’s official color. Included in the instrumentation binnacle is the Intelligent-View display giving a clear picture of what is going on with the QX60 at all times.
On top of the center stack is a big screen, that house in the infotainment suite – including a very good navigation system. The switchgear has improved for solid operation. Other switches are shared with other Nissan models, some of which are merely OK for an Infiniti. For the most part, interior quality is high with fine textures and finishes.
The driver and front passenger are treated to a pair of thrones. These seats are not only big, but they are very comfortable. There is enough bolstering and cushion to keep the driver locked behind the wheel. Second row passengers are treated to three-across seating with a lack of a center hump. Not only the split second row seats recline, they are also adjustable for rake. In this example, the second row passengers have two screens on the back of the front seat headrests to watch their favorite video programming – all part of the Theater Package with wireless headphones and other accompaniments.
Considering this is a three-row crossover, there are concerns about using the back row. There are really two positions for the third row – either one for children with the second row moved towards the front or just simply folded away. If you are considering seating seven adults, this may not be a comfortable alternative. In my case, I folded the rear seat and moved the second row to its furthest back position. That way, adult room is accomplished.
Sound is channeled through a Bose’s Cabin Surround sound system. You get AM, FM and SiriusXM radio along with Bluetooth connectivity with your phone and the remaining components to the video screens for the second row passengers as part of the Theater Package. The flip side of the Bluetooth connection is with music files where there was inconsistency in control, readout and playback. Otherwise, sound quality through the 15 Bose speakers was simply great.
Normally, you would find a 3.5liter V6 under the hood. However, this is the Hybrid version CarSoup.com is driving. There is a 2.5liter four-cylinder engine with a supercharger attached to it. Add the Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid system with a 15kW electric motor, a lithium-ion battery pack and a continuously variable transmission. Total output is 250 horsepower, compared to the 265 horsepower you get with the V6 QX60. Though slow off the mark from a standing start, the QX60 is pretty motivated at higher speeds.
If you want to get the most out of your QX60 Hybrid, use the Drive Mode Selector knob in the middle of the center console. This knob enables you to shift conditions on the fly. Eco mode softens up the vehicle and favors the electric motor to induce better efficiency. For more performance, Sport mode simply opens up the throttle, tightens up steering feel, and keeps the suspension in check through brisk driving moments. Normal mode combines the best of both extremes.
In driving the QX60, one has to remember that it is a 4,400-pound mid-sized crossover. It rides “huge,” meaning “solid” and “nimble.” There is a perception of the QX60 being wide and long. Yet, when you drive it, it actually feels smaller than it is perceived. The ride is solid and absorbent, to begin with. It is also nimble in traffic. Handling is on the soft side, but with minimal roll and lean. Road imperfections are handled well with minimal shock to the cabin.
The steering system on the QX60 was surprisingly superb. Turns were tighter for a vehicle of its size. Reaction was quick, though a bit loose in feel. To fix the looseness, simply switch the Drive Mode Selector to Sport. Braking was strong and direct in both normal and panic stops.
To augment the driving experience is a suite of active safety features designed to keep you in line on the road. When you back out, the center screen shows you not only what is behind you, but around you. The Around-View monitor shows you overhead shots of every side of your vehicle when you back out. There is a monitor that senses anything approaching form behind. On the sides of the A-pillar are Blind Spot Warning monitors that work silently – only emitting a yellow light when something is in your zone.
Put on the cruise control and it monitors the distance between you and the car in front – slowing down when the car in front does the same. Having dealt with Lane Departure systems, the one in the QX60 also works to keep you from going into the other lane rather than warn you when you actually do. The Infiniti approach to active safety is quite tremendous – and, frankly, not entirely annoying to the driver.
One concern on the QX60 was fuel economy. You would expect a poor consumption loop in such a big vehicle. Surprisingly, it averaged 24.2MPG – a very good figure for a mid-sized, three-row premium crossover.
When it comes to value, the QX60 also is positioned right competitively amongst luxury three-row crossovers. Starting price for a front-wheel drive V6 model is $43,095. The Hybrid model begins at $46,095. However, this fully equipped all-wheel drive Hybrid model with practically every package available rang up the bill to $60,780.
Interesting is probably not the best way to describe the Infiniti QX60, unless you mean “different” and in a good way. The QX60 pours on the luxury in the way it looks and the way it drives. Choose the Hybrid, and you could achieve excellent fuel consumption as well as emitting less exhaust emissions into the air.
One thing is certain – you will stand out in an Infiniti QX60. That is a good thing!
**If you are interested in an Infiniti QX60, log onto CarSoup.com to find out what is available on sale. **
Photos © Nissan North America