Recently we tested the QX60 midsize luxury crossover utility vehicle from Infiniti, again, and we really appreciated the accommodation and quality, again. Over the past five years, I think this is the fourth model to grace our test driveway. So, what’s new?
Let’s see, recently the QX60 has gotten a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS, it has been named a winner in the AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards, it won a best-in-class luxury SUV award from New England Motor Press, U.S. News and World Report called it a “best luxury three-row SUV for families,” Kelley Blue Book likes it for its 5-year cost to own, and CarGurus honored it with a best used car award. Oh, Infiniti also put in some new back seat reminder technology this year, in addition to the host of other gear the QX60 offers.
As far as midsize three-row crossovers go (luxury or not), the Infiniti QX60 is a winner, along with corporate sibling Pathfinder. It is convenient to load and unload and offers usable seating space in both second and third rows at the same time. A recent other luxury Asian model we tested recently fell a bit short in this arena. The QX60 also offers a very solid ride and drive experience with good acceleration while still being comfortable and quiet. It is easy to see why the American consumer is moving from sedans to crossover utilities, given the quality of ride offered these days both in luxury and non-luxury models.
Let’s begin up front before we move to the new rear seat technology. The QX60 is powered by a peppy 295hp 3.5-liter V-6 engine with direct-injection technology for better throttle response. This being a Nissan/Infiniti product it does arrive with a CVT gearbox but in this application Infiniti does a very good job isolating the driver and occupants from some of the annoying attributes common to CVTs. And the Drive Mode Selector allows for fine-tuning of the driving experience via Standard, Sport, Eco, and Snow settings. We pretty much skipped those latter two modes and found ourselves liking the Sport mode most as this will introduce artificial gear steps into the CVT for more natural driving feel while also adding a few additional sporty traits to the electronic driving systems.
Suspension duties are handled by the independent-strut front and multi-link rear designs offering a good combination of comfort and control, especially in corners and twisty road segments. Steering is electronic but offers a good feel of control without being too numb as in some of the new disconnected systems. There is also the Active Trace Control employed by Infiniti to further enhance stability and control when the steering wheel is being adjusted left or right. This technology applies subtle braking along with smoothing engine torque characteristics to enhance vehicle stability. QX60 rides standard on 18-inch wheels and tires with our recent tester rolling in on 20s and in all-wheel drive no less.
We were treated to the Deluxe Technology package in the 2018 QX60 as well as the Theater and Premium Plus Packages. These added so much in the way of technology, comfort, and craftsmanship. Leather was everywhere along with some very nice wood and metal accents. Dual 8-inch monitors adorn the rear of the front seat headrests and offer wireless operation while the other occupants (including yours truly) can take advantage of the premium Bose audio system. The front bucket seats offer wonderful comfort and support while the occupants enjoy heat or ventilation offerings. Second row seats are heated while offering recline and fore/aft adjustability and the third row offers power return. The liftgate is fully powered and offers motion activation for added convenience. Our vehicle arrived with not only a moonroof over the front seats but atop the rear seats as well.
OK, that new rear seat technology we mentioned. We first saw a similar application in GM sport utes and now Infiniti delivers Rear Door Alert that helps remind folks of anything they may have left in the rear seat area of the vehicle…including children (although Infiniti never specifically mentions children in its description of this system, only pets, valuables, dry cleaning, groceries, and more). I have seen the news reports of children being forgotten in vehicles and later succumbing to the heat and for the life of me cannot figure out how this is occurring as our grandkids NEVER let us forget they are with us. Kudos to automakers for bringing this technology to market. A chime and warning message in the instrument panel remind drivers they opened the rear doors of the vehicle on this driving cycle.
Pricing for the 2018 Infiniti QX60 begins at $43,300 with our loaded AWD tester arriving with a final window sticker price of $60,670. Rear Door Alert is standard, no penalty for this new safety feature. Fuel economy is rated at 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.
The QX60 has become the best-selling vehicle in the Infiniti showroom and after driving four versions of it over the past half-decade or so we can appreciate why. This is a very good, very safe vehicle loaded with premium attributes that is as convenient for families as it is for empty nesters.