2015 INFINITI QX60 Reviews and Ratings

Utility 4D Hybrid AWD I4

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2015 INFINITI QX60
New Car Test Drive

Introduction

The Infiniti QX60 is a luxury crossover SUV with three-row seating that strikes a nice balance between practicality and self-indulgence. It’s big, and good for families, but doesn’t feel huge underway.

For 2015, the standard electronically controlled continuously variable transmission, or CVT, adds new D-Step Logic Control, which simulates shifts during acceleration, giving a more natural feeling as speed builds. The other changes are cosmetic: an available wheat-and-black leather interior, and three new exterior colors. Launched as the 2013 Infiniti JX, its name was changed to QX60 as part of an overhaul of the Infiniti model nomenclature.

QX60 is quiet, mannerly and competent on the road, if not dynamically exciting to drive. The standard Infiniti QX60 is powered by Nissan’s familiar 3.5-liter V6, rated at 265 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque, paired with the CVT. Nissan was an early adopter of CVTs and is a leader in this technology. There is also a QX60 Hybrid, using a single 15-kilowatt electric motor/two-clutch system, compact lithium battery pack, and supercharged 2.5-liter engine, yielding a net 250 horsepower.

There are quite a few mid-luxury crossovers with three-row seating. The top player is the Acura MDX with its 300-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6. It gets about the same fuel mileage as the Infiniti QX60, which is EPA-rated at 21 city/27 highway/23 combined with front-wheel drive, and 1 mpg less with AWD. The QX60 Hybrid gets 26 combined, only 3 mpg more than the V6.

At 196.4 inches, the Infiniti is 4.8 inches longer than the MDX, on a wheelbase that is 5.9 inches longer, so the Infiniti has more passenger and cargo space. Its inherently boxy shape is flattered by a laid-back windshield, curving roofline, and forward-canted rear hatch, set off by a creative zigzag in the rear roof pillar. Its face glitters with a chrome double-arc grille speaking Infiniti’s current design language.

Model Lineup

The 2015 Infiniti QX60 comes with a choice of front-wheel drive ($42,400) or all-wheel drive ($43,800). (All prices are Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices, which do not include $995 destination charge and may change at any time without notice.) 2015 QX60 models come standard with the 3.5-liter V6 and continuously variable transmission (CVT). QX60 Hybrid ($45,400) and QX60 Hybrid AWD ($46,800) are similarly equipped, but include a 2.5-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine, along with the electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack.

Standard equipment includes leather upholstery, three-zone automatic climate control, heated power front and front passenger seats, six-speaker AM/FM audio with CD and USB connectivity, speed-sensitive volume and Radio Data System (RDS), power windows with automatic up/down, remote keyless entry, pushbutton start, leather-wrapped power tilt/telescopic steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, trip computer, outside temperature display, interior ambient lighting, four 12-volt outlets, four-mode CVT transmission presets, fog lights, power moonroof, power rear liftgate, 18-inch alloy wheels.

Options include the Premium Package ($1,550) with 13-speaker Bose premium audio, CD/DVD/MP3 playback, driver’s seat occupant memory, entry/exit assist, enhanced intelligent key fob, heated steering wheel, driver’s power lumbar support, remote engine start. The Hybrid Premium Package ($4,600) adds a hard-drive navigation system with 8-inch touch-screen, Lane Guidance, voice recognition, NavTraffic, NavWeather, Zagat restaurant survey, Infiniti Connection service, Around View monitor with moving object detection, rain-sensing wipers.

The Premium Plus Package ($3,000) includes the hard-drive navigation system with 8-inch touch-screen, voice recognition, NavTraffic, NavWeather, Zagat restaurant survey, Infiniti Connection service, Around View camera monitor system with moving object detection, rain-sensing wipers, reverse tilt-down mirrors. The Deluxe Touring Package ($3,450) includes 15-speaker Bose Surround Sound audio, 20-inch wheels, second- and third-row moonroof, power rear sunshade, advanced climate control system, climate-controlled front seats, heated outboard second-row seats, maple interior accents, third-row seatback power return.

The Technology Package ($2,800) includes Lane Departure Warning and intervention, Blind Spot Intervention, automatic pre-crash front seatbelt tensioners. The Deluxe Technology Package for Hybrid ($6,050) also includes 15-speaker Bose Surround Sound, 20-inch wheels, second- and third-row moonroof, power rear sunshade, advanced climate control with automatic circulation and air purifier, climate-controlled front seats, heated outboard second-row seats, maple interior accents. The Driver Assistance Package ($1,900) includes active trace control, Blind Spot Warning, Eco pedal, Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent cruise control, Distance Control Assist, Backup Collision Intervention, Intelligent Brake Assist. Purchase of Premium and Premium Plus Packages is required.

The Theater Package ($1,700) comes with dual seven-inch color front seatback monitors, two wireless headphones, wireless remote control, auxiliary audio and video input jacks, a 120-volt power outlet, and two headphone jacks with individual volume control. Other options include roof rails ($495), a Tow Package ($510), polished 20-inch forged wheels ($1,605), illuminated kick plates ($440), dual DVD entertainment ($1,870), and a maple accents package ($400). Port-installed accessories include a cargo package ($230), rear bumper protector ($210), splash guards ($205), and crossbars for the roof rails ($300).

Safety features include a comprehensive array of airbags, including roof-mounted side curtain airbags activated by a rollover sensor. Optional safety features include blind spot warning, blind spot intervention, lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, brake assist with frontal collision warning, and, perhaps the most compelling, back up collision intervention.

Walkaround

The Infiniti QX60 has sweet aerodynamic properties. Its coefficient of drag is 0.34, excellent by SUV standards. Curvy shapes smother the boxy profile. The double-wave hood climbs to the laid-back windshield which sweeps onto a long gentle roofline that slides to a spoiler over the sloping rear hatch with privacy glass and LED taillamps. The sides are defined by the chrome window outline that sweeps like a shiny zigzag down the rear roof pillars.

In front, the large grille is flanked by self-leveling High Intensity Discharge bi-xenon headlights, with foglights below. That big bull nose isn’t exactly pretty, but it’s hard to ignore, and it does say Infiniti.

Interior

The good aero shape reduces wind noise inside. It’s exceptionally quiet at freeway speeds, allowing living-room conversation. The materials are naturally high quality, and the surfaces soft-touch. The electroluminescent gauges are a treat to the eye, so easy to read. The interior is spacious, and access to second and third rows is good. The middle bench slides forward 5.5 inches, and its seatbacks flop forward to reach the third row.

Cargo volume is a strong point, more than the Acura MDX (but less than a minivan). There is almost 16 cubic feet behind the third row, 47 cubic feet with the third row down, and more than 76 cubic feet with the second row down.

The leather seats are firm enough but not hard, with good lumbar, and the leather-wrapped steering wheel is sweet. The dashboard is huge, yet there are no good cubbies for small stuff. There are nice elbow rests on the front doors, with good handles to pull the heavy doors shut, but small door pockets. The navigation is easy to use, but the touch screen is so bright at night it’s annoying and distracting; you have to shut it off. The radio can be tuned with a dial, hooray. The backup camera shows a good overhead view, but the scene in the rearview mirror is pinched by the second-row headrests and the sloping roofline.

Infiniti has been a leader in so-called driver assist features, intended to respond better than the driver to situations that the car’s sensors perceive as danger. For example Backup Collision Intervention, which uses rear radar to see objects and cross traffic behind the vehicle that are out of the driver’s sight. The system first flashes a warning on the screen, then an audible warning; and if the driver still fails to react, it applies the brakes. If you are parked on a city street diagonally with nose to the curb, when you back out, the audible warning will drive you to distraction and road rage, as it beeps at every car that drives past your rear bumper until a gap appears for you. You want to scream at the audible warning, I know! I can see those cars with my own eyes!

Backup Collision Intervention is included in the Driver Assistance Package that also includes adaptive cruise control, Forward Collision Warning, blind spot warning, Distance Control Assist, active trace control, and Eco Pedal. Other guardian features, including Lane Departure Warning and Intervention, Blind Spot Intervention, and automatic pre-crash front seatbelt tensioners, are part of the more comprehensive Technology Package, which includes all the Driver Assistance Package features.

Many owners have been irritated at one time or another by some, or even most, of these safety features. Lane Departure Warning is another one; it drove us nuts, made us feel like a drunk driver (what’s more, most of the time when it went off, it’s because we were trying to accomplish something on the touch screen). Infiniti has responded by making them selectively defeatable, rather than an off-on setup for the entire system. But they don’t stay defeated, because the default position is on.

The front seatbacks can house a pair of DVD screens, which come with the Theater Package. The package includes wireless headphones, wireless remote control, auxiliary audio and video input jacks, a 120-volt power outlet, and two headphone jacks with individual volume control. An Infiniti distinction is that the two DVD screens can run two different movies.

Driving Impressions

Competent as the QX60 is, for an enthusiast it’s about as exciting to drive as your living room sofa. The 3.5-liter V6 provides fairly lively acceleration in the Nissan Murano, but in this heavier vehicle (by some 350 pounds), not so much; it takes 7.5 seconds to reach 60 mph, adequate for an upscale family SUV. Fuel mileage of 23 mpg combined with FWD is good by the standards of a two-ton SUV designed to carry a small tribe.

The ride is nice and cushy, while handling isn’t particularly brisk. Hard cornering brings understeer and body roll, while steering could be better. The electro-hydraulic power steering, with its loose 18.3:1 ratio, lacks feel; when the steering wheel is at center, there is zero tactile information. There’s not much more when the driver turns the wheel. While the QX60 competes well against the Acura MDX in many areas, in the fun-to-drive department it gets lapped. However moms might measure fun in how easily a soccer team can climb in the rear two rows of seats.

There are three driving modes, Eco, Sport and Standard. We used Eco a lot, and were satisfied with the power; on a 70-mph uphill freeway, it worked a bit, but there was still enough to maintain the speed. In one week with the QX60 we got 320 miles of seat time, about half of it on the freeway in Eco mode; some of it in Standard mode around town; and the rest of it in Sport mode being zippy. We averaged 19.8 miles per gallon.

The continuously variable transmission is programmed with artificial shift points, to simulate a 6-speed automatic; this succeeds in erasing that weird sensation of rubber-band-like acceleration with early CVTs. However in Standard mode, flooring it will still produce that slipping-clutch sensation. It’s tighter in Sport.

Summary

The Infiniti QX60 is an attractive and affordable offering in its class. It might be dynamic vanilla, but it is upscale, smooth, quiet, and roomy for passengers and cargo. Standard equipment is comprehensive, while the many options are flavorful, including innovative safety systems.

Tony Swan filed this NewCarTestDrive.com report after his test drives of the QX60 in South Carolina and Michigan, with additional reporting by Sam Moses from the Pacific Northwest.

Model as tested
Infiniti QX60 FWD ($42,400)
Basic Warranty
4 years/60,000 miles
Assembled in
Smyrna, Tennessee
Destination charge
995
Gas guzzler tax
N/A
Base Price
Price as tested
54,690
Options as tested
Technology Package ($2800), Deluxe Touring Package ($3450), Premium Package ($1550), Premium Plus Package ($3000), Roof Rails ($495)

Model Line Overview
Model lineup
Infiniti QX60 ($42,400); QX60 AWD ($43,800). QX60 Hybrid ($45,400); QX60 Hybrid AWD ($46,800)
Safety equipment (standard)
front-impact airbags, driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side airbags, side-impact curtain airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Brake Assist, rearview camera, tire-pressure monitor
Safety equipment (optional)
N/A
Engines
3.5-liter dohc 24v V6
Transmissions
continuously variable transmission

Specifications as Tested
leather upholstery, three-zone auto climate control, heated power front seats, six-speaker AM/FM audio with CD and USB connectivity, speed-sensitive volume and RDS, power windows with automatic up/down, remote keyless entry, leather-wrapped power tilt/telescopic steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, trip computer, outside temperature display, interior ambient lighting, multiple 12-volt outlets, four-mode CVT transmission presets, fog lights, power moonroof, power rear liftgate, 20-inch alloy wheels

Engine & Transmission
Engine
3.5-liter dohc 24v V6
Drivetrain type
front-wheel drive
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
265 @ 6400
Transmission
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy
21/27
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm)
N/A

Suspension
Brakes, front/rear
vented disc/disc with ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Cornering Brake Control
Suspension, front
independent, MacPherson struts
Tires
235/55R20
Suspension, rear
independent, multi-link, coil springs

Accomodations
Seating capacity
7
Head/hip/leg room, middle
38.3/55.8/41.7
Head/hip/leg room, front
40.7/56.8/42.3
Head/hip/leg room, rear
36.5/42.0/30.8

Measurements
Fuel capacity
N/A
Trunk volume
85.0
Wheelbase
114.2
Length/width/height
196.4/77.2/68.6
Turning circle
38.7
Payload
N/A
Towing capacity
3500
Track, front/rear
68.9/65.7
Ground clearance
6.5
Curb weight
4384

2015 INFINITI QX60
NADAguides Test Drive Review

The 2015 Infiniti QX60 AWD is a crossover for the growing family who likes nice things, but does not want to forego all of their vacation savings in order to obtain a stylish, premium family hauler.

Formerly known as the JX35 when introduced as a 2013 model in the spring of 2012, the seven-passenger crossover received a name change to QX60 when Infiniti implemented a new model nomenclature for their entire lineup.

Style

Appearance is subjective, but in this case,the curb appeal of the QX60 is very high. While the chrome grille is massive and masculine, it manages to look racy at the same time.

The interior is equally appealing to the eye. Wood treatments, satin trim and a rounded edge on every angle lend themselves to a sporty feel, just like the exterior of the vehicle. While the leather seating feels great to the touch, the light beige hide—Infiniti calls it, “High Contrast Wheat Leather”—tends to show dirt easily. The tester had 13,000 miles on it already, and it looked quite dingy. If you have messy fingered passengers, Graphite (black) or Java (dark brown) leather choices might be more up your alley to cut down on cleaning duties.

Rear passengers enjoy several niceties. Extending to the collapsible third row, HVAC vents and a panoramic sunroof are just some of the treats to which in-laws should familiarize themselves. Middle row design is extremely useful, making small- to mid-sized passenger access to the third row easy. The middle row slides forward and aft, offering tons of legroom for six foot-plus passengers.

Safety

The safety suite on the tester included a five-point platform of tools. Infiniti calls the group of technologies, “Infiniti Safety Shield.” Accessible by pressing a button on the steering wheel each time you start up the vehicle, the suite includes blind spot intervention, lane departure prevention, intelligent brake assist, and backup collision intervention. If that weren’t enough active systems keeping you in your lane and preventing you from colliding with any objects, the safety system also gives you a 360-degree view of the area around your vehicle when at parking lot speeds. The QX60 will intervene and brake if it detects a potential accident (such as a toddler running behind the crossover) through its cross-path detection capabilities. The systems are very intuitive and well disciplined, unlike systems in some of the competition.

For laying down the miles on the highway, the QX60’s adaptive cruise control works well, unless it needs to accelerate quickly after slowing down from its set speed—a small complaint and definitely not a deal-breaker.

Performance

The 3.5-liter V6 continuously variable transmission (CVT) gives adequate acceleration when on the highway (265 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque), but not off the line. Since this is a seven-passenger vehicle weighing over 4,500 pounds, a faster 0-60 mph acceleration time (7.8-seconds, according to Zeroto60times.com) is not expected.

Ride & Handling

The cabin is ultra-quiet, just like a vehicle marketed within the luxury segment should be. There is no ghastly wind noise in the A-pillars, no weird creaks or rattles. The QX60 AWD is a welcome refuge during the evening commute when headed home from the mines.

As quiet as the luxury crossover rides, it feels equally heavy from the driver’s seat. The vehicle lumbers side-to-side when making evasive maneuvers, even at low residential speeds. On the highway, the effect amplifies.<br/><br/>In contrast, the vehicle absorbs bumps really well, keeping the driver and passengers extremely isolated from imperfections in the tarmac. Infiniti engineers definitely nailed the up and down part of the suspension correctly, just not the side-to-side bit.

The entertainment parts of the infotainment system work fine, but the navigation is in need of a major update. Three to four year-old models from BMW and Mercedes-Benz have higher screen resolution and this single characteristic really dates the crossover. Other than this blemish, the Bose Cabin Surround audio system performed brilliantly.

Utility

The QX60 becomes your all-in-one kid’s soccer team taxi service or weekend hardware store supplies getter after utilizing (or folding down into the floor) the third row. Do you need room for a dozen bags of mulch? Just lift a strap on the third row headrest, then another lever on the chair, and the seats lay flat into the floor creating 40.8-cubic feet of space (with the second row also folded down cargo volume swells to 76.5-cubic feet). Do you need to schlep six tweeners to the soccer field? Press the auto-up button in the rear cargo area and the two back seats rise from the floor (with 15.8-cubic feet of room behind them to stow soccer balls and dirty cleats).

Competition

Other luxury seven-passenger crossover vehicles you may want to compare the QX60 against include the following: Acura MDX, Audi Q7, BMW X5, and Mercedes-Benz GL.

Economy

In real world driving around town and on the highway, the QX60 AWD averaged 21 mpg according to the in-car computer. The Environmental Protection Agency estimate is 19 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined.

Value

Based on the average of the last three months of depreciation rates NADA Used Car Guide analysts pulled for two year-old 2013 JX35 AWD models, the estimated retention rate is 61.7%. If buying used is of interest, see the NADA Guides website for 

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