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John
August 13, 2019
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2018 INFINITI 1197 QX60 30302 391581
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Introduction

Nissan’s luxury division launched its midsize three-row, seven-passenger premium crossover as a 2014 model. Little has changed for the 2018 model year over last year, except for a newly standard Rear Door Alert system. Sluggish sales prompted deletion of the gasoline/electric QX60 hybrid.

The 2018 Infiniti QX60 comes in one trim level, with either front- or all-wheel drive, powered by a 3.5-liter V6, rated at 295 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, mating with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Styling is elegantly restrained, helping the QX60 stand out in the popular three-row crossover market. The powertrain is a bit behind the times, with unremarkable performance and fuel-efficiency.

Well-equipped before any options are added, each QX60 comes with leather upholstery and an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, riding on 18-inch wheels. Judicious use of the options list can turn the QX60 into quite a luxurious, if costly, crossover.

The new Rear Door Alert system helps the driver avoid leaving a needed item in the back seat after parking. If the system detects that a back door had been opened prior to driving, and it’s not opened again at the end of the trip, a warning is issued. The system can be turned on and off easily.

A rearview camera is standard, but advanced safety technology is offered only in a series of expensive option groups. Those modern safety options include active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking. Some automakers make such contemporary safety features standard, even on vehicles that cost far less.

Crash-test scores have been good. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the QX60 a five-star score overall and for side-impact, but only four stars in the frontal-impact test. The QX60 got a four-star rating for rollover resistance (a calculated figure), a typical result for taller vehicles.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given the QX60 top Good scores in all crash tests, but the front-passenger position has not been rated in the small overlap frontal crash. The QX60 earned a Superior rating for frontal crash prevention, if optional equipment is included, but headlights were rated Poor.

Model Lineup

Infiniti QX60 ($43,300) comes with the 3.5-liter V6 and CVT, front-wheel drive, 18-inch wheels, a moonroof, power liftgate, heated power front seats, leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic temperature control, pushbutton start, rearview camera, 8.0-inch display, Bluetooth connectivity, and Rear Door Alert. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)

QX60 AWD ($45,100) substitutes all-wheel drive for the front-wheel drive.

The ($1,800) Premium package includes a 13-speaker Bose stereo, heated steering wheel, and memory seats. Premium Plus ($2,900) adds navigation and a surround-view camera system. The Driver Assistance package ($1,850) includes adaptive cruise control, rear automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and parking sensors. Stepping up to the ($7,300) Deluxe Technology package adds 20-inch wheels, Bose stereo, active lane control, a motion-sensing power liftgate, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.

Walkaround

Unlike some competitors, the QX60 shuns gimmicks and styling trends, such as bulged fenders or a downward-plunging roofline. Instead, designers focused on straightforward good looks. Minor periodic alterations to the body have kept it competitive in the premium three-row crossover class.

Large doors promise easy entry and exit, including into the third row, while the sizable hatch holds plenty of cargo out back. Though it’s admittedly a heavyweight, the QX60 doesn’t look as hefty as its numbers suggest.

Up front, alongside the puckered grille, headlights team with chrome accents to enclose the floating Infiniti badge. Fenders are devoid of creases and the roofline is reasonably curved, while a crescent-shaped kickback fits gracefully into the bodyside.

Interior

Not only is the cabin rich-looking and uncluttered, packed with high-quality materials and nicely finished, it provides a surprising level of comfort.

In terms of passenger space, the QX60 is related to Nissan’s Pathfinder; but it’s a substantial step upward in interior finishes. Each QX60 flaunts leather upholstery, accented by matte silver or wood.

In short, the QX60 comes across just about as expected on a spacious luxury crossover, including a tempting selection of family-focused conveniences.

Both front and second-row seats score highly. Front occupants get the best in comfort, but the second row is especially roomy. Although the third row is readily accessible, it’s best reserved for youngsters or agile adults. Reduced padding and a flatter cushion conspire to make the third row less attractive for long treks.

The second row slides fore/aft by 5.5 inches, providing particular abundant legroom when moved all the way rearward. Of course, that can shrink third-row leg space. Child seats need not be removed to gain access to the third row.

With all three rows of seatbacks upright, cargo space totals an adequate 15.8 cubic feet. Folding down the second and third rows expands volume to 76.5 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

Satisfying road manners help the QX60 maintain its status as a compelling choice for luxury-crossover shoppers. Rather than stress performance in the customary sense, three-row crossovers like the QX60 emphasize practical merits like quietness and stability, as well as such traits as confident braking.

Steering could stand some improvement, but ride comfort reaches past the class average. Handling qualities aren’t as sharp as most other Infiniti models provide, but the pleasing ride might easily overcome any concern.

Both Infiniti and its Nissan parent have invested considerably in CVTs, and that effort shows in smooth operation of the QX60’s transmission. Noise is less of an issue than some CVTs suffer, though the QX60’s relatively coarse V6 engine takes a bit of a toll on overall sound levels.

The Drive Mode selector can be set to Standard, Sport, Eco, or Snow. When properly equipped, a QX60 can tow as much as 5,000 pounds.

Gas mileage trails some three-row competitors, though the thriftiest models tend to cost significantly more. With front drive, the QX60 is EPA-rated 20/27 mpg City/Highway, or 22 mpg Combined. All-wheel drive lowers the rating to 19/26 mpg City/Highway, but the same 22 mpg Combined. Premium fuel is required

Summary

With an admirable amount of standard equipment, the sensibly shapely QX60 could be a sensible choice for families that seek luxury in a sizable, practical crossover. Choosing among option groups can be challenging for buyers who want to carefully select features.

Driving impressions by Aaron Cole, The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.

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