Previously known as the JX35, Infiniti has rechristened its three-row premium crossover the QX60 for the latest model year as part of a new, brand-wide nomenclature system.
Despite the name change, the crossover remains a commodious, luxury-packed people mover. Though lacking in driving excitement, it does feature myriad available tech, entertainment and safety features along with a comfortable cabin.
A new hybrid model with improved fuel economy but nearly the same power as the standard V6 version joins the lineup for the new model year.
Outside, the QX60 is distinguished by Infiniti's fluid design language and distinctive cues like unique D-pillars and a sloping roofline. The crossover's cabin features high quality materials along with a dashboard and chunky center stack inspired by the automaker's M mid-size sedan. The infotainment system, which comprises a touchscreen, rotary knob and traditional buttons, is straightforward and easy to use, and numerous nifty options - like an "Around View" camera system that provides a bird's-eye view of surroundings during parking maneuvers - are available.
Passenger space is plentiful, with even the third row possessing enough room for adults. The second row can slide forward as far as 5.5 inches to accommodate particularly vertically-gifted third-row occupants. Each row features a split-folding function (60/40 for the second row, 50/50 for the third) to enhance cargo/passenger carrying versatility, while the third row is accessible even with a child seat installed in the second row.
With all seats in place, the QX60 is capable of carrying 15.8 cubic feet of cargo; fold down the 3rd and 2nd rows, and that figure expands to 76.5 cubic feet.
Notably, the Hybrid's lithium-ion battery is mounted under the third-row seat, meaning it doesn't impinge on interior space.
Underneath the Sheetmetal
Unlike Infiniti's burly, truck-based QX80 SUV, the QX60 rides on a carlike unibody platform that's designed for a comfortable on-road ride and predictable handling rather than trail-blazing or towing capability.
The standard QX60 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 with 265 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 248 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm that provides adequate acceleration, if not the performance for which other Infiniti models are known. Front-wheel-drive is standard, and all-wheel-drive is available for those desiring extra foul-weather traction. Fuel economy is rated at 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway for FWD models, while AWD models take a one-mpg hit on the highway.
The green choice is the new QX60 Hybrid, which utilizes a supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder along with an electric motor to produce a combined 250 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque - nearly as much as the V6. In FWD form, the Hybrid returns 26/28 mpg, while the AWD model is good for 25/28 mpg.
Both models feature a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that helps eke out maximum mpgs but can provoke extended periods of high-rpm engine droning under medium-to-heavy acceleration.
Standard Luxury Features
The QX60 is fitted as standard with leather upholstery, heated front seats with power adjustability, a power sunroof, a power rear liftgate, 18-inch split five-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels RearView Monitor camera system, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system, USB Connection Port for iPod and other compatible devices, XM Satellite Radio and a leather leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. A HomeLink garage opener is newly standard for the latest model year.
The QX60 can be had with five optional equipment packages.
The Premium Package includes a hard drive navigation system with an eight-inch touch-screen display, Infiniti Voice Recognition, XM NavTraffic with Real-Time Traffic Information, XM NavWeather with Real-Time Weather and 3-day forecast and Zagat Survey Restaurant Guide, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and front and rear sonar sensors and a Bose sound system with 13 speakers and Acoustic Waveguide bass technology. The Premium Package also includes a dual occupant memory system front driverÃ¯Â¿Â½s seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors, entry/exit assist for driverÃ¯Â¿Â½s seat and steering wheel, Enhanced Intelligent Key, outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down feature, Infiniti Connection with Google Calendar, Maple interior accents and auto-dimming inside mirror with HomeLink Universal Transceiver.
The Deluxe Touring Package adds a Bose Cabin Surround 15-speaker sound system with digital 5.1-channel decoding and Acoustic Waveguide bass technology, 20-inch split five-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels, a panoramic moonroof with power rear sunshade, an advanced climate control system with auto recirculation, a Plasmacluster air purifier and Grape Polyphenol Filter, climate-controlled front seats, heated 2nd row outboard seats and power up-folding third row seats.
The Theater Package includes dual seven-inch color monitors, two wireless headphones, wireless remote control, auxiliary audio/video input jacks, 120V power outlet and rear headphone jacks with volume control.
Also offered is the Driver Assistance Package with Backup Collision Intervention, Intelligent Cruise Control, Intelligent Brake Assist with Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Warning system, Distance Control Assistance, Active Trace Control, Eco Pedal, a heated steering wheel and remote engine start.
Finally, the Technology Package includes all of the features of the Driver Assistance Package, as well as Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Prevention systems, Blind Spot Intervention system and front Pre-Crash Seatbelts.
All QX60 models come equipped with dual-stage front air bags, roof-mounted curtain side impact air bags with rollover sensors for outboard occupant head protection for all three rows and front seat-mounted side impact air bags. Traction and stability control systems are also fitted as standard as are ABS and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
Several high-tech safety systems are offered as optional extra. The Forward Collision Warning system alerts the driver if an impending collision with a car or other obstacle ahead is detected. Similarly, Backup Collision Intervention detects if a crash could occur when backing up, but takes the extra step of applying the brakes (if necessary) to prevent an accident.
The Lane Departure Warning system uses a small camera mounted behind the windshield to determine when the QX60 is wandering into an adjacent lane and notify the driver. If the driver doesnÃ¯Â¿Â½t react, Lane Departure Prevention can gently bring the vehicle back into the proper lane.
Moving Object Detection, a supplement to the Around View Monitor 360-degree camera system, provides visual and audible warnings if it detects moving objects within the QX60Ã¯Â¿Â½s path. Finally, Distance Control Assist prompts the driver to release the throttle and apply the brakes in slowing traffic.
Rivals to the QX60 in the three-row luxury crossover segment include the stylish Buick Enclave, the polarizing but coddling Lincoln MKT and the powerful, elegant Audi Q7.