2015 Infiniti QX60

Rating

60/100

Background

The 2015 Infiniti QX60 is a three-row luxury crossover that puts families first. Based on the versatile Nissan Pathfinder, the QX60 has plenty of room for adults or growing children in all three rows, and the second-row seats slide and recline to enhance passenger comfort. Moreover, we’ve found the drive to be exceedingly cozy on a variety of surfaces, with little road noise making its way into the cabin. The interior also benefits from top-notch materials and user-friendly technology features, and the QX60’s pricing is significantly lower than that of some rivals.
Over the course of a year-long test with the largely identical Infiniti JX35 (the name changed to QX60 for 2014), we became fans, but we also noted a few flaws. For one thing, performance and driving character aren’t high on the QX’s list of priorities. The standard V6 engine is a bit underpowered for a car this large, and it teams with the continuously variable transmission (CVT) to produce noisy, uninspired acceleration. In a similar vein, the soft suspension yields indifferent handling, even by the modest standards of this segment. On the fuel economy front, meanwhile, both the standard QX60 and the available hybrid model get some extraordinary fuel economy ratings from the EPA, but we’ve had a hard time duplicating those numbers in real-world tests.
So, what has three rows and a more engaging character? One of our favorites is the 2015 Acura MDX. It has a powerful V6 engine, an excellent interior and a pretty sporty attitude considering its size. The 2015 BMW X5 is one of the most athletic options, but it is priced considerably higher than the QX60, and its available third-row seat is less accommodating. Other notable competitors include the 2015 Buick Enclave, which provides considerably more cargo space than the QX60, and the 2015 Audi Q7, which offers a more sophisticated driving experience overall. But if a comfy, family-friendly crossover is what you’re after, the 2015 Infiniti QX60 should be a satisfying choice.

Drive

The 2015 Infiniti QX60 is a pretty large vehicle, and its workaday V6 can feel a little sluggish during passing maneuvers. In time, you’ll likely get used to it, but depending on your priorities, the QX might not meet your performance expectations for a luxury-branded vehicle.
You won’t have any complaints about the QX60 once it’s up to speed on the highway. With its cushy ride, this Infiniti shrugs off road imperfections — it’s a very comfy, quiet and luxurious car in which to while away the miles. The trade-off, however, is that the QX60 is a grudging partner when you drive it through turns. It feels heavy, the steering is light and imprecise and the soft suspension tuning allows for a lot of body lean.

Exterior

The 2015 Infiniti QX60 is a seven-passenger SUV offered with a conventional gasoline engine or a gas-electric hybrid system. Each version comes in a single trim level with either front- or all-wheel drive.
Standard features for both the standard QX60 and the QX60 Hybrid include 18-inch wheels, automatic bi-xenon headlights, foglights, LED taillights, heated and power-folding side mirrors, a sunroof, a power liftgate, keyless entry and ignition, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, a six-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a 7-inch central touchscreen display, a rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio and an iPod/USB interface.
Optional features for the QX60 and QX60 Hybrid are organized into various packages.
The Premium package (QX60) includes remote ignition, driver memory settings, driver seat power lumbar, a heated steering wheel, a 13-speaker Bose sound system and an enhanced keyless entry/ignition system that can remember the last driver’s audio, climate and navigation settings. The Premium Plus package (QX60) includes front and rear parking sensors, a 360-degree parking camera system, automatic wipers, a larger 8-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system, voice controls, Bluetooth sound connectivity and the Infiniti InTouch electronics interface with the brand’s Connection telematics service.
The Hybrid Premium package (QX60 Hybrid) combines the regular QX60’s Premium and Premium Plus packages.
Note that most of the following packages require either the Premium or Premium Plus package (QX60) or the Hybrid Premium package (QX60 Hybrid).
The Driver Assistance package includes adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system with automatic brake assist, a rear cross-traffic warning and back-up collision intervention system (automatically applies the brakes if the driver doesn’t take action), a blind spot warning system, Active Trace Control (automatically adjusts engine output and braking to enhance cornering feel) and the Eco Pedal (the accelerator pedal automatically pushes back if the driver is driving in a fuel-wasting fashion).
The Theater package adds a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system as well as a 120-volt power outlet.
The Deluxe Touring package (QX60; not available with the Driver Assistance package) adds 20-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, maple interior accents, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a powered third-row seat, upgraded climate control with air filtration and a 15-speaker Bose surround-sound sound system.
The Technology package (QX60) requires the Deluxe Touring package and adds a lane departure warning and prevention system, blind spot intervention (applies braking if the QX60 approaches another car detected in its blind spot) and the contents of the Driver Assistance package.
The Deluxe Technology package (QX60 Hybrid) combines the Deluxe Touring and Technology packages.
Stand-alone options include the maple interior accents and the 20-inch wheels.

Interior

Flexible seating is one of the QX60’s hallmarks. The second row slides 5.5 inches fore and aft, allowing passengers to reach and exit the third row with ease, even with a child seat installed in the second row. The third row offers enough headroom for 6-foot passengers, but clearance gets a little tight beyond that. Both the second- and third-row seatbacks also recline.
With a rich combination of leather, wood and metal accents, this is a classy Infiniti interior in every respect. Infiniti’s electronics interface is one of the best available, as its combination of physical buttons, a touchscreen and a rotary knob greatly simplify common tasks. We also like the optional Bose sound systems and the 360-degree camera system, the latter of which provides a very useful top-down view of the car in parking situations.
There may be plenty of room for passengers inside the QX60, but cargo capacity tops out at 76.5 cubic feet with the second and third-row seats folded. That’s not bad, but some competitors will give you more space, such as the MDX and especially the Enclave. The QX60 also provides just 15.8 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seat. On the upside, the hybrid QX has the same amount of cargo volume as the regular V6 version.

Safety

Standard safety features for the 2014 Infiniti QX60 include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a rearview camera.
Optional safety equipment on the QX60 includes the Infiniti Connection telematics service with automatic collision notification, remote door unlocking, stolen car location, and speed and geo-fencing notifications. Also optional are front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, a lane-departure warning and prevention system, a blind-spot warning system (with an automatic intervention feature when the Technology package is specified), a 360-degree view parking camera system and frontal and back-up collision mitigation systems with automatic braking.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the JX35 its top score of "Good" in all five of its rating areas: small-overlap and moderate-overlap frontal crashes, side-impact crashes and roof-strength and seat and head-restraint tests.
In SUVS brake testing, a JX35 stopped from 60 miles per hour in a shorter-than-average 117 feet.

Specs

The QX60 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 265 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. A CVT is the only available transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional.
In SUVS testing, the identically powered JX35 equipped with all-wheel drive accelerated from zero to 60 miles per hour in 8.2 seconds. This is about a second slower than average for the class.
The EPA estimates fuel economy at 23 miles per gallon combined (21 city/27 highway) for the front-drive version, while the all-wheel-drive version drops slightly to 22 miles per gallon combined (19 city/26 highway). In SUVS testing, we’ve found that the QX60 typically struggles to match these mileage numbers in real-world driving.
The QX60 Hybrid features a supercharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that joins forces with a 15kW electric motor fed by a lithium-ion battery pack. Combined output is rated at 250 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. Official EPA numbers stand at 26 miles per gallon combined (26 city/28 highway) with front-wheel drive and 26 miles per gallon combined (25 city/28 highway) with all-wheel drive.
Properly equipped, the regular QX60 can haul up to 5,000 pounds, whereas the hybrid tops out at 3,500 pounds.

Value

Ample passenger room in all three rows; smooth and quiet ride; classy interior design; user-friendly electronics interface.

Verdict

With its roomy seating and cozy ride, the 2015 Infiniti QX60 is a good choice for a family-oriented, seven-passenger luxury crossover SUV.

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