The QX60 is a competent three-row crossover that blends utility and luxury at an affordable price. It’s not as performance oriented as other SUVs in INFINITI’s lineup but some may prefer the QX60’s soft ride and light steering.
The generous space in all three rows makes this SUV an attractive option for large families and people movers. Downsides are lower than average reliability scores and a faulty occupant classification system that’s difficult to fix due to a lack of available parts. Still, the QX60 is an attractive SUV and you can use the known issues to negotiate yourself a sweet deal.
The QX60 is the most affordable three-row midsize luxury SUV. It offers standard real leather and wood trim and all the modern features you’d expect. Adding any options will quickly escalate the price, removing much of the comparative savings offered.
The Hybrid version is the most affordable luxury hybrid SUV but it doesn’t deliver near the level of performance as the top-rated MDX Hybrid, which costs about $6,000 or a few options packages more.
Speaking of the MDX, it would be tough to justify a QX60 purchase in either powertrain over Acura’s stellar midsize SUV. It has more space, better economy, improved performance, and less costly access to driver assistance features for as low as $950 more (base models). The Acura adds bulletproof reliability and the strongest-in-class resale value to its resume, making it a better buy for the value-concerned.
The QX60 is available with two powertrains: a powerful V6 and a supercharged 4 cylinder, 20 horsepower electric motor combination. The hybrid combo is good for a combined 250 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque, enough power for an 8 second zero to sixty time. Respectable for a hybrid but slower than the V6 model by a full second.
The V6 has been updated for 2017 models, adding 30 horsepower to the previous year's 260. The Hybrid receives a 25-26 mpg city and 28 mpg highway rating, while the V6 model achieves 20 mpg city (19 AWD) and 26 mpg highway. Both are more efficient than average for the class.
Both powertrains are paired with a continuously variable transmission that features preset ratios to simulate gears and the behavior of a traditional automatic. The transmission was plagued with problems in 2014 models but has since improved, with few complaints besides occasionally holding high revs inexplicably.
INFINITI optimized the QX60’s driving characteristics for comfort. The electrically assisted power steering is light and sensitive, making city driving easy but less solid feeling on the highway.
The suspension is soft and absorbs bumps and rough roads with ease. Body motions are well controlled but nothing like the sportier QX50 or QX70. The brakes are stellar for a crossover of this size and the regenerative brakes in the Hybrid model don’t differ much in performance. Overall, the QX60 delivers acceptable performance and will get you and your passengers where they need to go, without the zest that typically defines the INFINITI SUV lineup.
While many of INFINITI’s SUVs are designed with performance as a priority, the QX60 deviates from the norm and appears to be designed for maximum utility and comfort instead. That’s good news for the interior, as the QX60 can comfortably harbor adults in all three rows. The seats are on the softer side and lumbar support is solely available as an option.
Visibility from the cockpit is great out the front and sides but rearward is lacking, due to the oversized C pillars. Thankfully a RearView Monitor is standard and a bird’s eye surround camera is available. A highly rated full system of driver assistance features, an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot, remote start, navigation, and a rear seat entertainment system are other notable options.
The infotainment system receives praise for functioning reliably but some reviewers complain that the interface could be simpler. The stock 6-speaker sound system is sub-par for a luxury SUV but can be replaced with a 15-speaker Bose system for a reasonable price.
The dash has some soft-touch materials but isn’t as plush as other INFINITIs, it’s obvious some parts have been borrowed from the Pathfinder which detracts from the overall appeal. The wood trim classes it up a bit but the overall fit and finish could be better.
A high point is a quiet cabin with generous sound dampening. The ride is quiet and comfortable, in contrast with lineup mates that ride firmer with louder exhausts and engine noise. Cargo capacity takes a back seat to passenger comfort and suffers as a result.
There are just 15.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear row but folding that down gives you a respectable 40.8 cubes. Fold both rear rows down for up to 76.5 cubic feet, plenty of room to haul anything you’d like. The QX60’s interior provides rich standard leather and a host of features and utility at a reasonable price, though its more expensive rivals house classier cabins.
The QX60 is INFINITI’s take on the three-row luxury midsize crossover. Like the other SUVs in the lineup, the design is modern and muscular. There’s a large black grille on the front, emblazoned with the brand’s badge and trimmed with chrome.
The headlights feature standard LED running lamps and a stylish shape. The shapely side profile is less bland than many competitors and displays chrome handles, molding, and window trim for an extra luxurious touch.
The curvy rear dons more chrome trim, LED taillights, and a roof spoiler. Unlike nearly all other INFINITI SUVs, there are no dual exhaust outlets. It’s probably INFINITI’s tamest SUV design but offers an affordable entry into the luxury segment.
The QX60 receives high crash test ratings from both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The former gives all “GOOD” crashworthiness ratings and a “SUPERIOR” front crash prevention technology rating. This SUV is also designated a “Top Safety Pick.”
However, there’s a huge problem that hasn’t been taken into account by either organization. Nissan has recalled some 3 million vehicles for faulty occupant sensors. Many SUVs feature these sensors standard, which determines whether or not there is a passenger in the seat and activate airbags correspondingly. The sensor in the QX60 may not function properly which may result in an airbag failing to deploy in the event of an accident.
Unfortunately, it’s logistically impossible to replace all the sensors, as not enough parts have been manufactured. If you regularly drive with a front passenger, you may want to consider this fact before purchasing. If you don’t, you may be able to use this issue to negotiate a better price on the QX60, since most dealers have no choice other than selling these with the unresolved issue.
Consumer Reports offers a 2 out of 5 predicted reliability rating for the 2017 QX60 and cites body hardware, paint and trim durability, body integrity, and transmission issues as owner reported problem areas.
JD Power suggests a similar predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of 5. These relatively low-reliability ratings, especially for an INFINITI, can be attributed to a spotty NHTSA record. The 2014 model alone had seven recalls issued. Three of them were airbag related. More concerning recalls were issued for loose bolts on the front brake hub assembly and loose lug nuts which we can only assume must have been resolved by owners rather quickly.
The 2016 model has just one recall for a faulty airbag sensor. This issue affects all QX60 models and it should be noted that there aren't enough parts available to resolve the issue, meaning the passenger airbag may not deploy in the event of an accident. Few complaints have been filed with the NHTSA for the most recent model years but there are 49 complaints filed for the 2014. An overwhelming majority are transmission related. From a loss of power to complete failure, it seems many owners experienced problems with INIFINITI’s continuously variable transmission.
The remainder pertains to the unavailability of replacement airbag parts. Newer models don’t seem to suffer from transmission problems as often. It’s a shame INFINITI put a CVT transmission in this model instead of their six-speed automatic, which is well loved by owners and critics alike.
We would avoid 2014 year models due to a high rate of transmission failure and replacement on even low-mileage SUVs and exercise caution when buying used. Have a mechanic thoroughly inspect the vehicle and understand that there is no resolution for the airbag issue.
As we stated earlier in our value section, the Acura MDX proves the most potent alternative to the QX60 but we already compared the two in our review of the MDX. We dug around and decided the Lincoln MKT matches the QX60 closely in terms of value and performance.
The base MKT’s 3.7 Liter V6 isn’t as good as INFINITI’s and struggles to motivate the large SUV but the available twin turbocharged 2.7 Liter V6 provides superior performance. This model doesn’t come cheap though, with a base price of $49,035 that includes the “Elite Equipment Group.”
If you want advanced safety features in the QX60, you must add $12,000 in options. This MKT with the Technology Package that adds advanced safety features will still save you $2,000 over a comparably equipped QX60.
You’ll get an SUV that delivers better performance, especially the 355 ft-lb of torque available from 1,500 rpm. The interior of the Lincoln has superior materials, a better stock sound system, and more advanced technology. It will even park itself!
The drawbacks are a less useable third row and, in our opinion, a much uglier exterior. If we were choosing between a base QX60 and Base MKT, we’d have the QX60. If we planned on adding several options to the QX60, we think the MKT offers more for the same money.
The QX60 3.5 starts at $43,100, powered by a 3.5 Liter V6 engine mated to a continuously variable transmission with manual shift mode. The valvetrain is a Double OverHead Camshaft with 4 valves per cylinder and a continuously variable valve timing system that optimizes opening of intake valves. This powerplant is good for an EPA estimated 21 miles per gallon city and 27 miles per gallon highway. Power is a respectable 295 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 270 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. INFINITI drive mode selector includes Standard, Sport, Snow and Eco modes that adjust transmission ratios and throttle response. Front wheel drive is standard and it can tow 5,000 lbs.
The vehicle speed sensitive power steering allows an impressive turning diameter of just 38.7 feet. Front suspension features independent coilovers with stabilizer bar. At the rear, an independent multi link suspension with coil springs and shock absorbers keeps the SUV planted, along with another stabilizer bar. Stopping power is provided by 12.6 inch by 1.1 inch ventilated discs at the front and 12.13 inch x .63 inch ventilated discs at the rear. The QX60 rides on 18 inch by 7.5 inch triple 5-spoke aluminum alloy wheels with 235/65R18 all season tires. A temporary spare is included.
Automatic on/off High Intensity Discharge bi-functional Xenon headlights light your way, along with LED daytime running lamps, integrated front fog lights and LED rear brake lights. A power sliding tinted glass moonroof tilts and slides with one/touch and includes a sliding sunshade. A power rear liftgate makes rear cargo access easy as ever. UV reducing solar glass and rear privacy glass keep the cabin cool. An integrated roof spoiler enhances the SUVs image. A body color shark fin antenna connects the infotainment system to satellites and picks up radio signal. Speed sensitive flat blade front windshield wipers, intermittent rear window wiper, and timed defroster improve visibility in wet weather. Front handle courtesy lights help you enter the SUV in the dark.
Inside, an INFINITI intelligent Key with illuminated push button ignition simplifies the vehicle starting process. The Tri-Zone Automatic Temperature Control system with microfilter adjusts the climate to your preference, as do rear heating vents beneath the first and second row seats. Sequential welcome lighting illuminated entry system and overhead ambient light help you find your kipple upon entry, as do dual overhead map lights and rear seat reading lights. The front sun visors feature illuminated vanity mirrors and extensions. There’s nifty overhead storage to stash your shades and dual front seat map pockets in case you’ve yet to purchase a smartphone with GPS. In the front center console, you’ll find dual level storage compartments with integrated 12-power outlet, input jacks, and a USB connection port to stay connected.
Your passengers can store items in the second row folding armrest. An outside temperature display lets you know the temperature in the event that pressing the one-touch power windows is too much of a hassle. There are three rear area USB ports to keep your passengers juiced up and happy. Leather seats are standard in the first and second rows only. The 8-way driver’s seat is power adjustable, as is the 6-way front passenger seat and both will warm bums at the push of a button. The 60/40 split folding and sliding second row bench allows simple access to the third row, including with a child seat installed. A 6-speaker audio system plays your favorite music via radio, cd, SiriusXM, or MP3 and includes a Radio Data System and speed-sensitive volume control. Audio can also be streamed via USB connection port or Bluetooth. Steering wheel mounted audio buttons allow the driver to control playback.
Fine Vision electroluminescent gauges provide pertinent information like engine revs and vehicle speed. Between them, there’s an INFINITI Intelligent-View driver information display that displays helpful driving data. The steering column can tilt and telescope electronically. A Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System reduces distraction while communicating and driving. The INFINITI InTouch system displays infotainment and HD radio. The system is controllable via INFINITI Voice Recognition technology. A complimentary 4-year SiriusXM Travel Link subscription provides access to weather, fuel, prices, stocks, sports, and movie times. A standard RearView Monitor makes backing up a breeze. The auto-dimming inside mirror has an integrated HomeLink universal transceiver.
To keep you and your family safe, the QX60 includes the INFINITI Advanced Airbag System that adjusts air bag inflation rates based on crash severity and seat belt usage. The passenger airbag won’t deploy unless the seat is occupied. Of course, there’s also roof mounted side curtain airbags with rollover sensor and front passenger seat side supplemental air bags. Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist features ensure you stop safely and complement the Traction Control System and Vehicle Stability Control systems.