The QX60 holds a valued spot in the Infiniti crossover range.
Our run of crossovers this winter continues. My tester this week is actually an old favourite, the Infiniti QX60, which has been on the market in its current form for a few years now. Thanks to some tech updates over the years, it has managed to keep interest and sales going fairly strong, even with tough competition improving steadily and quickly. Curious as to how well the seven-seater premium family hauler has aged, I spent a week with a 2019 Infiniti QX60 Pure AWD.
The QX60 holds a valued spot in the Infiniti crossover range. With its generously sized third row of seating, the QX60 is larger than the QX30 and QX50 (reviewed here), but still significantly smaller than the massive QX80. It’s a nice and cohesive range, with styling cues neatly shared amongst the group. The QX60 is not exactly an attention grabber, but if you do take a good look at it, you’ll find a very tasteful and elegant crossover with good proportions, flowing lines, Infiniti’s signature corporate grill, and premium levels of exterior fit and finish. My particular test vehicle came in a gorgeous Hermosa Blue and riding on tasteful 20” wheels.
The upscale exterior is just a hint of what’s inside, as the interior of the QX60 is where it really stands out from the crowd. Our tester came with both the $5,000 Premium Package and the $4,200 Sensory Package, which will update the seats from the standard leatherette surfaces to soft and rich quilted heated and cooled leather. The Graphite leather in this tester was trimmed with silver piping, which is a perfect accent to for the extremely comfortable seats and really do make the space something special.
Beyond just the seats, the interior is very well done and is without a doubt one of the nicest you’ll find at this price point. Efforts have been made to ensure that every surface you touch is finished in soft leather and there are no hard edges or squared corners – every shape is organic and flows into the next. The centre console and centre stack are finished in beautiful high-gloss lacquer maple wood and it looks and feels very luxurious, adding a lot to the overall feeling of luxury. The fit and finish of just about everything inside the QX60 is outstanding and after driving many crossovers at this price point I came away thoroughly impressed.
The interior may look beautiful, but I did run into a few opportunities for improvement from a functionality standpoint. Firstly, the center console, as rich as it looks, doesn’t offer a whole lot of reachable storage, and the door pockets are also fairly small. The navigation system controls are very prominent in the center of the dash, but given that the system doesn’t allow inputs while driving, I’d much rather have more frequent-use controls such as climate or audio in that prime space. On a positive note, passenger space in the second and third rows is vast, and the ability of the second row to slide allowing access to the rear without having to disturb a second-row baby seat is genius.
The QX60 only comes in one trim level called “Pure AWD” and starts at a reasonable $48,695, with our as tested price coming out to $65,517. The $5,000 Essentials package adds real leather seating, Bose 13-speaker audio, dual occupant memory, remote start, navigation, sonar object detection, around view camera system and more. Next is the $4,200 Sensory Package which focuses on the luxury aspects like an even bigger 15-speaker Bose system, 20” wheels, rear moonroof, climate controlled front seats, heated rear seats, and a few more nice touches. Lastly, the $4,800 Proactive Package includes the rear entertainment system the high-tech driving aids such as Intelligent Cruise Control, Backup Collision Intervention, Blind Spot Intervention, and Lane Departure Prevention.
For drivers, Infiniti has made an effort to retain the inspiring performance that they’ve been known for in this large family hauler. Steering, handling, ride and noise levels in the QX60 are all in line with a luxury cruiser with a touch of sportiness. The steering feels tight, responsive and well connected to the road, though it is very light. Body roll is minimal and the QX60 truly does go in the direction you point it with minimal drama, which makes for confident control in poor conditions. The ride is very comfortable with the QX60 turning even the worst potholes into minor lumps in the cabin. It’s also well isolated from noise, even though the aggressive Toyo winter tires on our tester did make themselves heard in the cabin while running on dry highways.
The weak link in the driving experience of the QX60 is actually the powertrain; mostly the CVT transmission. The QX60 is powered by the time-tested 3.5L naturally aspirated V6, a motor that I am generally fond of, even if it’s 295 horsepower and 270 lb-ft. of torque are not quite as impressive as they used to be. The motor is really let down by Nissan’s CVT which sucks the joy out of accelerating by allowing the engine to rev up into the 4,500RPM range without putting much of that power down to the wheels. As a result, the QX60 feels sluggish and laboured while passing. The CVT does keep the RPMs nice and low while cruising, which helps with fuel economy.
While I was road testing the QX60, Toronto got hit with record breaking snowfall and equally record shattering cold temperatures. Deep snow combined with the continued falling and blowing snow made traffic slow to a crawl. Streets were gridlocked and lesser vehicles littered the streets, stuck in the deep stuff. The ride home consumed nearly three hours, but the QX60 did one heck of a job keeping us safe, secure and in control. The Intelligent AWD and aggressive winter tires made sure the QX60 always had plenty of traction and never once did it ever feel like it was out of control. It’s not often here in Toronto that we get weather this severe to warrant a large crossover to get around, but this week I sure was glad to have it.
One issue I did have while driving in the heavy snow was that it rendered many of the electronic driving aid system useless. Sonar detection went haywire due to the sensors being covered in snow, generating a barrage of warnings and buzzers inside the car. I had to pull off the road, put it in Park, and go through the Vehicle Settings menu to turn off all of the various aids to finally put an end to the beeping and buzzing. Given the foul weather and extreme cold, I wasn’t expecting great fuel economy results, but the QX60 still seemed relatively thirsty averaging 13.3L/100km over the week’s 600km worth of commuting on the recommended premium fuel.
The QX60’s sales success is a result of it’s excellent positioning offering a lot of the features, finishing and refinement that you’d get out of an $80,000+ SUV, but in a more affordable and practical family oriented format. It’s not cheap, but it’s cheaper than just about anything else that can boast these levels of equipment, refinement and space. If the CVT doesn’t bother you, it’s a very relaxing vehicle to drive, and knowing that it’s a beast in the snow can be comforting. It may not be new, but as an upscale family hauler the 2019 Infiniti QX60 Pure AWD remains one of the better options on the market.