In my immediate neighborhood, there are only two coffee shops, both on a major thoroughfare and right off the highway. They’re a Tim Hortons and a Starbucks, and they’re right next to each other — close enough that you could have a conversation from one morning drive-thru line to the other, if you had anything in common to talk about. I was sitting in the 2024 Infiniti QX60 Autograph, behind a parade of Land Rovers and Volvos in the Starbucks line, looking over at a string of F-150s and RAV4s in the Tim Horton’s line, when I noticed something that caught my eye: another brand-new, champagne beige QX60, pulling into the Tim’s line.
I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to say the majority of coffee consumed in this country comes from one of only these two establishments, and I’ve always found it interesting how these two brands have so much identity associated with them and their patrons. Being seen with a Starbucks cup, having famously (or infamously) popularized “fancy” coffees through a strategy of being almost deliberately pretentious, has a pretty distinct connotation. You won’t find a Starbucks cup on a job site, and you probably won’t see a Tim’s cup at a yoga studio.
The cars in the drive-thru lineups at these coffee shops are distinctly different, as a function of the distinctly different people patronizing them. And here I was, sitting in a beige, between a blue XC90 and a white Range Rover Sport, looking at another beige QX60, between a red F-150 and a black RAV4 in the other line. I see a good amount of these things around, they’re selling pretty well, and they’re apparently selling to class chameleons, freely moving between social schisms. I wonder how Infiniti feels about that.
I liked the QX60 last year, likening it to a “more pragmatic Range Rover,” with its handsome styling, attractive interior design, and very well-gauged road manners, but let’s face it, it’s no Range Rover — which is totally fine. This is a lovely vehicle which, even at $72,995 for our loaded Autograph tester, is approximately half the price of a base Rangie, and does a very convincing job making itself out to be more than a leather-laden Nissan. There’s a lot to like here.
Our tester’s Warm Titanium metallic paint looks properly genteel, and it pairs nicely with the Saddle Brown quilted leather interior, trimmed with a generous amount of dark matte wood trim and metallic accents — just like the rest of the Starbucks line. Similarly, infotainment comes courtesy of a 12.3-inch touchscreen and essential controls are handled via an artfully framed gloss black capacitive touch panel. It’s comfortably among the least egregious in the industry by use of haptic feedback and good ol’ fashioned knobs for temperature adjustment.
There’s a rotary dial nestled in the real metal centre console to aid usability, very much in the style of a certain Bavarian automaker. Audio is handled by a 17-speaker Bose Professional Series sound system, which is a vast improvement over the generic Bose-rebrand jobbies in a lot of the trucks in the Tim’s line, let alone the rest of Nissan’s lineup. Everything works well, looks good, is easy to use, and generally feels of quality.
The difference between this class chameleon and the veterans of the Starbucks line is in the fine details, where if you really start looking, you see some rough edges. The leather on one side of the steering wasn’t totally adhered properly, rain is curiously loud splashing against the bottom of the car, and the aging infotainment has a few minor annoyances that its competitors have ironed out. All are nitpicks, but they add up, and this is where things start to come apart for the QX60.
A lot has changed since I last drove the QX60. Honda brightened up the Pilot, and Hyundai and Kia refreshed the Palisade and Telluride which is pretty luxe-tastic in their higher trims. But the biggest problems? Mazda introduced the stellar CX-90 which took our Crossover of the Year award, and Toyota rolled out the impressive Grand Highlander — which I realized I also likened to a Range Rover, and which nearly usurped the Mazda in our voting.
Those last two do a very good job punching above their double-double price bracket into cappuccino territory, which is a bit of a problem as they both undercut the QX60 and don’t seem to suffer for it. They’re both more modern with new platforms, new hybridized powertrains, crispier and snappier infotainment, and excellent use of materials and design to feel properly posh. It’s too bad, because I really like the way the QX60 drives; it’s comfortable, quiet, handles well, feels natural, and its time-tested V6 is a peach. The cabin is spacious, comfortable, and really pretty while still being practical, too.
It was on my short-list for best luxe-ish crossovers for the money, until Mazda and Toyota redefined that category. The 2024 Infiniti QX60 Autograph may be able to boast a few line items its new competition can’t, but they execute everything so well that it becomes really, really hard to argue with. Either way, I’m still fond of this thing — it looks great, drives wonderfully, is a lovely place to sit, regardless of which drive-thru line you’re sitting in.