2016 Infiniti QX60 — Luxurious AWD Comfort

2016 Infiniti QX60Model Tested: 2016 Infiniti QX60 all-wheel drive (AWD)

Engine: 3.5-liter V6 – 265 horsepower; 248 pound-feet of torque

Transmission: Continually variable transmission (CVT) with manual shift mode

EPA Ratings: 19/city, 26/highway, 22/combined

Base Price: $44,400

As Tested: $59,345

Overview: We’ve driven this vehicle a couple of times, including a trip from Atlanta to Gulf Shores, Alabama and back as well as the local weeklong test drive. The QX60 is offered with both conventional gasoline V6 and a hybrid powertrain. Front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive optional. Nissan’s workhorse 3.5-liter V6 engine is standard, as is the continuously variable transmission (CVT). This review will focus only on the gas version.

Walkaround: A new front bumper and large chrome grille give the QX60 an aggressive look, but its core identity is that of a spacious, luxury, crossover SUV. Infiniti designers integrated sedan-like styling that prevents it from looking like a tall, squared-off box.

Fenders flow from the long hood smoothly into the bodysides, while rear pillars sit below the smoothly sloped roofline. Rear modifications include the liftgate, bumper and taillights.

2016 Infiniti QX60Interior: The Infiniti QX60 seats seven passengers in three rows. Luxurious and spacious, the bright, open interior is the main difference between the QX60 and the sibling Nissan Pathfinder. The soft-touch, two-toned, wood-trimmed interior oozes rich refinement.

Front- and second-row seats are comfortable but could use more support. Second-row seats tilt, fold and collapse. With both rows folded down, cargo space measures 76.5 cubic feet. Volume behind the third row is 15.8 cubic feet.

Behind the Wheel: Performance is adequate, with four selectable drive modes: eco, standard, sport and snow. Except for long, flat stretches of road, eco mode can be annoying because the gas pedal pushes back against your foot. In sport mode, the CVT imitates a conventional, 6-speed automatic transmission, delivering a more linear feel between road speed and RPMs.

Because the CVT generally keeps RPMs low for fuel efficiency, the QX60 runs pretty quiet. The electric power steering is short on road feel — a common complaint with electric steering.

Whines: Retuning the QX60’s suspension for 2016 added ride firmness without improving agility or reducing body lean during turns. The goal of improved dynamics seems to have only impaired the ride.

Bottom Line: The Infiniti QX60 comes pretty well-equipped, with numerous luxury features available — both individually or in packages. Most active-safety features are optional and it’s easy to escalate the price considerably. Deciding between a QX60 and a Nissan Pathfinder becomes a matter of personal preference for interior luxury.