By: Anthony Jarantilla
In an earlier review, we drove Nissan’s midsize SUV and this time around it’s Infiniti’s QX60’s turn to be put through the paces. It’s interesting to drive these vehicles back to back because the manufacturer markets these vehicles differently, even though they are built on the same platform and carry different price tags.
The Infiniti QX60 is built on the same platform as the Pathfinder so the driving experience is very similar. It has great steering feedback with a positive on-center feel. The suspension is smooth yet the vehicle can handle corners quite well in spite of its curb weight at 4,516 lbs. Power wise, the QX60 felt the same as the Pathfinder even though it is rated with less horsepower. This may be due to the AWD always being engaged, robbing some power in comparison to the Pathfinder having a 2WD mode. Power delivery is smooth from the updated VQ motor, which has more than enough torque to easily merge onto the highway. The CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) is surprisingly pleasant. It acts like a vehicle with gears giving you the sensation of the vehicle making shifts, which is something I prefer in my driving experience as opposed to the rpm’s just staying at a certain speed and the vehicle humming with traditional CVT’s characteristics. The AWD system is also always engaged unlike the Pathfinder which has a true 2WD mode.
As far as capability, the Intelligent AWD system is great for all-weather on-road conditions (especially when equipped with the correct tires). However, it does not share the same off-road DNA as previous truck based SUV’s Nissan/Infiniti used to produce. So, keep that in mind if you take this vehicle off-road with its lower ground clearance and lack of skid plates.
The QX60 is equipped with decent sized rotors on all four corners (12.6” in the front and 12.13” in the rear) giving it a very powerful bite when you get on the binders.
The QX60 we drove was equipped with a host of electronics devices: anti-lock brakes, vehicle stability control, emergency crash detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, front, seat mounted and roof mounted airbags as well as a full 360 camera system to assist with parking. I thought the 360 camera system was great and worked well when in tight areas; however I found the cameras equipped on the Pathfinder to be clearer and had a better frame rate than the QX60 for some reason. The forward camera will turn off as soon as you hit 10 KM/h. Other piece of mind safety items included are an immobilizer and an alarm.
With Infiniti being the premium brand in the Nissan family, you can see and feel there are more upscale materials used in this model versus its Nissan cousin. You’ll notice right away the wood trim is much nicer in finish and the way it flows with the dash, while the Nissan version seems a little too on the synthetic, unnatural side. The stitching design is interesting on the seat and is subtle but has a love it or hate it design; the way it flows and curves, it mimics flames which might not be the theme for a vehicle of this nature. The rest of the interior flows nicely and is pleasing to the eye. The dash and materials that are used will last a long time as long as owners take care of it.
The 2017 Infiniti QX60 has nice flowing lines with accents and a more aggressively styled front end, which gives it more of an SUV flavour and less “wagon-like”. I do wish the wheel design was a simpler 5-spoke design because wheels are the focal point of any vehicle and the ones equipped on the Infiniti have a busy look, something that it shares with some of the Korean auto manufacturers.
The overall look of the QX60 is unique, with it definitely recognizable as Infiniti. Some of lines and angles are shared with other Infiniti models, thus creating cohesion within the brand. The one design element I really like is the larger, more prominent front grille – while not as huge and brash as the one on the QX80, it still looks amazing.
The Infiniti QX60 a well-equipped utility vehicle that will do well in a variety of on road weather conditions; it handles great, gives respectable fuel economy and does it all in style. If you’re willing to pay the extra money for nicer materials, and what I think is more attractive sheet metal, get the Infiniti. However, if you are more interested in getting the performance, convenience and safety features, the Pathfinder might be a better value. Both vehicles are great, but with Infiniti you get luxury look, feel, and materials at a very reasonable price tag.
As Tested: $65,135