Full 2014 Infiniti QX60 Review
What's New for 2014
The 2014 Infiniti QX60 is essentially last year's JX with a new name and a few revised option packages. The big news is the debut of a hybrid version.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you: The 2014 Infiniti QX60 looks exactly the same as last year's JX35, which itself was a new addition to the company's lineup. That's because the JX and QX60 are the same vehicle other than some minor feature shuffling and the debut of a hybrid version. This luxury three-row crossover's name change was spurred on by the adoption of Infiniti's new model nomenclature: "QX" denotes an SUV and the numbers following indicate where a given model stands in Infiniti's lineup (a higher number means a higher standing).
Like the JX, the QX60 is related to the Nissan Pathfinder. The QX60 and Pathfinder's mechanicals are very similar, so the differences pertain mostly to styling, interior design and feature availability. The QX60 projects a more luxurious vibe inside and out, but above all, it's an excellent vehicle for parents looking for a family hauler. Within its spacious cabin, the QX60 can seat adults in all three rows (with a maximum passenger count of seven) and features second-row seats that recline and slide nearly 6 inches forward and back, offering expansive legroom and making third-row access a breeze. Materials quality is top-notch and various high-tech luxury and safety features are here in abundance, including systems that help you avoid blind-spot collisions or incidents while backing up.
This year does bring a new choice, however. In addition to the standard V6-powered QX60, there is also the QX60 Hybrid. The latter sports a supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that, with the help of an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack, promises V6 power with four-cylinder fuel efficiency. Indeed, given its output of 250 horsepower and its EPA combined fuel economy estimate of 26 mpg, the Hybrid looks to handily achieve those objectives.
You've likely gathered by now that the 2014 Infiniti QX60 makes for a pretty good family rig. Still, we have a few quibbles. One is that the pairing of the standard V6 and continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) just doesn't provide the accelerative grunt and refinement commonly expected for this class of vehicle. Similarly, the QX60 lacks the athletic handling that's otherwise typical for an Infiniti and instead aims for a plusher ride.
To a large extent, how the QX60 stacks up will depend on your priorities. If you want a luxury crossover that's relatively fun to drive, the sportier 2014 Acura MDX and 2013 BMW X5 are going to be better choices. If it's maximum space you want, the bigger 2014 Buick Enclave bests the QX60 in regard to cargo capacity. The two-row Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h (hybrid) shouldn't be ignored either, if you aren't set on getting a third row. But if you've got a family to haul around and appreciate a sense of style burnished by technology, the 2014 Infiniti QX60 is a great choice.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Infiniti QX60 is a seven-passenger SUV offered in both conventional gas engine (QX60) and gas-electric hybrid-powered (QX60 Hybrid) versions. Each comes in a single trim level and offers a choice of either front- or all-wheel drive.
Standard features for the QX60 include 18-inch wheels, automatic bi-xenon headlights, foglights, LED taillights, heated and power-folding side mirrors, a sunroof, a power liftgate, keyless entry and ignition, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, a six-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a 7-inch central touchscreen display, a rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio and iPod/USB interface.
The QX60 Hybrid's standard feature list essentially mirrors that of the standard QX60.
Optional features for the QX60 and QX60 Hybrid are obtained via various packages, which vary according to trim level.
The Premium package (QX60) features remote ignition, power-folding mirrors, driver memory settings, driver seat power lumbar, a heated steering wheel, a 13-speaker Bose sound system and an enhanced keyless entry/ignition system that can remember the last driver's audio, climate and navigation settings. The Premium Plus package (QX60) includes front and rear parking sensors, a 360-degree parking camera system, a larger 8-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system, voice controls (audio and navigation), Bluetooth audio connectivity and the Infiniti Connection telematics service. The Hybrid Premium package (QX60 Hybrid) includes the features of both of those QX60 packages.
The Driver Assistance package (both trims) includes adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system with automatic brake assist, a rear cross-traffic warning and back-up collision intervention system (automatically applies the brakes if the driver doesn't take action), a blind spot warning system, Active Trace Control (automatically adjusts engine output and braking to enhance cornering feel) and the Eco Pedal (the accelerator pedal automatically pushes back if the driver is driving in a fuel-wasting fashion).
The Theater package (both trims) adds a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system as well as a 120-volt power outlet.
The Deluxe Touring package (QX60) requires the Theater package (but can't be had with the Driver Assistance package) and adds 20-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a powered third-row seat, an advanced climate control system with air filtration and a 15-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system.
The Technology package (QX60), which requires the Deluxe Touring package, adds a lane departure warning and prevention system, as well as blind spot intervention (applies braking if the QX60 approaches another vehicle detected in its blind spot) to the Driver Assistance package features.
The Deluxe Technology package (QX60 Hybrid) includes everything in the Deluxe Touring and Technology packages.
Powertrains and Performance
The QX60 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 265 hp and 248 pound-feet of torque. A CVT is the only available transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional.
In Edmunds testing, the identical JX35 equipped with all-wheel drive dashed from zero to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds. This isn't bad for a three-row SUV, but it's still well off the pace of quicker models like the Acura MDX or turbocharged Lincoln MKT.
The EPA estimates fuel economy at 22 mpg combined (20 city/26 highway) for the front-drive version, while the all-wheel-drive version drops slightly to 21 mpg combined. In extensive Edmunds testing, however, we've found the QX60 typically struggles to match these mileage numbers in real-world driving. Properly equipped, an all-wheel-drive QX60 can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
The QX60 Hybrid features a supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that joins forces with a 15kW electric motor fed by a lithium-ion battery pack. Combined output is rated at 250 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. Official EPA numbers stand at an impressive 26 mpg combined (25 city/28 highway).
Standard safety features for the 2014 Infiniti QX60 include antilock disc brakes, front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, stability/traction control and a rearview camera.
The available Infiniti Connection telematics service includes automatic collision notification, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle location, and speed and geo-fencing notifications. Also optional are front and rear parking sensors, a lane-departure warning and prevention system, blind-spot warning (with an automatic intervention feature when the Technology package is equipped), a 360-degree view parking camera system and automatic frontal and back-up collision mitigation systems.
To help avoid frontal collisions, the forward collision mitigation system uses the laser range finder from the adaptive cruise control to analyze closing speeds to an obstacle ahead. If a forward collision is deemed imminent, the system sounds a warning to prompt driver action and can automatically apply the brakes. The back-up collision intervention system uses radar and the QX's parking sensors to detect approaching vehicles (as well as objects behind the vehicle) when you have the transmission in Reverse. Potential collision situations trigger audible warnings followed by automatic brake application.
In government crash testing, the similar JX model earned an overall rating of five out of five stars, with four stars for overall frontal crash protection and five stars for overall side crash protection. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the similar JX model received the top score of "Good" in the agency's moderate-overlap frontal-offset and side-impact tests.
In Edmunds brake testing, the similar JX stopped from 60 mph in a respectable 120 feet.
Interior Design and Special Features
Flexible seating is one of the QX60's hallmark features. The second row tilts and slides 5.5 inches fore and aft (even in the hybrid version thanks to a super-slim battery pack), allowing passengers to reach and exit the third row with ease, even with a child seat installed in the second row. The third row offers enough headroom for 6-foot passengers, but clearance gets a little tight beyond that. Both second- and third-row seatbacks also recline.
Although cabin room is generous for passengers, cargo capacity tops out at 76.5 cubic feet with the second and third-row seats folded. That's not a bad number for a luxury crossover, but the Enclave and MDX give you more space. On the upside, the hybrid QX has the same amount of cargo volume as the regular V6 version.
With a rich combination of leather, wood and metal accents, this is a classy Infiniti interior in every respect. Infiniti's electronics interface is one of the best available, as its combination of physical buttons, a touchscreen and a rotary knob make it easy to accomplish tasks. We also like the optional 360-degree camera system, as its top-down view of the vehicle in relation to its surroundings is very useful when it comes time to park in tighter spots.
The 2014 Infiniti QX60's V6 can feel a little sluggish during passing maneuvers, and the efficiency-oriented CVT can be slow to respond if you get aggressive with the gas pedal. In time, you get used to both of these traits, but depending on your priorities, they might not meet your performance expectations for a luxury-branded vehicle.
You won't have any complaints about the QX60 once it's up to speed on the highway. With its cushy ride, the QX shrugs off road imperfections. In general, this is a very comfy, quiet and luxurious vehicle to while away the miles. The trade-off, however, is that the QX60 is a grudging partner when you drive it through turns. It feels heavy, the steering is too light to have any true precision and the soft suspension tuning allows for a lot of distracting body lean.
We haven't yet driven the QX60 Hybrid, but as soon as we do we will update this review.