Infiniti was fairly early to the three-row luxury crossover game with its JX, which has been continuously updated—and renamed—to become the 2017 QX60. Sharing its underpinnings with the Nissan Pathfinder, the QX60, like its less-luxurious counterpart, offers front- or all-wheel drive and a hybrid variant.
Instead of trim levels, Infiniti offers a number of packages on the QX60 that build on the base model: Premium is the volume package, while Premium Plus adds navigation and is a requirement for a host of safety items bundled together in the optional Driver Assistance Package.
More power headlines the changes for 2017 after a 2016 refresh.
The QX60 sits squarely in the center of the luxury crossover market and goes head-to-head with the Acura MDX, Volvo XC90, and Audi Q7.
The crossover earns a 6.8 overall on our ratings scale, based mostly on its good interior room, flexible second row, and quality appearance inside and out. With a more buttoned-down chassis and a different transmission, it could have scored even higher. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Infiniti QX60 styling and performance
Infiniti tweaked the QX60’s looks last year, with new front and rear ends, highlighted by a larger grille with an integrated lower air intake. This seven-seat vehicle is relatively sleek, nicely detailed, and tastefully modern for what could have been a tall and blocky-looking box of a utility vehicle. But the long hood of the QX60 eliminates any hints of the dreaded minivan profile, and its roofline falls slightly to give a softer look than more slab-sided models, such as the MDX.
The automaker fitted the QX60 with stiffer shocks and springs for 2016, aiming for better dynamics. Any improvement to agility is offset by a firmer ride somewhat unbecoming of what’s billed as a luxury crossover. Infiniti may have been better off leaving things alone since roadholding remains just adequate, with notable lean in turns and a tendency to nose plow when pushed.
For 2017, Infiniti bumps up the QX60’s 3.5-liter V-6 engine to 295 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, increases of nearly 10 percent all around. The V-6 now boasts direct injection but remains paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional. A low volume QX60 Hybrid is also available, but dealers don’t generally stock it and Infiniti considers it to be a special order-only item.
QX60 comfort, safety, and features
Inside, the QX60 is spacious and stylish, but decidedly similar to the much cheaper Nissan Pathfinder.
Interior quality remains the primary difference between the QX60 and its Nissan Pathfinder brother. The Infiniti boasts an overall upscale aura that doesn’t quite deliver the upmarket look and feel of a pricier Mercedes-Benz or BMW.
The QX60 receives good marks for interior volume and flexibility, on the other hand. The third-row seat isn’t an afterthought, and we like how the adaptable second-row seat folds, tilts, and collapses in several combinations, giving good access to the third row even when there’s a child safety seat latched into it. That’s a feature not offered on many rivals. The first and second rows are comfortable for adults, though the third row (no matter how easy it is to reach) is best used for children. With its compact lithium-ion battery pack tucked under the third-row seat, the QX60 Hybrid loses neither cargo space nor the fold-flat seats.
QX60 offers a full suite of safety systems—including automatic emergency braking—bundled in the Driver Assistance Package, but opting for that requires adding the pricey Premium and Premium Plus groups. It’s with that package that QX60 merits the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick award.