Three rows of luxury for the active family

The Infiniti QX60 has been around since 2014 thanks to a name change with Infiniti’s JX35. The JX debuted in 2013 and its name only stuck that first year. Nevertheless, the three-row crossover didn’t change in the renaming. In fact, until 2016, the JX35/QX60 soldiered on unmodified. Well, now with the 2016 model year in full swing, the QX60 enjoys refreshed front and rear fascias, new taillights, a slightly improved interior, and minor tweaks to its driving dynamics.

I recently spent a week with the 2016 QX60, getting a feel for Infiniti’s updates. The evaluation week consisted of my usual routine of errands, chauffeuring the family to different places, and hauling home groceries. Getting to the point – the QX60 performed exceedingly well. It has plenty of room for seven people or a load of cargo. It has plenty of power for accelerating and can tow 3,500 pounds. My tester also came with the optional AWD system, giving it an upper hand in bad weather or slippery surfaces.

But what about the updates for 2016? Do they really make a difference? Well, yes and no. The revised fascias and rear taillights, along with the interior enhancements, look great and add to the ownership experience, but the suspension upgrades meant to improve the handling only decrease ride comfort. Still, the 2016 QX60 isn’t a bad crossover by any means, especially when looking at the pricing. Infiniti’s MSRP starts at $43,595 for the QX60 – far less than several of its three-row competitors.

So let’s dive into what’s new, what’s good, and what’s not so lovable.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

  • 2016 Infiniti QX60 – Driven
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Transmission:
    CVT
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    265 @ 6400
  • MPG(Cty):
    19
  • MPG(Hwy):
    26
  • Torque @ RPM:
    248 @ 4400
  • Displacement:
    3.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    7.8 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    120 mph
  • Layout:
    Front Engine, AWD
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    7.5/10

Video Review


Exterior

2016 Infiniti QX60 – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Infiniti QX60 – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Infiniti QX60 – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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The 2016 updates require a sharp eye to pick out, but when seen next to a 2015 or prior model, the differences stick out. Most noticeable is the updated lower fascia in front. The new look is more angular, providing a more precise look. The grille is also new. It ditches the chrome horizontal slats for black mesh. The headlights are also new, adding LED daytime running lights to the mix, along with chrome trim encompassing the turn signals and flowing over the main projector beam.

While the updates remain light, the QX60 continues to be a handsome crossover

The changes continue out back with a newly styled lower bumper. The red reflectors are relocated lower in the bumper and enlarged. Black trim rises in the middle of the bumper, effectively thinning the bumper’s profile. This lessens the visual weight, making the QX60 look more nimble. The taillights are new as well, with C-shaped LED pods – two on each side – and LED reverse lights.

While the updates remain light, the QX60 continues to be a handsome crossover. Its rising beltline combined with its dropping, coupe-like roofline give it a sweeping profile. The chrome trim around the side windows helps to separate the blacked-out windows from the bodywork. This is especially helpful on darkly painted examples like my Hagane Blue tester. My tester also came fitted with the optional 20-inch, 15-spoke alloy wheels. They feature darkly painted pockets and bright, machined-faced fronts. They’re only one option in a list of 18-, 19-, and 20-inch wheels available.

Interior

2016 Infiniti QX60 – Driven High Resolution Interior
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2016 Infiniti QX60 – Driven High Resolution Interior
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2016 Infiniti QX60 – Driven High Resolution Interior
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Changes to the interior are a bit harder to spot, though the feeling within the cabin is certainly improved. First, the dash is now covered with padded leather that’s stitched together. The door panels mirror the improvements, with cushy leather providing comfier armrests. Second, Infiniti has introduced a new gear shifter design. Like the dash, it too is covered in leather. Contrast stitching on the boot and shift knob add character, while a satin chrome and piano black cap provide a backdrop for the Infiniti logo. The automaker has mentioned this shifter design will make its way throughout its vehicle lineup.

In addition to these updates, the QX60 is better equipped to deal with 21st century, first-world problem

In addition to these updates, the QX60 is better equipped to deal with 21st century, first-world problems. Yep, it now has three new USB ports for charging devices.

Aside from the updates, the QX60’s interior provides plenty of room for seven passengers. The third row is comfortable for middle-sized adults during short trips, and kids will find the accommodations roomy – especially with the second row 60/40-split bench seat scooted slightly forward.

Speaking of the second row, accommodations are very roomy for a crossover this size. Nissan, Infiniti’s parent company and builder of the Pathfinder crossover (the QX60’s less luxurious brother), has done a great job designing the seats to accommodate different seating arrangement combinations. The seatbacks recline and outboard positions have two-setting heaters.

2016 Infiniti QX60 – Driven High Resolution Interior
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Folding the third-row seat is done via a mechanical release at the top of the seatbacks. The action is super simple and requires no strength. My tester came equipped with electronics to raise the third row back into place, making it easy for anyone to operate. Second-row folding is done by pulling levers on either end of the bench. With all the seats folded flat, the QX60 offers 76.5 cubic feet of room. Behind the third row is 15.8 cubic feet of storage.

The driver’s seat is comfortable, and finding a good seating position is easy

Technology wise, the QX60 doesn’t disappoint. The dash features Infiniti’s standard infotainment system with Navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, SiriusXM radio, and the innovative 360-degree Around View Monitor camera system. Second- and third-row passengers enjoy the optional theater system with wireless headphones and AUX input ports. Everyone on board can enjoy the 15-speaker Bose sound system.

All told, the interior is a great place to spend time. The driver’s seat is comfortable, and finding a good seating position is easy. Ergonomics up front are also on point, save for the prevalence of small buttons on the center console. Learn their placement, and you’ll be fine though. The DVD system is easy to operate, making entertaining the kids a non-frustrating fight with technology. The DVD even picks up playing where it left off. That’s something I can’t say every theater package does.

Drivetrain

2016 Infiniti QX60 – Driven High Resolution Drivetrain
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Propelling the QX60 forward is the familiar 3.5-liter V-6. It makes 265 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 248 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s adequate in moving the crossover to 60 mph in roughly 7.8 seconds. The all-aluminum engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission – and in the case of my tester – Infiniti’s AWD system.

While the CVT is certainly designed to maximize the QX60’s fuel economy, it does detract from the driving experience for those who enjoy conventional automatic transmissions. Folks who find more enjoyment in getting 26 mpg on the highway will love the CVT. That’s still not fantastic, but it’s probably better than Nissan could do with a six- or eight-speed automatic. Maybe. Around town, the AWD QX60 is rated by the EPA at 19 mpg. Combined fuel economy is rated at 22 mpg.

Safety

2016 Infiniti QX60 – Driven High Resolution Interior
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The QX60 is filled to the brim with active and passive safety equipment. Included with the optional Deluxe Technology Package is Intelligent Cruise Control, Blind Spot Warning, Blind Spot Intervention, Forward Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Backup Collision Intervention, Distance Control Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and Lane Departure Prevention.

Mixed with the Premium Plus Package is the Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection. Coming standard is ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Vehicle Dynamic Control, traction control, and the tire pressure monitoring system.

On the passive side, when all else fails, the QX60 comes with driver and front passenger airbags, side impact and side curtain airbags, and an overall five-star crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It’s worth noting the driver’s position only ranks four stars in the moderate overlap frontal crash. Rollover risk is also ranked at four stars.

Pricing

2016 Infiniti QX60 – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Prices for the 2016 QX60 start at $42,600 before any options, fees, or taxes. Infiniti offers four basic versions of the QX60: the standard crossover, the AWD model, a hybrid model, and an AWD hybrid. Reports suggest Infiniti has stopped supplying dealerships with hybrid models due to almost no demand, so if you want one, you’ll have to place a special order.

So, the base price is $42,600. Opt for AWD and the price increases to $44,400. The hybrid starts at $52,050, while the AWD hybrid begins at $53,450.

My tester’s sticker shows its price starting at $44,400. Atop that is a slew of expensive options that include the Deluxe Technology Package for $6,900; the Theater Package for $1,850; the Premium Plus Package for $2,900; and the Premium Package for $1,800.

Add in the $995 destination charge, and the total price comes to $58,845. That’s not cheap.

Competition

Audi Q7

2017 - 2018 Audi Q7 High Resolution Exterior
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The QX60 is going to have some stiff competition from the 2017 Q7. Audi’s three-row people mover is completely updated and rides on VW’s new MLB II platform. It also sports a new look with Audi’s Singleframe grille and HID headlights. The look is sharp, handsome, and will probably withstand the test of time rather well. Inside, the cabin is full of tech and space. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster is fully digital, the MMI system now has the latest touch controls, and the dash has a clean, clutter-free design.

Power comes from the supercharged 3.0-liter TFSI V-6 with 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic and sends power to all four wheels through Audi’s quattro AWD system.

However, the Q7 is a bit pricier with the 2017 update. Its base price starts at $54,800. The range-topping Prestige trim begins at $64,300. Add options and you’re looking at a $70,000 crossover. Granted, this is Audi’s flagship SUV.

Read our full review on the Audi Q7 here.

Volvo XC90

2016 Volvo XC90 High Resolution Exterior
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Volvo’s all-new XC90 is a rolling piece of artwork. Just a quick sit behind the wheel will confirm – it’s beautiful inside. The beauty extends outside was well, with a modern take on the classic XC90 design. Mechanically, Volvo has given the crossover a complete makeover, with several engine options, including a plug-in hybrid.

Most folks will likely opt for the turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. It makes an impressive 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic does the shifting.

Prices for the 2016 Volvo XC90 start at $43,950, and go north from there. The range-topping T8 Twin Engine Plug-in Hybrid with its 400 horsepower starts at $68,100.

Read our full review on the Volvo XC90 here.

Conclusion

2016 Infiniti QX60 – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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The 2016 Infiniti QX60 works well as an all-round family hauler that happens to wear expensive clothes. Sure, the Nissan Pathfinder provides nearly all the same utility and functionality, but the Infiniti – like any premium brand should – provides customers with a higher level of luxury and comfort. I found the CVT to detract from my driving experience, but the average consumer probably won’t even notice it’s there. Thankfully, there’s plenty of praiseworthy attributes to the QX60.

I found myself really loving the 360-degree camera system, the DVD package for the kids, and the configurable second row. I also like the fact my tester has AWD. It might not be suited for following a Jeep Wrangler down a trail, but the QX60 probably won’t have any issue climbing a snow-covered hill with some decent winter tires.

So yes, the updates for 2016 are a nice addition and bring a welcomed change to the crossover, but they don’t define the QX60’s existence.

  • Leave it
    • No major changes
    • Thirsty for premium fuel
    • Newer, smarter, though more expensive options availabe
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