A Strikingly Beautiful Utility That Doesn’t Forget the Utility
We admit, it's been a little hard to follow what’s going on with Infiniti SUVs these days, with new strategy and seemingly constant name changes. Well, what you need to know about this 2022 Infiniti QX60 is that it’s based on Nissan’s all-new Pathfinder, and it hopes to raise the bar for luxury-focused family utilities.
Since its inception, Infiniti’s midsize 3-row crossover, regardless of their current naming scheme, has always attempted to stand out with style; yet has consistently brought tremendous value along with it. 2022 starts a new generation of QX60, and the timing couldn’t be better.
The QX60 is a platform mate with Nissan’s excellent new Pathfinder, but took a more polished and silkier path through the design studio as opposed to Pathfinder’s return-to-rugged route. Not as rounded as before; body sides are smoother and flatter, the front end much taller, and a floating roof design thankfully does away with the exaggerated D-pillars of the previous generation. Only base Pure trim comes with 18-inch wheels, all others get 20s.
That revised D Platform chassis delivers a much more competent ride than before. But, in the QX the suspension tuning dials down the Pathfinder’s roughness while cranking up the refinement. It’s not necessarily sportier, but there’s less cornering roll for sure. It definitely has a more “trickiness” feel too. While some might conclude that compromises long distance comfort a bit, we genuinely liked it.
Tech is on display inside to the full with dual 12-inch screens, and an available 10.8-inch head up display. But the case for excellent comfort is made even stronger with luxurious materials, well supported standard leather seating, and more room in both 2 and 3rd rows. Seating for 7 is standard, 2nd row captain’s chairs are included with top Autograph trim. They’re heated, of course, and between them is a nice removable center console. Up front, a tall multi-level console allows for storage underneath; and houses the slide-shifter as well as drive mode selection, and the switch for the new electronic parking brake.
Just in front of it is a control panel for audio and climate that features a mix of traditional and touch-sensitive controls. The 12-inch InTouch infotainment system is very intuitive and easy to operate; Apple CarPlay can be used wirelessly; Android users still have to plug in for the time being. Autograph trim comes with 17-speaker Bose audio, upgraded quilted leather, rear sunshades, and roof rails; but the panoramic roof is standard on all QX60s.
With so much added room for passengers, cargo space behind the 3rd row falls a bit to 14.5 cubic-ft., but space behind the 2nd row and max cargo improves to 41.6 and 75.4 cubic-ft. Plus, there’s some additional space under the floor, all behind a standard power lift-gate.
Powering it all is Nissan’s familiar 3.5-liter V6 with 295-horsepower and 270 lb-ft. of torque; no changes from last gen, though it’s now working through a new 9-speed automatic transmission and not a CVT. It’s the same setup found in the Pathfinder, yet Nissan wisely gives Infiniti buyers a little more power. The new transmission not only provides a better overall driving experience, but allows towing capacity to increase from 5 to 6,000–lbs. and quiets things down in the cabin considerably. Thicker rear glass and additional sound insulation were also used quite effectively to further that cause. Infiniti has also addressed the steering system, tightening things up to reduce effort and require less correction on the highway.
Extended rain put a damper on getting any track impressions, but allowed us to get a good feel for the intelligent all-wheel-drive setup, which we found very confidence inspiring. There’s a new direct coupling mechanism that speeds up response, and additional sensors to help it act in more of an anticipatory manner instead of just reacting to wheel slip.
Standard safety includes emergency braking for both forward and reverse. Most everything else, including lane departure and driver attention alert are in all but the base model. With all-wheel-drive, Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 20-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined; our average, 21.8 miles-per-gallon of Premium. For an average Energy Impact Score, consuming 15.0-barrels of oil yearly, with 6.7-tons of CO2 emissions.
Most impressive of all, Infiniti was able to deliver some serious luxury while starting at just $47,875. All-wheel-drive is a $2,000 option for most trims; a bit more with top Autograph as it comes packaged with the max towing setup.
With a new generation comes a new raising of the bar. The 2022 Infiniti QX60 is one strikingly beautiful utility; one that doesn’t forget the utility. It’s packed full of tech and is priced low enough to be cross-shopped with non-luxury brands. That’s a difficult task for other luxury marques to match and reason enough to believe the excellent QX60 will be highly competitive for years to come.
Engine: 3.5L V6
Torque: 270 lb-ft
EPA: 20 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined
MW Fuel Economy: 21.8 mpg (Premium)
Starting Price: $47,875