2014 QX60 New Car Test Drive
The 2014 Infiniti QX60 is largely unchanged from 2013 with the exception of its name: What was previously the 2013 Infiniti JX carried over to become the 2014 Infiniti QX60. The QX prefix signifies a sport-utility vehicle, while 60 denotes the relative size of the vehicle: between the QX50 (formerly EX) and the QX70 (previously FX).
Also new is the 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid, which uses a single 15-kilowatt electric motor/two-clutch system, compact lithium battery pack, and supercharged 2.5-liter engine, yielding a net rating of 250 horsepower. The QX60 Hybrid promises an EPA Combined city and highway fuel economy rating of 26 mpg, or 26/28 mpg City/Highway), which is 24 percent higher than the gas-engine QX60.
Also for 2014, the previous Premium Package splits into Premium and Premium Plus groups. Power-folding third-row seats are added to the Deluxe Touring Package for 2014, and all models gain an auto-dimming inside mirror with HomeLink transceiver.
Introduced for 2013, Infiniti JX was a totally new mid-luxury crossover sport-utility with three-row seating. With a $42,000 base price, seating for seven, and a broad array of luxury features, the Infiniti QX60 strikes a nice balance between practicality and self-indulgence for families.
The standard Infiniti QX60 is powered by Nissan's familiar 3.5-liter V6, rated at 265 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque, paired with a continuously variable transmission, or CVT. Like CVTs in Nissan passenger cars, the QX60 version has artificial steps programmed into its control chip, if the driver elects manual mode. Nissan was an early adopter of CVTs and is a leader in this technology.
Although a dozen crossovers with three-row seating fall into the mid-luxury category, the top player is the Acura MDX, which holds a 300-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6.
The Infiniti QX60 achieves an EPA-estimated 20/26 mpg City/Highway with front-wheel drive, 19/25 mpg with all-wheel drive. The Acura MDX rates 20/28 mpg (18/27 mpg with all-wheel drive). The EPA estimates the QX60 Hybrid at 26/28 mpg City/Highway (25/28 mpg with all-wheel drive).
Starting with a clean computer-design screen and the MDX as a reference point, the mid-level Infiniti crossover emerged with generally larger dimensions than its Acura rival. At 196.4 inches, the Infiniti is 4.8 inches longer than the MDX, on a distinctly longer wheelbase: 114.2 inches, versus 108.3.
The combination of long wheelbase and greater length allows Infiniti to claim slightly bigger cargo and/or passenger volume. And a long wheelbase is always a good starting point for creamy ride quality.
Styling may or may not be perceived as a strong suit. The recent trend in crossover SUV design has been to make a big-box vehicle look like something different: as minimally boxy as possible. To help achieve this goal, the Infiniti design team gave its mid-level SUV a laid-back windshield, curving roofline, and forward-canted rear hatch, set off by a nifty little zigzag in the rearmost roof pillar. The prominent nose, incorporating a chrome double-arc grille, is consistent with Infiniti's current design language.
Standard luxury features include a power glass moonroof, power rear liftgate, heated power front seats, leather upholstery, four 12-volt power outlets, a very good six-speaker audio system with USB connection for iPod and other devices, a power tilt/telescopic steering column, spiffy electroluminescent instruments, and three-zone automatic climate control.
Model LineupThe 2014 Infiniti QX60 comes with a choice of front-wheel drive ($42,100) or all-wheel drive ($43,500). (All prices are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices, which do not include $995 destination charge and may change at any time without notice.) 2014 QX60 models come standard with the 3.5-liter V6 and continuously variable transmission (CVT). QX60 Hybrid ($45,100) and QX60 Hybrid AWD ($46,500) are similarly equipped, but include a 2.5-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine, along with the electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack.
Standard equipment includes leather upholstery, three-zone automatic climate control, heated power front and front passenger seats, six-speaker AM/FM audio with CD and USB connectivity, speed-sensitive volume and Radio Data System (RDS), power windows with automatic up/down, remote keyless entry, pushbutton start, leather-wrapped power tilt/telescopic steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, trip computer, outside temperature display, interior ambient lighting, four 12-volt outlets, four-mode CVT transmission presets, fog lights, power moonroof, power rear liftgate, 18-inch alloy wheels.
Options include the Premium Package ($1,550) with 13-speaker Bose premium audio, CD/DVD/MP3 playback, driver's seat occupant memory, entry/exit assist, enhanced intelligent key fob, heated steering wheel, driver's power lumbar support, remote engine start. The Hybrid Premium Package ($4,600) adds a hard-drive navigation system with 8-inch touch-screen, Lane Guidance, voice recognition, NavTraffic, NavWeather, Zagat restaurant survey, Infiniti Connection service, Around View monitor with moving object detection, rain-sensing wipers.
The Premium Plus Package ($3,000) includes the hard-drive navigation system with 8-inch touch-screen, voice recognition, NavTraffic, NavWeather, Zagat restaurant survey, Infiniti Connection service, Around View camera monitor system with moving object detection, rain-sensing wipers, reverse tilt-down mirrors. The Deluxe Touring Package ($3,450) includes 15-speaker Bose Surround Sound audio, 20-inch wheels, second- and third-row moonroof, power rear sunshade, advanced climate control system, climate-controlled front seats, heated outboard second-row seats, maple interior accents, third-row seatback power return.
The Technology Package ($2,800) includes Lane Departure Warning and intervention, Blind Spot Intervention, automatic pre-crash front seatbelt tensioners. The Deluxe Technology Package for Hybrid ($6,050) also includes 15-speaker Bose Surround Sound, 20-inch wheels, second- and third-row moonroof, power rear sunshade, advanced climate control with automatic circulation and air purifier, climate-controlled front seats, heated outboard second-row seats, maple interior accents. The Driver Assistance Package ($1,900) includes active trace control, Blind Spot Warning, Eco pedal, Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent cruise control, Distance Control Assist, Backup Collision Intervention, Intelligent Brake Assist. Purchase of Premium and Premium Plus Packages is required.
The Theater Package ($1,700) comes with dual seven-inch color front seatback monitors, two wireless headphones, wireless remote control, auxiliary audio and video input jacks, a 120-volt power outlet, and two headphone jacks with individual volume control. Other options include roof rails ($495), a Tow Package ($510), polished 20-inch forged wheels ($1,605), illuminated kick plates ($440), dual DVD entertainment ($1,870), and a maple accents package ($400). Port-installed accessories include a cargo package ($230), rear bumper protector ($210), splash guards ($205), and crossbars for the roof rails ($300).
Safety features include a comprehensive array of airbags, including roof-mounted side curtain airbags activated by a rollover sensor. Optional safety features include blind spot warning, blind spot intervention, lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, brake assist with frontal collision warning, and, perhaps the most compelling, back up collision intervention.