Price as Tested: $56,090
This week, we’re behind the wheel of the 2015 Infiniti QX60 AWD, a Smyrna, Tenn., built seven-passenger SUV Crossover created to deliver a combination of power, luxury and beauty in a very crowded upscale class. Competitors include Cadillac, Acura, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Lincoln to name a few.
Infiniti continues its luxurious offerings in an uncompromising expression of SUV style while offering the driver a more car-like experience. The Q60 is available in either front or AWD, and targets the higher income consumer. Prices start at $42,400 for front drive while the AWD’s are just $1,400 more.
Infiniti has always offered what consumers demand in an upscale SUV, notably an assertive profile that delivers a compelling overall design with sculptured roofline, long hood, power lift gate and styled rear fascia.
The end result is a vehicle that offers the utility of an SUV with the looks of a sleek wagon. QX60’s advanced suspension package works in tandem with a standard 3.5-liter V6 that powers many of corporate Nissan and upscale Infiniti vehicles. The engine develops 265-horsepower and 248 lb. ft. of torque and mates to a CVT automatic with a manual shift mode, resulting in 19 city and 26 highway, both decent numbers considering its 2.5-ton curb weight. Notable is a QX60 Hybrid, with a supercharged inline-four cylinder that starts at $45,400 and ups mileage to 26/28 for front drive and 25/28 for the AWD ($46,800). Although not as peppy and limiting towing capacity, the Hybrid is an attractive alternative.
Our tester features Infiniti’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system which activates via a turn knob on the console. There are four modes, Standard, Sport, Eco, or Snow, the latter that engages the 4×4 system. Additionally, a fully independent double-wishbone front/multi-link rear suspension, large four-wheel disc brakes and sturdy stabilizer bars front and rear assist in top-flight road adhesion.
Inside, the QX cabin features classic leather comfort and numerous high-grade appointments. The cockpit features intuitive controls and a great six-speaker audio system with XM Satellite and MP3 playback. A backup rearview safety monitor is standard, as is a seven-inch display screen, Bluetooth, push button start and intelligent key.
A Premium Package for $1,550 adds a Bose 13-speaker stereo upgrade, dual front power seat memory with driver lumbar, heated steering wheel, remote start and enhanced intelligent key.
Better yet is the Premium Plus Package, where for $3,000 you receive an eight-inch VGA color touch display, rain sense wipers, tilt down mirrors, voice recognition NavTraffic and Nav Weather, and the heralded Intelligent “Around View Monitor” with moving object detection. Infiniti receives credit for introducing this first ever “Around View Monitor” that helps make driving and parking easier. Specifically, four cameras positioned around the QX60 allow for a virtual 360-degree “bird’s eye” view. New is Infiniti’s enhanced “Moving Object Detection” that alerts drivers to any moving objects detected. Although expensive, I recommend the Premium Plus option for obvious safe driving assurance.
A Deluxe Touring option adds $3,450 to the price and includes beautiful 20-inch-alloy wheels and tires, upgraded Bose Cabin Surround system, advanced climate control, heated second row seats, power up third row seat, power moonroof and maple wood interior accents. Roof rails are an additional $495. Notable is a hidden cargo trunk with a lift up hatch behind the third seat that helps expand cargo space to over 70 cu. ft. with all seats down.
Our QX60 also featured a $2,800 Technology Package featuring Intelligent Brake Assist, which provides forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking if a collision with the vehicle ahead is imminent; Distance Control Assist, which reduces the burden of driving in heavy traffic by intuitively helping to release the throttle and apply the brakes to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead; backup collision warning system; and full speed Intelligent cruise control.
Infiniti’s overall safety system, including options, is one of the best available today and highly recommended. If you need to choose just one, go with the Technology Package. Standard safety features found on every 2015 QX60 include all the airbags, four-wheel ABS discs, brake assist, traction control, vehicle dynamics and more.
Important numbers include a wheelbase of 114.2 inches, curb weight of 4,524 pounds, 5,000 lb. tow capacity, 7.4 inch ground clearance, 19.5 gallon fuel tank, 19 city and 26 highway EPA and 15.8 cu. ft. of cargo space with seats up.
2015 Infiniti QX60 is a Test Drive recommended vehicle, hands down.
Likes: Performance, interior, high tech safety wonder.
Dislikes: Expensive options, cumbersome to learn NAV, third row for kids.
(Greg Zyla is a syndicated auto columnist).