Infiniti’s seven-passenger QX60 returns for 2018 with a host of standard and luxury features that make this one of the most family-friendly crossovers on the market.
Two years ago, the QX60’s exterior was updated, and there were also some interior enhancements and new technology introduced.
For 2018, the QX60 gets the new Rear Door Alert system, designed to remind the driver of kids, pets or anything else that may be lurking in the rear seats when the vehicle is parked – including groceries and dry cleaning.
Standard on all models, the Rear Door Alert system remembers whether a rear door was opened before the vehicle started on a trip, and if the door is not opened again when the vehicle is subsequently parked, the driver is reminded that there might be something in the back.
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Of course, the biggest value of this feature is helping people to remember that their baby is buckled up in the back, or that there is a pet back there. It only takes a few minutes on a sunny day for the interior of a vehicle to reach deadly heat levels, and reports of infants accidentally left unattended to die in back seats are all too frequent these days.
Originally called the JX, the QX60 is Infiniti’s only three-row crossover, although the brand also offers the QX80, a large, traditional truck-based SUV with three rows of seating.
For 2018, there is no longer a gasoline-electric hybrid version of the QX60.
There are only two models offered for 2018: the front-wheel-drive QX60, beginning at $43,300 (plus $995 freight); and the all-wheel-drive version, starting at $45,100. But a variety of options can add significantly to the base price.
At the top of the options list for 2018 is the Deluxe Technology Package ($7,300), which was included on our all-wheel-drive QX60 test vehicle.
Among its features are Intelligent Cruise Control, Backup Collision Intervention, Front and Rear Sonar, the Eco Pedal, Blind Spot Warning, Distance Control Assist, Active Trace Control, and a Bose Cabin Surround 15-speaker premium audio system.
Our all-wheel-drive QX60 also came with the Theater Package ($2,150), adding a rear DVD entertainment system with separate eight-inch displays in the backs of the front-seat headrests, along with connections and a 110-volt power outlet for game consoles..
We also had the Premium Package ($1,800), with such extras as a dual-occupant memory system, Enhanced Intelligent Key (stores audio, climate and nav settings in addition to seat, steering wheel, and mirrors), entry/exit assist for the seat and steering wheel, driver’s seat two-way power lumbar, reverse-tilt side mirrors, heated steering wheel, remote engine start, roof rails, and stainless-steel bumper protection.
The tester also had the Premium Plus Package ($2,900), which brought navigation with Infiniti Connection, including an eight-inch touch screen, Infiniti Voice Recognition, NavTraffic and NavWeather, Infiniti’s cool Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, streaming audio via Bluetooth, rain-sensing wipers, and illuminated stainless-steel kick plates.
Also offered are the Driver Assistance Package ($1,850) and a 20-inch Wheel and Tire Package ($1,000), neither of which was on our vehicle.
The most-recent revisions made the QX60 look more like other newer Infiniti exterior designs, including the larger, bolder signature grille similar to the one on the QX80, along with new headlights, turn signals and 18-inch and 20-inch wheel designs.
Interior upgrades brought graphite weave accents, a stitched upper dash, and a new shift lever that is shared with the Q60 coupe. We had a graphite interior with maple accents on our tester. Other changes included improved handling, thanks to a revised steering system, new tires and enhanced chassis tuning.
Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V-6 rated at 265 horsepower and 248 foot-pounds of torque. It’s connected to a fuel-efficient continuously variable automatic transmission. On our tester, this engine provided plenty of power for local and long-distance driving, even through some steep roads in mountainous areas.
Infiniti’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, which operates automatically, helps maintain traction on all road surfaces and weather conditions. It does not have low-range gearing for serious off-road driving, however.
The QX60 is based on the architecture of the Nissan Pathfinder crossover, and both vehicles are produced in the Nissan assembly plant near Nashville, Tenn. The engine comes from Nissan’s powertrain facility about 80 miles southeast of Nashville.
In 2014, Nissan introduced hybrid versions of both the Pathfinder and the QX60, but the automaker dropped the Pathfinder hybrid model in early 2015, and the QX60 is now gone.
The QX60 has three rows of seats and a large cargo area, making it the roomiest luxury crossover on the market. It even has more second- and third-row legroom than the full-size Cadillac Escalade SUV.
Fuel-economy ratings are 20 mpg city/27 highway/22 combined for the front-drive model, and 19/26/22 for the all-wheel drive.
With its seven-passenger capacity, the QX60 competes against the Acura MDX, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Audi Q7. Toyota’s Lexus luxury division doesn’t yet have a seven-passenger crossover.
The QX60’s second-row seat tilts and slides forward to allow for easy access to the third row. A child seat can be left latched in the middle row while entering or exit the third row, part of the flexibility designed to make the vehicle more family-friendly.
The third row in the QX60 is roomy enough to accommodate adult-size passengers. Some other vehicles in this size class have a third row that is best left to small kids.
The middle seat also can be moved forward or backward as needed to achieve the optimum alignment to accommodate passengers. There are five-and-a-half inches of second-row adjustability.
Leather seats are standard. Included are heated front seats with eight-way power adjustment for the driver’s side, and six-way power for the front passenger side. Optional are heated and cooled front seats, along with heated second-row outboard seats and a heated steering wheel.
Other standard amenities include a rearview monitor, illuminated entry system, eight cupholders and six bottle holders, front- and second-row armrests with storage, Bluetooth phone system and music streaming, USB connection ports, satellite radio, power windows with one-touch up/down, power door locks with automatic locking, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
Three-zone automatic climate control keeps the cabin heated or cooled as each row chooses. It includes a micron air filter, rear-seat heater ducts under the first and second rows, and air vents for the second and third rows.
A feature on all new Infiniti models is the Infiniti Connection telematics system, which is similar to GM’s OnStar, providing such services as automatic crash notification to emergency responders.
There is 15.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third seat, about the same as in a midsize sedan. With the third seat folded down, that space opens up to 40.2 cubic feet, and with both rear seats folded, it expands to 75.8 cubic feet.
A towing package preps the QX60 for pulling trailers weighing up to 3,500 pounds, but that’s 1,000 pounds less than for the Nissan Pathfinder, which is essentially the same vehicle.
The automotive columns of G. Chambers Williams III have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 1994. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @gchambers3.
2018 Infiniti QX60
The package: Large, five-door, seven-passenger, V-6 powered, front- or all-wheel-drive premium crossover utility vehicle.
Highlights: Introduced for 2013, this is Infiniti’s three-row crossover, and it’s among the best in its class. It has plenty of power, luxury, safety and (mostly optional) high-tech gadgetry.
Negatives: Can get pricey when options packages are added.
Engines: 3.5-liter V-6.
Transmission: Continuously variable automatic.
Power/torque: 265 HP/248 foot-pounds.
Length: 196.4 inches.
Curb weight (base): 4,280 pounds (front drive); 4,419 pounds (AWD).
Brakes, front/rear: Disc/disc, antilock.
Cargo volume: 15.8 cubic feet (behind third seat).
Towing capacity: 3,500 pounds.
Side air bags: Front seat-mounted, roof-mounted side-curtain for both rows, standard.
Electronic stability control: Standard.
Fuel capacity/type: 19.5 gallons/unleaded premium.
EPA fuel economy: 20 city/27 highway/22 combined (front drive); 19/26/22 (AWD).
Major competitors: Acura MDX, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, Audi Q7, Volvo XC90, Dodge Durango.
Base prices: $43,300 (front drive), $45,100 (all-wheel drive), plus $995 freight.
Price as tested: $60,245, including freight and options (all-wheel drive).
On the Road rating: 9.3 (of a possible 10).
Prices shown are manufacturer’s suggested retail; actual selling price may vary.