NEW FOR 2015:
– New logic for CVT transmission
– New colours: Hermosa Blue, Asgard Gray, Majestic White
With sales continuing to remain strong for its QX60 midsize three-row crossover, Infiniti has let things be with this year’s version receiving only the mildest of tweaks. Revised tuning for the CVT mimics a traditional automatic transmission by generating artificial gear changes under wide-open throttle cutting back on engine drone. Also new are three different colours. We suspect that this will be the final year for the QX60 Hybrid; Nissan will be discontinuing the Pathfinder Hybrid and we expect much the same for the QX60.
Even without the Hybrid option, the QX60 will continue to sell in droves. It’s very much a case of the right vehicle for the right price at the right time. Although it is technically only a midsize vehicle, the QX60 can accommodate seven adults in comfort, including six-footers in the third row. A clever second-row bench which can slide, recline, and tumble with a child seat on board is a stroke of genius. Some larger crossovers such as the Buick Enclave offer more cargo space with the third row up, but for most owners, the QX60 is plenty spacious. Standard equipment levels are strong, too: a heated steering wheel, power tailgate, sunroof, proximity key with push-button start, heated second-row seats, and a power tilt and telescoping steering column all come part and parcel to QX60 ownership.
The standard QX60 3.5 and 3.5 AWD models use a 265-hp and 248 lb-ft of torque 3.5-litre V6 that’s mated to a CVT. The Hybrid features a 2.5-litre supercharged four-cylinder that benefits from a 15-kW electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. It too uses a CVT, though it comes exclusively with all-wheel drive. With 250 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque, performance is said to be similar, but with much improved fuel economy.
Infiniti has prioritized comfort and refinement with the QX60; it easily absorbs ruts and bumps, but its soft suspension and slow, inert steering make it feel big and somewhat ponderous when the road starts to curve. Both powertrains can feel a bit taxed with a full load of passengers on board. On the flip side, fuel economy is near the top of the non-hybrid class.
Standard features on the QX60 3.5 include 18-inch alloy wheels, Drive Mode Selector, three-zone automatic climate control, automatic xenon headlamps, fog lights, privacy glass, variable intermittent wipers, rear washer/wiper, roof rails, power-folding heated mirrors, power sunroof, power liftgate, eight-way driver and six-way passenger power-adjustable heated leather seats, 60/40 split-folding second-row seatbacks, 50/50 split-folding third-row seatbacks, leather-wrapped power-adjustable steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, tire pressure monitoring system, electroluminescent gauges, 7.0-inch display audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo, USB port, satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, auto up/down windows, proximity key with pushbutton start, and alarm.
The QX60 3.5 AWD adds all-wheel drive system.
The QX60 Hybrid AWD adds key-linked driver’s memory seats and mirrors, entry and exit assist, exterior mirrors with reverse tilt-down function, rain-sensing wipers, 13-speaker Bose surround sound system, remote starter, hard-drive based navigation with 8.0-inch display, Infiniti Connection telematics service, and Around View parking camera with front and rear parking sensors and Moving Object Detection.