The QX60 is the best-selling Infiniti here in Canada with 3,863 units sold last year. The next-best seller, the Q50, sold 3,295 units. So it’s fair to say that the QX60 is the marque’s most important brand. Last year, QX60 sales climbed another nine percent year on year – a trend Infiniti hopes to continue.
Not only that; but 90 percent of QX60 buyers were new to the brand, younger (under 35) and female. To put this into automotive executive speak: “YAY! I’m getting my bonus!”
It sits in a strange spot in the lineup – the QX60 is actually bigger than the QX70, but came online later. QX75 sounded silly, so here we are. The new QX30 is the smallest Infiniti SUV, followed by the QX50, QX70 then QX 60 and the gargantuan QX80.
Motivation comes courtesy of a 3.5L V6 worth 265 hp at 6,400 rpm and 248 lb-ft at 4,400, rated at 12.2/8.9/10.7 l/100 km city/highway/combined. If you want better economy there’s a hybrid rated at 8.9/8.4/8.7. It is powered by a supercharged 2.5L inline four and an electric motor rated at 250 net system horsepower.
Both drivetrains power all four wheels in Canada via a CVT. Nissan’s family does some good CVT work, and the QX60 unit is a solid offering but still too rubber-band feeling and loud for my tastes. It just doesn’t accept big throttle percentages willingly and its protestations grow tiresome. But if you drive the QX60 in a normal fashion that’s not something you’ll experience often. Also the CVT has benefits in terms of smoothness and fuel economy that my lead foot simply doesn’t appreciate. QX60 buyers likely will.
With moderate throttle inputs the 3.5L engine picks up speed smoothly and quickly, getting the 2,046 kg away from the traffic light and from the off-ramp to the fast lane confidently. It’s sound is muted inside the cabin and there is zero harshness. That ease of driving carries forward to the chassis and suspension settings.
A new steering rack is designed to be more direct, and coupled with improved chassis tuning the QX60 is claimed to be a better handling and more agile SUV than its predecessor. If I’m honest, I felt little difference between the new and old QX60. Both are equally easy to drive and provide decent ride without any unnecessary fuss. This is an SUV and makes no real pretense for anything but.
Infiniti target more “fun to drive” factor for 2016 but it was a gentle shuffle in that direction more than a hard left turn. This is a good thing. Sportiness has its value but would do this car an injustice, comfort and ease of driving being key factors in this purchasing decision.
Among other things, buyers also like the QX60 for its style, which has been updated slightly for 2016. I can’t really get behind it but have had more than one person tell me I’m wrong on this count. The new LED DRLs and indicators are elegant, the new grill ties the QX60 back to the latest generation of Infiniti’s design language.
New contrasted stitching adds elegance to the interior, as does a new maple wood grain offering in the upper trims. Quilted seat bases are a nice touch to the already comfortable and aesthetically pleasing heated front seats. The new gear shift is elegant and pleasing to both the eye and the hand as well.