Don’t let the quiet refinement of this luxury crossover fool you: it’s capable, cutting edge and when asked to, can be a beast
Every time I see a car in front of me with that familiar pyramid encircled in chrome, I have a pang of jealousy. I know what the passengers inside it are feeling: zen.
Zen is the ultimate luxury
An absence of intrusive stimuli, an edited environment that allows focus on what matters, an environment that enhances all that occupies it. Laughter and sunlight are magnified, road noise is muted; music surrounds you, leather cradles you. Technology works behind the scenes to guide you, keep you steady, keep your trip effortless and stress-free.
We spent a week in the Infiniti QX60 and reveled in the zen of this beautiful 8-passenger crossover.
TThis car is for buyers who:
- Love a beautifully edited interior (especially cream leather upholstery)
- Need a third row
- Want luxury as well as functionality
- Want back seat passengers to be pampered, too
- Value the convenience of touch button folding seats and lift gate
- Like the option of a powerful, fun to drive sport mode
Buyers need to consider:
- Discovering all the technology functions may take a little time
- Many of the features that make the Infiniti QX80 really worthwhile come in option packages, including:
- Roof rails ($495)
- Safety technology including blind spot monitors, intelligent brake assist and adaptive cruise control ($2,800)
- Deluxe touring package including Bose premium sound, heated and cooled seats, heated second row seats, power folding third row seats ($3,450)
- Premium package including heated steering wheel and intelligent key ($1,550)
- Premium Plus package including voice recognition, 8-inch color touch screen, Bluetooth streaming, rain sensing wipers and Infiniti Connection connected car services for 3 months (subscription required afterward) ($3000)
Wait—where are all the tech gadgets?
On first glance, the QX60, as all Infinitis do, seems demure, as if it may have escaped the tech revolution; there are not a lot of buttons and knobs on the center console. The result is that the cockpit is not overwhelming; the basic controls you need—climate control, radio selection, volume and charge ports—are easy to spot and use. However, it takes time to discover all the capability the QX60 offers, from learning how many miles are left on the tank to setting radio presets, finding out the traffic and weather on your route and setting navigation; it can take some time to discover all the system has to offer.
However, that’s the zen of the QX60: as you spend time in the car you learn more of what it can do until the two of you are in perfect sync with each other (or, you can go to your dealer for a tutorial).
The luxury of technology you can’t see
Then, there’s the zen of what the car is doing for you behind the scenes: there are multiple cameras that look three car lengths ahead to anticipate slowing traffic or a possible crash, brake assist that begins to apply braking to prevent a possible crash, brake force distribution that keeps the car stable by redistributing the force of braking, the electronic stability system that delivers the power to the wheels in response to the road and the driver (think slippage on ice or rounding a curve), and depending on the drive mode you’ve selected, drive modes that let you get the most out of the engine—and it’s your choice: the most MPG, the most MPH or the surest traction on rough roads.
For me, eco mode was where I spent most of my driving time (I hate stopping for gas and of course, paying for it) so the luxury of having the engine perform as economically as possible is something I appreciate.
But when you need all wheel drive, snow mode is a must have. With more and more storm days—as our schools are starting to call them, since we seem to miss as much school for hurricanes and nor’easters as we do for snow—this is a function that is no longer a luxury or something people only need in the outback or on hilltops: it means that if a weather event occurs you can still get to school, work or the store (you know, to replenish your stash of hot cocoa!).
Crouching tiger: hidden zen
The Infiniti QX60 has a lot of lovely surprises, but none more surprising than the beast it became when I put it into sport mode. The cautious, thoughtful engine suddenly roared, putting a surprising amount of power under foot and responsiveness in hand, both the hand on the wheel and the hand on the gear shift. The QX60’s manual shift option—just pop the gear shift over to the left and shift up and down by pushing the shifter forward or pulling it back—gives you an even more thrilling drive experience. Powering over hills and through curves, and thrusting into highway traffic makes the chore of driving a much more fun (and confident) experience.
A thrilling drive experience might not be something you’d expect from a luxury crossover that seats 8, but then, there’s the zen again, providing an excellent experience every time behind the wheel.
Looking good = feeling good
I fell in love with the interior of this car the minute I saw it, and even more when I sat in the driver’s seat. There’s something about white leather that immediately improves your mood (even when it’s getting coffee spilled on it or mud dragged across it; leather cleans up so easily): it makes your skin glow. It brightens your smile. It brightens your eyes. All your passengers look better. And it reflects all that beautiful sunlight into the cabin making it feel even more open and airy.
The interior palette of the Infiniti QX60 we test drove was cream and charcoal with wood grain and chrome accents. The interior seemed to be arranged in a way so that all light colors were at or above eye level—the passenger side of the dash, door panels and the ceiling (or headliner, as auto designers call it) matched the cream leather of the seats. Charcoal carpets and panels covered the floors, cargo area and lower spaces that might get dirty from daily use. Wood and chrome accents added a tactile richness to the center console around the infotainment screen, the gear shifter and the cup holder cover.
What We Loved
- Cream leather upholstery
- Panoramic sun roof
- Seating for 8
- Push button folding third row
- Push button second row made third row easy to access
- Rear view camera with around view that lets you see into every corner around the car
- Rain sensing wipers
- Heated and cooled front seats and heated second row seats
- Intelligent key access
- Adaptive cruise control (maybe the best feature in cars today!)
What You Need to Know
- One USB port and three 12V cigarette lighter-style power ports
- Base price: $43,800; price of the model we drove:$56,090
- Premium fuel recommended
- Gets 19 MPG in the city, 26 MPG on the highway for an average 22 MPG
We took a walk through the Infiniti QX60 and shared it on Periscope:
Disclosure: Infiniti provided the QX60 for our review; opinions expressed are all our own.