You asked for it. You got it.
Call me Claire. You know Claire: She’s accomplished, stylish and kind; she’s defined by many things: her career, her family, her friends, her travel. She does many things well, and usually all at once. Claire is the muse who inspired the redesign of the 2022 Infiniti QX60.
When I think of Claire, I think of Claire Danes: activist, mom and actress whose projects always appeal and win praise. I also think of my own friend Claire: her career is impressive, her house is impeccable, her kids are adorable and her Instagram feed is always enviable.
It’s women like this (and the partners who share life with them) that Infiniti talked to before redesigning the very popular QX60 3 row SUV, which has a starting price of about $47,000 and tops out at about $63,000. Infiniti sought to learn more about their lives, routines and what they need and want in a car.
The result is a 2022 model that goes beyond the mission of leading with style and luxury. It makes no compromises while still being a family-friendly SUV. Not only are the features on this redesign good, they are reliable and intuitive. Even the base model has lots of luxury features, and at the top of the line, there are details to make you swoon.
I Had This 3 Row SUV All to Myself… And I Was Glad
I set off on my test drive solo—no kids, no dog, no companion other than a podcast and navigation. And I was glad. It was nice to have this car all to myself.
What I discovered on my drive is assist technology that makes the drive more relaxing. The drive to the beach took us on fun, twisty roads through the Russian River Valley. While it might have been a good opportunity to use the drive modes and paddle shifters to really enjoy the curves and hills, I had traffic and a parade of cars ahead of me. So I popped on the ProPilot Assist system and let the car do much of the driving and just enjoyed the car and the view.
ProPilot Assist, Head Up Display and Live View Mirror Ease the Stress Of the Road
I love these systems. If you haven’t tried them, you need to. ProPilot Assist combines adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and crash detection to monitor traffic around, keep you centered in your lane even though curves and at a safe following distance from the cars ahead of you. It will adjust for curves and hills on the road so the drive is smooth, and it can bring you to a full stop when traffic stops, then start up again when traffic does.
The system reads traffic signs and displays them on the driver information screen, and it will let you know (with a beep, beep) when the speed limit changes. And, if you decide to test the system and take your hands off the wheel, you’ll get a warning; if you ignore it, you’ll get a larger, louder warning. If you ignore that, the system will activate the emergency flashers and slow the car to a full stop (and no, I didn’t try that one; I was in traffic!).
Head up display, standard on the Autograph trim but an option on Luxe and Sensory editions, displays all the systems at work, plus navigation, radio and other information, on the windshield in front of you. This luxurious bit of technology keeps your eyes on the road.
And the live view mirror lets you see all that is going on behind you. This is great if all the seats are occupied, your cargo space is full or at night when visibility is low; the video camera actually enhances the view behind you so you can see more than you can in the mirror.
Altogether, these systems let you relax a bit and just enjoy the drive, even in traffic. Or, especially in traffic.
The QX60 Drive Experience: Utterly Forgettable
And that’s a great thing. The Infiniti QX60 delivers a confident and comfortable drive without jarring stops and starts or loud, jerking shifts from one gear to another despite a new nine speed transmission (which replaces the CVT in prior models).
With a V6 engine delivering 295 horsepower, it has plenty of muscle to merge onto the highway and still have a little left in the accelerator if you need to give it more. And if you’re feeling it, put it in sport mode for a bit of fun. In standard mode, though, the engine is completely capable. Infiniti also worked to create a quieter ride than past generations, both with enhanced construction and transmission adjustments for reduced engine noise.
The end result is a get-in-and-go experience. You don’t have to think about the engine or be reminded of the work it’s doing; it just does what you need it to, silently and confidently. And we like that.
Theater Seating??? This May be the Best Enhancement in This Awesome Second Row
The new drive experience is not just about the driver. The suspension has been enhanced for fewer bumps, jolts and rolls, all things you don’t really want in a car filled with people. But the enhancements for passengers just start there.
During my test drive I opened the rear door to put some things on the seat and I was stunned: The seats sit several inches higher than the front seats, providing some nice advantages: first, second row passengers have a great view of the front seat and the windshield which will help passengers who get motion sick. Then, with a higher hip height, car seats should be easier to install and for little ones to climb into. And, they are easier for adults to get in and out.
Then, second row passengers have plenty of comforts: USB ports, climate control (with vents in the ceiling), window shades in all but the Pure model and in the top of the line Autograph edition, captains chairs with a removable center console. I really loved this detail, especially since the console is super easy to pop out and the clips are embedded in the floor leaving a smooth surface so no one trips or snags on them.
A Third Row Designed for Regular Use
Enhancements to the second row make the third row a good option for regular use. In addition to the pass through when you need it, second row captains chairs have a button that when pushed, slides and tilts the seat forward, even with a child passenger car seat is installed using the LATCH system (not when using a seatbelt, however, and not with a kid in the seat). Third row passengers can easily pull the center seat back into place and position it for comfortable leg room. And when they want to get out, there’s a button on the center row seat shoulder to slide and tilt the seat forward.
And just for those kiddos who think it would be funny to push that button while their sibling is sitting there, think again: The feature is disabled when the car is in gear, and if the seat is occupied by someone or something weighing more than about 25 lbs., the seat will only slide forward but not tilt. So everyone is safe from the family jokester.
For families with kids in car seats the Infiniti QX60 has lower car seat anchors in all center row seats (so, three for models with the bench seat and two for those with captains chairs). In the third row, the drivers-side seat has lower anchors but the passenger’s side seat does not. All rear seats, of course, have tethers for kids car seats, which can also be installed with the car’s seatbelt.
To make getting into the third row easier from the rear door, Infiniti has opened up access by widening the door opening and giving it a C-shaped curve. I loved how I could more easily see the floor and the seats when climbing into the third row.
Though the center row seats are adjustable, they are naturally positioned pretty close to the center seats. I had to play with the seat to get it to a comfortable spot for my knees (I’m 5’8”). If this were my family’s car and we needed the third row every day, I’d store the center row console and ask shorter passengers (or the dog) to sit in the third row.
Enjoying the View, Even from the Driver’s Seat
ProPilot Assist was the perfect accompaniment to the premium Bose sound system, quilted leather and zero-gravity seats in the Autograph edition test model I drove. I allowed the leather to envelop me, tuned to XMChill and soaked in the charming villages and stunning vistas of the Sonoma coast.
After a stop at the beach for some fresh air and a moment of deep breathing, Denise Barfuss, Infiniti senior leader of automotive connectivity and Steve Coughlan of Infiniti global product communications, jumped into the car with me for a chat as we drove to lunch. Our chat was punctuated by pauses to take in the views along the coast and the charming Victorian architecture of Petaluma, California. The Infiniti QX60 really was better with passengers.
A New Look, But Still As Gorgeous
When I heard about the coming redesign of the QX60 I worried. I have loved—loved— this car’s design. Its exterior lines are sinuous and sexy; it has curves and chrome in all the right places. It makes me feel beautiful just looking at it, and even more so behind the wheel. So Alfonso Albaisa and his team, led by Infiniti design director Taisuke Nakamura, had a tough job: evolve the QX60 without over doing it.
The result is a luxurious interior that makes you feel like you’re in a chic boutique even if you’re just heading to after school pickup. Intuitively placed controls that you know where to find, even the first time. Storage where you need it, plenty of USB ports ( a minimum of 6) and access to the third row that even not-so-limber adults can manage.
On the outside I appreciate new design details that make the new Infiniti QX60 just as beautiful. The design is a bit more streamlined; gone is the chrome indent on the rear window frame, which now blends the window into the rear tailgate. And, overall the QX60 is a bit more glowy; chrome plates on the lower rear bumper give the look of shiny exhaust pipes and chrome strips along the side rocker panels add flash to the drive. The front face of the QX60 is still familiar with a mesh grilled framed in chrome and accented with the Infiniti logo. The tailgate, in addition to the chrome plates, has wide-spanning tail lights that are connected by the word “Infiniti” spelled out across the gate. It’s an elegant look.
Refining the Experience with Color and Texture
Our test model had a black roof accented by chrome trim and was painted in a new color, Moonbow Blue. This silvery-blue hue is a chameleon of sorts: a demure silver in bright daylight but at night it glows a deeper blue under street lights or valet lamps. Overall it has a sublime feel. Infiniti has always been great with blue paint colors, so I’m not surprised by how much I liked it.
Behind the wheel the feeling continues. The glowing silver blue color flows through the curves of the hood line that can be seen from the front seat; this sculptured ribbon that frames the road is one of my favorite views of all time.
The lift gate and door panels of the Infiniti QX60, especially in Moonbow Blue, are accented by subtle concave lines that give the paint the look of gently flowing water. Overall the effect is sublime; Infiniti chalks this up to its design philosophies driven by the idea of adding only what is necessary, the essence of modern Japanese luxury. And the result is true to that: Not overdone at all, but simply, luxurious.
The elegance of the QX60 continues inside the car with some distinct details: leather seating and surfaces of course, with stitching and piping, as you might find on a finely crafted handbag. The Autograph edition I drove takes this up a level with quilted leather on the seats and dash panel, which I really liked; the elegance of the quilted leather never escapes your view.
Elegant Function Means You Only Have to Lift a Finger
As is the trend with cars these days, the Infiniti has a 12.3” wide touch screen and a 12.3” driver information screen right behind the steering wheel (on all but the Pure model). The media system is also accessible via dial controller and buttons on the command center, which sits right at the tip of your fingers when your elbow is on the arm rest.
Just a short reach away is the climate control panel, a flat panel with haptic feedback; it ‘pops’ a bit when you touch the controls to let you know you’ve completed the function you wanted.
Some of the other functions that are at your finger tips are massaging seats, which you can turn on with a button on the drivers or passengers seat; the panoramic sun roof with a retractable screen, and of course, ProPilot Assist, driver information screen settings and radio controls all embedded on the steering wheel.
In addition to the buttons that slide and tilt center row seats, there are buttons in the rear cargo and on the wall panel near each third row seat that can be use to raise or lower the seats.
Getting into the car and locking it barely require the lift of a finger at all: With the smart key in your pocket or purse, the Infiniti QX60 unlocks automatically when you touch the door handle; push the door handle to lock it when you leave.
And, accessing the cargo area is easy, too. The Infiniti QX60 is equipped with a motion activated sensor under the bumper so simply kick underneath and the gate opens. Inside it’s spacious, with 14.5 cubic feet behind the 3rd row and an under floor storage bin that holds about 2 cubic feet of stuff. With the 3rd row down you’ll have 42 cubic feet of space and with the second row folded, about 72 cubic feet.
Trims, Pricing and Towing
Infiniti has names for all its editions, and all are nicely appointed with a lot of great standard features. So even at the starting price of just under $49,000 you get a lot. Here’s how it shakes out:
- Pure, with a V6 295 HP engine and 270 torque, 18” wheels, spare tire, LED headlights, panoramic sun roof, leather seats, power heated front seats and steering wheel, power lift gate, seating for 7, power one touch release for easy third row entry and exit, 3 zone climate, 12.3” touch screen media system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 6 USB ports, WiFi hot spot, HD radio, cruise control, drive mode selectors, smart key and rear seat reminder, starts at $46,850
- Luxe edition adds 20” wheels, roof rails, vented front seats, navigation with real time traffic, 12.3” driver information display, ProPilot Assist, about $52,900
- Sensory edition adds massage seats, heated rear seats, black open pore wood trim, advanced climate control with air purifier, wireless phone charge pad and a 120V power outlet, about $56,350
- Autograph edition adds quilted leather, center row captains chairs and removable center console, adaptive front lights, head up display and live view rear mirror, about $60,350
- All wheel drive adds $2,000, though the Autograph AWD is priced $2,900 more than the front wheel drive edition.
- The Infiniti QX60 can tow 3,500 lbs. standard, or up to 6,000 lbs. by adding a factory tow package; this is a 1,000 lb. increase from the prior model
So, thank you Claire, for being the muse for this next generation of one of my favorite cars. Even though my name isn’t Claire, this car gets me, too.
Disclosure: I was Infiniti’s guest for this test drive; travel and accommodations were provided by all opinions are my own.