As Infiniti’s bestselling model, there’s no question that the QX60 is hugely important to the brand. But the mid-size, three-row SUV’s sales peaked back in 2018, at 47,370 units, and newer competitors have pulled far ahead of it in terms of mechanical technology and interior execution. Infiniti’s cash cow needed a redo. Fortunately, after taking a hiatus for 2021, the QX60 enters the 2022 model year with a full redesign that helps lend it a far more compelling proposition.
For the latest QX60, Infiniti has replaced the previous generation’s bulbous exterior design with a more muscular look. Graceful, purposeful undulations in the sheetmetal flow rearward from the new model’s grille, culminating in a tweezer-like treatment gracing the D-pillar. And you’ll be hard-pressed to miss the giant “INFINITI” lettering splayed across the tailgate. Senior design Director Taisuke Nakamura says that the new QX60’s styling was inspired by the Japanese minimalist concept of “Ma,” which emphasizes negative space over ornate touches, although we wish that philosophy had also been applied to the faux-chrome tailpipes in the rear bumper, as they look a bit gaudy. Size-wise, the QX60 is now a little taller and not as long as before, though it still rides on a 114.2-inch wheelbase. Ground clearance increases slightly, to 6.7 inches, but this is still very much a pavement-pounding utility vehicle.
Sliding behind the wheel reinforces this mission. A low step-in height leads to a hushed cabin that the company says is now slightly quieter around town, courtesy of thicker side-window glass and additional sound insulation. The thoroughly redesigned interior exudes a cohesive elegance that the previous version lacked. The quilted stitching atop the seats and dash in top-tier Autograph models works harmoniously with the abundance of organic shapes and other soft-touch materials, with only the unimpressive trim on the steering wheel marring the otherwise upscale experience. Though passenger volume is down nearly 10 cubic feet, Infiniti has made good use of the remaining space, carving out room for a purse-sized cubby under the center console plus capacious storage compartments in the doors.
While we like the additions of the optional massaging front seats and a 10.8-inch color head-up display, we’re less enamored with the capacitive-touch buttons for the radio and climate control functions that require a decisive poke to activate. And although the new QX60’s upgraded tech is long overdue, there’s still room for improvement. Wireless Apple CarPlay is accessible through a new 12.3-inch touchscreen, but you’ll still need a cord to mirror Android devices. Curiously, both interfaces can only occupy the first two-thirds of the touchscreen, with the other third solely relegated to displaying the audio source. Even though its lesser platform-mate, the similarly redesigned Nissan Pathfinder, features dedicated knobs for volume and tuning, the QX60 makes do with only a small volume spinner.
Nissan’s corporate 3.5-liter V-6 continues as the QX60’s only engine. It makes 295 horsepower here. The engine’s a little peaky, with 270 pound-feet of torque peaking at 4800 rpm. A new nine-speed automatic transmission (thankfully) replaces the old CVT; it routes torque to either the front or all the wheels. Although this engine remains a relatively smooth one in normal use, winding it out close to its redline does result in a guttural groan from beneath the hood. Fortunately, the transmission shifts smoothly and exhibits a willingness to downshift once you toggle the most aggressive Sport drive mode. In its standard setting, the nine-speed rushes to reach top gear and prefers to stay there unless prodded. We expect the QX60 to hit 60 mph in the mid-six-second range, similar to the slightly less powerful Pathfinder we recently tested. With fuel-economy estimates of 21 mpg city and 26 highway for front-wheel-drive models, the new QX60’s ratings fall by 1 mpg on the interstate yet improve by the same amount around town; subtract 1 mpg in both measures with all-wheel drive.
On the road, the QX60 exhibits somewhat of a split personality. Infiniti has upgraded the suspension with double-piston dampers to better control body motions. But the result on the optional 20-inch wheels (18s are standard) may be a touch too firm for some. While this heightened sense of agility can be at odds with the action of the numb, lifeless steering, we suspect that if prospective buyers can overlook the stiff ride they probably won’t be bothered by the lack of steering feel.
The 2022 Infiniti QX60 will go on sale later this year, with prices starting at $47,875 for the Pure model and its standard panoramic moonroof, power liftgate, heated front seats, and three-zone automatic climate control. That outlay represents a $2500 increase over the base price of the 2020 model. All-wheel drive is a $2000 option on any trim level, and checking that box also unlocks a $900 towing package that allows the QX60 to tug a solid 6000 pounds, up from the standard 3500. The priciest Autograph version includes both that package and all-wheel drive at its $64,275 starting point.
As before, the QX60’s price spread puts it in hotly contested territory. A loaded Hyundai Palisade, for example, costs less than $2K more than the QX60’s base price yet features many of the amenities found in the Infiniti’s top trim level. And additional competitors abound, from the Lincoln Aviator to the Volvo XC90. But with its attractive new design, both inside and out, plus a generous roster of modern amenities, the QX60 is now a much more competitive player. Infiniti expects that the QX60’s changes will not only help secure this SUV’s top-selling position in its lineup, but also attract new buyers to the brand. After our initial stint behind the wheel, that confidence seems justified.
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