What is it?
The 2014 Infiniti QX60 is a seven-passenger crossover slotted between the FX (which will become the QX70) and the QX56 (soon to be the QX80) in Infiniti's lineup. Formerly called the JX35, gas versions of the QX60 are unchanged for 2014 aside from the new name. But there's also an all-new hybrid motor available. Like the mechanically similar Nissan Pathfinder hybrid, it uses a 2.5-liter supercharged 4-cylinder gas engine and an electric motor. Combined city and highway fuel economy should be around 26 mpg, which is well above the JX35's 20 mpg combined.
The QX60 hybrid will carry a $3,000 price premium over the gas-powered QX60. That suggests it will start around $45,000.
When can you get it?
The QX60 goes on sale in late summer 2013.
Add it to your shopping list because...
The QX60 -- currently known as the JX35 -- is already a well-regarded full-size crossover. The 2014 Infiniti QX60 adds a highly-efficient hybrid powertrain to the mix. That's good news for fuel economy-conscious SUV shoppers, since its 26 miles per gallon puts it near the top of its class. It also offers three-rows of seats, and the $3,000 price premium over the standard model is fairly reasonable for a hybrid. Best of all, the QX60's new hybrid motor doesn't compromise cargo space or passenger volume.
Other cars to consider:
Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid: The Tahoe hybrid also offers three-row seating and a hybrid engine. It's bigger than the QX60, which is a plus for some shoppers. And while its 21 mpg combined isn't as good as the QX60 hybrid's 26 mpg, it's still an economical SUV for its size.
Lexus RX 450h: The RX 450h is the gold standard in the high-end hybrid SUV world. The only problem: it doesn't offer third-row seating. This gives the QX60 hybrid an edge for many shoppers.
Mercedes ML350 BlueTEC: The diesel-powered ML350 BlueTEC starts around $52,000, which is more expensive than the QX60 Hybrid. But its 240-hp diesel V6 returns 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, making it nearly as efficient. And unlike the Lexus, the ML350 is offered with a third row.
Used Mercedes GL350 BlueTEC: The GL350 is larger than the ML350, though it uses the same 240-hp engine. That means interior room is ample, though power is a little short. But used examples offer great gas mileage and a much more reasonable entry price than a new GL350's $62,000 MSRP.
What do you think of Infiniti's new Q-based naming scheme? How about the QX60 hybrid? Share your thoughts below.