The 2014 Infiniti QX60 (formerly known as the JX35) is the company's 3-row luxury answer to the Audi Q7, Acura MDX and Buick Enclave. Beyond the attraction of its roomy third-row seat, the QX60 offers an elegant interior, a sleek and modern exterior and, new for this year, a hybrid option.

Unlike some larger, truck-based luxury SUVs (think Cadillac Escalade and Lexus GX 460), the QX60 is built on the foundation of a front-wheel-drive car. This design gives drivers a smoother ride and better gas mileage while packing as much or even more space inside. In creating the QX60, we appreciate that Infiniti didn't just slap a bit more chrome and leather on an existing Nissan model and call it a day. The new QX60 hits a bull's-eye on the crossover target, deftly combining a cushy ride with snappy handling and seamless power. It's also easy on gasoline for a 7-seater with all-wheel drive. 

What's New for 2014?

Beyond the name change and some equipment-package shuffling, a hybrid model is the only notable addition to the 2014 QX60 lineup. The QX60 hybrid combines an electric motor with a supercharged 4-cylinder engine, and is expected to offer a best-in-class fuel economy rating of 26 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving.

What We Like

Opulent interior; nimble handling for its size; user-friendly navigation and tech features; hybrid fuel economy 

What We Don't

Slo-o-o-w power hatch; no automatic 3-flash turn signal; Safety-intensive Technology Package can't be ordered as a standalone option; no power lumbar support for the passenger seat 

How Much?

$42,545-$60,400 

Fuel Economy

The laws of physics dictate that no vehicle that weighs 4,400 pounds and powers all four wheels is going to sip gas while carrying seven occupants. But Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ratings of 19 miles per gallon city/25 mpg hwy for the all-wheel-drive version (20 mpg city/26 mpg hwy for front-wheel drive) are best in the class. So, too, is the QX60's acceleration, considering the relatively small 3.5-liter V6 engine churning out 265 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque.

If fuel economy is a primary concern, you can move up to the QX60 Hybrid that earns an estimated 26 mpg city/28 mpg hwy and 25 mpg city/28 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive. The hybrid uses a smaller supercharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine teamed with an electric motor for a combined output of 250 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. 

Standard Features & Options

Infiniti offers the QX60 in two trims, QX60 and QX60 Hybrid, both with a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive. A number of option packages can be added to both models. 

The Infiniti QX60 ($42,545) includes 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seating, automatic HID headlights, power folding and heated outside mirrors, power sunroof, 8-way power driver and 6-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, AM/FM/CD stereo with six speakers, USB/iPod and auxiliary input jacks, steering wheel controls for cruise and audio, Intelligent Key with illuminated push-button start, Bluetooth hands-free cellphone connectivity, a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, power rear lift gate with variable height adjustment, tri-zone automatic air conditioning, rearview monitor with 7-in screen and a 60/40 split-folding sliding second-row seat. 

The Infiniti QX60 AWD ($43,945) adds Intelligent all-wheel drive. 

The Infiniti QX60 Hybrid ($45,545) adds a hybrid electric powertrain but is otherwise identical to the gasoline-powered QX60.

The Infiniti QX60 Hybrid AWD ($46,945) adds intelligent all-wheel drive. 

Options for the QX60 are packaged into groups. The QX60 can be equipped with the Premium Package ($1,550) that adds a 13-speaker Bose audio system with Acoustic Waveguide subwoofer, streaming Bluetooth, memory for the driver's seat, steering wheel and mirrors, Enhanced Intelligent Key, outside mirrors with reverse tilt down feature, a heated steering wheel, remote start and driver's seat power lumbar support.

The Premium Plus Package ($3,000) adds Infiniti hard-drive voice-activated navigation with lane guidance and 3-D building graphics, AroundView 360-degree monitor with Moving Object Detection, front and rear sonar system, and rain-sensing wipers. 

Hybrid models combine the Premium and Premium Plus Packages into a single group. 

The Theatre Package ($1,700) adds dual 7-in color monitors, two wireless headphones and 120-volt power outlet, while the Driver Assistance Package ($1,900) brings Intelligent Cruise Control, Intelligent Brake Assist, Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Backup Collision Intervention and Active Trace Control. 

The Deluxe Touring Package ($3,450) delivers a 15-speaker Bose Surround Sound system, 20-in wheels, second- and third-row moonroof with power sunshade, Plasmacluster air purification and Advanced Climate Control, Climate Controlled front seats, a heated second-row seat and third-row seat-back power return. 

Finally, the Technology Package ($2,800) includes all the features of the Driver Assistance Package plus Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention, Blind Spot Intervention and the Front Pre-Crash Seatbelt system (requires Premium, Premium Plus and Deluxe Touring Packages). 

Safety

The QX60 includes front, front side-impact and full-length side air curtain airbags. Also standard are ABS brakes, electronic traction and stability control, and tire-pressure monitoring. Neither the government nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash-tested the 2014 Infiniti QX60. 

Behind the Wheel 

The QX60 is a great-driving vehicle that actually feels smaller on the road than its immense actual size. Squeezing into small parking spaces is really the only time that the QX60's size becomes apparent from behind the wheel.

The thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel provides exemplary feel and feedback. That's welcome in a world in which power steering seems to be getting worse rather than better.

Throttle calibration is smooth and progressive, with no jumpiness as you ease into the gas. That, combined with the lack of gear changes from the CVT, makes the QX60 impressively serene in traffic around town. The QX60 is a fantastic vehicle for hauling the family in comfort and style. It's an instant contender in the luxury crossover segment. 

Other Cars to Consider

Acura MDX -- Acura's bread-and-butter vehicle is comfortable, smooth and loaded with amenities, so its popularity is no surprise.

Audi Q7 -- Audi continues to expand its presence in the luxury market with a benchmark crossover. The diesel version offers amazing fuel economy but with a pricey bottom line.

Buick Enclave -- Buick's return to relevance began with the Enclave, and it continues to be a spacious, comfortable luxury family hauler with a 24-mpg EPA highway rating.

Mercedes-Benz GL450 -- No brand does prestige the way Mercedes does, so if you need a family vehicle to park outside the club, the GL450 is your choice. 

AutoTrader's Advice

The all-wheel-drive QX60 we tested was packed with nearly all the available goodies, running up its sticker from a base price to nearly $56,000. Considering the price of the competition in this segment -- as well as the appealing option packages that include navigation, DVD entertainment and intelligent brake assist -- that isn't bad. But a price-conscious driver who wants the extra 1 mpg could choose the front-wheel-drive version and add only the Premium Package, keeping the price well under $45,000.

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