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2014 Infiniti QX60 3.5 AWD: Real World Review

Editor’s note: If you’re looking for information on a newer Infiniti QX60, we’ve published an updated review: 2019 Infiniti QX60 Review.

 

We recently spent a week behind the wheel of the 2014 Infiniti QX60, which replaces the JX35 for the 2014 model year. The QX60 doesn’t offer a new look or even significant updates over the JX35. Instead, it simply boasts a new name, much like the rest of Infiniti’s 2014 lineup. The rest is largely the same: There’s standard 3-row seating, a 265-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 under the hood and pricing that starts at around $43,000 with shipping. After a week getting acquainted with the crossover, we’ve collected our thoughts below.

Expensive with Options

Unfortunately, "starts" is a very important key word when it comes to pricing for the Infiniti QX60. Like most Infiniti vehicles, the QX60 is subject to package requirements that quickly drive up the price from reasonable to expensive. Our test car is a good example, as its MSRP with options was $57,000, a jump of nearly $15,000 from the car’s base price.

As an example of Infiniti’s package requirements, let’s say you want the brand’s blind spot monitoring system, which helps steer you back on course should you enter another driver’s lane without noticing. That system is part of the Technology Package, which costs $2,800 extra, a fairly normal upgrade in the luxury car world. The problem comes when you consider the requirements of the Technology Package: You also must order the Premium Package ($1,500), the Premium Plus Package ($3,000) and the Deluxe Touring Package ($3,450). Suddenly, a simple safety feature turns into a $10,750 optional extra.

The good news is that adding all of these packages means the QX60 can really come fully loaded with a wide range of comfort, convenience and technology features. Our test car, for example, included everything you’d expect from an SUV with a much higher price tag, including dual rear DVD screens, a panoramic sunroof, a 360-degree parking camera, heated and cooled seats and basically every safety gadget that you can think of. Still, our advice to potential QX60 shoppers is simple: Be careful with options, and remember that you might have to pay much more than you expect in order to get what you want. See the 2014 Infiniti QX60 models for sale near you

Smooth, Not Sporty

Get past the price tag and get the QX60 on the road, and you’ll either be surprised or disappointed, depending on your point of view. Drivers expecting the same sharp handling and responsive engine as the brand’s popular Q50 and Q60 models will be disappointed: The QX60 is a crossover, first and foremost, rather than a sports car. In fact, it’s clear that little effort has been put forth to make the QX60 sportier than the mechanically similar Nissan Pathfinder. Drivers who want performance should instead consider the QX70, formerly known as the Infiniti FX.

But if you’re looking for a modern luxury crossover with a calm, tranquil ride and smooth acceleration, the QX60 delivers. That’s unusual for an Infiniti, since the brand has recently built its reputation largely on sportiness. But it’s not unusual in the QX60’s class, which includes notoriously relaxed luxury crossovers such as the Lexus RX, the Acura MDX, the Mercedes M-Class and the Buick Enclave.

In fact, nearly everyone who drove the QX60 commented on its smooth, luxurious ride. The same was said of the crossover’s automatic transmission, a continuously variable unit that emphasizes comfort rather than instant acceleration. While some thought this transmission was occasionally slow to provide power, other drivers felt it succeeded in delivering the best possible acceleration without being aggressive.

Interior Pros and Cons

The Infiniti QX60’s interior drew a surprising amount of back-and-forth from our testers. While opinions were varied, the general consensus seemed to be that the interior is acceptable for a crossover that costs $43,000 — the QX60’s base price — but falls a little short on quality when the price jumps to $57,000.

Many of the complaints related to materials inside the cabin. Nearly every driver noted that the steering wheel felt cheap, and a few others said similar things about the dashboard and other items, such as the sun visor and starter button. And most staffers who compared the QX60 to a Nissan didn’t see enough of a boost in quality to justify the Infiniti’s increased price.

With that said, several interior items drew praise. Visibility is one benefit: Because of the QX60’s upright stance, it offers better outward visibility than competitors. Additionally, most drivers praised the leather front seats for their comfort, in keeping with the QX60’s calm, serene on-road feel, and of course, the standard third row — while small — is a huge plus, given that it isn’t available in the popular Lexus RX.

Our Take

Ultimately, our feelings on the 2014 Infiniti QX60 are mixed, and we expect many shoppers will feel the same way. Drivers who look to the QX60 as a cost-effective alternative to high-dollar German performance SUVs such as the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne, for example, will be disappointed, as much of Infiniti’s sporty image disappears in the QX60.

Budget-minded drivers will also be turned away, given the QX60’s pricey option packages. Instead, we recommend such shoppers search for a well-equipped Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Explorer or Toyota Highlander, each of which offer many of the QX60’s high-end features for less money.

In the end, we think that the QX60’s appeal lies in its smooth, comfortable ride, its luxury image and equipment, and more importantly, in its standard third-row seat, a crucial feature not offered by many rivals. If you’re searching for a crossover with those traits, you should certainly add the QX60 to your shopping list. Find a Infiniti QX60 for sale

 
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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1 COMMENT

  1. I’m not sure I totally agree with this review.  I own this crossover and before buying it test drove a number of the others used in the comparison.  I also owned a Saab 9-7x with a V8 and all kinds of horsepower prior to buying the Infiniti QX60.

    My Thoughts
    Price wise, not cheap!  But, still cheaper than other options I was looking at with similar or less features.  My QX60 has all the feature packages and agree that it would be nice if you could get some of the features without being required to get some of the packages.  For example, I didn’t need DVD screens in headrest, but one package that I did want required the package that had the DVD headrest screens.  
    Features are great!  I have friends that have the BMW suv and a Mercedes BMW and I have features they don’t and I spent less money.  One in particular is the cooled seats.  
    Where my real disagreement is, is the references to sportiness.  From a look standpoint, it’s true.  It doesn’t look as sporty.  But you turn the knob to “sport” mode and hold on to your seat because if you aren’t careful, the car will take off when you hit the gas!  I have literally spun my tires when I have it in “sport” mode.  And as the reviewer said, it is a smooth car.  Rides quiet, comfortable, and very smooth.  I live where winters can be harsh ans snowy, and I like the “snow” mode too.  It really prevents loss of traction from too fast acceleration when roads are bad. 
    There really is only one bad thing I can say about the QX60, and that is that it doesn’t do nearly as well on gas mileage as is advertised.  My commute to work is 35 miles each way with 30 of that being highway.  I live in a mostly rural area with little highway traffic to slow me down or cause me to sit idling in traffic,   So, I should have good gas mileage, but I don’t.  With 50,000 miles my average is 19.9!  And that is mostly from ECO mode.  In city traffic I will switch to sport, and when the roads are bad I do switch to snow mode, but 90% of my driving is done in ECO mode.  Shortly after I first purchased it I took a long road trip in it and on that trip, in the summer, I averaged 22 mpg, but that was the best its ever been.  While that isn’t good, it’s still better than the 15 mpg I was getting in the Saab 9-7x with the 5.3L v8, so 19.9 doesn’t seem so bad.  

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