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2016 Infiniti QX60: First Drive Review

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Used 2016 INFINITI QX60 AWD
Used 2016 INFINITI QX60
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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Russ Heaps April 2016

Infiniti might not be the first brand that leaps to mind when you're considering an alternative to luxury sedans, but it has amassed a platoon of five crossovers and SUVs contesting nearly every segment. Planting the brand's flag in the dog-eat-dog midsize, 3-row crossover segment is the 2016 Infiniti QX60. As it's basically been evolving since it began life as the JX35 in 2012, enhancements seem rather minor from year to year but are significant when considered in total. The changes for 2016 follow suit and further advance this already highly competitive family luxury hauler.

Looking Good, Kid

Infiniti styles its vehicles from the outside in. Its cars and SUVs are easily identifiable, as the maker stubbornly sticks to the idea that a vehicle's exterior should be artistic and convey confidence and capability. While maintaining the basic lines of last year's model, the refreshed QX60 changes things up a bit, sporting a redesigned, bolder double-arch mesh grille, as well as an updated bi-xenon headlamp design that incorporates new LED running lights. There are also new LED fog lamps in the front fascia. Nose on, this year's QX60 looks much more imposing than last year's version. In the rear, Infiniti updated the taillights and added a chrome band extending the full width of the lift gate between them.

Interior enhancements are skimpy. The most notable change is the rerouting of the airflow in the tri-zone automatic climate control system, which increases cooling and heating capacity in the first- and second-row seats.

Steady as She Goes

Infiniti carried over last year's two powertrains, consisting of a 3.5-liter V6 as well as a hybrid system anchored by a 2.5-liter supercharged 4-cylinder engine. Both setups deliver power to the wheels via a continuously variable transmission. The V6 generates 265 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of peak torque. With numbers just short of the V6, the hybrid's 4-cylinder engine and electric motor combine for a total of 250 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. There is no shortage of thrust with either powertrain. Acceleration is determined.

Both propulsion systems can power either front- or all-wheel-drive versions. Fuel economy for 2016 is unchanged at 21 miles per gallon in the city, 27 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg combined for the front-wheel-drive V6. All-wheel drive scrubs off a little mileage, resulting in 19 mpg city/26 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined. The hybrid's fuel economy numbers are virtually the same regardless of the wheel count. Four-wheel drive is 26 mpg city/28 mpg hwy/26 mpg combined. The all-wheel-drive version's highway and combined numbers are the same as the 4-wheel drive, but it makes one less mpg in the city.

Infiniti did tinker with some of the suspension and steering components. We thought the previous QX60 handled just fine and responded well to steering input, but apparently Infiniti's engineers had a different opinion. New shocks and springs are engineered to reduce body roll when cornering. Steering response is quicker, thanks to a tweaking of the vehicle-speed-sensitive power-steering system. Already nimble and athletic for a midsize 3-row crossover, the revamped QX60 stays that course.

Safety First and Safety Firsts

Infiniti pioneered -- but doesn't receive much credit for -- a number of widely used safety technologies that are found in today's cars. Although its firsts go mostly unheralded, the list is impressive. Lane-departure warning, blind spot monitoring, forward emergency braking and active lane control are just some of the Infiniti groundbreakers found on the QX60. All new and available for the first time on the updated QX60 is backup collision intervention, which not only sounds an audible alert when backing toward a person or stationary object but also engages the brakes if the driver fails to respond. Also new is predictive forward-collision warning that detects and warns of dangers beyond the vehicle in front of you.

Technically Speaking

Armed with a suite of connectivity technologies, the 2016 Infiniti QX60 is dialed into all sorts of helpful sources. Not only does the available Infiniti Connection provide 24-hour automatic crash notification, but it can remotely lock/unlock the doors and even alerts when maintenance is due. Infiniti Personal Assistant acts as a 24-hour concierge with access to live advisers that offer directions, reservations and other personal services. There are lots of other goodies, too. This includes a backup camera, a 7-inch touchscreen, an available navigation system and a kicking Bose-infused surround-sound audio system with 15 speakers.

The Rest of the Story

The QX60 continues to offer a premium passenger experience, transporting as many as seven adults in quiet comfort. The reclining second-row seat moves nearly 6 inches fore and aft. Soft-touch surfaces abound in this well-constructed cabin that also features leather seating in all rows. Cargo space is a bit on the stingy side as compared with a few competitors, such as the Buick Enclave. Cargo capacity behind the third row is about the same as the trunk of a Ford Fusion. A new acoustic windshield reduces wind noise, while a new liquid-filled engine mount dampens engine vibrations. This results in a quieter, more pleasant passenger experience.

The QX60, Infiniti's second-best-selling vehicle in the United States, comes well equipped right out of the box. The base price of the QX60 3.5 is $42,600. Adding all-wheel drive ups the ante by $1,800. The base price for the QX60 Hybrid is $52,050, with all-wheel drive boosting the cost by $1,400. Most options come in a handful of packages that run from $1,000 for the 20-in tire and wheel package to $6,900 for the Deluxe Technology package.

To gain access to this information, Autotrader attended an event sponsored by the vehicle's manufacturer.

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Used 2016 INFINITI QX60 AWD
Used 2016 INFINITI QX60
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Infiniti QX60: First Drive Review - Autotrader