Stick Shift: 2015 Infiniti QX60

Image via Infiniti.
Image via Infiniti.
Image via Infiniti.

By: Brandon Randall 

The 2015 Infiniti QX60 is a sporty, elegant alternative to the lackluster world of most other affordable 7-seaters. Both inside and out there’s nothing boring about the QX60. The QX60 is Infiniti’s sleek luxury midsize SUV. Formerly known as the JX, not to be confused with their truck-based QX80, which naturally was once the QX56. It’s long nose and sweeping lines poised over beautiful 18″ 5-spoke aluminum wheels gives the QX60 a refreshing air of elegance and refinement. Inside we find a spacious leather filled cabin with three rows of comfortable seating. The third row is easily accessible thanks to second row seats that fold and collapse flat. Row three doesn’t quite offer enough room for adults, but is perfectly suited for children.

The cabins trim is luxurious and restrained. The samurai sword-like Kasane Washi interior panels are an awkward choice compared to the otherwise attractive design theme, but in general, the QX60 has an interior that’s a welcoming, comfortable place to clock miles in. Vehicle controls are easy to navigate and nicely displayed through the 7″ color touch screen and the Bose premium audio system sounds terrific. The seats are wide and comfortable, heated, cooled, and 8-way adjustable.     

Image via Infiniti.
Image via Infiniti.

Safety features and collision prevention sensors abound, with a very handy Around View Monitor that stitches together every possible angle to provide an overhead view of everything surrounding the vehicle. This makes parking a breeze and simplifies the task of navigating drive-ways full of bicycles and razor scooters that plague busy parents.

The lane departure warning and intelligent braking systems are useful and potentially life saving, but I found them to be a little too sensitive, and sometimes down right invasive. For now anyways I’ll do my own defensive driving thank you. The QX60 shares its underpinnings with the Nissan Pathfinder. With an AWD option and enough ride height to tackle a variety of trails, this is a vehicle capable of more then just paved roads.

The 3.5L V-6 will move you from point A to B, but not in a hurry. The QX60 is a lot of car for only 265hp and it’s no surprise that acceleration is sluggish, especially when performing passing maneuvers on the highway. On the upside though, the V-6 has a controlled thirst, providing a class competitive 23 combined MPG. A newly offered hybrid model will further decrease your visits to the local gas station.

As expected, the ride quality is pillowy soft but still composed. It’s a smooth, quite, perfect road trip companion. My only big complaint was the light, imprecise steering that felt numb and lifeless. Though changes for 2015 really only include an updated CVT transmission and a couple new exterior color options; the Infiniti QX60 continues to offer great comfort, practicality, safety and refinement. 

Price as tested: $54,690.00    

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