Take the 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid, for example. Here you’ve got space for seven along with a hybrid powertrain that offers up electric driving under the right conditions and all the amenities you’d expect from a luxury midsize SUV.
What is an Infiniti QX60?
Well, when this seven-passenger midsize SUV first appeared in 2012 it was known as the JX35, it has since gone through a bit of an identity change and is now the QX60. And whereas the numbers used to indicate engine size, the 60 largely stands for nothing other than to place it squarely in the middle of the lineup between the QX50, QX70 and QX80.
2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid Price and Specs
The “hybrid” badge means the QX60 automatically comes equipped with AWD and is available in only one trim that’s just over $10k more expensive than the base QX60.
With a starting price of $54, 500, the only extras that can be added to the QX60 Hybrid is Infiniti’s Theatre, Deluxe Touring & Technology Package (for $9,000) that beefs up safety with backup collision intervention, lane departure warning, along with a 15-speaker Bose Cabin Surround system, Maple wood interior accents and third-row moonroof and power rear shades -- all of which my tester came equipped with.
In terms of performance, the 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid is equipped with a 2.5L supercharged I4 engine with Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid that uses a lithium-ion battery along with a 15 kW electric motor. Total horsepower is rated at 250, and torque at 243 lb-ft. and is handled via a CVT with manual shift mode.
Driving the 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid
This is a rather large vehicle, and it drives big. While visibility is good, and Infiniti’s nannies (while rather obnoxious) help dispel any issues one might have with blind spots and uncertainties in parking lots, the QX60 just feels heavy and sluggish.
Throttle response is labored, even when popped into “Sport” via the Infiniti Drive Mode Selector. I absolutely abhor a vehicle (like the 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid) that leaves a stop as if in molasses even if the throttle is firmly pressed. Sure, it might be smooth, but I’d like to not take a full 2 minutes to cross an intersection. Infiniti boasts the QX60 has an “acceleration swell,” and it does eventually, but the build-up to that swell just isn’t, well, swell.
Just as the throttle response felt labored, so too did the general handling of the vehicle. This is not a car that likes to be thrown about. It’s happier lumbering along at a gentle pace, in no hurry at all, taking lazy, large corners.
As far as the hybrid is concerned, if it weren’t for the badge I wouldn’t have known or felt a difference (save for the stunted acceleration). So, that added $10k on top of the base regular model price is lost on me.
As for fuel consumption, I was in the 12L/100km range, which is quote good for a vehicle its size and stature. So, while I didn’t “feel” the hybrid in the drive, it clearly made a difference in terms of gas used.
Inside and Out of the 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid
This is one good-looking SUV. While it is quite large, Infiniti did a brilliant job in softening all edges and curves. It straddles the line nicely between the behemoth dinosaur stature of the QX80.
Inside the 2014 Infiniti QX60 is posh and sophisticated in all the right ways. Subtle brushed aluminum bits as well as faux-wood inserts add a touch of class, and the QX60’s seats are very, very comfortable.
I’m not fond of the steering-wheel buttons and find they stick out too much and get in the way when turning the wheel (or get hit involuntarily). Infiniti’s centre stack is well laid out and easy to use, and the HMI is quick to respond.
In the second row, I adore the ability to slide the passenger seat back. Once my son’s seat is installed and I have a front passenger, I like him to be as far away from the seatback as possible so as not to kick it.
Storage is plentiful, and the third row is cramped but functional for short trips.
Comparing the 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid
I’d compare the QX60 Hybrid most closely to the Lexus RX450h. Why? Because neither is a driver’s vehicle, but both offer improved fuel economy and plenty of space. Should you wish to save at the pumps and enjoy the drive, I’d suggest looking to the diesel BMX X5 xDrive35d or Audi Q7 TDI.