Variety is the spice of life; at least that’s what we’re told. Today’s society is so rife with choice it’s almost overwhelming. Have you shopped for a new toothbrush lately? Good luck making that selection!
So, it’s rather nice when a company offers only one option, and that option happens to be perfectly equipped and designed with all your needs and wants in mind.
Enter the 2016 Infiniti QX60 3.5. There’s one model available. That’s it. Of course, there are packages you can add on (I’ll get to those in a moment), but there’s only one base model. I love that. I love that Infiniti didn’t feel the need to offer multiple “editions” of the QX60 with various drivetrains or different engines. They stayed true to what they believe the QX60 does best, and they weren’t wrong in doing so.
I’ve always rather liked the look of the Infiniti QX60 (previously known as JX35). Whereas the QX80 is a bit too big and bulky, and the QX70 is a little too long for my liking, the QX60 is the perfect shape and size.
Designed with Infiniti’s family resemblance in mind, the 2016 Infiniti QX60 has a strong stance on the road that’s both muscular and sophisticated. I adore the sweeping back end with its slightly angular rear that mimics the look of the front headlights. A strong shoulderline also creates a flowing, sexy silhouette you might not expect from an SUV.
Inside, the QX60’s sophistication continues. This is, however, its only real downfall in my opinion: It’s starting to look and feel a bit dated. Don’t get me wrong, I love Infiniti’s centre stack layout, and the infotainment system is a breeze to use, but it all feels old. From the lacquered faux wood trim to the various chrome bits and pieces, this SUV’s interior is in need of some modernization.
Furthermore, the steering wheel is loaded with buttons and toggles that I’ve always found annoying and not well positioned. I was frequently hitting the toggles while cornering and it’s a bit obnoxious.
On the other hand, the 2016 Infiniti QX60 is ultra-comfortable no matter which seat you choose, even if you happen to end up in the third row. Power-sliding second-row seats (it doesn’t matter if a baby seat is installed) mean getting in and out of that third row is a breeze, regardless of how tall you are.
As a bonus, the panoramic moonroof that stretches all the way to the back row ensures no one will suffer from claustrophobia back there.
Tried and true
You’ll recognize the 3.5L V6 from Nissan’s Pathfinder; however, Infiniti tweaked it ever so slightly to pull five more horsepower out of it for a total of 265 along with 248 lb-ft of torque. It doesn’t seem like a whole lot for a vehicle of this size and breadth, but I promise you it is more than enough.
Blissfully, the e-CVT coupled with the V6 acts and drives very much like a traditional automatic transmission. Put it in “Sport” mode and you’ll never be subject to the CVT drone. In fact, I quite liked its performance and felt it pretty spry when merging into faster traffic and also on winding country roads. Sure, this SUV is fairly big, but it has the guts to go when needed.
Fitted with the brand’s Intelligent AWD system as standard equipment, the 2016 Infiniti QX60 3.5 is also all-weather ready and more than well equipped to handle anything winter will throw our way.
Obviously, that won’t be the only thing keeping you safe in your QX60; there is a host of passive and active safety features… most of which I deactivated whenever I could. Here’s the thing: Infiniti’s safety features are rather invasive while driving (for example automatically braking if you approach a car too quickly, even if you’re well aware that you’re doing it). If you like that sort of thing, then great. If not, I suggest either not opting for the Technology Package in the first place or turning the systems off while you drive.
The birds-eye view camera is a bonus, though, and something I adore for tighter parking spaces or even when maneuvering through crowded underground parking garages.
With a starting price of $47,400, the 2016 Infiniti QX60 3.5 is a luxurious alternative to the Pathfinder, although the latter in its top trim is only $2 cheaper than the QX60! In terms of drive and amenities, they are identical. So, which crest do you want on your hood? That’s really what it comes down to.
QX60 checks all the right boxes
It’s interesting to see the premium SUV/CUV segment rife with so much competition, even within the same manufacturer. If you look at Infiniti, there’s the QX50, QX60, and QX70. Sure, different engines, different prices, but really they offer the same practicality and the same usability.
Maybe that’s why the QX60 is only offered as one standalone model; the other trim levels are essentially the QX50 and QX70.