The automotive landscape increasingly includes something for just about every taste and need, and the luxury crossover segment is no different. The specific target audience for the 2019 Infiniti QX60 is the buyer who wants at least a modicum of performance but mostly a serene experience behind the wheel. The model accounts for 35% of the brand’s sales in Canada, and while no one would accuse it of being revolutionary in its design or execution, this seven-person utility model still manages to stand out in the segment.
Versatility, luxury and simplicity
The QX60 is little changed for the 2019 model-year; in fact, you can even spot in it the DNA of the JX35, as the model was called when it first debuted in 2013. Quite a few years have flowed under the bridge since then, and you could stay it’s starting to be an issue that the model still sports the same exterior design and aging technologies inside – and yet, the formula still works.
The 2019 edition’s Pure base model as well as the Essential and Sensory trims sport 18-inch alloy wheels, while the luxury Proactive version features 20-inch alloy wheels.
Also included are dual-function automatic LED headlights, front LED foglights, power sunroof, power hatch and heated side mirrors.
Inside, the seats are traditional but sufficiently comfortable and plush that driver and passengers will be at ease on longer road trips. The base version comes with leatherette seating, while leather kicks in on the second trim and up.
The front-row seats are eight-way power adjustable, but the Proactive version adds that feature for the second row as well.
Like the rest of the interior, the gear lever is traditional, the upshot of that of course being that it’s nicely ergonomic.
That interior meets the needs of families with its many storage spaces and cup-holders, a dedicated spot for your smartphone, glovebox, storage area under the central armrest and storage cubbies in the doors. The available Cinema package adds another level of amenities with screens on the back of the front-seat headrests, USB and HDMI ports and wireless headphones.
The infotainment screen is one area where the age of the model peeks through, however. The 8-inch touchscreen is of low resolution and it’s actually difficult to read the displayed text. What’s more, there are no applications to be found, meaning no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration.
At some point the QX60 was at the cutting edge of new technologies, but that point was years ago, and the model has not really kept up with developments. The automaker is surely aware of this, and we expect this will be an area of focus if/when the QX60 gets a new generation.
There are options worth checking off on the list when buying the QX60, chief among them the Sensory package, pretty much a must for those who want to maximize comfort and the amenities they benefit from. With this you get ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, 15-speaker Bose audio system and motion-detecting power rear hatch
While the QX60 doesn’t feature the most up-to-date power sunroof, the option that splits the panoramic roof in two provides a welcome added dose of light that makes of the cabin a more luxurious space.
Overall, while technologically the 2019 QX60 lags behind most of its category rivals, the SUV still represents a relatively painless (for the pocketbook) way to ease into the luxury segment. For what you pay you get a number of high-end features that are often expensive options on competing models; here they’re standard.
Since we’re dealing with a seven-seater here, a word on the space that’s available. The fact it can take in seven occupants is a significant selling point for the QX60. The second-row seats provide enough room to allow relatively easy access to the third row, which itself is more or less as spacious as the majority of three-row people movers on the market, outside of the monster-sized category of SUVs.
You don’t get the sense the third row is just there to give the model a selling point, rather it is functional and can be used by other than small children. Maybe not big adults, but teens and smaller adults, yes.
Cargo capacity for the model is 453 litres with everything in place, and there are storage spaces under the floor in back. Fold down the third row of seats and you get 1,146 litres; do the same to the second row, and you get a very healthy 2,159 litres. We also liked the split aspect of the fold-down seats, which allows for placing longer objects without losing all the seating in the back two rows.
Among the new standard features this year on all versions are a blind spot monitor, forward collision alert with pedestrian detection and automatic braking.
Buyers can also opt for the high-end ProAssist package, which includes lane departure warning and prevention, blind spot intervention and automatic high beams.
Under the hood of the 2019 QX60 sits a 3.5L V6 engine developing 295 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque, wedded to a continuously variable transmission that we chose not to write home about, because it wasn’t worth it.
Sur la route
We won’t pretend we felt much excitement at the wheel of the QX60; on the other hand it delivers a solid daily-driving experience, inspiring the confidence owners of family vehicles really appreciate from their ride.
As is common practice these days, there are different drive modes available, but the QX60’s Standard mode is the best-suited to this model and its size. The Eco mode slows everything down on an engine that already is a little underwhelming, while Sport mode sets parameters a little on the wild side for this type of vehicle. Confidence, remember…
There’s also the Snow mode, but we didn’t get the opportunity to try it since we were months removed from that time of year. But for Canadian owners its presence will be reassuring once winter 2019/2020 rolls in.
Steering is relatively comfortable and stable, while that CVT does its job but provides no spark to speak of. In that it’s less dynamic than some on the market but more effective than others.
Consumption figures for the 2019 QX60 line up at 12.L/100 km and 9.0L/100 km (city/highway), about average for the segment. In other words, not a dealmaker or deal-breaker for the model…
Despite its foibles and faults, the QX60 has as one of its main positives the pricing attached to it, which lines up with the range-topping versions of mass-brand SUVs more than it does luxury vehicles. The base Pure version starts at $48,995, the Essential kicks in at $53,995, the Sensory follows at $58,195 and the range-topping Poractive sells starting at $61,695.
While the QX60 is no monster of raw power on the road, it is, to its credit, simple, traditional and luxurious, which delivers exactly what its users expect from it, at a relatively reasonable price. This is a highly appealing choice for those who want to be coddled and comfy, enjoy decent performance but don’t need more than that, and - especially - don’t mind not having the latest infotainment system. If you want to ease into the luxury class without paying through the nose, here’s a good choice.
• Attractive pricing for a luxury model
• Third row of seats relatively accessible
• Transmission and steering won’t jar anyone
We like less
• Not as powerful as some of the luxury models it competes with
• The infotainment system is yesterday’s vintage