2020 Infiniti QX60 Luxe AWD Review

Right smack dab in the middle of the three-row stack


Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief



Positives: Easy to drive for a three row, quick access to the back seats, quiet and smooth ride even at highway speeds.
Negatives: Dated infotainment system, so-so ergonomics, awkward design won't turn any heads, pricey options packages sends the cost up quickly, dated design is showing its age.
Bottom Line: The QX60 might be a bit on the old side compared to the competition, but it's a truly comfortable and convenient three-row crossover that's comfortable and great on the open road. If you can get past the shoddy infotainment system, you've got a winner.
The QX60 is sort of an also-ran when it comes to three-row crossovers largely because it runs under the radar compared to more prominent vehicles like the Audi Q7 and the Acura MDX, both of which are newer and sell in better numbers. You might not remember, but the QX60 used to the the JX35 but got rebadged in 2014 after the JX35 bowed in 2013. It might be a little dated, but the QX60 is not without its merits. We drove the QX60 on a recent road trip with the family at the end of our week-long review, so we have a few things to chime in on in terms of utility, comfort, and technology. Read on for our detailed review.
 

Driving Experience

8

 

The QX60 does an admirable job as a premium family vehicle in terms of the driving experience. It's not fast or particularly agile, but it doesn't need to be. What it does is manage solid acceleration and braking, as well as a smooth and comfortable ride.

Ride Quality: It's one of the QX60's strengths in terms of long haul comfort. The QX60 absorbs bumps very well without feeling overly cushy. Don't look for it to ace any curves or slaloms, though.

Acceleration: Despite having a CVT, the QX60 is actually decently quick and responsive with a 0-60 time of 7.3 seconds and smooth power delivery. We had no trouble on the open road at highway speeds.

Braking: Braking is controlled, and the pedal feel is progressive with no grabbiness.

Steering: The QX60's steering is pretty lifeless when it comes to feel. Effort is on the light side, but it's at least responsive.

Handling: The QX60 exhibits ample body roll in the turns, but it doesn't feel big and heavy. It's just better in a straight line.

Technology

5.5

 

In an age where BMW, Mercedes, and Volvo have fancy, hi-res infotainment systems, the QX60's feels especially Jurassic in nature. It looks old, operates slowly, and generally feels like it belongs in a 1990s Nissan product.

Infotainment System: Not only is the screen on the small side (8") compared to the likes of Audi's Q7 with a 10.1" screen, it looks painfully low resolution, and the menus are confusing.

Controls: The buttons on the center stack are strangely laid out. There's a row of climate control buttons just beneath the screen, and just below that is a row for infotainment/audio. But the outermost controls in that lower row are for temperature, so functions are confusingly mixed.

Styling

6.8

 

We can't quite make up our minds about the styling of the QX60, especially the exterior. It's got a lot of contours and creases, but they don't come together especially well. From some angles, it looks more like a small minivan than a crossover.

Front: It sports the essentially the same lines as the now defunct Q70 sedan, which isn't bad but also not noteworthy. The mesh grille is a bit boring, and the headlights look like they wouldn't be out of place on a lower priced Korean sedan.

Rear: The back end looks pretty conventional and similar to the rest of the brand's lineup. There's nothing that stands out, good or bad. It's kind of just there.

Profile: This is the view where the QX60 sorta looks like a flattened minivan. There's also way too much chrome here, and that rear pillar curve/squiggle detail is just awful. It tries to make its own version of the BMW Hofmeister kink and just fails.

Cabin: The interior shows its age more than the exterior with the overly thick dash, big plastic pieces, and generally poor ergonomics.

Comfort

9

 

This is the QX60's top selling point. Where it falters in looks and tech, it more than makes up for it with cabin comfort. We drove a few hundred miles packed with three small kids, and we didn't get a single complaint.

Front Seats: They're well-cushioned but could use some better bolstering. The leather is high-quality, and the support is very good.

Rear Seats: Despite the flat cushions and seatbacks, the cushioning is very good in the second row. Legroom is a couple of inches bigger in rows two and three compared to the Acura MDX, but adults will still find the third row cramped. Both back rows recline, which is very nice, and the second row slides back 5.5 inches.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The QX60 is whisper quiet at highway speeds. It's also well-built with no errant noise inside.

Visibility: Visibility all around is actually quite good, and we had no trouble seeing in all directions.

Climate: Heat on a high-speed drive in winter was great, and the seat fired up quickly. We just wish the controls were better.

Safety

9

 

The QX60 gets very high marks for safety. It performed very well in crash tests and with safety technology both standard and optional.

IIHS Rating: Although it hasn't been tested under the more rigorous 2020 criteria, it did get the Top Safety Pick score for the 2019 model. It suffered in headlights (accceptable/marginal).

NHTSA Rating: The QX60 earned 5 stars in crash tests from the federal government.

Standard Tech: The Luxe is stuffed with great features including RearView Monitor, Forward Emergency Braking w/ Pedestrian Detection, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Forward Collision Warning, and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

Optional Tech: Our tester came with a lot, but it'll cost quite a bit extra. Around View Monitor with Moving Front Object Detection, Front and Rear Sonar Sensors, rain-sensing wipers, Intelligent Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Intervention, and Front Pre-Crash Seatbelts are great but add thousands to the equation.

Storage/Cargo

7.8

 

The QX60 isn't huge inside, but it has more than enough space for a weekend away with the family. The load floor is flat and not too high for lifting heavier gear. The cabin could use better storage, though.

Storage Space: Aside from a binnacle in front of the shifter and cupholders, at least the armrest is pretty large. Door pockets are decently sized, too.

Cargo Room: The QX60 16 cubes behind row three and 76.2 behind the first row with the seats folded flat. It's close to the Lexus RX 350L, which has 16.3/17.7, but at least the QX60 has a usable third row.

Fuel Economy

7.7

 

Our test vehicle actually did pretty well for a V6 loaded to teh gills with kids and gear for a few days. We also drove fairly aggressively during our time, and the CVT leveled things out nicely.

Observed: 24.3 mpg

Distance Driven: 567 miles

Audio

7.2

 

The premium audio system doesn't cost extra in the Luxe trim, which is nice, considering Infiniti seems to tack on costs for just about everything else. It's a good system, but it's far from impressive. Clarity could be better, as could the bass.



Final Thoughts

The QX60 is competent, which might not be enough in the premium segment. Almost $61K should get you more than this. It's comfortable, competent, and it has decent room for families. The problem is, the QX60 is showing its age inside and out. You can get a loaded Hyundai Palisade for way less money, and it's pretty much better in every way. You're better off getting a QX60 that's a couple of years old if the badge matters to you.
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