2014 Infiniti QX60
The 2014 Infiniti QX60 is largely unchanged from 2013 with the exception of its name: What was previously the 2013 Infiniti JX carried over to become the 2014 Infiniti QX60. The QX prefix signifies a sport-utility vehicle, while 60 denotes the relative size of the vehicle: between the QX50 (formerly EX) and the QX70 (previously FX).
Also new is the 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid, which uses a single 15-kilowatt electric motor/two-clutch system, compact lithium battery pack, and supercharged 2.5-liter engine, yielding a net rating of 250 horsepower. The QX60 Hybrid promises an EPA Combined city and highway fuel economy rating of 26 mpg, or 26/28 mpg City/Highway), which is 24 percent higher than the gas-engine QX60.
Also for 2014, the previous Premium Package splits into Premium and Premium Plus groups. Power-folding third-row seats are added to the Deluxe Touring Package for 2014, and all models gain an auto-dimming inside mirror with HomeLink transceiver.
Introduced for 2013, Infiniti JX was a totally new mid-luxury crossover sport-utility with three-row seating. With a $42,000 base price, seating for seven, and a broad array of luxury features, the Infiniti QX60 strikes a nice balance between practicality and self-indulgence for families.
The standard Infiniti QX60 is powered by Nissans familiar 3.5-liter V6, rated at 265 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque, paired with a continuously variable transmission, or CVT. Like CVTs in Nissan passenger cars, the QX60 version has artificial steps programmed into its control chip, if the driver elects manual mode. Nissan was an early adopter of CVTs and is a leader in this technology.
Although a dozen crossovers with three-row seating fall into the mid-luxury category, the top player is the Acura MDX, which holds a 300-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6.
The Infiniti QX60 achieves an EPA-estimated 20/26 mpg City/Highway with front-wheel drive, 19/25 mpg with all-wheel drive. The Acura MDX rates 20/28 mpg (18/27 mpg with all-wheel drive). The EPA estimates the QX60 Hybrid at 26/28 mpg City/Highway (25/28 mpg with all-wheel drive).
Starting with a clean computer-design screen and the MDX as a reference point, the mid-level Infiniti crossover emerged with generally larger dimensions than its Acura rival. At 196.4 inches, the Infiniti is 4.8 inches longer than the MDX, on a distinctly longer wheelbase: 114.2 inches, versus 108.3.
The combination of long wheelbase and greater length allows Infiniti to claim slightly bigger cargo and/or passenger volume. And a long wheelbase is always a good starting point for creamy ride quality.
Styling may or may not be perceived as a strong suit. The recent trend in crossover SUV design has been to make a big-box vehicle look like something different: as minimally boxy as possible. To help achieve this goal, the Infiniti design team gave its mid-level SUV a laid-back windshield, curving roofline, and forward-canted rear hatch, set off by a nifty little zigzag in the rearmost roof pillar. The prominent nose, incorporating a chrome double-arc grille, is consistent with Infinitis current design language.
Standard luxury features include a power glass moonroof, power rear liftgate, heated power front seats, leather upholstery, four 12-volt power outlets, a very good six-speaker audio system with USB connection for iPod and other devices, a power tilt/telescopic steering column, spiffy electroluminescent instruments, and three-zone automatic climate control.