For 2014, a hybrid model with Infiniti's new Direct Response hybrid system makes its debut. The hybrid 2014 Infiniti QX60 is available with front- and all-wheel drive. There are also a few package changes, as the Premium options package is now split into a Premium and a Premium Plus package. The Premium package gains remote start and a heated steering wheel; the Premium Plus package gains rain-sensing front wipers. In addition, the Deluxe Touring package gains power-folding third row seats...
The three-row JX35 crossover (called the QX60 starting in the 2014 model year) was introduced in 2012 to fill a gap in Infiniti's SUV and crossover lineup, which consisted of the sportier, two-row EX (now QX50) and FX (now QX70) and the huge, truck-based QX56 (now QX80). The QX60 stands out from Infiniti's other SUVs because it is based on a front-wheel-drive car platform shared with the redesigned Nissan Pathfinder, and it is also the first Infiniti model to feature a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Clearly, this strategy has worked, because the JX35/QX60 is now the second-best-selling model in Infiniti's lineup.
The 2014 Infiniti QX60 is a luxury three-row crossover that competes with the Acura MDX and the Buick Enclave (among others), but what it really reminds us of is an old-fashioned station wagon. Its plush, spacious interior seats seven and is covered in leather, and its soft road manners combine with a 265-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 to provide a middle-of-the-road driving experience that might best be described as bland. A hybrid model joins the lineup for 2014. It earns an impressive combined fuel economy rating of 26 mpg, handily topping the 3.5-liter V-6 model's 22 mpg. The hybrid will carry a price premium of approximately $3000.
We just spent a year with a JX35 and found it to be a mostly reliable and utilitarian crossover, although it developed some unwelcome interior creaks and rattles at around the 25,000-mile mark. The JX35 excelled at highway cruising with a suite of safety technologies that are welcome in a family hauler but can serve to dull the driving experience. However, a dynamic handling experience isn't what this crossover is about: it's what's inside that counts. A sliding and reclining 60/40-split second row, a third row that even adults can tolerate for short stints, a spacious cargo area with an underfloor storage compartment, and a nearly flat load floor make this a very useful vehicle for people and their belongings in style.
One of the 2014 Infiniti QX60's most useful features is its AroundView camera, which provides a 360-degree view of the area around the car while reversing or maneuvering. This feature is also available in the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder, which brings up the question of whether the 2014 Infiniti QX60 is worth the price premium over its less expensive sibling. The overlap between the two, both in price and content, is significant -- the Nissan's interior nearly matches the quality of the Infiniti's, and the two crossovers drive similarly. We suggest test-driving both before signing on the bottom line.
- Acura MDX
- Audi Q7
- Buick Enclave
- BMW X5