First Look Review: 2022 Infiniti QX60
The midsize luxury crossover segment hosts some of the fiercest competition in the automotive market. Newcomers like the Genesis GV80 have been taking a bite out of Infiniti’s hottest-selling model, the three-row QX60, which has been on the market since it debuted in 2013 wearing the JX35 badge. Now a quicker, quieter, and roomier QX60 is here to challenge the upscale family haulers. Infiniti invited us to the northern California coast to spend a couple of hundred miles in a top-of-the-line QX60 to judge the fruits of its labor.
While a nicely-equipped 2022 QX60 in Pure trim starts at $47,875 (including destination), our fully-loaded, all-wheel-drive ($3000) model in Autograph trim finished in Deep Bordeaux ($900) rings the register at $65,275. That pricing is right on par with the top trims of rivals such as the Lincoln Nautilus and the Genesis GV80—a good first impression for Infiniti’s contender.
Sizing the QX60 up from the outside, it’s clear that the designers wanted to distinguish the second-generation model from its comparatively bulbous 2020 predecessor. The QX60 is content to wear a more traditional, upright SUV profile, which sets the three-row apart from the smaller QX50 and its four-door fastback silhouette. It’s cliché to say that cars look fast standing still, but the QX60’s greenhouse tapers a bit front to rear and does give the impression of movement. The new bodywork is still on the Nissan D platform that is shared with the also-new-for-2022 Nissan Pathfinder, but the architecture has been tweaked for the 2022 model year to improve stiffness.
Gone is the kinked chrome D-pillar trim, once a hallmark of Infiniti. It’s replaced with two thin, horizontal chrome strips and a glass-covered pillar that blends into the rear hatch.
Infiniti’s minimalist style continues inside the cabin, where the front seat occupants are treated to a dash and instrument panel that employs horizontal design elements to neatly integrate the climate-control vents. A horizontal strip of wood trim is separated from the vents by an upholstered section of the dash that, in our top-of-the-line Autograph tester, featured diamond-quilted stitching. The quilted dash was a bit unexpected, but we soon warmed to the overall look, since matching quilted upholstery is used on the seats.
A new, 12.3-inch screen with Infiniti’s InTouch infotainment system—standard across all QX60 models—proved to be easy to use and quite responsive. It comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The all-digital “instrument panel” can be used for normal gauge read-outs or to display navigation, freeing up the main 12.3-inch screen for operating other features, like the massaging seats. (More on those later.) The two-screen combination is a much-needed upgrade from the 2020 model’s dated, single-screen setup.
Thankfully, there’s no need to cycle through menus to get to the climate control, as A/C and heat are operated on their own panel, located below the display in an intuitive interface. Many of the HVAC controls use haptic buttons, but they are clearly labeled and decently spaced. There are still knobs for temperature control and, nearby, for stereo volume. An additional screen comes by way of the available Smart Rear View Mirror that uses a 9.6-inch display to show what’s directly behind the QX60 (similar to Jaguar’s ClearSight display). Its camera offers up to 50 degrees of view and is mounted inside the rear glass where the wiper can keep a clean view.
Our tester’s Autograph trim brought with it massaging front row seats, plus heated but not massaging rear captain’s chairs (heated front seats and a heated steering wheel are standard in all QX60s). The QX60’s massaging seats don’t feel like they’re digging separate mechanical fingers into your back, though. The undulating shoulder, upper back, and lumbar adjusters are constantly in flux. We found the massaging feature to be kind of like a cheat code to get the perfect seat adjustment while also reducing fatigue. We only spent a couple of hours in the seat for any given leg of our drive, but the massaging feature, which will run for 30 minutes each time it’s initiated, was a hit.
Second-row occupants are also treated to comfortable seats, although with a bit less bolstering. Legroom is generous, and Infiniti notes the higher seating position adds 1.5 inches to the hip-to-heel measurement, compared to the 2020 model, thus allowing for a more relaxed posture. Both second and third-row passengers get their own air vents, located in the headliner. Unlike vents located on the back of center consoles, these vents allow air to reach infants in rear-facing child seats.
We did climb into the third row, simply to see if it was possible to fit a full-size adult back there. Surprisingly, your six-foot-three-inch-tall author did fit in the back, although it’s not a position that would be tenable for long drives. Anyone that is much taller—or with taller hair—would be brushing the headliner, and the second-row seats, which can slide back for loads of second-row legroom, can eat up quite a bit of third-row legroom. It seems like a logical trade-off, as the second row will be much more frequently used.
Back to the third-row accommodations: The floor is high in the footwell, meaning that tall occupants will have their knees positioned higher than their hips, although that metric, too, is improved over the 2020 QX60. Infiniti’s interior designers and engineers did develop a clever sliding-and-tilting second-row seat that makes ingress and egress simple. It also prevents the tilt function from operating if the second-row seat is occupied—there will be no catapulting of siblings on the QX60’s watch. We surmise that kids will have no problem getting into and out of the third row, a task made even easier if the center console is removed from between the second-row captain’s chairs. Just leave it to those that are small and spry, and there should be no complaints.
If you’re a fan of V-6s, then you probably know and love the Nissan VQ family of six-cylinders, which powers everything from Frontier pickups to the new Z as well as plenty of Infiniti models in both longitudinal and transverse applications. The only engine and transmission pairing Infiniti offers here is a venerable 3.5-liter V-6 and a nine-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The engine is good for 295 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque that’s delivered through the front wheels or, if you’re willing to shell out an extra two grand (three grand for Autograph models), to all of them. EPA fuel economy for the AWD models is 20 city, 25 highway, and 22 combined. FWD models improve to 21/26/23.
The previous QX60 came with a CVT and didn’t offer as wide a ratio as the nine-speed does, which has even more torque multiplication to get the three-row utility moving with ease. We don’t expect many QX60 drivers will feel the need to shift their own gears, but the paddles allow for quick-but-not-instant shifts and the transmission will hold the gear even at full throttle, so don’t expect it to kick down on its own if you ask to do all the shifting. When the transmission takes the reins, shifts are smooth and virtually imperceptible. The same goes for the engine note itself, which nearly disappears at cruising speed thanks to a tall ninth gear that brings engine speed under 2000 rpm on the highway. Also, credit the fact that Infiniti added acoustic side glass and 35 pounds of sound damping for this redesigned Qx60. The improvements show—road and wind noise are minimal.
All QX60s come standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear automatic braking. Luckily, we didn’t have to test any of those. Of the four trim levels, all but the base trim (Pure) includes intelligent cruise control as well as Infiniti’s Pro Pilot Assist, which can use navigation data to slow the car for upcoming curves and off-ramps. Pro Pilot can also serve as cruise control for stop-and-go driving, resuming the cruise control function after a stop as long as 30 seconds. Due to a decided lack of traffic during our drive, this was one feature we couldn’t test; however, when we drove the QX60’s trendy little sibling, the 2022 QX55, we were impressed with the system.
On back roads, the QX60 handles well, with acceptable body roll and great isolation from bumps and ruts. Infiniti says the front sway bars are 28 percent stiffer in the front and 14 percent stiffer in the rear compared to the previous version, and despite the reduction in roll, the ride isn’t at all jarring. Electric power steering, with adjustable weight based on driving modes, is firm in its sportiest of modes and not overboosted on the default setting. For commuting or road-tripping, we could find little fault in the ride or the driving dynamics.
The 2020 QX60 arrives on dealer lots this fall, where it will go head-to-head with the likes of the Lincoln Nautilus, the almighty Lexus RX, and the Acura MDX. From our first impressions, it’s a compelling buy: fresh, elegant styling with a trustworthy Nissan drivetrain and boatloads of safety features. Even better, the interior is a marked improvement over the 2020 model. The chop-top QX55 is a bit of a try-hard, and its sales fate is yet to be decided, but the reworked QX60 indicates that Infiniti is also wise enough to truly polish an already-proven recipe.
2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph
Base price/as-tested: $60,350 / $65,275
Highs: Elegant styling inside and out, quiet cabin, pleasant ride quality.
Lows: Only one powertrain choice.
Summary: The midsize luxury crossover market is a competitive segment and the outgoing QX60 was showing its age. This new arrival has sleek, contemporary looks without being overwrought. For buyers who want a six-seater with a lot of luxury features and a punchy, albeit muted V-6, this is your ride.