“This is a bossy automobile,” said Fox Sports broadcaster Erin Andrews in an ad for Infiniti’s three-row SUV. “She’s rich. She rich rich.” The message to the girlbosses of the world is clear: the 2023 Infiniti QX60 announces you as an up-and-comer; it’s how you treat yourself when you’ve completed your glow-up.
At least, that’s the way Infiniti wants you to see things, because the Infiniti QX60 embodies the problems that have plagued Infiniti for well over a decade now. The original QX60 underpinned Infiniti’s sales throughout the 2010s, a decade where the company slowly lost its way under late-stage Carlos Ghosn management. The model’s redesign in 2021 was proffered as a return to form.
In practice though, the new QX60 argues its case on paper better than it does on the road, with best-in-class specs dampened by an unrefined cabin, tech problems, and a general lack of distinction. Any of those alone are a problem in a premium SUV; together they make the QX60 a hard sell.
2023 Infiniti QX60 Specs
The 2023 Infiniti QX60 is a midsize crossover SUV, which makes it the second-largest model offered by Nissan’s luxury division. It’s a three-row that seats six to seven depending on trim, and it’s expected to get a two-row model soon too.
Mechanically, it’s a relative of the Nissan Pathfinder, sharing not just its platform but its drivetrain too. That’d be a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 and a nine-speed automatic transmission, which powers the front wheels by default, but all-wheel drive is an affordable option.
Design-wise, the QX60 might be the least striking vehicle in its class, with a front end that at first glance could belong to a cheaper Mazda CX-90. Its wheels are kinda drab, though its rear end is stronger, with appealing proportions and just enough complementary brightwork.
The interior on the other hand is markedly better, with tasteful design and good material choices. It’s spacious and well-lit on account of the big panoramic moonroof, and the third row can even fit adults at only a small sacrifice to their dignity. I’m not into the phoned-in badge integration on the steering wheel, which has a different finish from the rest of the wheel, but I’ve seen worse in similarly priced cars.
Ingress and egress were as easy for me, a five-foot-eleven male, as it was my 66-year-old mother. She enjoyed the massage seats, though I wasn’t a fan—I find them a universally unsatisfying gimmick. The 12.3-inch digital cluster with traffic sign recognition made up for my poor memory, and the infotainment (also 12.3 inches) worked well overall. Android Auto, however, only works via USB connection, which means it’s unusable if you don’t bring a cord. Apple CarPlay, by contrast, works over Bluetooth.
Driving the Infiniti QX60
The entire point of a premium SUV like this is to comfort its occupants, and in that respect, both ride quality and seats met expectations. Cabin noise on the highway however was significant, and after a downpour, it developed an unidentified popping sound in the roof. The QX60’s optional Bose sound system, while not necessarily bad-sounding, wasn’t as spectacular as its 17-speaker orchestra led me to expect. I wouldn’t notice the difference between it and my AirPods.
Outward visibility was lacking, too: It’s acceptable forward, but the curving hoodline makes the front bumper’s dimensions hard to gauge. It was more difficult still to see over my shoulders into blind spots, while the mirrors didn’t help much, and the rear window was pretty tight. (It did filter out glare from tailgaters though, and the smart rearview mirror did the rest.) Couple all of that with underwhelming handling—more on that in a sec—and maneuvering the QX60 in the city and on tighter country roads became anxiety-inducing.
Powertrain performance was delayed, with jerky throttle response where the transmission always got to pick a gear before the engine could open its throttle. When it finally responded, acceleration was adequate, while braking performance was fine too. While the QX60’s steering weight gave it assuring handling in dry conditions, it wasn’t especially sure-footed in the rain, sometimes giving the impression it was fighting for stability at regular highway speeds. It often felt like different tires were juddering like they were in a skid. That’s not the kind of feeling you want in any AWD SUV, never mind one from a luxury brand.
It just didn’t inspire confidence, even though the weather wasn’t all that extreme, and that same weather exposed other flaws with the QX60. In addition to the mysterious noise above, the wet reflective road signs confused its automatic high beams into flashing repeatedly. This isn’t something I’ve seen in other modern cars. Visibility wasn’t helped by the QX60’s lack of fog lights, and though the ADAS was decent when it worked, the weather brought that to an end. After deactivating on its own in the rain, it refused to reactivate an hour down the road after we escaped the rain.
Between the QX60’s unexceptional driving dynamics and significant problems in the rain, it’s an SUV that’s ironically ill-suited to the kinds of conditions you buy an SUV for. The passenger experience as a whole is better, but even then it’s underwhelming compared to other luxury vehicles.
The Highs and Lows
The QX60’s greatest strength is its interior; a nice place to sit, provided you don’t notice how loud it is. When you’re used to its response, you can drive it smoothly, and ride quality is no complaint either. It’s a nice treat if you haven’t owned a luxury vehicle before.
But if your reference point is another premium or luxury vehicle, you’ll notice the QX60 is lacking refinement. Some of its tech is underwhelming or unreliable, and its driving dynamics aren’t as confidence-inspiring as an SUV of its price should be. None of these are easily overlooked on their own; together they compromise the QX60’s credibility as a premium vehicle. It’s just too unpolished in too many areas.
Infiniti QX60 Features, Options, and Competition
All 2023 Infiniti QX60s come with UV-filter glass and a panoramic moonroof. The Sensory trim I tested improves interior finish with black ash and ambient lighting and gains front massage seats, heated outboard second-row seats, a surround-view camera, and extra safety and driving assist tech including traffic sign recognition. An optional Vision Package offers self-leveling headlights, a smart rearview mirror, and a 10.8-inch head-up display, while the Sensory AWD-exclusive tow package ties it for best-in-class towing at 6,000 pounds.
This class—midsize luxury SUVs—is pretty broad, but odds are you’ll compare the QX60 to stuff like the Lexus RX, Acura MDX, and Genesis GV80. On paper, the Infiniti looks like a deal: it has the best fuel economy for a three-row, the highest payload capability, and ties for the best safety rating and max tow capacity with the Genesis.
But that tow rating is available on only one upper trim and drivetrain combo, and with the exception of payload, the rest are marginal bests. A couple of class-best specs also don’t counterbalance the QX60’s plethora of refinement and technical problems that make it feel cheaper than it is. Also, Infiniti lacks the brand cachet of Lexus or even Acura: it looks like new money, and not in a good way.
Between the QX60’s payload rating, fuel economy, and unimpressive AWD, I’d spec mine as a front-wheel-drive Luxe trim. The base Pure is desperately under-equipped, and Sensory didn’t justify its cost with must-have features. I’d opt for red or blue paint to secure its resale value, and I’d consider $900 for the Bose audio, but not the $1,500 Vision Package. As much as I like HUDs, the QX60 isn’t a place I’d gladly spend extra money—it doesn’t fix what ails this Infiniti.
The Infiniti QX60 comes in best for fuel economy among its three-row competitors, but not by much. It gets 22 mpg combined, beating the Acura around town and Genesis on the highway, though the Lexus gets the best of the four—and there’s a three-row TX coming soon. I also came up just short of 22 mpg over hundreds of miles of driving, and that’s as a thrifty driver who tends to use Eco mode. I can easily see the QX60 falling even further below its rating if you’re an aggressive driver, or if you have a butt in every seat.
Value and Verdict
The 2023 Infiniti QX60 is a pleasant place to be a passenger, but I wouldn’t go as far as calling it special. A few best-in-class specs don’t make up for its lack of refinement, screwy tech, bland exterior styling, and uninspiring driving experience. A luxury SUV falls short if it has even one of those problems; claiming them all makes the QX60 a tough sell.
That’s damning for what’s supposed to be a premium vehicle, where everything’s supposed to be better than the economy option. This is supposed to be an aspirational vehicle, but it doesn’t give you much to aspire to. This has been Infiniti’s biggest problem over the last decade, and it’ll keep dragging down cars like the QX60 until Infiniti figures out what it’s about.
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