Take a drive from Montréal to Toronto and you'll see dozens of these crossover SUVs. The 2018 Infiniti QX60, which started it's life off in 2013 as the JX35, is a very popular option for consumers who're looking to get into the sub-luxury premium market and want something that will help with their image. Let's be honest, when it comes to Buick, Acura, and Infiniti, it feels like Infiniti has a stronger brand image that conveys the owner's image better than the other two. We loved the Buick Enclave but felt that the Buick brand still has a long way to go in the minds of consumers.
TestDrive has gone through some changes since filming the majority of this vehicle. We had it at the beginning of November and took it on a road-trip from our world studios in Québec back to Mississauga Ontario to film several Japanese classics for TestDrive Spotlight. We used that opportunity to get a really good feel for this mid-size crossover SUV, as we had the chance to test it on the open road, in traffic, and everything in between.
As far as mid-size crossovers go, the Infiniti QX60 has plenty of space. It's a three row, with a 3 row bench in the centre with two smaller seats in the back allowing you to transport up to 7 passengers. The absolute rear seats are ideal for kids or smaller adults, but overall they aren't uncomfortable. Infiniti has USB charging ports and cup holders in that rear space, allowing those passengers to charge their devices while drinking their coffees. Alternatively if you drop those seats down to extend the trunk space, it allows you to plug in other devices to keep them charged on your journey.
The centre seats are where most of the action happens for the back anyway, with a 60/40 split and the option of outboard heated seats on higher packages, the centre row is pretty comfortable. Our 4 year old daughter's car seat fit well and we had no issues getting her in and out. The third zone climate control system worked well, but only sported floor mounted vents along with the two located in where the climate settings were.
Overall space was good in the centre row and with the rear's in their closed position it allows you to store quite a bit in the truck while keeping the centre passengers comfortable. It's important to note that the rear and centre seats on this crossover are not power folding, unlike the rest of the competition.
The front seats will obviously be the most important for any buyer, as they'll be spending all their time up front. Our Premium Package test model came with heated front seats, heated steering wheel, two memory options for the driver, and a driver's exit system that reclines the seat and lifts the steering wheel for easier entry/exit.
The front seats were supportive and comfortable, especially on our longer drives. We weren't getting leg sores during our road trip, however while we liked the comfort level of the Infiniti QX60's seating, they weren't the best in the segment, but also not bad. The premium package also adds a 13 speaker Bose® audio system which was comparable with other vehicles we've driven, such as the 2018 Mazda CX-9 GT. A 360º around-view camera system is also a nice enhancement, allowing you to maneuver this large crossover in and out of parking spots with ease. We really liked the fact that the camera button was easily accessible, although it made the centre console feel very busy and cluttered.
Speaking of the centre console, we really need to talk about the navigation system on this Infiniti. I said it was the worst we've used so far, and while that might be upsetting for some to hear, it's the truth. At first the navigation screen was loaded up with all sorts of displayable POIs, such as food, gas stations, and other destinations. It made the white background of the map look overly cluttered and added way too much information that really wasn't needed. Even after removing all the POIs we still found the colouring of the maps to be unappealing, especially when adding traffic into the mix.
It's relatively consistent with other navigation systems we've driven on premium vehicles, but unlike the Acura or Buick, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not currently offered on the Infiniti, making the built-in navigation your only option.
You can get your 2018 Infiniti QX60 loaded up with plenty of other features, like ventilated seats, safety tech like blind spot monitoring, lane keep, radar cruise control, etc., however it's likely that the Premium package we tested will be one of the most popular options for consumers, as it allows them to get into that premium segment without having to spend more than $55k. In fact, our test model's MSRP was $53,645.00.
The most important part of this car really is the drive. Nissan uses a 3.5L V6 engine which produces 295 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. A hybrid option was offered on previous model years, but is absent as of writing this article. While driving mostly highway during our trip our Infiniti QX60 only averaged 13L/100km, which was on the high end of the other vehicles we tested in this segment. Power delivery was as expected and got you up to speed to get onto the highways without issue. You could definitely load this crossover up with passengers or belongings and not worry about the engine's ability to pull you along, and the integrated trailer hitch on the back is great for people looking to bring a small trailer with them.
We did find the QX60 to be bulky though. You can see the bumps of the hood while driving, and that design gives the car a beluga appearance. The overall design hasn't changed much in the 6 years since production began for this model, so we're expecting to see a completely new generation shortly which will hopefully streamline the design. We found that the dimensions and shape of this crossover made it feel larger than it really was, and made using those 4 cameras and parking sensors found around the car mandatory. On the lower trim like this you don't get any safety tech, so if you're looking for adaptive cruise control, lane keep, collision avoidance, and other features, you will need to spend more.
In conclusion, we found the 2018 Infiniti QX60 to be a good solid vehicle, and one that will continue to sell well for the Japanese auto maker. Competition is getting hot in this market though, with brands like Buick releasing all-new models to compete, and new competition from Genesis could eat into Infiniti's sales if they decide to build a crossover. Overall we found the Infiniti QX60 did everything well, but doesn't improve on any existing technology or comforts. It's a safe choice for buyers looking at getting a premium badge and are flexible on price and options.
You can watch our full episode of TestDrive Spotlight on the 2018 Infiniti QX60 here: