2016 Infiniti QX60: Making waves–and space

10 Aug 2016 | 1,292 views | No Comment
By Don Hammonds Sometimes small differences can make all the difference in the world. That is certainly true of Nissan's 2016 QX60 all wheel drive crossover. [caption id="attachment_8357" align="alignnone" width="532"]Infiniti has comprehensively enhanced its versatile QX60 premium crossover for 2016, introducing a wide range of changes that improve the seven-seater’s exterior design and its driving dynamics, while showcasing new features and technologies that improve comfort, convenience and safety. Infiniti has comprehensively enhanced its versatile QX60 premium crossover for 2016, introducing a wide range of changes that improve the seven-seater’s exterior design and its driving dynamics, while showcasing new features and technologies that improve comfort, convenience and safety.[/caption] Basically pretty similar in appearance and content to the Nissan Pathfinder, the QX60 still has enough to warrant its status as a member of the upscale infiniti lineup.  The roofline has Infiniti's signature S curved pillar support in the rear that is visible from the side,a more aggressive and complex looking grille, more chrome trim that accents the crossover's distinctive, elegant, contemporary exterior,an a dramatic ally upscaled interior that certaibly won't be mistaken for a Nissan Pathfinder. In sum, don't let the similar appearances fool you--if you decided to buy an Infiniti QX60, you really are getting a distinctive automobile, even though its a bit subtle. So taking that into account, the Q60 is putting space between itself and the Pathfinder, and though both are excellent products, a glance or two inside or out--if you are a luxury buyer and would prefer the QX60--should confirm the upscale image in your mind, thus differentiating the two. Still think I'm wrong?  Here's what Infiniti says about design changes for 2016 for this model. "The new exterior design continues the QX60's taut, muscular shapes and flowing lines – adding a host of new styling cues and details that embrace the dramatic new Infiniti design language. The redesigned double-arch grille is flanked by new bi-xenon headlights with new LED Daytime Running Lights. New LED fog lights are standard, as are LED turn signals incorporated into the side rearview mirrors." The news release also says, "In the rear, a new chrome finisher surrounds the standard power lift-function hatch and a new body-color "shark fin" antenna has been added to the roof, which also features a standard power sliding tinted glass moonroof with one-touch open/close, tilt feature and sliding sunshade. Also available is a panoramic moonroof with power rear sunshade, which provides a light, airy environment for rear passengers. The new front and rear fascias include flush-mounted sonar sensors, adding to the premium appearance. Our test model was the QX60 3.5 liter all-wheel drive version with a 265 horsepower V-6 engine. Base price was $44,400. Standard equipment included the all-wheel drive, Infiniti Drive Mode Selector with standard, sport, snow or eco modes, which controls throttle response and shift points; a continuously variable transmission with a manual shift ode, terrific looking 18inch triple five spoke aluminum alloy wheels with all season tires; Hill Start Assist,; front and rear stabilizer bas; leather seats with heated eight way power functions for the driver and heated six way power front seats for the passenger; multi-mode second row seat, which is designed to make it easier to get out of the back third seat; graphite weave interior trim, power sliding tinted glass moonroof with one-touch open/close, tilt feature and siding sunshade; tri zone temperature control automatic system, rear seat heated ducts, three USB charging ports; sequential welcome lighting, power rear liftgate, power tilt/telescopic steering column and power folding and heated outside mirrors. If you are into technology; here's what you get, standard: a rear view monitor, seen inch color car information display, Bluetooth, six speaker audio system, with AM/FM/CD and MP playback features, and satellite radio among other things. Standard safety equipment includes a child sat with top tether anchor for the second row center seat position; four wheel ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution; vehicle dynamic control with traction control; a vehicle security system nd Infiniti  vehicle immobilizer system. With options like deluxe technology package, theater and premium plus packages, the final price was $58,845. The thing that I remember most about this car was its really spirited response right off the line. It really moves and feels downright racy when you use the sport mode on the Infiniti Drive Mode elector. It feels much more muscled and fluid than other crossovers I have driven, and both braking and steering are quite strong and precise underway.  in other words, it lives up to its the slogan used by Infiniti for the QX60: Built for families. Designed for drivers. Fuel mileage isn't bad at all either: 22 combined with 19 city and 26 on the highway.  You spend $2,250 more in fuel costs over five years compared with similar products, and the QX60 uses 4.5 gallons per 100 miles. Annual fuel cost runs $2,250 and about $9,000 over five years, based on 15,000 miles a year on $3.50 gas a gallon. The QX60 starts with a very inviting interior. [caption id="attachment_8358" align="alignnone" width="532"]Infiniti has comprehensively enhanced its versatile QX60 premium crossover for 2016, introducing a wide range of changes that improve the seven-seater’s exterior design and its driving dynamics, while showcasing new features and technologies that improve comfort, convenience and safety. Infiniti has comprehensively enhanced its versatile QX60 premium crossover for 2016, introducing a wide range of changes that improve the seven-seater’s exterior design and its driving dynamics, while showcasing new features and technologies that improve comfort, convenience and safety.[/caption] Infiniti says, "Beyond the practical solutions, the QX60's interior design combines elegance and fine craftsmanship. The interior design features standard leather-appointed seating with a quilted seat base and new graphite weave interior accents. Exclusive Maple accents and an "hour-glass"-style quilting pattern are standard with the Deluxe Technology Package. Contrasting stitching has been added to the upper instrument panel and door panels for 2016. In addition, the memory seat button has been relocated to the upper door panel for added convenience." The upgrades in materials, decorative metals and other elements is quite evident. You really feel as though you are sitting in the lap of luxury, and there is a very strong sense of a true cockpit at work here-- the height of the console and the layout and positioning of all the driver elements make you feel happily separated from the passenger and in complete charge of this car. I loved it! Just so you won't forget when you are inside the QX60 that you are in the presence of a real luxury model, Infiniti has added acoustic lass to the front windows for improved insulation from high frequency noise that would otherwise disturb you inside, but you also are more isolated from any tire noise as well. By the way, the 2016 QX60 is offered in seven exterior colors: Liquid Platinum, Black Obsidian, Hermosa Blue, Majestic White, Graphite Shadow and new Hagane Blue, a gorgeous color used to great effect on our test car,  and Jade Green. As for interior room, Infiniti says, "The 2016 QX60 utilizes a flat platform floor, which not only allows for a more dramatic design approach but also enhances interior space and flexibility. The 2nd row seating features a long total adjustment of 5.5-inches fore and aft for versatile roominess and cargo carrying capacity – allowing legroom and cargo space to be conveniently adjusted between the 2nd and 3rd rows as needed." "There are two other unexpected aspects of QX60's 2nd and 3rd row design – access to the 3rd row is surprisingly easy due to the wide door openings and long forward slide of the 2nd row seat. The multi-mode 2nd row seat's unique forward movement function overcomes the typical problem of having to remove a 2nd row child seat for entry or exit. The installed child seat moves forward with the 2nd row seat (40 percent side of 60/40 split-folding seat) without limiting 3rd row access. In addition, both 2nd and 3rd row seats are split folding (60/40 2nd row, 50/50 3rd row) and recline for greater occupant comfort." The only problem we had--and it's not a big issue--is that the lighting at night for interior controls located overhead are not easily read, particularly due to white lettering and graphics. The QX60, like most Infinitis goes its own way, and to us...that's a good thing.        

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