2022 Infiniti QX60: Impressive upgrades in remodeled SUV
Among the Japanese car companies, Nissan and its premium brand Infiniti don't get the recognition they deserve. Judged solely by press coverage, the competition would seem to be mostly between the affordable models by Honda and Toyota, and the upscale ones by Acura and Lexus. Even Subaru generated considerable press recently when it introduced its first three-row SUV and upcoming all-electric vehicle.
But all the time, Nissan and Infiniti have produced lines of well designed and built affordable and luxury vehicles — which have even included the first mass-produced all-electric vehicles sold in America, the Leaf that has now been completely redesigned with more contemporary styling and range. Yet their products seem overlooked in the popular media. That might be because Nissan doesn't support the same level of sports car and off-road racing as its competitors, but its still a shame.
The immediate cause of this complaint is the introduction of the 2022 QX60, the newest version of Infiniti's midsize three-row crossover. It comes standard with front-wheel-drive but can be ordered with the company's competitive Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive system. Anyone considering a luxury midsize three-row crossover needs to check it out, despite the relative lack of publicity. It is competitive across the board, from its revised styling to its plush interior and performance.
Like the other Japanese products, the QX60 is based on the company's equivalent affordable vehicle, in this case the Nissan Pathfinder. Both have been completely redesigned but still feature the proven standard 3.5-liter V6 and available AWD system that is recommended in the wet Pacific Northwest. Both they now come standard with a nine-speed automatic transmission, although the previous continuously variable transmission was one of the best on the market.
Having tested several versions of the last generations of the QX60, I was immediately impressed by the more mature exterior styling, more upscale interior, and more refined driving experience of the 2022 model. It is extremely smooth and quiet on the road, with plenty of power (especially in the Sport mode) delivered through the smooth shifting automatic transmission.
My top-of-the-line Autograph AWD version was loaded with luxury, convenience, safety and tech features, including a 12.3-inch display with two controls — a touch screen and a rotary dial on the center console.The review mirror even offers an optional wide screen camera view. It is completely the equal of the Japanese luxury midsize three-row crossovers, and many buyers will undoubtedly prefer it to the equivalent Acura and Lexus models.
When the Japanese manufacturers for introduced their luxury brands in the 1980s, they succeeded by offering a surprisingly high levels of quality and performance for thousands less than equivalent German vehicles, while Cadillac and Lincoln were struggling. After several generations of improvements, they now deserve to be considered on their own merits, even though still undercutting Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
But Acura, Infiniti and Lexus are also facing competition now from improved Cadillac, Lincoln and even Jeep vehicles — but more importantly, from Genesis, the luxury brand by affordable Korean manufacturer Genesis, which is impressing everyone. That makes it even more important for Infiniti that the 2020 QX60 gets the respect it deserves. Anyone considering a luxury midsize three-row should put it at the top of their shopping list.
Base price: $47,875
Price as tested: $63,945
Type: Midsize three-row SUV
Engine: 3.5-liter V6 (295 hp, 270 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 9-speed automatic with available AWD
Drive modes: Eco, Auto, Sport, Personal
EPA estimated mileage: 20/27 (FWD)/19/26 (AWD)
Overall length: 198.2 inches
Curb weight: 4393 to 4655 pounds
Final assembly: Smyrna, Tennessee
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