Infiniti QX60 — Stylish and comfortable

By Jim Meachen

(August 20, 2023) We praise Infiniti for ditching the continuously variable transmission (CVT) for the current-generation QX60, which started life in 2022, with a proper 9-speed automatic. We're not fans of the CVT in any car — even as its popularity with automobile manufacturers grows — but we are especially opposed to its use in luxury vehicles.

The 9-speed worked just fine in our 2023 QX60 mid-sized three-row test vehicle — and without loss in gas mileage from the CVT-equipped 2020 QX60. Better gas mileage is the industry's biggest reason for using the no-gear transmission. That excuse doesn't hold water with this Infiniti. The 2023 AWD QX60 with a 9-speed automatic is rated at 20 city, 25, highway and 22 combined. With the same engine, the CVT-equipped 2020 AWD model is rated at 19/26/22.

While applauding the transmission choice, we wished for a bit better gas mileage especially on required higher-priced premium fuel.

The QX60 rolls into the 2023 model year with few changes from 2022, — a wireless smartphone charging pad is now standard, as is a frameless rearview mirror design. The QX60’s bumpers now come with gloss-black accents on Luxe models and dark-gray accents on Sensory and Autograph trims.

The QX60 is offered in four trim levels: Pure, Luxe, Sensory, and our test QX60, the top-shelf Autograph with all-wheel drive. All trim levels are powered by just one engine: a 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V6.  All trims come standard with front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive available at an extra cost. Also standard is a five-mode drive selector and idle stop/start system. The QX60 offers towing capacity up to 6,000 pounds, which is competitive in the segment.

The exterior design is very attractive with Infiniti choosing to adopt a minimalist Japanese design scheme, starting with the large origami fold grille and kimono folds embossed into the headlamps. The sides are long, smooth and look classy, and a caliper design replaces the odd looking, forward arrow shaped C-pillar from the previous model; we’re happy to see that go. We like the digital “piano key” rear taillamps with individual “INFINITI” letters displayed prominently across the rear lift gate.

The interior is impressive, on the same level as an Acura or Lexus. High-tech features and advanced driver aids are where QX60 takes a substantial leap forward. Standard features include a 12.3-inch central touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (cable required) integration, tri-zone automatic climate control, forward collision mitigation and rear automatic braking.

The cabin of our Autograph was nothing short of luxurious and opulent, with state-of-the-art technology, open pore wood trim, 17-speaker Bose Performance audio system, power panoramic moonroof, heated steering wheel, power tilt/telescopic steering column, power heated/cooled-massaging front seats, second row heated captain chairs, rear door sunshades, and extra sound-deadening efforts to mute the outside world. 

And speaking of the optional Bose audio system we found it startlingly good. It has a crisp, clear sound that made a Moody Blues tune sound better than we've ever heard it in a vehicle as we cranked up the Infiniti's newest SUV for the first time. 
Bose says the Performance Series is "engineered with obsession, made to utterly astonish." It astonished us in a good way. We admit there are some excellent sound systems out there —the premium Lexus Mark Levinson system and Lincoln's 19-speaker Revel Ultima system's stand out — but somehow the Infiniti Bose audio really caught our ear.

Infiniti has replaced its antiquated dual-screen infotainment setup in favor of a single 12.3-inch touchscreen.  A digital screen gauge display was included on our test Autograph, as was a 10.8-inch head-up display and enhanced smart rear-view mirror. Operating controls are haptic touch surfaces, with ample ambient light choices.

All secondary climate controls such as heated and cooled seats and heated steering wheel are right there easy to obtain without going through one or two screens. We can think of several luxury vehicles that would do well to benchmark those controls. We applaud.

The QX60 is large inside with excellent head, shoulder and legroom in the first two rows of seats. The third-row seat is for two passengers only. There’s more headroom in the third row than most competitors offer but it’s still on the tight side. Behind the power rear hatch is 14.6 cubic feet of storage with the third-row seat in the up position and 41.6 cubic feet of storage with the seat folded forward.  

Second row seats are configured so parents can keep car seats in place when getting in and out of the third row, the only vehicle to do so in its class. We carried two adults in the second row on a 150-mile round trip in near 100-degree August weather and the rear comfort was praised including the air conditioning afforded our riders. Overall, we think this is the nicest interior Infiniti has ever done on a vehicle. 

The real heart and soul of any vehicle is its propulsion system, and Infiniti has struck the right note carrying over its tried and true 3.5-liter V-6 engine making 295 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. The biggest improvement is the addition of the aforementioned smooth-shifting nine-speed automatic transmission.

On the road, we found the engine performance as well as handling and driving dynamics pleasing, and we think they should be satisfying for most people. Infiniti has done a good job of balancing handling and ride quality offering a very quiet, comfortable and composed ride. Performance can be measured by 0-to-60 time at 6.2 seconds, and quarter-mile time an acceptable 14.9 seconds @ 93 mph.

Prices start at $50,395 for the Pure trim, a rather heathy increase of $2,520 over the 2022 model. Prices top out at $63,795 for the Autograph trim. Our well-equipped Autograph test car carried a bottom line of $68,185.

Ted Biederman contributed to this review

2023 Infiniti QX60


Base price: $50,395; as driven, $68,185
Engine: 3.5-liter V-6
Horsepower: 295 @ 6,400 rpm
Torque: 270 pound-feet @ 4,800 rpm
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Drive: all-wheel
Seating: 2/2/3
Wheelbase: 114.2 inches
Length: 198.2 inches
Curb weight: 4,655 pounds
Turning circle: 38.1 feet
Luggage capacity: 14.5 cubic feet
Cargo capacity: 75.4 cubic feet
Towing capacity: 6,000 pounds
Fuel capacity: 19.5 gallons (premium)
EPA rating: 20 city, 25 highway, 22 combined (AWD)
0-60: 6.2 seconds (Car and Driver)
Also consider: Acura MDX, BMW X5, Lincoln Aviator

The Good
• Straight forward interior layout
• Quiet, comfortable ride
• Generous passenger space
• Stylish exterior styling

The Bad
• Android Auto doesn't work wirelessly

The Ugly
• More horsepower would be welcome