We’re not usually a big fan of 3-row SUV’s simply because they have too many compromises and a van does the job so much better. This week’s test was a true indication of a 3-row SUV’s usefulness. We had 3 adults flying into Toronto and we were picking them up at the airport and shuttling them around for a few days. How did the QX60 fair?
What Is It?
- Mid-size Luxury SUV – it’s bordering on large
- All-New design in 2022 – with lots of All-New bits too
- 4 Trim levels: Pure, Luxe, Sensory & Autograph
- AWD comes standard
- 5-litre Direct Injection V6 with an also all-new 9-speed transmission and Intelligent 4WD
- 7-position Drive and Terrain Mode, including Tow Mode that includes Trailer Sway Control allows 6,000 lbs (2,722 kg) towing capacity standard
How Does It Look?
- Great! This is a very good looking SUV
- Nicely proportioned and perfectly sized for a family
- The Pearl paint job is a $750 option, and the only major optional equipment on the test vehicle
- Unlike a lot of other SUV’s the face is well proportioned and looks good, instead of a disgusting mess of grills and lights (Toyota/Lexus – talkin’ to you!)
- Great looking rims too – 20” Machine Finished Alloys
What’s It Like Inside?
- Interior layout is very nice – very classy looking but I’m not a huge fan of the fingerprint-magnet shiny piano black touches. The ash wood accents are really nice and actually looks real
- Everything is perfectly placed and easy to find at highway speeds with your eyes on the road, but it takes a bit of getting used to the tactile touch to get things to actually work. Once you get used to it there’s no issue – I’d still prefer using buttons though (there goes me… showing my age again!)
- Starting the QX60 was interesting… (see picture) there are 3 buttons that look like they start the QX60, but only one of them actually starts it – once you see it. I’ve driven hundreds of vehicles, but got caught out when I first climbed behind the wheel. Someone had switched off the radio and HVAC and the entire dash/console is black – and blank. Hmm that’s a rather small start button. Push. Nothing. Rotate the knob? Nope. OK, it’s the other button. Nope. If I were a start button where would I be? Oh look…it’s this horizontal button semi-under the dash. Push, vroom… all is well. The little button is for the radio and the big one is the heating/AC.. so obvious now that everything is lit up like a Christmas tree!!
- A 12.3-inch fully customizable digital instrument cluster with a wealth of details is nice and easy to use
- A 10.8 inch Head-Up Display (HUD) comes standard – and is supposed to show warnings for slower vehicles or traffic ahead, including Automatic Emergency Braking information, lane guidance for navigation, but I didn’t see any of that on the window even after going into the menu and switching everything on (why would anyone switch it off?). I had no problem seeing the speed information including Traffic Sign Detection and turn by turn navigation Lane Departure Warning – after switching it on
- A 9-inch infotainment system (with Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) sits nice and high on the centre of the dashboard where it’s easy to see and use at a quick glance. Siri Eyes-Free / Google Assistant voice recognition helps you keep your eyes on the road
- Three choices of navigation comes with the QX60: Door to Door Navigation; Google Maps or Waze
- Bose Performance Audio System with 17-Speakers and Acoustic Waveguide Technology and including dual driver subwoofer – is superb…when you have it set up right – but EVERY time we got back into the QX60, the audio system had reset itself to the factory default. So much for having a killer Bose system when it defaults to crap every time you get out!!! Very frustrating
- Wireless charging for your phone is under the HVAC controls and there is a grand total of 7 USB ports spread over the 3 rows of seating – plenty for everyone
- Infiniti Safety Shield 360 comes standard – it’s one of the best safety packages available right now. For more details about this and other outstanding safety features, see after “What’s The Verdict?” below…
- Power Panoramic Moonroof with power open/close/tilt is terrific and really opens up the light inside
- Heated and cooled front seats, with 8-way power – driver & passenger + 4-way power lumbar adjustment are very comfortable and they also come with a 2-person memory setting that saves the seat, steering wheel and mirror settings – I wish all vehicles came with that!!
- When you switch into reverse the outside mirrors have tilt-down feature so you can see how close you are to the curb. You can also use the 360 camera – press the button on the centre console and scroll through various camera angles around the vehicle – very cool
- Leather seats in all three rows comes standard
- With the bench configuration you can fit 7 passengers (2/3/2)
- Sliding 2nd-row rear bench seat is power operated to allow access to the third row – just press a button, very handy
- Oddly enough, captain’s chairs comes standard on the Nissan Platinum, not a bench like the QX60 Sensory – I would have thought the reverse would be more logical, but that was perfect for what we needed/wanted
- There’s plenty of knee and legroom for rear passengers in both rows with the bonus of a completely flat floor and easy entry
- Both rear rows also get their own AC/heat controls
- The cargo area offers plenty of space and flexibility options with both the second and third row folding 60/40 and completely flat too
- There’s buttons in the rear cargo that operate the third row seats to automatically return upright – no pulling or pushing!
- Decent sized under floor storage in the rear cargo area
- Cargo Space: 15 cu.ft behind the third row. Second row upright, third row folded flat: 42 cu.ft. All seats folded, max capacity: 75 cu.ft
Interesting Safety issue:
The outside mirrors too far back – they need to be closer to the A pillars – preferably in line with them. I had them set properly, yet I almost sideswiped a minivan that was in my blind spot when I tried to change lanes on the highway. The bliss was probably flashing but I couldn’t see it. I signalled, changed lanes and out of the corner of my eye I saw the van at the same time he leaned on the horn. Quickly I returned to my lane and breathed a sigh of relief… that was close! If the mirrors are moved further forward towards the A pillar than they can be set properly for the blind spot. Alternatively, Infiniti should put the warning light back up onto the A pillar like other older models, I’d never have missed it flashing there and it’s one of the features I raved about for a couple of years now with Nissan/Infiniti vehicles. I tried the same exercise the next day after re-setting the left mirror, but again…I watched as a car disappeared from my rear view mirror, appeared in my left mirror and then I watched it completely disappear when it got up beside me. A convex mirror on the outside edge of the mirror would also be a huge benefit. I use the convex all the time on my truck – it’s simple and very cheap to correct – you even see vehicles two lanes over. That’s my 2¢
So How Quick Is It & How Does It Handle?
- It feels very solid and well planted – very luxurious
- As a large SUV, it can’t be compared or even driven as a “sporty” vehicle, but it is nimble and doesn’t feel as large as it actually is
- Switching into Sport mode improved the steering feel immediately, but not a great deal from the go pedal. As a reference point – the Nissan Pathfinder we had a couple of months ago, the steering feedback changed instantly and the whole vehicle became firmer and more responsive – along with a much better response from the gas pedal.
- There are paddle shifters if you want a bit more control over the transmissions shift points – does anyone actually use these after the first week of ownership?
- The Auto Start/Stop feature never appeared to work
- Nissan’s Intelligent AWD system – At takeoff, the system doles power to the front and rear axles in a 50:50 split and if no slip is detected, the system can send up to 100 percent of the power to the front wheels only
Horsepower: 295 @ 6,400 rpm
Torque: 270 @ 4,800 rpm
Top Speed: 192 km/h – 119 mph
0-60 mph (sec): 6.2
What Does It Cost? For up-to-date pricing and options visit: www.Infiniti.ca
Starting price: $66,995
($10k more than the top-of-the-line Nissan Pathfinder Platinum $54,998)
As Tested: $67,745
Options: Pearl Paint – $750
- Rated at (L/100 km): City – 11.9 / Highway – 9.5 / Combined – 10.8
- We averaged between 8.5 and 9.50 L/100 km on the highway (120-135 km/h). Our best was 8.1 L/100km
- Town/City we averaged 13. 9- 14.4 L/100km
NOTE: comes standard with the INFINITI Oil Change & Tire Rotation Plan. It covers engine oil (Synthetic) and filter changes, plus tire rotation or seasonal tire changeover for up to 4 years or 80,000 km.
- Basic: 4 years/100,000 km
- Powertrain: 6 years/110,000 km
- Roadside Assistance: 4 years
BMW X5, Ford Explorer Limited, Genesis GV80, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Lincoln Aviator, Mercedes-Benz GLE-class, Volvo XC90
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
- The Good: Looks, build quality, long list of standard features
- The Bad: Audio system kept resetting to default sound
- The Ugly: Outside mirrors locations and blind spot warning light location
What’s The Verdict?
I’m not usually a big fan of 3-row SUV’s simply because they have too many compromises when a van does the job so much better, but every now and then a good one comes along that changes my viewpoint and the 2022 Pathfinder is a winner. With the 2nd row captain’s chairs, it’s a breeze getting in and out of the 3rd row. And let’s not forget probably the biggest problem associated with 3-row seating – there’s usually a tiny cargo space behind the 3rd row – but not in the Pathfinder, there’s plenty of cargo room for a family back there. Bottom line, this HAS to be on your list if you’re in the market for an SUV – especially if you have a family.
SAFETY – Safety Shield 360
(Several cameras, radar technology and sonar work together to create a system that looks in front, behind and beside the vehicle as it drives)
- Intelligent Forward Collision Warning – It watches two cars ahead, monitoring your speed and distance, and when it detects sudden deceleration, it can give you a warning to slow down.
- Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection – can provide audio and visual alerts and even apply the brakes to help avoid or mitigate a collision
- Blind Spot Warning – was disappointing only because Nissan/Infiniti usually place the blind spot light – nice and high on the A-pillar where it’s very easy to get your attention. For some reason they’ve put it on the outside mirrors like all the other manufacturers. There’s probably a reason for it, but we just loved the other location
- Rear Automatic Braking – will actually stop the vehicle if it detects something that may not be in your field of vision
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert – can alert you to approaching cars that might be out of sight
- Intelligent Around View Monitor with moving object detection – Four cameras combine to give you a composite, bird’s-eye view from above – works great, a regular single backup camera is sooo yesterday!
- Lane Departure Warning – vibrates the steering wheel just enough to get your attention without being annoying
- Driver Attention Alertness – analyzes driver steering behavior to provide an alert if signs of drowsiness or inattention are detected
- High Beam Assist
Copyright © 2023 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text: Iain Shankland / Images: Iain Shankland