April 17, 2024
Wheels

Infiniti QX60 Autograph elevates luxury cabin experience

Performance is where it wins or loses customers

The sleek Infiniti QX60 offers 3 rows of seating and a refined cabin experience.

The Infiniti brand has made a good living by offering an upscale ride and refined looks that elevate its vehicles above its core brand Nissan. Premium vehicles are often near-luxury in many ways and the QX60 SUV I recently spent a week in was up to the task of impressing as a luxury model.

As Infiniti’s best-selling vehicle, the QX60 has always done a lot of things well, gaining a lot of fans with its roomy three-row configuration. The 2024 model is pretty much unchanged since a major redesign and it is much improved over the previous generation model from 2022.

I had the chance to test the three-row QX60 in its top-end Autograph trim level. In this mode, it competes with some impressive names like Volvo, Acura and Genesis. In the case of Volvo and Genesis, two of the most distinctly exterior-styled SUVs in this class, I feel like the QX60 is slightly below them, but well above the majority fighting for a piece of the large premium SUV pie.

Interior

The first thing that hits you when you climb into the QX60 is the elegance stretching from every corner of the cabin. My tester featured semi-aniline leather upholstery in the first two rows, as well as leather surfaces on the console, doors, dash and steering wheel. It feels upscale because it is. The fit and finish on corners and surfaces were outstanding.

Overhead, a huge power moonroof stretched from what seemed like the inside edge of the A-pillar to the third row. It opened up the cabin to feel much roomier. In the front row, dual 12.3-inch displays and a 10.8-inch head-up display keep everyone connected to the comfort settings and the impressive Bose Performance Series 17-speaker sound system.

The piano-black panel on the dash has haptic-touch controls that I could not decide if I ever really warmed up to. Thankfully, there are enough physical controls to opt out of anything you don’t like.

Rear seats and cargo

Passengers in the rear enjoy a mix of accommodating conveniences ranging from reclining seats and pull-down rear-door shades to ceiling-mounted air vents and ample cupholders. Crazy comfortable captain’s chairs in the second row have a removable center console. A power-button tilt-and-slide functionality for third-row passengers makes access easy and quick.

Infiniti is an exception by offering an undercarriage-mounted spare tire, making flush underfloor storage in the rear cargo area a huge convenience. The second and third rows fold flat for extra cargo space, as well as the third row, which folds down manually via seat-top levers that double as recliner levers. Putting the seat back up is a powered function through a cargo area button.

Performance

At 198.2 inches long and weighing in at a robust 4,669 pounds, the 2024 Infiniti QX60 is a lot of vehicle to get moving in any direction. This plays a big part in why performance may be the real deciding factor in the QX60 success.

First and foremost, I applaud Infiniti for getting rid of the nightmare that was the previous continuously variable automatic transmission in favor of a 9-speed automatic transmission. The old system was rough, inefficient and downright annoying for such a big AWD vehicle.

The 2024 QX60 features a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter direct-injected DOHC 24-valve V6 powerplant providing 295 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. My concern is that three-row SUV customers, especially those in the premium to luxury class, may not have the patience it takes for this non-turbo (or non-hybrid) engine to get up to speed.

I did fool around a bit with the Drive Modes and while the Sport setting adds some artificial edginess, there’s no real pop of torque, which is what’s needed. In this big SUV, I wanted to “feel” like I could get going if I wanted to – but you cannot unless you just jam on the accelerator, and even then, it’s loud, uneven and feels wrong.

Just shy of $70,000, the QX60′s contemporary-looking exterior style is handsome. This is a three-row SUV that delivers big on refinement and upscale cabin comfort from front to back. Some may be disappointed by the lack of performance chops, but casual drivers will be happy and content with an average powerplant. Overall, it’s Infiniti’s best-seller for a reason and it gives you what you expect.

• John Stein is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. He has more than 25 years of experience driving, testing and writing about the automotive industry, its latest innovations and new vehicles.