Aaron Turpen: To Infiniti (QX60) and Beyond

Automotive Writer Aaron Turpen writes: “Buyers in the mid-size luxury SUV segment should definitely look at the QX60. It’s a beauty of a vehicle with a nice balance of things for the price being paid.”

Aaron Turpen

May 03, 20235 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Luxury sport utilities are a fickle segment of vehicles.

Some are outrageously plush, others are incongruously speed oriented. A few are just fine, well-mannered, easy-to-love daily drivers with very nice interiors.

The Infiniti QX60 is a near-perfect rendition of the well-mannered, comfortable luxury SUV.

The QX60 is somehow often overlooked in the luxury market, but it’s hard to see why.

Maybe it’s a marketing failure. Maybe it’s because the over-the-topness of others on the market overshadow it. Maybe it’s because a large number of Americans think of Buick as a luxury brand.

It’s entirely possible that it has to do with the Infiniti name itself.

For example, the title for this one basically wrote itself. All that was required was for me to pose as Buzz Lightyear in front of this luxury SUV to seal the deal. An apparently misspelled word that brings up visions of a child’s toy from a cartoon probably isn’t the solid basis for name recognition that marketers dream of.

What this means for consumers, though, is that the Infiniti QX60 is easy to find on dealership lots. And buyers in the mid-size luxury SUV segment should definitely look at the QX60. It’s a beauty of a vehicle with a nice balance of things for the price being paid.

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The 2023 QX60 has three rows of seating; though, the third row is mainly for children. It’s pretty on the outside, spacious on the inside and plush without being ostentatious.

Its rivals are either overly sport-oriented (Acura MDX, Audi Q7) or much more expensive (Lincoln Aviator, Volvo XC90). The QX60 fits in a middle ground between uncomfortable sportiness and disengaged luxury driving.

The basis for the Infiniti QX60 is the Nissan Pathfinder, which shares its platform.

The engine in the QX60 is a 3.5-liter V6 that outputs 295 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission runs to either the front wheels or all four wheels, depending on whether all-wheel drive is opted for.

I recommend getting the AWD not only for Wyoming’s weather, but also because it handles a little better when maneuvering on our highways.

The base model (“Pure”) trim for the QX60 comes pretty well-heeled with a lot of comfort and technology. The touchscreen for infotainment is 12.3 inches and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a wireless smartphone charging pad. A power liftgate, panoramic sunroof (admittedly not one of my favorite things), LED headlamps and leather upholstery are also standard.

Plus, there’s a bunch of crash mitigation and driver assistance technologies, tech that actually works as intended, I’ll point out.

Not many false positives from the Infiniti’s system — something that can’t be said for some other luxury makes.

From the base Pure trim there comes the Luxe, Sensory and Autograph trims with even more good stuff added through each.

The Luxe adds ProPilot Assist, which is one of my favorite driver assistance techs on the market. It takes a lot of the stress of highway driving off the driver by adding just enough assistance with lane-centering and adaptive cruise following distance to destress the crosswinds and fatigue that come with long-distance driving without removing the driver from the experience of driving.

It meets a happy point where it’s helping, but not trying to take over the driving task. Plus, it adds a huge layer of safety. If the driver stops interacting with the drive, it goes through a series of steps that eventually lead to a full stop with hazard lights on. People who could potentially pass out at the wheel either from lack of sleep or with medical problems should see that as a big deal.

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Most everything about the 2023 Infiniti QX60 is about comfort as a daily thing — at a level that is worthy of the term “luxury.” Materials quality, storage for the little things and seating comfort are all upscale.

And it’s very quiet inside, making those short or long drives easier to bear. Nothing like a quiet background onto which to crank Liquid Metal on the well-done Bose stereo in this Infiniti.

Cargo space is good for the class as well. Five people and all of their stuff can easily fit in the QX60. If you’re toting a full seven, however, you’ll probably want a cargo tray on the back. That’s true of any SUV in this segment.

That’s not to say that the QX60 doesn’t have its issues.

It’s not quick or sporty in its drive quality, but it does feel engaging enough to keep it interesting as an everyday.

And the front seats take some time to adjust properly to get it just right. The seating is optimized for a specific position, which will differ for each driver according to height and weight. Finding that spot can take a few tries, but it’s worth doing. Once there, the QX60 can be one of the most comfortable vehicles you’ve ever sat in. Seat memory settings are your friend.

There’s a lot of good reasons to spend $50,000 (or so) on a 2023 Infiniti QX60, even if it means hearing constant dad jokes revolving around Buzz Lightyear.

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Aaron Turpen