2014 Infiniti QX60 3.5 AWD Road Test

Infiniti may have renamed its midsize luxury SUV, but old problems are still present.

What It Is
A midsize luxury SUV for consumers wanting three-row seating.
Best Thing
Comfortable, plush seating and an array of standard luxury features.
Worst Thing
The QX60 is heavy and acceleration is slow.
Snap Judgment
The 2014 Infiniti QX60 boasts comfort and luxury but fails to deliver in other key aspects.

With as many players as the luxury SUV segment has, it's important to stand out from the crowd. For the 2014 model year, Infiniti re-badged many of its models to form a more cohesive lineup. Now, instead of the JX35, we have the QX60. Not much has changed aside from the name, but we were eager to drive it nonetheless.

Competing against the likes of the Audi Q7 and Acura MDX, Infiniti needed to carve out a section of the market for itself. Unlike many of the competitors in the segment, the Infiniti QX60 has the draw of three-row seating, along with a laundry list of standard and available luxury and technological features. Although the 2014 Infiniti QX60 may sound good on paper, we needed to see for ourselves just how well it stacks up against its competition.

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What We Drove

The 2014 Infiniti QX60 comes in two models, the standard and all-wheel drive, and our tester was the latter. The QX60 3.5 AWD comes with a starting price of $42,950, but with options, that number skyrockets. With almost $14,300 in options including roof rails, a technology package, theater package, deluxe touring package, illuminated kickplates, a premium package and a premium plus package, our model came out to a whopping $57,240.

Standard and safety features include leather-appointed seats, heated front seats, keyless entry and ignition, power liftgate, rearview monitor, seven-inch color display, Bluetooth, satellite radio, an array of airbags, LATCH points, brake assist, and more. Added features included backup collision intervention, blind spot warning and intervention, and lane departure warning. Although this model hasn't been tested for safety by the government or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, we expect it to achieve high marks.

The Commute

The 2014 Infiniti QX60 seemed like it would be ideal for that daily commute to the office. It has the latest technology, comfortable seats, and pretty decent gas mileage for a car of its size. However, it didn't come together like we would have expected. The center stack was a clustered mess, with too many buttons to count and a few nobs the size of a dime. There didn't seem to be a pattern or clear plan that went into the layout, and it left us wary of using any of the features. Along with that, the angle in which everything is laid out makes it hard for the driver to clearly see what all the buttons are.

While setting up Bluetooth for hands-free calling may have been pretty simple, using it for streaming audio was a different story. I'd connected my phone, assuming it was synced with both calling and audio, but when I went to use the Bluetooth audio, my device apparently wasn't connected. I had to re sync my phone for both uses, and it finally worked. Some of the time. Each time I'd get in and out of the QX60, it was a guessing game if my phone would work for streaming audio.

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The Grocery Run

If there's one thing the 2014 Infiniti QX60 offers, its plenty of space. With the third-row seats upright, the SUV offers just under 16 cubic feet of space, and that number grows to 40.8 cubic feet when folded flat. Whether grabbing a few things for dinner or loading up for a road trip, the Infiniti QX60 offers a versatile space to fit almost any need.

The turning radius on the QX60 was surprisingly tight, and with the help of the backup camera, we had no trouble pulling this car in and out of parking spaces. Because the vehicle sits pretty high up, the added illuminated kick plates made it easier to get in and out.

The Weekend Fun

With the rear entertainment system and comfortable leather seats, the 2014 Infiniti QX60 is a great road trip vehicle. Fold down the third row for added room for camping gear, groceries, luggage, or whatever you need, and you're ready to go.

While we didn't have a specific destination in mind, we found ourselves driving through Southern California, stopping at the beach to soak up the sun. When driving along the coast or through town, the QX60 was quiet, comfortable, relaxed. However, when hitting the freeway, that relaxed attitude gets rather annoying.

Acceleration is slow, and the vehicle just feels heavy and overly large. Getting up to speed and merging on the highway proved to be less than ideal, but once at highway speeds, the QX60 performs just like you'd expect. Road noise is almost imperceptible, and road imperfections don't jar passengers as the wheels seem to glide over them without a thought.

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We enjoyed our time in the 2014 Infiniti QX60, from the plush interior and array of luxury features, but we don't know if it's better than the competition.

What hindered the experience for us was simply the driving characteristics. This large midsize SUV felt like it lumbered along while on the road, providing poor acceleration and shaky steering. The car just feels heavy. However, it does offer plenty of passenger and cargo room, and with the rear seat entertainment system, it's a great choice for long family trips.

While fuel economy was right around average for the segment, those wishing to get a bit more mileage for their buck should opt for the QX60 Hybrid. However, those looking for a comfortably luxurious drive with lots of amenities may thoroughly enjoy the SUV we had. But if you're looking for better driving dynamics, the Acura MDX or Audi Q7 may be the way to go.

Spec Box

Price-as-tested: $57,240
Fuel Economy
EPA City: 19
EPA Highway: 25
EPA Combined: 21
Cargo Space: 15.8 cubic feet Child Seat Fitment, Second Row: Excellent
Child Seat Fitment, Third Row: Fair
Estimated Combined Range: 410 miles
Intellichoice Cost of Ownership: Above Average

Notebook Quotes "I enjoyed the car's interior, particularly the comfortable and supportive seats. Backing up was quite easy in this large vehicle, and I love the split-screen rear camera. The drive feel, however, was disappointing. It felt big and heavy on the road. The worst thing is the shaky feel you get from the steering wheel when you're driving down the highway." -Kelly Pleskot, Online Editor


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