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The 2015 Infiniti QX60 AWD is a crossover for the growing family who likes nice things, but does not want to forego all of their vacation savings in order to obtain a stylish, premium family hauler.

Formerly known as the JX35 when introduced as a 2013 model in the spring of 2012, the seven-passenger crossover received a name change to QX60 when Infiniti implemented a new model nomenclature for their entire lineup.

Style

Appearance is subjective, but in this case,the curb appeal of the QX60 is very high. While the chrome grille is massive and masculine, it manages to look racy at the same time.

The interior is equally appealing to the eye. Wood treatments, satin trim and a rounded edge on every angle lend themselves to a sporty feel, just like the exterior of the vehicle. While the leather seating feels great to the touch, the light beige hide ― Infiniti calls it, “High Contrast Wheat Leather” ― tends to show dirt easily. The tester had 13,000 miles on it already, and it looked quite dingy. If you have messy fingered passengers, Graphite (black) or Java (dark brown) leather choices might be more up your alley to cut down on cleaning duties.

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Rear passengers enjoy several niceties. Extending to the collapsible third row, HVAC vents and a panoramic sunroof are just some of the treats to which in-laws should familiarize themselves. Middle row design is extremely useful, making small- to mid-sized passenger access to the third row easy. The middle row slides forward and aft, offering tons of legroom for six foot-plus passengers.

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Safety

The safety suite on the tester included a five-point platform of tools. Infiniti calls the group of technologies, “Infiniti Safety Shield.” Accessible by pressing a button on the steering wheel each time you start up the vehicle, the suite includes blind spot intervention, lane departure prevention, intelligent brake assist, and backup collision intervention. If that weren’t enough active systems keeping you in your lane and preventing you from colliding with any objects, the safety system also gives you a 360-degree view of the area around your vehicle when at parking lot speeds. The QX60 will intervene and brake if it detects a potential accident (such as a toddler running behind the crossover) through its cross-path detection capabilities. The systems are very intuitive and well disciplined, unlike systems in some of the competition.

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For laying down the miles on the highway, the QX60’s adaptive cruise control works well, unless it needs to accelerate quickly after slowing down from its set speed ― a small complaint and definitely not a deal-breaker.

Performance

The 3.5-liter V6 continuously variable transmission (CVT) gives adequate acceleration when on the highway (265 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque), but not off the line. Since this is a seven-passenger vehicle weighing over 4,500 pounds, a faster 0 ‒ 60 mph acceleration time (7.8-seconds, according to Zeroto60times.com) is not expected.

Ride & Handling

The cabin is ultra-quiet, just like a vehicle marketed within the luxury segment should be. There is no ghastly wind noise in the A-pillars, no weird creaks or rattles. The QX60 AWD is a welcome refuge during the evening commute when headed home from the mines.

As quiet as the luxury crossover rides, it feels equally heavy from the driver’s seat. The vehicle lumbers side-to-side when making evasive maneuvers, even at low residential speeds. On the highway, the effect amplifies.

In contrast, the vehicle absorbs bumps really well, keeping the driver and passengers extremely isolated from imperfections in the tarmac. Infiniti engineers definitely nailed the up and down part of the suspension correctly, just not the side-to-side bit.

The entertainment parts of the infotainment system work fine, but the navigation is in need of a major update. Three to four year-old models from BMW and Mercedes-Benz have higher screen resolution and this single characteristic really dates the crossover. Other than this blemish, the Bose Cabin Surround audio system performed brilliantly.

Utility

The QX60 becomes your all-in-one kid’s soccer team taxi service or weekend hardware store supplies getter after utilizing (or folding down into the floor) the third row. Do you need room for a dozen bags of mulch? Just lift a strap on the third row headrest, then another lever on the chair, and the seats lay flat into the floor creating 40.8-cubic feet of space (with the second row also folded down cargo volume swells to 76.5-cubic feet). Do you need to schlep six tweeners to the soccer field? Press the auto-up button in the rear cargo area and the two back seats rise from the floor (with 15.8-cubic feet of room behind them to stow soccer balls and dirty cleats). 

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Competition

Other luxury seven-passenger crossover vehicles you may want to compare the QX60 against include the following: Acura MDX, Audi Q7, BMW X5, and Mercedes-Benz GL. 

Economy

In real world driving around town and on the highway, the QX60 AWD averaged 21 mpg according to the in-car computer. The Environmental Protection Agency estimate is 19 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined.

Value

Based on the average of the last three months of depreciation rates NADA Used Car Guide analysts pulled for two year-old 2013 JX35 AWD models, the estimated retention rate is 61.7%. If buying used is of interest, see the NADA Guides website for additional pricing information.

Even optioned to the hilt ($56,090 after $995 destination fee), our QX60 AWD is $10,000 less than a new Mercedes-Benz GL 450. The trade-offs? The Merc has a more powerful bi-turbo V6, with a smaller ride feel. Are those features worth the extra $10-grand? You can be the judge of that.