Infiniti has fielded its share of memorable vehicles, ones with such character they stick in your mind long after their time on the market: the Q45, the J30, G35, and the FX45. Just the memory of them makes you smile.
Yet many of Infiniti’s recent products, most of them produced under the aegis of former Nissan CEO, and current international fugitive, Carlos Ghosn, have proven less desirable.
While the brand’s U.S. sales grew to a high of 153,415 units in 2017, demand declined by 23% by 2019. The Pandemic cut demand another 34%, and sales in the first six months of 2021 are down 11.3% versus the same period last year.
Certainly, the brand is in dire need of fresh product, and the new 2022 Infiniti QX60 could help halt Infiniti’s half-decade of declining sales.
Offered with two-wheel or all-wheel drive in ascending Pure, Luxe, Sensory and Autograph trim, the 2022 QX60 receives a through makeover for the 2022 model year. While it shares its driveline with the more plebian Nissan Pathfinder, its 295-horsepower V-6 and 9-speed automatic transmission are not to be dismissed lightly. Far better than the model it replaces, it remains to be seen if the new model’s updates are enough to overcome the intense challenge from its many competitors, including the Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes-Benz GLE, BMW X5, Cadillac XT6 and Genesis GV80.
While not the compelling visual statement the brand desperately needs, the 2022 QX60 is handsome enough to reignite interest in Nissan’s premium brand. Certainly, it wears the appropriate couture, exchanging last year’s curvilinear styling for a more dashingly dignified appearance.
But don’t let the straight lines fool you. It’s fast, sloping roofline, accented with contrasting black paint and offset with chrome trim, visually lowers the vehicle despite its high beltline. The front grille is noticeably less bulbous and visually noisy than before, with LED headlamps and taillamps and a more serious design. However, two metal plates on the lower rear valance seem odd, although it’s probably an attempt by designers to cut the rear’s visual mass.
Regardless of trim level, all models have a panoramic moonroof, power liftgate, and rear parking sensors. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard on the Pure, but up to 20-inch wheels are fitted to other models.
As before, the Infiniti QX60 has three rows with seating for seven, unless you opt for Autograph trim, in which case you get second-row Captain’s chairs with a removable center console and seating for six. All models are trimmed in leather in the first- and second-rows, tri-zone automatic climate control with air vents.
Overall ambience is greatly improved with every imaginable luxury present. It’s beautifully finished with such requisite luxury cues as wood trim and acres of quilted leather, including atop the instrument panel, which boasts a strong horizontal look to lend the cabin a wider feel. The climate controls are clearly separate from the touchscreen above, but most of the controls are scattered on a flat panel that’s hard to use without taking your eyes off the road.
Thoughtfully, designers opened up the space under transmission shifter for a purse or an extra pair of shoes.
As you’d expect, the eight-way power driver’s seat is very accommodating and provides a good driving position. Massaging seats are fitted, with its button conveniently placed on the front corner of the seat, making activating it easy. There’s generous head and legroom in the second row, but it’s noticeably tighter in the third row unless some accommodation is made by the second row. The cargo area is thoughtfully designed with bag hooks and an underfloor storage compartment with a lid that stays open while loading stuff.
A 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 carries over from the previous QX60, but it’s now mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission, rather than the continuously variable automatic transmission used previously. Front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive costs an extra $2,000, and directs up to 50% of the vehicle’s power to the rear wheels when needed. All-wheel-drive models equipped with the Towing Package can tow 6,000 pounds, thanks to its tow receiver, wiring, and uprated transmission oil cooler. Otherwise, towing is rated at 3,500 pounds. The EPA hasn’t released its fuel economy ratings for the new model, although Infiniti recommends using premium fuel.
Safety and Technology
All QX60 models come with a number of driver-assistance safety systems: forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, hill start assist, rear automatic braking, rear cross traffic alert, rear view monitor with rear sonar, and blind spot warning. In addition, blind spot intervention, lane departure prevention, an around view monitor with moving object detection, front sonar, and driver attention alert are standard on all but the base Pure model. Neither NHTSA nor IIHS has crash-tested the 2022 Infiniti QX60.
When it comes to tech, all models have a 12.3-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay, wired Android Auto, a digital instrument cluster, six USB ports, and charge points in all three rows. The 17-speaker Bose Performance Series audio system filled the cabin with high-quality sound marked by particularly good spacial imaging.
While the engine remains unchanged, its transmission transforms the QX60. Its far more responsive, unleashing its full power without the ungainly droning and delay that makes CVTs so unpleasant, particularly on a luxury SUV, where indulgence, not thrift, is its main concern. Each driving modes endows the vehicle with a unique personality, more so than most vehicles, whether it’s set to Auto, Eco, or Sport.
The QX60 possesses remarkable poise, ably soaking up bumps without passing it along to the passengers. While there’s plenty of compliance over the rough stuff, there’s not excessive rebound. Similarly, it feels athletic when pushed. The steering lacks feel, but that’s not unusual anymore on any vehicle.
Through it all, the interior remains serenely quiet at speed thanks to the insulated glass.
2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph specifications:
|L: 198.2 inches/W: 86 inches/H: 69.7 inches/Wheelbase: 114.2 inches
|DOHC 3.5-liter aluminum V-6, 9-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive
|295 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque
|Base price: $63,250; As tested: not available, including $1,025 destination and delivery charge
Personality is the one thing that distinguished the best Infinitis of the past, and captured a sales volume the current lineup is struggling to maintain. Handsome, powerful and spacious, the 2022 Infiniti QX60 is a big improvement over the previous model, thanks to its new transmission, opulent interior and fetching new styling. Whether it possesses enough personality to resonate with customers remains to be seen.
2022 Infiniti QX60 — Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Infiniti QX60 a reliable car?
Consumer Reports rates the 2019 Infiniti QX60 as having average reliability, while RepairPal.com says it merits 3.5 out of 5, or above average, placing second out of 19 vehicles in its class. J.D. Power rates it 81 out of 100, or ”Great.”
How much will the 2022 QX60 cost?
The new 2022 QX60 starts at $47,875, including a $1,025 destination charge.
Does the Infiniti QX60 require premium gas?
Yes, it uses high-octane premium fuel for optimum horsepower and fuel economy.