Words: Calvin Chan
Photography: Calvin Chan
Published: June 15, 2017
The QX60, Infiniti’s luxury seven-passenger crossover, has been around since 2013, or what seems like a decade in the automotive industry. But each year, Infiniti keeps refreshing and adding on new features to keep the QX60 modern and relevant.
The recent 2016 model took on some new sheetmetal, LED lights, and safety and driving assistance gizmos. For 2017 however, the QX60 receives the cherry on top. This includes a retuned and more powerful V6 engine, a motion activated liftgate, larger rear entertainment screens, upgraded headphones and an HDMI port.
When we last drove the 2016 QX60, we complained that it was too porky and slow to feel exciting to drive. It wallowed around corners and took quite a bit of effort to get this 2,049 kg crossover going. Infiniti has partially remedied this by re-tuning its 3.5-litre V6 engine with 50% new parts, including the combustion chamber design, pistons, and intake manifold. Direct injection is also utilized, resulting in an overall bump of 30 horsepower and 22 lb-ft of torque.
That means the QX60 now delivers a healthy 295 hp and 270 lb-ft. That’s more than its Nissan Pathfinder cousin (which uses the same new engine for the 2017 model year as well) and just a hair more than the Acura MDX. The QX60 has the CX-9 beat when it comes to horsepower, but the latter trumps it with a commendable 310 lb-ft.
When it comes to actual driving, the jump in power is noticeable. In a straight line, the QX60 no longer feels like it’s dragging a barrel of bricks behind it. Acceleration still isn't mind bendingly quick, but the V6 engine feels more eager to rev. There are no turbochargers under the hood, so most of the power is at the mid- to high-range of the spectrum. The paired Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) does a great job keeping that needle in the upper territory, and once there the QX60 really picks up the pace.
Luckily, the CVT is tolerable. Buzzing and rubberband droning is more or less absent from the cockpit - only when you turn off the fans and audio will you hear it. Infiniti calls it their “D-Step Logic” CVT, as it is designed to behave like a traditional 6-speed automatic. Tip in the throttle and the CVT will actually drop up and down the rev range. Current CVTs like to hold engine speed around the 5,000 RPM mark before producing an ear-grating whine.
What hasn’t changed is how the QX60 handles corners. It’s big, wallowy, and no power increase could change that. However, the QX60 was never meant to be a spirited corner carver. It’s geared towards a comfortable ride, and on that point, it delivers. The suspension is soft and buttoned-down without much pitch or dive under hard acceleration or braking. Undulating and broken pavement will give the chassis quite a workout, but it’s never taxing or unbearable. If you prefer a car with better steering, a proper transmission, and good body control, then take a look at the Mazda CX-9.
The best part, though, is that Infiniti says the power increase has no penalty on fuel economy. With the 2016 QX60, we averaged 12.3 L/100km and with similar driving on the 2017 model, we netted a 12.2 L/100km. The difference in driving distance and traffic could play a role in the slight disparity, so I’d call it even. On a side note, Infiniti recommends premium fuel for the QX60. For those who think it’s not efficient enough, there’s a QX60 Hybrid, which utilizes a four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor.
Infiniti hasn’t really bothered updating their interior layout - it’s essentially the same cabin from 2013, which is shared with the Pathfinder save for a few badges and leather trims. The design has aged well, but is beginning to look dated next to more modernized interiors in the Mazda CX-9 and Lexus RX 350.
The larger rear screens are a nice addition, upgraded from a 7.0-inch to 8.0-inch display. Furthermore, the HDMI port adds some value for rear passengers who want to hook up their gaming consoles for long journeys on the road. The new Motion Activated Liftgate comes in handy too when loading groceries into the trunk and your hands aren’t free to hit the open button. Simply have the key fob in your pocket, waive your foot under the rear bumper, and the trunk will automatically open for you.
Overall, the changes aren't drastic enough to call the QX60 an entirely different crossover, but it is enough to say that it’s better than the 2016 model. More power, more rear-passenger functionality, and a hands-free liftgate keeps the aging QX60 fresh enough to last another year.
型号 Model: 2017 Infiniti QX60
顏色 Paint Type: Majestic White
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $47,890
試車售價 Price as Tested: $63,140
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,900
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,989 / 1,960 / 1,747
車重 Curb weight (kg): 2,050
引擎 Engine: 3.5-litre V6
最大馬力 Horsepower: 295 @ 6,400 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 270 @ 4,800 rpm
波箱 Transmission: Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable with D-Step Logic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
油耗 Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 12.2
輪胎尺碼 Tires: 235/55R20