By on June 29, 2016

2016 Infiniti QX60

There’s much talk in the automotive world about luxury. Companies are seemingly always redefining it, according to their clever ad campaigns. Luxury is something to which we aspire, a vague idea that is difficult to define. But, much like pornography, we know it when we see it.

I’ve seen the 2016 Infiniti QX60, and whatever luxury is, this ain’t it.

The QX60 is what we used to call the JX35 in the pre-de Nysschen madness days at Infiniti — and no, I didn’t remember that either.

It’s Infiniti’s entry in the three-row CUV market, based on the same platform as the Nissan Pathfinder. I picked it off the Executive Aisle at Logan International, because the budget car company that I had planned to use for this reservation was closed by the time my much-delayed Delta (Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport) flight arrived in Boston well past 1:00 a.m. It was parked in the very first spot that wasn’t a “Premium SUV ” space, right next to a QX80 (whatever the hell that is). I figured this was likely a mistake, but I grabbed it anyway and prepared to plead my case with the booth attendant.

Since it was 1:30 a.m., he didn’t give a single fuck. Yay! Off to Sturbridge, Massachusetts, where I would be staying at a Hampton Inn courtesy of the fine folks at American Endurance Racing.

I had been hired (disclosure: this means they paid me cash) to be the Facebook Live administrator for the series’ second race weekend of the season, since our own Black Betty wasn’t going to be making the journey to New England. This meant I was free to roam around the pits all weekend, interviewing drivers, filming race action, and just generally having a blast. It’s amazingly stress-free to be at a race when you’re not actually racing.

That also meant I had a two-hour commute each way to and from the airport to Palmer Motorsports Park, so I was initially quite glad that I’d been able to score a luxury car for the price of a Chrysler 200. Well, that was until I had to drive it.

2016 Infiniti QX60 interior

Ignore my yellow racing suit balled up in the footwell, there. At first glance, the interior of the QX60 seems pleasant enough. The driver’s seat provides decent support and plenty of adjustability. Forward visibility is just fine, as well. The steering wheel, while not perhaps what one might call luxurious, was passable to the touch. The infotainment … well, we’ll get there.

Let’s talk about what it’s like to drive the QX60. It’s straight up garbage. It’s so bad that it’s hard to fathom how it ever passed any quality assurance testing. The motor, the completely unloved 3.5 liter VQ35DE, is as raucous and rough as it ever was in the 350Z. It sounds even worse than the 3.7-liter motor that I previously described in the 370Z as sounding “like it was being simultaneously strangled and flogged with a Cat O’ Nine Tails.” I’d describe this one as sounding more like it was being choked with a tablespoon full of cinnamon. Just disgusting.

But with that motor in it, generating a stated 265 horsepower, I figured that at least it would be fast. Not so much.

The pairing of that motor to Nissan’s CVT is a match made in the seventh circle of Hell. Throttle inputs are treated with complete disdain by the CVT, as though you were interrupting it doing something much more important than converting all that revolting engine noise into forward motion. Infiniti claims a 0-60 mile per hour time of 8.6 seconds, but I think that only occurs when something is chasing the QX60 — perhaps a large scary dog. In real-world driving, it’s the slowest three-row vehicle I can remember driving.

Perhaps it handles well, then? Again, that would be a no. Body roll is significant in any corner taken with even the mildest indication of aggression, creating a bit of a seasick sensation. I don’t expect a three-row CUV to handle like a Lotus, so I can’t be that mad at Infiniti. However, the ride quality isn’t as forgiving as you’d expect from a car with such a squishy suspension, either. It’s hard to think of a single thing that the QX60 does well from a driving experience standpoint.

All that being said, the most egregiously offensive feature of the QX60 has to be the infotainment system. I think it was sourced from RadioShack. Nothing about it is even mildly intuitive. I was 99-percent sure that it wasn’t a touchscreen, just because the resolution was so bad that I was positive that it was a leftover from 2012, but then I tried touching the screen out of pure frustration and — Lo! — something happened! Of course, it still couldn’t recognize Spotify, the ESPN app, or anything like that without repeated disconnection and reconnection of my iPhone 6S. When it finally did, I had to doublecheck to make sure that I wasn’t in a 1990 Volkswagen Fox, because the stereo system was so lacking in sound quality that it actually angered me a bit. Nothing resembling bass was produced, nor was it anything one could describe as clear. It’s truly a wretched system.

IMG_0794

This is all the storage space you get with the third row seats up. Good luck getting anything like a full-sized suitcase back there. That strangely large-looking black bag is my carry-on bag, and that is a helmet bag next to it. Really, I’m not joking.

Perhaps you’re thinking, “So, how about some positives, you negative nelly?” Fine. It’s actually a rather attractive vehicle. The contours are pleasing to look at, and I thought the color was a lovely blueish-gray. The wheels are stylish, too. I think Infiniti also has the best looking grille of any of the “luxury” CUVs. It’s certainly a more handsome look than the gaping maw on the Lexus RX. Interior seating space is not terrible. I like that the second row of seats slides back and forth to accommodate those who might have to squeeze into the third row.

That’s all I’ve got. Sorry.

Now, here’s the real humiliating kick in the crotch. This abomination retails at a starting price of over $42,000. I’m sorry, let me check. That can’t be right. Nope, it is. On what planet would you pay $42,000 for this … whatever it is, when the Ford Flex and Toyota Highlander exist?

The Infiniti QX60 only exists so that suburban SAHMs can have a “luxury” brand CUV for less money than a genuinely luxurious vehicle in the same class would cost. As the great Daryl Hall once said, I can’t go for that.

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180 Comments on “2016 Infiniti QX60 Rental Review – What Exactly Is This Thing?...”


  • avatar
    JimZ

    “It’s Infiniti’s entry in the three-row CUV market,”

    The New QX60. Because We Pretty Much Have To.

    ” because the stereo system was so lacking in sound quality that it actually angered me a bit. Nothing resembling bass was produced, nor was it anything one could describe as clear. It’s truly a wretched system.”

    must be the 6 speaker base system. I don’t think I’ve heard a base audio system from a Japanese brand which wasn’t complete and utter garbage.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m demo’ing a 2013 RX350 with a base stereo. Concert Sound II in a LeSabre sounds better. I’m not really joking.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      The upgraded stereos aren’t much better. Lexus’ mark levinson amplifers would routinely fail from MY01 to MY2013. They still might fail we just don’t have enough old ones to figure it out.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        There are two different kinds of “Mark Levinson” systems.

        The real thing is installed only in the LS and LX, is of Mark Levinson’s own design, and is quite good (although pre-’10 amps were still prone to failure).

        The “Mark Levinson” system installed in the GS, ES, and RX is just the standard system with a slightly bigger amp and a couple of rear-seat tweeters. It’s still the one to get if you’re buying used (albeit hard to find), but not worth the upcharge if you’re buying new.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          For a while, getting the Mark Levinson in anything Lexus required the navigation option as well.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Still does as far as I know. But almost no Lexi come without navigation these days. It’s standard on the bigger cars. On the smaller ones it’s one of those options (like cooled front seats) that almost every car has.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I actually randomly saw a gen 1 RX the other day with cloth seats! I thought hah, they don’t do that no more.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            We had a two tone MY02 ES300 with cloth seats and no sunroof in 05. WTF was my first reaction.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            Corey, the RX had cloth seats available through at least 2012 or so (at least in Canada). It’s one of the few strangely redeeming things going for it (although nearly no one bought them).

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          Mr. Mark Levinson himself once surprised the patrons on a Lexus board by posting to a discussion on this topic. He politely made clear that he had lost the rights to his own name as pertained to Lexus stereos, and that he neither participated in nor particularly approved of what was getting his name on it by then (this was at lesst 5 or so years ago).

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            yes, I’ve met the guy. he’s rather bitter about that whole situation.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            To be clear, when I said “of Mark Levinson’s own design” I meant the brand (i.e. a division of Harman) and not the man. The systems in the LS and LX are fully Harman-designed. The systems in the lower-level vehicles are just light modifications of the uplevel Lexus system.

            The one in my 2008 LS sounds excellent. It won’t please those who just want to boom as loudly as possible but if you actually listen to music it sounds very clean and accurate even at high levels. It’s the best factory system I’ve experienced in a car, clearly better than the B&O systems in Audis or the Harman-branded systems in BMWs.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        The Mark Levinson systems in Lexus are junk, I have one in my LS430 and my wife has one in her GX. It’s really astonishing how bad the quality is, I would have paid extra for a non-ML system.

        When the amps don’t blow, it’s the subwoofer that crumples apart or the door speakers made of paper cone that disintegrate. And this system costs thousands extra over the stock system when purchased new.

        I was in a Mustang rental recently and though the system sounded better than my “flagship” car with the Mark Levinson system.

        What’s funny is Mark Levinson is revered in home audio. I personally though think most esoteric audiophile equipment is snake oil. They just didn’t even try and hide it with the car line. Basically the sort of audio equipment you’d find in the car section at WalMart.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      The awful irony is that the systems in luxury cars are almost impossible to upgrade. Manufacturers have gone on a speaker count war which means that it’s almost impossible to assemble a matched set of aftermarket replacements. Add in custom DSP chips used to make up for crappy speakers (an idea Bose has successfully foisted on the public since day one) and use of the speakers for other purposed than palying music and it’s a mess.

      I recently tried to upgrade the door speakers in my MKZ. It was a disaster. I wasn’t able to match speaker output levels which meant the remaining, crappy speakers overwhelmed the door speakers. Worse, since the car has active noise control (which uses the speakers to generate an anti-noise signal), the lower-output door speakers confused the hell out of the ANR which caused all kinds of interesting problems . I reverted back to the factory drivers.

      Conversely, a speaker upgrade in my Tacoma was much easier. I added a installed a set of Focal component drivers, a modest amp and used some sound-absorbing mat on the doors and it sounds better than anything factory-installed that I’ve ever heard.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        One thing I love about older cars… put a double DIN in the dash, 6.5’s in the front door, 6×9’s in the rear, and call it a day. How good it sounded depended on how much you were willing to spend, and you could get the new hotness with a simple swap whenever you felt inclined.

        Now these “modern” cars come with horrible crap radios that can’t even be replaced with something better. What a sham.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        If you want to DIY the sound system in a luxury car, for the love of God find a car without any uplevel sound system option. With the base systems, it’s usually not too hard to replace the speakers. With most of the uplevel systems, you’d basically have to tear out the entire infotainment system.

        I’m not a fan of typical double DIN aftermarket headunits. They have universally terrible interfaces and ugly styling. I’d rather have a factory head unit. Therefore I’d usually rather have the uplevel sound than try to DIY, even if it’s something crappy like Bose. In the end it’s a car radio, and while moving it’s hard to hear sound quality.

      • 0 avatar
        fvfvsix

        @bunkie – sure you can upgrade – it’ll just cost you an arm and 2 legs. One of our cars has an Audison DSP (primarily to de-equalize the crappy signal coming from the stock Nav head unit) feeding a pair of Hertz amps, driving Audison/Hertz speakers. Total cost was north of 6 grand. But you can do it if you really want to.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        Bunkie,

        I do this for a living. The DSP is not there to make up for “crappy speakers,” it’s there to correct for what the vehicle cabin does to the sound. You can take the best theoretical speaker in the world and it’ll sound like crap once you put it in a car door.

        90% of equalization is to address the car and not the speakers.

        And nevermind what absolute overpriced *filth* most aftermarket speakers are. I’ve tested some fairly pricey ($300+) component 6.5″ speakers and they had such s**tty frequency response and distortion I wouldn’t insult my garbage can by putting them in there. But that doesn’t stop people from wanting to show off their “awesome” audio system to me and make me listen to a screechy, thudding, distorted annoying mess.

        • 0 avatar
          kvndoom

          Sorry but I don’t buy that. Almost every one of the cars I’ve had were cursed with some of the worst sounding crap my ears have had the displeasure of being exposed to.

          You’re not going to tell me that those walmart-grade pieces of dog poop that Nissan built my Altima with were no worse than what I replaced them with. And I didn’t even spend much. It doesn’t even take much to make a marked improvement.

          I don’t even bother with equalization or DSP ot time alignment or anything else. I’m not trying to recreate my living room or my headphones in my car.

          I can only remember two cars I’ve had with acceptable factory speakers. My 2004 Golf and 2011 Accord EXL. Everything else just had to go.

    • 0 avatar
      SatelliteView

      the 12-speaker CENTER Point Bose system in my 14 Mazda 6 is crap too

      • 0 avatar
        duffman13

        I’m in the process of replacing the Bose speakers in my 2010 Mazda 3. I recently had one blow on me. The system istelf is garbage, and to make it worse nobody makes an adapter for the speaker connector so I have to tap into the stock wiring.

      • 0 avatar
        solo.monster

        2016 Mazda 6 GT owner here and I agree 100%. Absolute GARBAGE system.

    • 0 avatar

      Oh yes. The base Acura system in the last TL, an otherwise good car, was one step above a mid 60’s GM single speaker in dash AM radio. The Tech system in my MDX passable but not great. The base system had “built in BOOM’ in lieu of accurate bass. Very fatiguing to listen to.

      The base stereo in the 328i I got as a loaner likewise was drek. I think it was designed to make you upgrade to the harmon kardon system. The idrive was nice, and the radio/speakers behind it, crap. I actually a/b the same song in my 3, which had the harmon system, and the base system lost big. Crap sound in a 44k car ?..yes, I know, it’s a BMW, I should just pay another $1800 for the H/K upgrade.(to get $150 worth of equipment)

      The system in my late TDi was actually decent, and it wasn’t the Monsoon. Could have used a sub, but accurate otherwise.

      There is a Bose branded system in the Caddy. I’m not fond of the Bose equalization curve but the system is clear and linear. Also, the best bluetooth I’ve ever seen in any application.

      I used to install car stereo back in the day-today, everything is so cheap there is zero reason for a bad car stereo, especially when you already have sound management work at OE, for soundproofing. Some are clearly the product of “you have a $20 budget, that includes radio and speakers”. Upgrade to the “name” system and they spend $75.00. Really, you design the car, you science out the sound inside, NVH by computer, and your sound system is poor ? This has to be by design.

      It is annoying, with the loss of DIN chassis, with the OE system, which means you have to pay for the upgrade, no matter who makes the car, and hope its ok. The only good part is that no one is breaking into your car for a radio (lost a bunch of Blaupunkt and Jensen (when it was good) in the 80’s-90’s, and don’t miss carrying a Benzi box. Ah, NYC in the 80’s…

      The midranges in my 3 died from sunlight. I replaced them with Bavarian Sound speakers, who have a niche because BMW uses 3 screws, not four like everyone else. Oh, and the speakers have an odd impedance. There are enough BMW and enough folks with money to support a Bav Auto Sound (good company, BTW) but for most other cars, you are stuck.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      I haven’t taken any long trips in either vehicle, but I didn’t mind listening to the base stereos in the Mazda CX-5 or Mazda3 that my friends recently purchased. Much better than any of the “upgraded” Bose car stereos I’ve heard. I didn’t notice any harshness to the sound at all.

    • 0 avatar
      Commando

      As described by Lincoln:

      “A superb car deserves an equally fine audio system. That’s why the Lincoln MKS offers an optional THX® II Certified Audio System* as part of the Elite Package. The system features 16 strategically placed speakers for optimal sound including a 10-inch subwoofer with 700 watts of power, and a single-disc, in-dash CD player with MP3 capability.”

      Translation:

      Muddled noises coming from every crevice within the cabin.

      The basic stereo in my ’96 Roadmaster was far superior.

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    What’s this shit about disrespecting the sound system that I painstakingly installed in a 1990 VW Fox?

  • avatar
    whynot

    I’m actually impressed by the amount of space behind the third row…

    Of course I haven’t been in a vehicle around this size in ages and don’t know how it compares to others.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I’m actually mildly impressed as well. Unless you are talking about the QX60s platform mate (Pathfinder) or the Lambda triplets, the third row is typically right up against the glass in three row CUVs. (Oh and the Flex is a wagon, which is why the sales are so low. But it is also the reason I still want one – Ecoboost AWD Flex = Boss Country Squire)

      If you want space behind the third row you either have to buy a minivan or a BOF long wheelbase behemoth.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Why don’t you tell us how you really feel, Bark. Don’t hold back this time. ;)

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I hate these and they’re awful. Now I’m going to read the review.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Certainly not going to defend this vehicle, I think anything Nissan with the CVT sucks, and as a result I didn’t even bother looking at it when we bought our RDX.

    That said, the whole “OMG no space behind the third row” thing is tiresome in this segment. Guys, no one expects to haul 6 people AND lots of cargo in these vehicles. They want to haul people OR cargo, and they just pop that third row seat up when the grandparents are in town for the weekend or little Tommy down the street needs a ride home from soccer practice. Then it’s back to two rows. And having extensive experience with a last-gen Highlander Limited in the family, it doesn’t have meaningful space behind the third row either.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Jayzuz, these modern interiors…

    Once they used Iron Maidens to crush the life out of you. Now it’s these Polymer Pattys cossetting to within a millimeter of our skin. A kinder, gentler suffocation.

    But they *could* obsolete airbag IEDs.

  • avatar

    What exactly is this, you ask? Its the QX40-60SuburbanWannabeMILFRealtorAsASecondCareer because that’s EXACTLY who buys these things. Its the RX350 for those with two kids since two children necessitate a 3rd row, and Lexus should be ashamed it didn’t lux up a 3rd-row Highlander fast enough.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      It’s SO STUPID that Lexus doesn’t have a 3-row CUV. They’ve got a printing press for money waiting there, and they can’t be bothered to plug it into a socket.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        YES! This is why I think the GX and LX are such wastes. The market for a proper 3-row luxury CUV is so much larger than that for a fancier 4Runner or Landcruiser.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I suspect in a couple years the GX will die, to make room for an HX 3-row CUV.

          • 0 avatar
            slance66

            I doubt it, since the GX is the Land Cruiser Prado sold all over the world. It is to the rest of the world what an F150 is in the U.S. Every sheep farmer in Ireland has one of those or an old LR Discovery.

            They make big margins on the GX, which is a much nicer vehicle than the QX60. It’s not even close really. I see more and more of them lately. They are selling.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The sales would plummet from their -already low- figures to near naught if the 3-row CUV came around at relatively the same size and for much less money.

            The volume for the Prado does not justify all the modification to make it a Lexus (basically) solely for the US market.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The GX is insanely profitable even at low volume. There’s room for both. The only problem is that the EX name, which would be the right name for a 3-row FWD-based crossover, is already taken. Expect it to be “TX” or something.

          • 0 avatar
            SSJeep

            I looked at the GX. Great vehicle overall, but 14mpg on premium unleaded is terrible, even for those with deep wallets. Its no surprise they arent selling in droves.

            The QX60 is terrible overall. Might as well just buy a Mallfinder – it will save 15k, and get stuck with the same terrible powertrain. I received a Mallfinder as a rental a couple years ago. It was comfortable, but no fun whatsoever to drive.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            Internet says 15/20 for the current GX.

            Which is about right for a 4.6L V8 on such a platform.

            If you want fuel economy, you don’t buy The World’s Most Luxurious 4Runner.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Mmmm… MILFs.

      And GILFS! 65 is the new 40.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      My pet theory is that Lexus is waiting until their big ol CUV is ready. The RX is going to have a tight back row, and when some rich stay at home mom realizes her kids are too well-fed to fit in the rear, the salesperson can show them the big ol CUV.

      If the rumors can be believed, the next gen LS is in co-development with a giant 3 row CUV that’s going to be so big the 3rd row will be comfortable.

  • avatar
    derekson

    It’s a Pathfinder with some mid grade leather and a fancier badge for a significant price premium.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Nice photo backdrops.

  • avatar
    stodge

    Wait a minute, they put a CVT in this? Are you sure? I didn’t think Infiniti used any CVTs?

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Those screen graphics look the same as in my 09 M. I suspect they’ve added more features while reducing button count. Because there -used- to be a dedicated button for each major function (six or eight), along with the directional wheel and arrows once you got into the major area you wanted. It was very handy in the old version.

    The center console bulge looks stupid, and only takes up leg and hip room unnecessarily. I hope that gets fixed soon.

    Don’t like the lame duck VQ they use in this, while other Infiniti vehicles get a VQ-HR. CVT isn’t acceptable either, needs a real 6-7 speed auto.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    >>I’ve seen the 2016 Infiniti QX60, and whatever luxury is, this ain’t it<<

    That sums up the brand in a nutshell…

    "Infiniti – whatever luxury is, this ain’t it".

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Acura

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I still argue that Nissan is to Infiniti as Pontiac is to Oldsmobile. (And I don’t mean both are dead.)

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Oldsmobile? Ouch. I had a Cutlass Ciera. Infiniti could definitely use some freshening in their lineup, though. The Q70 is long in the tooth and this rig isn’t doing the brand favors.

          I agree that Infiniti isn’t a full-fledged luxury brand the same way Mercedes, BMW, and perhaps Lexus are, but I’d place further along the luxury/performance scale than I would Acura.

          Acura is to Honda as Buick is to Chevy?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @30-mile fetch

            Acura is to Honda as Buick is to Chevy?

            (sound of a correct answer on Jeopardy)

            I’ll take “Brand Analogies” for $500 Alex.

  • avatar
    TOTitan

    Would you like it more if DJT said it would make America great again?

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    Ok, I’m still not completely down with all of the acronyms used around here. Or maybe this is something the young and hip (I am neither) Bark M.s of the world know…but what is a “SAHM”

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    We have an older FX35 for my wife, which she loves but it’s getting long in the tooth and we’ll be replacing it soon. She’d like to get a new (or near new) FX35, er FX37, er….QX something something….whatever the new FX is called. So we popped by the local Infiniti dealer and the lot was lousy with these things. He tried to steer us into one…just looking at it depressed the hell outta me. Almost as ugly as the gawdawful big Infiniti SUV based on the Armada…QX…whatever.

  • avatar
    carguy

    While most Infiniti products are badge engineered Nissans – this one is probably the worst example.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Most Infinitis have nothing to do with any Nissan sold in the US (except a distant platform relationship with the 370Z). This one is the exception.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Carguy, you are spot on. Basically Infiniti is the Nissan’s Pontiac. Not that this is bad. Just telling the truth.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        So what’s the Nissan equivalent of the QX50? How about the Q50 or Q60? Or the QX70?

        There isn’t any.

        Only the QX60 and (now, with the new Armada) QX80 have a Nissan equivalent.

        • 0 avatar
          VW16v

          i35=maxima
          jx35=pathfinder
          qx4=pathfinder
          g20=sentra

          Same nissan v6 with a “fart can” exhaust to make most of the other g35-37’s.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            None of those are in production anymore, except for the JX35 which is now the QX60.

            By your logic, a Q7 3.6 is just a rebadged Passat because they use the same engine.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            For the record, the G20 was a rebadged Primera, not a Sentra.

          • 0 avatar

            Jesus. The G20 was NOT a Sentra. #thanksdemuro

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You know, I was driving my Range Rover the other day. And I started thinking. About some trim packages. And I figure. I would write about them in 2015 and also in 2014 and 2013 for TTAC. The G20 was such a nice Sentra. It had gold badges. And the engine was good.

            JDM Skyline customer service, and also high mileage Aston Martin.

  • avatar
    slance66

    Bark nails it here. I test drove a CPO version with my wife as a possible RX350 replacement just a couple of weeks ago. It was out of the running before we left the lot. That V6 sounds and vibrates like it belongs on a tractor. The whole vehicle just fails, with uncomfortable rear seats and bevy of other issues. Just hated it.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    3 row crossovers: For Catholics and other folks with no throttle on their seed sprayers who hate driving but can’t swallow the indignity of a minivan.

    Blegh.

    I’d rather a Sedona or Pacifica. This thing is QX4 grade rebadge cynicism. This is the kind of car that makes a solid case for self-driving cars.

    And it’s pretty sad that a $42K vehicle’s infotaintment gets culo blasted by $400 aftermarket headunits. This is the kind of car you end up in, rather than seek out.

    Infiniti’s whole lineup is in desperate need of a refresh, Q50 notwithstanding.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      That’s really not accurate, at least in the past twenty five years.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        What’s not true?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          This part:

          “For Catholics and other folks with no throttle on their seed sprayers who hate driving but can’t swallow the indignity of a minivan.”

          This may be true of Hispanics, Mexican or other Central/South American nationals who may or may not be Roman Catholic, but it is not true of “Catholics” who like Protestants and Agnostics are not reproducing at a replacement rate.

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    Introduced with porn and presented with disgust. Nice, one doesn’t read stuff like that very often. What would be fun to read would be a real comparison between this one, the mentioned Ford and Toyota, and maybe some true porn…eh luxury SUV like the Volvo XC90 and the Range Rover. Probably nothing TTAC can pull out of their hat, but you’re text makes it seem like a worthwhile comparison.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Well generally comparison reviews are of cars that are, you know – comparable. Not a $40K CUV vs. a $90K Range Rover.

      • 0 avatar
        Sjalabais

        Of course. I’m not looking to buy one, I’m looking to be entertained. The XC90 starts at around 44k$ though and 7/10 reviews I have read have compared its interior to the Brit.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Oh I see. The interior of the XC90 looks quite tight from in-person examining I did at an auto show.

          • 0 avatar
            Sjalabais

            I’ve only done about the same with stationary cars at the dealer so I really can’t tell much about that*. But the interior quality has been praised immensely and reviews tend to point out it is one of the very few three row SUV in which the third row is actually fit for grownups.

            *In Norway this is a 120000$ car which is highly irrelevant to my life.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Norway is such a distorted market that it’s not worth talking about.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Needs a V8, hood ornament, woodgrain siding, and a two-way tailgate.

    There. LUXURY.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    Yeah but this car has boobs for DAYS.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    So, I get most of this, but why the shade on the engine? I drive an ’07 350Z on a regular basis and the engine sounds pretty damn nice to me. Not Ferrari-nice, but certainly not worthy of scorn. Is it that different in this car, or is this a case of people piling on because other people pile on?

    • 0 avatar
      Eiriksmal

      Mocking the VQ35DE and VQ35HR is an automotive journalism trope. I think it’s because the first VQ35s (350Z, 5.5th gen Maxima, and the beautiful 2+2 1st gen G35) smoked the pants off the underperforming 3-something liter German I6s, which made the BMW crowd very angry. Since they aren’t faster, had way less torque, and weren’t even more fuel efficient than the VQ, they ran out of reasons to insist that the Japanese aluminum block was inferior and started talking about sound and vibration–never mind that the VQ’s a 60* V6 like all the other nice V6s.

      As the others started to catch up to that bodacious engine, the VQ35 became ever-more noisy and “tractor-like,” etc.

      I love the equal-length header sound the VQ35 produces in 350zs, G35s, and even the FX35s. Smoking hot.

      Disclosure: My vanity plate still reads VQ35DE.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        I dunno about “auto journalists”, but personally I want an engine in a “luxury” car to be *quiet*, not “smoking hot” (which I tend to read as “loud in that way people who like loud engines* like”.)

        (* “People Who Are Wrong”.

        I kid.

        Mostly.)

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “Disclosure: My vanity plate still reads VQ35DE.”

        And nobody but you and like three other people know what it means.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Delta (Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport): Awesome and no shit! Bonus – I’ve been flying Delta for 30+ years twice a year from Texas to New England and STILL don’t have shit to show in frequent flyer miles. I’m doing it wrong….

    This car is a piece of garbage, as is the donor Pathfinder. Pure junk. A Hyundai Santa Fe with the Ultimate package out-luxuries this in all ways….as does the top Highlander.

    If I owned a gas station I’d be in a QX80 in a heartbeat. I wouldn’t mind the QX70 either.

    • 0 avatar

      Twice a year won’t get you anything. I fly 120 times a year, and I probably only get 4-5 free flights annually.

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        But what about the sweet, sweet upgrades? No baggage fees, exclusive TSA checkpoints, economy plus @ booking, Sky Club access?!?

        • 0 avatar

          Meh. I hate to admit that I totally take all of that for granted. American just matched my status, so I would get the same with them, too. The Admiral’s Club isn’t quite as nice as the Sky Club, typically, and the CRJs that AA uses are completely abysmal, so I haven’t switched my loyalty.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            All those upgrades are meaningful, only in that they connote status. But a very strange type of status, as in “I’m so important because I spend half my life flying, so I can afford the things I care about, but now have no time to enjoy.”

            – Airline clubs are just a place to sit with free soda
            – TSA Precheck is easy to buy if you travel enough. It just means you can keep your shoes on and your laptop in the briefcase
            – No baggage fees just gives the airline the opportunity to lose more of your bags.
            – Economy Plus is just a way for airlines to charge you extra for the amount of legroom that used to be standard for everyone
            – Boarding early? Yay! I get to sit on the cramped plane even longer.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I think about how odd it is that prominent display of status is so generally frowned upon in normal life but accepted as norm in modern air travel.

          • 0 avatar

            Not exactly correct.

            -Sky Club has an actual seating area with dedicated electrical outlets. Well drinks and beer are free, too, and there’s actual food in most of the Atlanta clubs now. I would guess that maybe 60-80 of my TTAC posts have been written in the Sky Club, which would be nearly impossible in the main terminal.
            -TSA Precheck is available to buy, but there’s about a six month waiting period for an interview, which, in my case, would have to be conducted at another airport other than my home location. Not incredibly convenient. I probably get Pre about 50% of the time, and Sky Priority the rest. This means I can show up at the airport 30-45 minutes later than I could if I didn’t have an expedited security line—maybe 90 minutes later at Detroit and Atlanta.
            -I don’t check bags that often, but for my family’s recent Disney trip, each of us got up to three free checked bags, and for 10 days in Florida, we needed at least two bags per person. That probably saved me $500 total. Is that a huge savings in comparison to the $11,000 I’ve already spent with Delta this year? No, but my employer was the one actually spending that money, not me, so at least I get the benefit personally.
            -Economy Plus isn’t just extra legroom. It’s free entertainment, free alcohol, and seating that’s closer to the door. When you have a 35 minute layover in Detroit, that extra twenty rows matters greatly.
            -Boarding early has nothing to do with sitting on the plane longer and everything to do with making sure that you have space in the overhead for your carry-on. Since nearly every Delta flight is sold out now, if you board in Zone 2 or later, your bag is getting checked.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            So true. American RJs are filthy and broken as a rule.

            The perks really make a difference internationally. If you’re flying direct domestic, it’s not such a big deal unless your home airport is known for interminable security waits.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        Meanwhile, I have to file travel authorization forms for trips my management tells me to go on.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      In my previous life, I achieved “super dynamic elite status” or some such level with Continental Airlines. I almost always checked a bag since I would be on the road for 1-6 weeks, and the early boarding didn’t matter since I only carried a small carry-on with a laptop, This was prior to pre-check, but the elite check in line helped a little with the TSA Theater Experience
      The real value to me of this status was the possibility of an upgrade to first class where you had real leg room, decent food and plenty of adequate quality wine. If you flew somewhat off hours, the chance of a first class upgrade was 50/50.
      When I flew Delta, I never received a first class upgrade, and was happy that the plane took off in less than an hour late. Given the lines at the airports this summer, I’m very happy not to fly for business anymore. To those who do, “I feel your pain”.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Corey, this is as good a place as any to continue our “quest for a weekend SUV for Corey” discussion.

    RX300: solid cars, ride well, awesome interiors the likes of which we might never see again from Lexus. The biggest thing to look out for is failing transmissions, a rare slip up from Toyota. Some emissions related CELs can crop up that will trigger the ESC and ABS lights as well from what I recall my bro wrenching on a customer’s car.

    QX4: more carlike ride than something like a 4Runner thanks to unibody+mac strut front suspension. Prolific rusters. I don’t know too much else. Avoid Northern trucks and you should be A-okay.

    GX: most expensive variant, for a $10k budget you’ll be looking at high mile trucks 03-04. Rear air suspensions will need attention, thankfully not as expensive to fix as one might think (replacement air shocks are a mere $130ish). Alternator replacement (a given at higher mileage) is not a fun task. Timing belt service also not exactly cheap. Hardcore truck construction inspires long term durability, but also a less sophisticated ride.

    My wildcard suggestion: 1st gen ML320. Now, hear me out: Rejection by some MB snobs and somewhat troublesome reputation (electrics, cat converters) yields horrendous resale. Hunt down a variant with a full service history and enjoy a great ride. I see them in the $6-7k range for clean ones, that leaves wiggle room for repairs.

    wildcard #2: Saab 9-7X. Horrendous resale x2. Cheap interiors only somewhat better than GM platform mates, classy looking exterior (IMO). Probably has some typical GM SUV faults, namely weak transfer cases, transmission woes, some electrical glitches, fast wearing suspension.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      RX
      —–
      RX300 is not an SUV

      QX4
      —–
      QX4 is an interesting choice but I’ve seen enough frame damaged Pathfinders of the period to be very wary.

      GX
      —–
      GX gets the nod, but LX is more his style.

      ML
      —–
      I can point you to a friend with an MY00 ML500, he likes it but its been a money pit fraught with facepalm.

      9-7X
      —–
      This is essentially an Olds Bravada with permanent AWD and a V8 as opposed to I6. I’d recommend the GMC or Buick version, failing that I’d Saabasize a Trailblazer (no I’m not kidding).

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I think Corey cares not one whit whether the car is officially an SUV or not, he’s not into the offroading in low range scene, from what I can tell. Snow storms and bad roads the RX will handle with aplomb. Yes those R50 body pathfinders had a recall for rusting front strut towers. Avoid rusty examples and it is a non-issue. Like I said, a $10k GX will probably pretty worn, an LX doubly so. Nonetheless, I’d say they are most likely the safest bet, but at this age condition and maintenance trump the other factors.

        I don’t deny that the ML route is risky, but it could also yield the most bang for the buck in terms of a clean dealer-serviced single owner vehicle that rides and looks great, for an excellent price. You just REALLY have to do your homework and probably know a fair indie mechanic to fall back on.

        9-7x came with both 4.2 Atlas and 5.3L V8. Yes AWD was standard, as was a rear LSD, and the higher trims got a Torsen center diff. Envoy Denali is a good alternative.

        Thing is, I think the GM and Mercedes are equally prone to issues, at which point I’d prefer to at least be driving a three pointed star with a better ride (IRS) and better interior. Parts for the Merc are surprisingly affordable if you are willing to shop around online.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          His exact strategy wasn’t made clear to me although I do know in winter he rides his M35X.

          I think any model RX is going to be pricey and won’t deliver as much bang for buck as another offering. I agree finding a QX4 would be an interesting proposition, but rust free is always the trick and its not easy to do outside of the Southwest. I’m also going to throw Acura SLX out there just for lulz.

          I didn’t know the Saab would be had with an Atlas I6, so I learned something there. I see your points on the Mercedes ML but car-poor is always waiting in the wings.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Given that he isn’t much of a DIY guy, I agree perhaps the ML is worth avoiding (again, unless you have a super cool indie mechanic). But for that same reason I’d say the GM variants are non-starters. Guy at work just dumped $2k into a reman transfer case for his ’05 Suburban with less than 120k miles on it. To a toyota truck guy that sounds insane, but some research online proved it to be a pretty common problem on that era of GM trucks. T-case chains slip, viscous couplings leak out and lock up, etc. Explorers of this same era are even worse with quick failing wheel bearings, transmissions, transfer cases, rear differentials, engine timing chain tensioners. This isn’t fiddly electronics lighting up your dash, these are major mechanical components taking a dump.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            First gen MDX was mighty reliable. We’d still have ours if the au pair hadn’t run it into a tree.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            VoGo, good idea. Similar vein to RX. Not a truck, but not the worse off for it assuming you’re not beating on it offroad or towing. First few years have questionable transmission reliability, but by the end of gen 1 they were pretty well sorted IMO.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Based on his Cadillac usage, I feel like any “SUV” is going to be too much money for too little use. I think a nice convertible is more appropriate (granted those have their drawbacks).

            But I’ve still got QX4 on the brain

            http://www.ebay.com/itm/Infiniti-QX4-4dr-SUV-4WD-/222166130712?forcerrptr=true&hash=item33ba222018:g:tJoAAOSw-jFXPyMF&item=222166130712

            Only eight owners!

            http://www.ebay.com/itm/Infiniti-QX4-Base-Sport-Utility-4-Door-/122027809364?forcerrptr=true&hash=item1c696c9a54:g:lOwAAOSwepJXcHUK&item=122027809364

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I’d love a Trooper or SLX, except for the G-D fragile transmission.

            Boo to these GM issues I see here.

            I gotta go run an errand but I will be coming back to this later.

            Later gen 1 MDX is possibility. Those seem taken care of, and don’t have rust issues like older RX models. Good engine, and a nice size. Angley styling has aged OK, with the restyle toward the end there and revised lamps.

            Also, people with an RX300 think too highly of them because gold badges.

            Wouldn’t this be a fun convo to have over beers!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Well you’re nothing without the gold badges, right?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I dunno. Do we need stinkin’ badges?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The interior quality on Trailblazer items is absolute rubbish. I do not care if it’s a real SUV or no.

        What about something like a Yukon?
        Avoiding any Subaru, as at my price range we’re still in bad HG territory.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          GM GMT800 fullsizers are overall pretty stout rigs, with a few comically underspec’d components that lead to potential headaches down the road. The 4L60E can in principle live to 200k+ miles, but many die sooner. Thankfully rebuilds are well studied and not terribly expensive. The transfer cases I mentioned, encoder motors crap out and/or viscous couplings fail, locking the truck into a 4Hi sort of state. Chain wear then occurs, and the t-case is toast. Suspension is beefy and cheap to rebuild/replace when it needs it. Brake lines rot out, corrosion wreaks havoc on ABS systems. Some 5.3Ls had piston slap issues, and I think Dexcool can rear its ugly head in regards to intake gasket leaks. Overall the motors are simple, understressed, and long lived.

          In regards to your timing belt aversion: I don’t get it! Just search for a car that’s had it done and forget about it for 90k miles. Or budget for an indie guy to swap it for $500ish with parts. Or live on the wild side, Toyota’s t-belt engines are all non-interference. Drive to your heart’s content, just have the AAA card handy for when it does break to get a tow to said indie to get it swapped. Not sure about the MZ family of motors (3.0-3.3L), but the 5VZ in 4Runners is known to make it 170 or even 200k on the original belt in some cases. Water pump might leak before that. I’d rather have an easy to replace belt over a stretching timing chain!!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Timing belts are largely stupid and if there’s a choices between a motor with or without one, I’m going with the chain every time. Well designed motors rarely stretch the timing chain.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            German motors seem to like stretching chains regularly, GM’s ubiquitous 3.6L suffered the same fate recently. Sure, I’ll take a proven, chain driven motor over a belt driven one. But I’m A-okay with a modern belt driven, non-interference motor. I’d argue there’s less to be afraid of in the certainty of spending $700ish dollars once in the car’s lifetime on a new belt and waterpump than the guessing game of some modern day single-row, stretch-prone chains. This isn’t an OHV 3800 we’re talking about with a tiny short chain driving the camshaft. These are massively long chains driving multiple banks of dual overhead cams and water and oil pumps. My brother did the chain on his 2.7L V6 in his ’02 XL-7. 10 hour book time. If it was a customer’s car, they likely would have junked it. A customer with a ’04 Explorer with 166k miles had a leaking headgasket on their Cologne 4.0L SOHC. Upon teardown he found a failing timing chain cassette. The “SOHC-ized” Cologne (originally designed as a OHV motor) has timing chains in the front AND back of the engine. The repair would have been an engine out job, in a funny sort of solution my brother swapped her truck’s transmission into an ’02 Explorer he had sitting around with a bad tranny and set the customer up with a new car. Contrast this with the belt on my 3.4L Toyota that can be changed in about an hour and a half or so (longitudinal position pays dividends). It goes both ways of course, just ask an owner of an older 1.8T VW, where belts were tearing at 30-40k miles and bending valves.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            This is a nice post but I invite all to reread it with the phrase “well designed motors” in mind.

          • 0 avatar
            Felix Hoenikker

            As I write this reply, parts to replace the double row timing chain on my MB 450SL are meandering through UPS for delivery by Saturday. My indie MB mechanic recommended replacing the chain even though it only has 128K miles on it. He thought it had too much play even though there is no spec for how much play is tolerable. More problematic is that I found bits of the plastic chain guides in the oil pan during the last oil change. To my amazement I found Y tube videos on how to do this so I’m going the DIY route rather than paying the man $1,000 to do it for me.
            I used to hate on timing belts, but this is changing my opinion. Also, I changed the timing belt on our Honda 3.5l V6 with 116 kmiles. I was amazed on how good the belt held up. It was hard to tell the difference between the new one and the original by looking at them. I probably could have taken that engine to 200K miles with the original timing belt.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Corey here is a GX close to you that hits your price point. Assuming the maintenance records check out and it truly is a clean truck that doesn’t need work, I would not be afraid of the 200k miles. The underside would be worth investigating for excessive corrosion. These aren’t known for frame rot, but rusty hardware can and will catch up to you regardless.

          linkhttp://cincinnati.craigslist.org/cto/5658076049.html

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “Timing belts are largely stupid and if there’s a choices between a motor with or without one, I’m going with the chain every time.”

            This is what I was taking issue with, of course a catch all caveat like “well designed” is a bit too easy to say. “Well designed V12 motors rarely break” that was easy!

            Toyota’s 3.5L V6 is a rock solid chain driven motor, as are Nissan’s VQ series (except the notable exception of the VQ40 truck motor). VW’s 3.6L V6 and GM’s 3.6L V6 chain driven motors had/have problems. Honda’s J series belt driven motors are gems, and the motor is not bad to change the belt on. Aside from valvetrain, there are other things to pay attention to reliability-wise that IMO trump worrying about having to change a cam belt once MAYBE twice in a car’s lifetime.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Well in this case when I think well designed, I am thinking of our lord and savior, 3800.

            The other thing which comes to my mind is the belt is almost like an additional tax on your late model used car purchase. So you bought X off the block with no history in the glovebox (which is about 90% of the time). Now you’ve got to do the belt.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “1st gen ML320”

      OH GOOD LORT. I have read enough about that to just avoid them, grouping them in with things like an Allroad, or high mileage S-Class.

      I quite like the styling on the QX4, but they’re getting up there in age, and I know they end up with electrical niggles and weird problems as they get older. Plus rust.

      I definitely don’t want a fancy Trailblazer with weird trim bits!

      The RX300 has rust around here seems like, so I’d be heading south to find one. They’re not hard to find, but for the price (say $5-6), I might as well spend a bit more and get an RX350 with a timing chain. I’m not a fan of spending the big bucks for a belt change, which is what’s putting the RX330 out of the running. Considering a belt price, the 330/350 come out almost the same in the years I’m looking at (07-09).

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Corey, while I agree the early year MLs had their share of issues, most of them electrical in nature, the basic guts of the car (engine, transmission, suspension) are built like tanks IMO. Totally different scale of complexity compared to something like an S class (remember, these MLs were actually pretty cheap and decontented when new), and nowhere as many fundamental and expensive design flaws as an Allroad, with its 8 balljoint front end, air suspension, torque converter issues, engine issues, AND electrical issues on top of all that. Our family friends in Siberia have owned a ’98 ML320 for over a decade, and I was impressed with how tight and well put together it felt over the jeep trail full of washouts and whoops that we drove over this summer. They did have some recurring issues with various check engine lights and what not, but that has as much to do with inexperienced diagnosticians as it does with the car IMO. Overall I’d put it head and shoulders over something like a GMT360 platform truck, and much more durable and less finicky overall than something like an E53 X5 (do NOT even consider one of those).

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Don’t worry, I’ve always hated the X5! I don’t think it’s ever been a good car.

          That GX is clean! I can hear my dad now, “You paid WHAT for HOW MANY miles?!”

          So considering further, I think a t-belt 3.0 RX would be okay if it had zero rust, and could be had with records and for a decent price. It won’t be driven a lot, and I really don’t need all the capability of a GX, even if I like them.

          The ultimate plan here, which 28 has not been privy to:

          Replace second car with something AWD. That leaves main car free to be RWD, and thus I can purchase the pinnacle of sedan. LS.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Let me throw this at you. Your primary car is something RWD and your secondary car AWD. A really bad winter comes through and something happens to that MY05ish AWD ride which knocks it out of commission for a spell. I suppose you could just rent something in the interim, but to me it seems your “main” vehicle should be the AWD/FWD one of the two. Since LS460 can be had in AWD, I’m seeing this as a more logical solution.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            This scenario, while possible, is highly unlikely. When we have wintery bad roads type weather, it’s usually not for more than a day or two at a time. Some winters, we may get snow only once or twice. Last winter was “a bad one,” and I think we had eight total snowy days.

            Dal correctly pointed out that the AWD LS comes with the less desirable air suspension and gets much worse MPG, on top of the additional $3-4k to acquire. If it was so bad to need AWD and I had a broken car, I’d rent something or take a day off work.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            My parents were miffed when I spent $6300 on my ’96 4Runner a few years back, little did people not in the ‘know’ suspect, I ended up walking away from a line of people wanting to buy it for $7500 2 years later!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ok, that makes sense. I’ll give you 6K for that Infiniti.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Hahahah. Oh we’re using 28’s patented Recession Manheim Calculator today! 60k miles dudebrah.

            @gtem – Any significant upgrades during the original RX’s production? VSC important? I’ve got to find one for less than $6-7, cause that’s just ridiculous for something that old.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Corey If anything I’d AVOID the VSC. Those early systems from Toyota are prone to faults, namely from the yaw sensor but total module failure is a thing as well. Sometimes a simple wheel alignment would make the system unhappy. There’s a way to re-teach the yaw sensor yourself, the info is out there on the forums.

            Couldn’t find anything definitive, but I’d guess that an 02 or 03 truck might save you some transmission headaches. Most important is the test drive of course. If the fluid looks reasonably clean and the car drives and shifts well throughout the test drive, I’d go ahead and buy it.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Got it! 02 or 03.

            The MDX I bet can be had for a bit cheaper. Those had the nice peanut butter leathers. I’ll assume 03 – 06 for one of those.

            https://cincinnati.craigslist.org/cto/5648371308.html
            Yeah, easier to find in good shape, and cheaper. Though I won’t buy black.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Corey: Volvo XC70 (P2) with Voodoo AWD. Nuff said :D

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I can’t tell if that’s a serious rec or not. I fear Volvo transaxle issues and trim infidelities.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Its not, its just they can be had for a song and kept going if need be (like the Cadillac). The P3s though command high resale for some bizarre reason.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            :O!

            https://cincinnati.craigslist.org/cto/5628881008.html

            That is so elegant. And rare.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Looks like a viable option. I’d likewise pay extra close attention to the transaxle. I’m more afraid of 154k on a FWD based crossover than 200k on a Land Cruiser Prado based Lexus with a longitudinal transmission and solid rear axle, etc. The MDX will of course be more efficient and ride/handle nicer (assuming suspension is in order, which is another area to inspect).

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            This one’s tidy. But I’m having a hard time justifying what people are asking for these.

            https://louisville.craigslist.org/cto/5639870796.html

            They’re all like $6500.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Also, run over to Noblesville and pick up this well-priced LS430!

            https://indianapolis.craigslist.org/cto/5659892920.html

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Looks clean, I’d just be wary of 8 owner status (the LS).

            If you want to play this RX game, step up to the 330/350 and payments.

            65 bucks and all kinda miles on an MY00?

            N*gga please.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Carmel could be a good source for some well-heeled MDX-ness.

            https://indianapolis.craigslist.org/cto/5654884029.html

            That’s what I was saying when I said the RX is priced too high. The ones at $4k have even more miles, and rust/ripped seats etc. It’s much easier to find an MDX. I have cash for a RX350, but as you point out my secondary car gets little use (and also sits outside). There’s no point in buying something too nice.

            https://columbus.craigslist.org/cto/5656645240.html

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Bad news fellas, just had a pretty clean ’04 Mitsu Lancer Sportback snatched up right before my eyes. ‘Twould have made a fine Lyft chariot and general beater. 110k miles, Cali car, second owner. A few inconsequential accidents that led to the bumper cover being replaced. These puppies were made in Japan, and totally fly under the radar for most folks. Asking price for this automobile? $2900. A couple from Cincinnati was signing the papers right as I pulled up. Oh well, I wasn’t relishing the prospect of doing the t-belt and catching it up on other neglected maintenance and suspension work.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            All yor carz r belong to Cincinnatians!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            MDX might be the ticket… or just go batsh*t crazy and do some Panther Love.

            @gtemnykh

            Twas not meant to be. Plus don’t Mitsus have auto tranny issues?

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            @28 days, nothing inherently bad that I know of, just death by neglect at the hands of 0% mouthbreathers. Might be a tad pickier in terms of fluid than the typical autobox, Mitsubishi has their unicorn-tear “Diaqueen SPIII” transmission fluid spec’d for all their autos. Monteros are known to pick up a bad case of torque converter chatter when generic ATF 3/4 is added. Hyundai’s SPIII is a direct analogue and somewhat cheaper.

    • 0 avatar
      DownUnder2014

      I know this is a left of field suggestion (and probably not a good one) but maybe a Mitsubishi Montero Sport? I’m aware they aren’t common and the Automatic Transmissions use their own special fluid but they seem to be relatively sturdy.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I wouldn’t purchase a Mitusbishi unless it was a Montero Limited. And all those have been used up here long ago. Also, parts availability seems to be an issue according to gtem.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    When this thing first arrived on the scene as the JX, I was pretty convinced it would be a huge hit. Luxury buyers really had nowhere to go if they wanted a usable 3 row CUV. They would either make do with an X5 or Q7 and find that cargo and passenger room were much less useful. Or they’d settle for an Enclave (which many luxury buyers would be embarrassed to drive) or an MDX (which had a pretty small 3rd row at the time). So you would see lots of people driving BMW or Audi or Lexus cars but still have a Pilot or Odyssey in the driveway for the family. For this reason I thought the market was ready for a CUV with three useable rows and a legitimate luxury nameplate. (Note that at that time Infiniti had some credibility with some fantastic interiors and a real 3 series competitor in what used to be called the G.) The Pathfinder hadn’t come out yet so we had no idea how bad this car would be. It turns out that it’s pretty bad. I would say that the Pathfinder/JX/QX60 are pretty much at or near the bottom of the three-row CUV market at any price point. I’d rather drive a Highlander, MDX, Pilot, CX-9, Durango, Sorento, and others ahead of this.

  • avatar
    SomeGuy

    I drove a Pathfinder rental about two months ago. Yeah… Not good. Bad interior, bad infotainment, just bad all the way around. I would not imagine this would be much better, but let us remember who these are sold to. They just don’t care. I bet this thing prints money for the brand. The storage criticism I don’t understand, and other commenters have mentioned it already.

    However, I’ll disagree again with the criticism of the 3.5 / 3.7 in RWD applications such as the 350Z/370Z again as I did in your 370Z piece. The motors are not BMW Inline 6 motors on smoothness, but I guess they have what Harley, and Subaru guys would call their “character” or sound.

    Can you elaborate on your definition of rough? Is it idle? The exhaust? Because muscle car V8s have a “rough” idle, but instead we accept it as OK because V8. If it is exahust, I guess I am in the miniority. Love the VQ noise. It is like a 99-04 2V Mustang GT of the past, you can tell it a mile away.

    Like I said in my post on the article you linked to, we are in the same state. I invite you to drive my G37S or my FX35 anytime.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I can hear the longitudinal VQ a mile away, too, and it makes me want to cover my ears. It’s honking, strained, rough, and sounds at high rpm like mechanical failure is imminent.

      I still like RWD Infinitis — if life had gone a bit differently I would probably have bought my wife a 2016 QX50 — but the sound is a definite minus.

    • 0 avatar
      Macca

      I’m with SomeGuy on this one. Of course, as a 370Z owner, you’d expect me to be. The vitriol directed at the VQ35/37 by Bark is decidedly over the top to the point of ridiculousness. Just as his whole anti-Nissan stance is comical – not unlike a certain commenter here and his anti-Cadillac/GM obsession.

      I’m not going to jump in and defend the QX60, as I don’t have a dog in the hunt. It’s pretty far down the list of prospective 3-rowers for our next family hauler behind the new CX-9, MDX, XC90 and even the new Pilot.

      It is, however, an interesting contrast to see how Bark approaches his rental reviews to his brother. Jack seems to approach many of his reviews with a surprisingly positive mentality – looking for redeemable qualities in an otherwise non-enthusiast vehicle. Bark’s h8terade is palpable from the outset – he hates the brand, he hates the vehicle, and gosh darnit, he sure as hell isn’t going to find anything redeemable to report.

      I mean, who expects this thing to be remotely sporty? Also base model stereo suckage isn’t exactly the hottest take. Nor is the an-anti CVT take. A quick scan of other auto mags’ take on the QX60 is predictable: a reasonably nice, quiet family hauler with little sporting intentions. Not great, but also beyond competent.

      A pet peeve of mine is reading a car review in which the journo clearly lacks context – and this is a great example. It’s akin to reading a Miata review in which the car is lambasted for a small trunk and poor snow capability. Publishing a hateful screed isn’t helpful or enlightening.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    This Infiniti QX60 looks like a half-assed attempt to come up with a parts bin competitor to the Buick Enclave. GM does it better.

  • avatar
    steverock

    My wife and I bought a certified 2013 JX35 last year for her, and while it isn’t something I would want to drive every day (I have a 2013 Acura TL SH-AWD) she really likes it. Here are my thoughts after about a year of ownership:

    – The CVT isn’t that bad once you get used to it. I thought I was going to hate it but it’s fine in every day driving. The engine sounds fine to me (I noticed that complaint above) and has enough power. It would be nice to have a little more but it works.
    – It has a very roomy backseat, and there is still lots of room back there with two car seats. The third row seat is actually useable by normal size adults, and the things that ultimate sold us on the JX was you can get back there without taking out the car seats. Handy in a pinch.
    – It is really easy to drive, and rides great. The handling is ok but it is just fine for city and suburb driving. She has a 2008 Lexus RX350 before this and the JX handles better in my opinion.

    Bark definitely reviewed a base model, and I totally agree those are terrible. We had one as a loaner for a couple days and it has the worst stereo I can recall in a car for a long time. A good stereo is important to me. Ours has one of the Bose system options in it (along with navigation and some other options) and it makes a difference.

    Admittedly I wanted to buy a Flex but my wife hates them. Oh well.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    Hate the vehicle, love the Police and Hall and Oates lyrics baked into the final 2 paragraphs.

  • avatar
    Chicanery

    ” I think Infiniti also has the best looking grille of any of the “luxury” CUVs. It’s certainly a more handsome look than the gaping maw on the Lexus RX.”

    Thank you for saying that. I can’t imagine what bonehead approved those Lexus grilles. Horrible, horrible creations. Please Lexus, stop copying the beautiful cars and putting in your own weirdass creativity. Just hand it to Pinninfarina and the build what they give you.

  • avatar
    ihbase

    “This is all the storage space you get with the third row seats up.”

    Is it reasonable to expect more in this segment? It seems like a reasonable tradeoff when one could add luggage space by merely folding the third row. I am probably missing something because I know nothing about this market segment. And care to know even less.

    And when did the VQ motor become so loathed? The old 3.0 VQ was loved by all. Or so I thought…

    -Michael

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