By on September 8, 2021

2022 Infiniti QX60. Tim Healey/TTAC

Like the Nissan Pathfinder it shares its bones with, the 2022 Infiniti QX60 is redone for 2022.

Infiniti folks try to shy away from the Pathfinder references and comparisons because it’s their job to sell consumers on the differences, as well as why one should pay more for the QX60 when it’s mechanically a Pathfinder.

Never mind that most car buyers, regardless of their level of industry knowledge, know that Infinitis are Nissans in fancier clothing, just like Lexus with Toyota and Acura with Honda. Luxury-car shoppers know this and don’t care – they are spending bigger bucks on the luxury brands for some combination of the following reasons: Standard features, available features, the dealer experience, interior materials, and styling.

I can’t speak to the dealer experience, but Infiniti has gotten the differentiation right when it comes to the rest of that list, especially the styling and materials. As for the feature and content mix, well, that’s going to come down to what you’re willing to spend.

(Full disclosure: Infiniti flew me to Napa Valley and gave me a branded COVID mask, in addition to feeding me and putting me up in a very nice hotel. They offered a custom hat and some locally-made olive oil, neither of which I took, though I did participate in a tasting of the oil and it was good. We also did a short wine tasting after driving. They also gave us tours of the olive oil producer’s mill and a vineyard full of priceless art.)

Despite its Nissan roots, the QX60 looks almost completely different, with the tailgate being the only obviously recognizable part from the Pathy, and only then if you squint and know what to look for.

It also drives differently. While it likely weighs roughly the same (Infiniti’s spec sheet doesn’t list a curb weight as of yet), it felt a bit lighter on the road and nimbler in cornering when traversing the (mostly gently) curving rural roads between Napa Valley and the Pacific Ocean. Tossing it into Sport mode made the festivities a bit more fun.

2022 Infiniti QX60. Tim Healey/TTAC

Fun being relative, of course – it’s still a three-row crossover. You won’t be dive-bombing corners like a wannabe Andretti. But should you encounter a winding road, the QX60 will feel plenty competent, with muted body roll and steering that feels a bit artificially weighted but nevertheless allows for easy, accurate placement of the front wheels.

The ride is luxury-appropriate – compliant without being soft. The caveat here is that California roads are generally in great shape. There was one stretch of broken pavement that created a lot of noise but most wiggles and jiggles were filtered out well enough.

It’s a MacPherson strut setup in front and multilink independent in the rear – essentially the same as what the Nissan offers.

2022 Infiniti QX60. Tim Healey/TTAC

Our test units were pre-production models, and I did catch some minor noise/vibration/harshness issues. There were some vibrations and rattles, but they were mostly quiet and easily drowned out by the radio. Again, the pre-production builds may have been at fault. Otherwise, wind and road noise were mostly well-muted, with the cabin being quiet and peaceful.

Acceleration from the 3.5-liter V6 (295 horsepower, 270 lb-ft of torque) is fine for most urban and suburban use cases, though you won’t blow anyone’s doors off. The power for passing or merging is more than adequate.

Power gets to the wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission instead of a CVT, and thank goodness for that. This transmission is generally well-behaved, though it got confused on a shift at least once. I was in Sport mode, started to accelerate through a long sweeping corner, then had to lift suddenly as the road turned to reveal a small residential area. This sudden change of heart on my part gave the transmission some fits, as it wasn’t sure which gear to be in, but otherwise, it worked well throughout my day with the car.

2022 Infiniti QX60. Tim Healey/TTAC

There are paddle shifters, should you choose to use them.

The QX60 is more of a head-turner than the blander Pathfinder, with curvy lines inside and out. The front, especially, is true Infiniti, with the slanting-eyebrow headlights and the big grille in front of a raked hood. The side profile shows hints of Pathfinder but the lines appear much curvier, making a distinction between the two vehicles.

As per usual, the tacked-on infotainment screen bugged me (please, designers, stop with this, especially in otherwise stylish rides), and I found it surprisingly tricky to quickly tune a new XM station. On the other hand, the rest of the HVAC controls worked well enough, with knobs for radio volume and temperature. The shifter is weird-looking but the learning curve isn’t particularly steep – you get used to using it quickly.

2022 Infiniti QX60. Tim Healey/TTAC

I also found the digital gauges easy to read and use. I still find that it’s trickier to activate the available ProPilot Assist than it should be, as it requires fumbling with the smart cruise control first, but I found that the driver-assist system seemed to work better than during past experiences I’ve had with it. Of course, well-marked and maintained roads helped with that – the system, at least in prior uses, has seemed to struggle when lane lines aren’t marked well. I will keep this in mind for my next at-home test.

Parents, take note – like the Pathfinder, the QX60 has a neat system that allows the second-row seats to spring forward with one touch, and with car seats in place. Though the brand reminds us not to use the system with actual kids in place, and apparently, the system won’t work if there’s too much weight detected in the seat.

As for the third row, I got back there OK, and legroom was acceptable for my tall frame, but exiting wasn’t dignified for an adult of my size. Skirt/kilt wearers should especially think twice. Headroom was a tad tight, too.

So, I found the QX60 to be a bit better on-road than the Pathfinder it shares its bones with, and better looking, and better appointed, with class-appropriate materials (though some cheaper stuff sneaks in, mostly on touchpoints that are below the beltline). The money question though, quite literally, is this: Is it worth the extra scratch?

Infiniti

For some, the dealer experience or the brand name alone will make the QX worth it. Others will want standard or available features that are only on the Infiniti, or they’ll pay the premium for the styling.

For everyone else, the calculation is trickier. Consider the car I drove – a top-trim Autograph with all-wheel-drive. That’s $63,250, and the paint job added $695, plus another $1,025 for D and D. It included hill-start assist, 20-inch wheels, black contrast roof, 12.3-inch infotainment screen, nav, head-up display (10.8 inches), power tilt/telescope steering column, power panoramic moonroof, a motion-activated power liftgate, heated steering wheel, heated and cooled massaging front seats, heated second-row seats, removable second-row center console, and ProPilot Assist with navigation link, steering assist, speed-limit assist, speed adjustment by route, and smart cruise control.

2022 Infiniti QX60. Tim Healey/TTAC

Other features included Bose audio, wireless cell-phone charging, wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wi-Fi hotspot, predictive forward-collision warning, forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive front lighting with auto-leveling, high-beam assist, lane-departure warning, lane-departure prevention, blind-spot warning, blind-spot intervention, 360-degree camera, rear automatic braking, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Is all that worth the premium over a loaded Pathy? You make the call. To me, the Luxe seems to strike the best balance of price and equipment, with the Sensory also allowing you to get a lot of good content without going crazy.

The non-Autograph trims are Pure, Luxe, and Sensory, with Pure starting at $46,850. AWD is a $2K option on all but Autograph – there, it costs $2,900.

2022 Infiniti QX60. Tim Healey/TTAC

Standard with the base model car are 18-inch wheels and six USB ports, plus blind-spot warning, LED lighting, and tri-zone climate control. The Luxe model gets you 20-inch wheels, roof rails, ProPilot, climate-controlled front seats, and some of the driver-aid systems.

If you want the massaging seats, heated second-row seats, power third-row seats, wireless cell-phone charging, Bose audio, and a power liftgate, step up to Sensory.

Other available options, depending on trim, include a Performance Audio Package, Vision Package (adaptive front lighting and the head-up display, plus rear-view mirror camera), Tow Package, and different levels of premium paint.

Towing capacity starts at 3,500 pounds and can go to 6,000. Fuel economy, meanwhile, is listed at 20/25/22 with AWD and 21/26/23 with front-drive.

2022 Infiniti QX60. Tim Healey/TTAC

We already asked if the QX60 is worth it over the Pathfinder. That question isn’t unique to Infiniti – Acura and Lexus buyers also ask if the MDX and RX are worth more money than a Honda or Toyota. And there’s a second question that all QX60 intenders need to ask – is the vehicle better than the competition?

It’s not quite as fun to drive as the Acura MDX, though it’s not a slouch. Its third row feels more accessible than that of the extended-length Lexus RX. Furthermore, Lexus’ other three-row offerings are more truckish and not really in the competitive set.

Those who prioritize fun-to-drive might be better suited to the Acura. For style, though, the QX might be the right choice.

2022 Infiniti QX60. Tim Healey/TTAC

Infiniti, like Nissan, is in a bit of a comeback mode after seeming to lose the plot. The 2022 QX60 is the latest in a long line of vehicles from both brands that show progress. Infiniti is heading in the right direction, but there’s a way to go.

Here, the pros are on-road dynamics, attractive looks, and a few clever tricks. Oh, and the ditching of the CVT. The cons mostly relate to the price tag, especially if the top-trim is on your mind.

It all makes for a well-rounded package that puts Infiniti closer to where it needs to be, if not all the way there.

[Images © 2021 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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78 Comments on “2022 Infiniti QX60 First Drive – What is Style Worth to You?...”


  • avatar
    redapple

    I dont know why, but i d like to see Nissan succeed. Sell more- grow. I ve owned many Hondas. I Like Toyotas. My holy grail Sentra SE-R wasnt that impressive. So, why do i care?

  • avatar
    Sundance

    “head-turner”

    Really? This car? I mean, it is not ugly, but it is just another crossover…

    • 0 avatar
      rblue

      There’s zero chance anyone would even notice this thing. Hell we have a Lamborghini Urus in town, and I’ve missed it so many times. Even that manages to look like any other Kia. It’s yawn-invoking like all CUVs are, and I say this as an owner of a CX-5.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      Compared to the crossover it’s based on, it is more likely to turn one’s head. Sorry for not being a bit more clear.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Still, it’s better looking than the other tarted-up FWD Japanese 3-row CUVs, much less the Pathfinder counterpart – and the interior/dash looks more elegant and upscale compared to its Japanese competition.

      But if I were in this market, probably just opt for the Mazda CX-9 and save some cash.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “some locally-made olive oil”
    “though I did participate in a tasting of the oil”
    “They also gave us tours of the olive oil producer’s mill”

    Lol, is someone from Infiniti dating or married to the person that makes this oil?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I’m puzzled by the photography: *five* 1/4 shots, two front shots, one rear and one side shot, and a mfr shot of the dash. No rear seats, cargo area, or closeups of anything? I like your work, but the pics didn’t serve us well here.

    Several bugs were noted while reviewing this car, including a confused transmission. One bug is OK, but all of them? If Infiniti is inviting journalists to a test drive in Napa Valley (or anywhere), their test vehicle should be perfect, pre-production or not. It’s not like this is a new drivetrain.

    And what’s with those ridiculously large exhaust bezels? And the designers saw fit to mirror them on the front of the car, and now I can’t unsee it. Yuk.

    Anyway – given car prices these days – I’m impressed with the Infiniti’s relatively low price. But I’d still take a Genesis GV80 over this, or the Pathfinder (which I think looks better than its cousin).

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      I took standard interior shots of the dash and center stack and when I checked them on the camera they seemed good — but once downloaded to my PC, after I was done with the car, I saw they were crap. Unusable. So I ran an Infiniti pic instead. That happens sometimes. As for the other areas, I don’t always shoot those, but I can going forward, if readers find it helpful.

      Pre-production vehicles, by definition, aren’t perfect. They often have minor defects — and sometimes major. The power steering went out once on a pre-pro, years ago. Different OEM. It’s an understanding we all have — the kinks aren’t ironed out on pre-production cars, and we know they aren’t perfect. They aren’t supposed to be. Could an OEM lie and say cars are pre-pro when they aren’t? In theory, yes, but I think there are ways to verify.

      I almost made mention of GV80 and linked Chris’s review, but I feel like GV80 is bigger. It targets Aviator and Wagoneer while QX60 is targeting MDX.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Actually, the GV80 is 3″ shorter and 2″ lower than the QX60. Maybe the GV80 is larger inside – didn’t look that up.

        I’ve taken lots of crap photos, so I’m sympathetic.

        • 0 avatar
          Tim Healey

          Yeah I went back and checked the dimensions. I was surprised, since the benchmarking of the GV80 seems aimed at the larger Aviator and the Infiniti folks told me straight out that they’re targeting the MDX.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            The Aviator is kind of a tweener between the RWD midsizer and fullsizers.

            The QX60 should be larger inside than the GV80 due to both its longer length and FWD/transverse layout.

  • avatar

    The current gen of these are pretty much the most common new infinity for me to see in my area. So this is a pretty important car for them. Seems like they are doing well updating them. Several of my kids friends moms have them and like them. It just doesn’t do anything for me. I would rather have a loaded up Durango or a MDX if I was looking for a luxury or near luxury brand.

  • avatar
    jmo

    It was and will continue to be a vehicle that sells on the deal. Is it as good as a GV70/80 or X3/5? No. Can a case be made for it with $5,800 in incentives? Yes. And there is certainly nothing wrong with that from a consumer perspective. In terms of Nissan corporate, they’d obviously like something that sells without incentives but this isn’t the vehicle to do it.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Can I just have the MILF that comes with it and you keep this?

  • avatar

    I think the stiffest competition here is the GV80, which is obviously much nicer, is RWD-based, better looking, and has considerable price overlap.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well, at least it doesn’t have a CVT.

    I bet this is a hit for Infiniti, which I’m sad to say because the dull-as-dirt crossover game is where it’s at right now.

    • 0 avatar

      They need a hit because their entire front-drive crossover history has been pretty flop-like.

      • 0 avatar
        theflyersfan

        The Juke was probably 5-6 years ahead of its time. Now weird, misshapen micro-CUVs fly off of the dealer floors.
        The Murano has always been a bland appliance on wheels, complete with corporate engine and CVT. Nothing special or exceptional.
        The Kicks is a placeholder in a hot market.
        And the less said about that abomination that was the formless blob of the previous gen Pathfinder, the better.

        IMO, Nissan should have made the Pathfinder back into what Ford did with the Bronco. Rugged, stylish, truckish. They have the Murano (and could probably add a few inches to cram in a 3rd row) to handle carpool duties. This gen could have been special again.

        (Also applies to Chevrolet with the Blazer)

  • avatar
    jkross22

    I’m a Nissan fanboy from the 90s when they had the jellybean Altima and the 240sx. Great cars, reasonably priced, reliable, fun. Nissan was nearly where Honda was.

    And then they went and got stupid for a few decades.

    It looks like they’re trying to come back… better design, no more CVT, much better interiors. Why not put those great zero gravity seats in this? And no extending thigh cushion? C’mon Nissan, think about the old guys who liked you from decades ago and what they might want. Or just look at your competitors, and yeah, the Telluride is that, and they offer that extending thigh cushion.

    Why every car company doesn’t provide this is beyond me. It’s $30 at a stretch, and offers something for the salesman to yack about for the over 45 crowd, which is the vehicle’s intended audience. Talk about long drive comfort.

    These types of oversights are unforgivable. It’s why we ditched the GLC at lease end. Those seats are great for under 45 minutes. Anything more is just asking for trouble.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I like the head on pic of this vehicle, looks good from that angle. The rest of it though is a pretty generic shape. My personal thought is that the top trim Pathfinder is actually the better looking vehicle. I do like the interior press shots, but remind myself that never once have I cursed the quality of the interior materials of any car that I have driven. We touch like the same 4 surfaces every time we are in the car….I guess we all have our priorities.

    I take that back, I guess I have cursed early 2000’s Chrysler interiors on test drives.

  • avatar
    Varezhka

    The previous version reminded me of the old Chevy Uplander every time I saw them, so much better job already. Generic SUV shape, maybe, and not my first choice for a three row crossover but at least it’s not immediately ugly.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’m sure they do they best they can to hide the fact these things are less functional minivans.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Depends on your definition of “function.” Fitting in at the school pickup line in a suburb where the median home price is $2.3 million is a form of function. This does so better than a minivan, although not as well as a Range Rover or GLS450.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Wow. Serious problems within the world and nation but we’re going to play my minivan is better than yours in line – when they are all pretty much the same?

          Then again why do I care because I would simply delegate such a task :D

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          If the Chads out there can put a “Calvin p*ssing on a Chevy symbol” on the the back of their $70,000 King Bada** Bacon Dude Ranch pickups (which never tow or haul anything), their Karen wives can get all snooty about what CUVs they drive. This is America!

        • 0 avatar

          Oh, yes…parking lot parity sells cars both in the morning school run and the company parking lot.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    This is what happens when you can’t quite get written for a Q7. I don’t think there’s anyone out there who actually wants it.

    Contrast that with the MDX and RX, both of which have legions of devoted fans. At least each one has something mechanical to separate it from the pleb brand (SH-AWD for the MDX, the V6 hybrid powertrain for the RX).

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’d take this over a Q7 at this price – the Audi will have the 2.0T, while this will have a six. A fully loaded Q7 with the right engine goes for seventy grand, easy.

      I’d take this over an RX because the Lexus is just awful to look at.

      If it were down to this or the MDX, I think a coin flip would be in order.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I can’t imagine what this has that would make it worthy of a coin flip with a MDX. The MDX has SH-AWD, a much nicer interior, a much better-tuned suspension, and it’s not a Nissan.

        I doubt any Q7s are actually sold at the transaction prices where these will typically land. The “popularly equipped” versions are going to be between $5K and $10K dearer.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        This looks better than the MDX and has a nice looking dash as opposed to the tacky (piano black-laden) dash in the MDX.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      SH-AWD has trickled down from the MDX to the Pilot/Passport, they just call it by another name. For the moment, the MDX is on a unique, new platform; but that will change next year when the Pilot/Passport move to that platform. Later this year, the MDX will be offered with the new 3-liter turbocharged engine (as an option). No word if that eventually will be available on the Pilot.

  • avatar
    steverock

    My wife drives a 2018 QX60 and we’ve been really happy with it. I know there is a narrative on the internet that these things suck because it’s a Nissan and has a CVT, but I’ve found it to be a great SUV for our family. I’m looking forward to checking this one out the next time I’m at the dealership for service.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    SH-AWD has trickled down from the MDX to the Pilot/Passport, they just call it by another name. For the moment, the MDX is on a unique, new platform; but that will change next year when the Pilot/Passport move to that platform. Later this year, the MDX will be offered with the new 3-liter turbocharged engine (as an option). No word if that eventually will be available on the Pilot.

  • avatar
    AK

    I’m never going to buy an SUV but just eliminating the CVT and the horrendous dual screen dashboard are massive improvements for Infiniti.

    I think I’d rather have this than an MDX, especially if it doesn’t have the cylinder deactivation that ruins the Honda’s V6.

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