2023 Infiniti QX60 Review and Test Drive
Significant improvements make Infiniti's midsize SUV better, but not quite the best.
The 2023 Infiniti QX60 is a midsize luxury SUV offering handsome styling, seating for up to seven people, an appealing interior, and a competitive assortment of standard and available features. Based on the Nissan Pathfinder, the 2023 QX60 stands just below the top QX80 model in size and price while perched above the QX50 and the sloped-back QX55.
Looking at trim levels, the 2023 QX60 Pure starts at about $50,000. Pricing then climbs with the Luxe into the mid-$50,000s and the Sensory at about $60,000, topping out with the Autograph in the mid-$60,000s. Of course, all prices include the destination charge to ship the SUV to your dealership. My QX60 Autograph test vehicle had an optional all-wheel drive (AWD) system and a manufacturer's suggested retail price of about $68,195. Infiniti provided the vehicle for this review.
Infiniti completely redesigned the QX60 for 2022, giving the three-row SUV all new bodywork and a more elegant and cohesive interior design. Since it underwent such a significant change in 2022, the list of changes to the 2023 model is short. A wireless charging pad for smartphones is now standard. Luxe trim adds gloss-black bumper accents, while Sensory and Autograph trims have accents in gray and a black-painted roof.
In the three-row luxury SUV segment, the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, Cadillac XT6, Genesis GV80, Lincoln Aviator, and Volvo XC90 all compete with the QX60. From a different perspective, the three-row Nissan Pathfinder Platinum with all of the extras comes in at just under $57,000. That’s in line with other mass-market alternatives such as the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Palisade, Jeep Grand Cherokee L, Kia Telluride, and Toyota Highlander.
However, the QX60 comes with Infiniti's Premium Care service plan, providing up to three years of complimentary maintenance.
2023 Infiniti QX60 Review: The Design
On the outside, the QX60 is quite handsome, with a few fine surface details such as the pinch in the chrome accents over the rear-most side windows. It looks upscale without being fussy.
The QX60 shines brighter on the inside. Standard on my Autograph test car, the leather seats have a diamond-shaped pattern echoed on the dashboard's second-tier surface, giving it a high-quality, almost custom feel. Other interior surfaces are a combination of straight leather, high-quality plastic in a smooth piano-black finish, stainless steel, textured aluminum, and a soft rubber coating. These touchpoints have a premium, luxurious feel that fits in with the standard set by the diamond-pattern leather.
Infiniti places all the controls logically and clearly marks them. A minor quibble is that some ventilation controls to change settings are in the bottom row of central buttons rather than an icon in the middle of the display. Nevertheless, the new QX60’s single display setup feels advanced compared to the previous-generation QX60's dual-screen display.
The transmission lever is like a computer mouse that you toggle fore and aft to select gears. A separate park button sits atop the mouse. It could be a more intuitive design, yet you assimilate after a while. Kudos to Infiniti for including a regular rotary knob for audio volume. Yes, there are volume buttons on the steering wheel. Still, it just makes life easier to have a volume knob on the dashboard for when a passenger might wish to reach for it.
The QX60's three-row interior offers seating for up to seven passengers, except in the top-trim Autograph. It has second-row captain's chairs, resulting in seating for only six people. Tri-zone automatic climate control is standard with Pure and Luxe trims, while the Sensory and Autograph feature a triple-zone climate system.
With Autograph trim, the front seats offer eight-way power adjustment, making them adaptable to nearly any body type. In addition, there's enough general support to prevent fatigue from setting in on long drives. My test vehicle also had heated and ventilated front seat cushions.
Second-row seat comfort is adequate but doesn't offer the same support as the front seats, making adults fidgety on long drives. In the Autograph test vehicle, the captain’s chairs were heated. Third-row seating is strictly for smaller people.
Storage capacity is vast between the glove box, front center console, and map pockets in the doors and front seat backs. You can bring beverages, too, thanks to eight cupholders and four bottle holders in the doors. There's also a shallow but handy space below the cargo floor that can stow minor tools or emergency items.
The QX60 provides decent but merely average cargo space. It offers just 14.5 cu.-ft. of space behind the third row and opens up to 41.6 cu.-ft. behind the second row. With both rear rows of seats folded down, the QX60 supplies 75.4 cu.-ft. of maximum cargo space. That’s a little more than Acura's MDX but substantially less than a Jeep Grand Cherokee L.
2023 Infiniti QX60 Review: The Technology
All QX60s feature a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The display features haptic virtual buttons that respond quickly to input. There are also dedicated physical controls for some climate and audio functions, a preferable arrangement to relying solely on a menu-driven touchscreen for everything.
However, despite these capacitive touch-sensitive buttons, the ones for seat heating, cooling, and fan speed sometimes prove challenging. They require an undue level of finger accuracy. That might seem very nitpicky, but when you're driving, getting these wrong and deciphering why is a source of distraction and irritation.
Pairing my iPhone to the infotainment system proved quick and glitch-free using Bluetooth or the wireless Apple CarPlay connection. A wireless charging pad is now standard as well. However, Android Auto only works when tethered through a USB cable.
All trims except the base QX60 Pure have a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster for which you can choose two designs. Exclusive to the Autograph trim is a 10.8-inch head-up display and a digital rearview mirror that can display the image from a camera mounted on the rear of the SUV.
All QX60s now have an extensive list of standard safety features, including automatic high-beam headlights, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, rear parking sensors, and rear automatic braking. In addition, higher trims add front parking sensors, a driver monitoring system, traffic-sign recognition, lane-keeping assist, and a surround-view camera.
Luxe and higher trims add ProPilot Assist, Infiniti's adaptive cruise control and lane-centering assistance system. ProPilot Assist combines data from sensors and cameras. It merges that with navigation information to assist the driver on curves or to exit a freeway.
Once you engage the system, ProPilot Assist can follow posted speed limits or prompt you to accept or decline the new speed limit. But if you want to change lanes on the highway, you must do so the old-fashioned way. Then, only when the vehicle re-acquires lane markers, will ProPilot Assist resume.
During my time with the QX60, the adaptive cruise control quickly acquired target vehicles on the freeway. The forward-collision warning system also exhibited fewer unwarranted alerts than other recent test cars. While there's certainly no harm in an abundance of caution, a regular barrage of alerts about impending doom becomes tedious.
The Infiniti's lane-keeping assist did not work as well as others in some real moments of alarm. The lesson? Even with all the driver assists in the QX60, there are still many things that the technology cannot do, and you must always drive fully engaged. The safety tech gods giveth, and they taketh away.
While all that safety technology may not be able to help you avoid a crash, it's good to know the 2023 QX60 received a Top Safety Pick+ rating for the 2022 and 2023 calendar years from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. At the time of writing this review, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has yet to rate the crashworthiness of the 2023 QX60.
2023 Infiniti QX60 Review: The Drive
Infiniti hitches the 2023 QX60's 295 hp, 3.5L V6 engine to a new nine-speed automatic transmission, replacing the old and unloved continuously variable transmission (CVT) used in the previous-generation model. In my QX60 Autograph, the AWD system sent power to 20-inch wheels and tires.
The previous-generation QX60 was not the best SUV to drive in its segment. In my opinion, the Acura MDX drove with more gusto, the Lexus RX showed more refinement, and European rivals such as Audi's Q7, felt more substantial, even if more expensive. That all changed last year with the current generation Infiniti QX60.
The new QX60 does almost everything better than its predecessor. Acceleration is not just quicker but feels more natural without the stepless drone of the old CVT. But there are instances where the new powertrain hesitates a bit. Initial throttle response can lag. In any drive mode other than Sport, the transmission can be lazy in downshifting a gear or two, like when pulling out to pass a very slow vehicle on a two-lane road or highway.
Estimated EPA fuel-economy figures for the QX60 AWD are 20 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 22 mpg in combined driving. During my 73-mile drive loop over a mixture of urban, suburban, and highway Arizona tarmac, the QX60 returned 22.3 mpg. That's slightly better than its combined rating but is nonetheless a fairly poor figure in 2023 and uncovers a limitation of the QX60.
Fuel consumption would improve by having an optional hybrid powertrain or a smaller, light-pressure turbocharged four-cylinder to give extra power when needed and better efficiency when not. All QX60 permutations come with the 3.5L V6, and even though it generates adequate power, it's a bit harsher at high rpms than I expect in a luxury SUV.
Other than that rare moment when you need to tickle the redline of the V6, interior noise is exceptionally absent. There's precious little wind noise, even at higher freeway speeds. Since the 20-inch tires on my Autograph tester were not super wide or aggressive, tire noise — even from concrete road surfaces — was minimal.
The QX60's suspension tuning is sporty, imparting relatively nimble handling, given that it's a plus-size SUV. Handling and steering are two different qualities, and the QX60 illustrates this difference very well. The level of steering precision and feel for the road would be in character for a sports car. Power assist is electric rather than hydraulic, and that assistance tails off as speed increases.
Regardless of this agility in the steering department, the QX60's suspension isn't exactly at home carving up twisty roads where a sports car would shine. Given the 4,600 lb. curb weight and tall profile, you couldn't expect it to. Besides, SUVs tend to skew toward a rich-feeling, compliant ride vs sports car-esque handling. With the 2023 QX60, Infiniti gets this balance between ride quality and handling agility just right.
Infiniti fits large brakes to the QX60 as well. The vented front discs measure nearly 14 inches and mate to two-piston calipers. The rear discs are almost 13 inches in diameter. They work very well, and even under extreme duress, they maintain their composure. This is reassuring since a car's brakes are its most crucial part or system.
Is the 2023 Infiniti QX60 a Good SUV?
Overall, the 2023 Infiniti QX60 is more compelling to drive and accelerates better than its predecessor. It strikes the right balance between ride comfort and handling ability, with a bonus of extra quietness even at high steady speeds. The new interior is a winner with only minor nitpicks, especially in the Autograph trim level. Most active safety features available are standard across the QX60 lineup, and the SUV has earned a favorable safety rating.
However, it offers no alternative to the somewhat thirsty 3.5L V6, a genuine oversight. And other new entries such as the Genesis GV80 and refreshed older SUVs from non- or near-luxury brands like the Hyundai Palisade or Kia Telluride keep this segment competitive.
So yes, the QX60 is good. But just in the past few years, the goodness scale has been tipped like never before, and you don’t need to pay a premium for a brand in order to get style, quality, technology, and refinement.