The sport utility vehicle segment, small crossovers to three-row, boat-sized gas guzzlers, continues to appeal to the public in record numbers. Several manufacturers’ offerings have seemingly meshed into one universal SUV. So how does a buyer make a choice?
If luxury, versatility and a quiet ride are key buying attributes, consider the 2018 Infiniti QX60. It stands out among the horde of SUVs powering down the freeway and lined up in shopping malls.
Introduced as a concept at the 2011 Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, California, the QX60 debuted as a seven-passenger, mid-size luxury crossover as a 2013 model. It was the first three-row SUV offered by Infiniti, the upscale lineup from Nissan.
After extensive updates last year, the 2018 QX60 has one major upgrade, Rear Door Alert. It detects if a rear door is open before driving. It also alerts the driver if an object, person or animal is behind the vehicle. The 2018 Infiniti QX60 is available in one trim, with or without all-wheel drive. Several packages are available, all with long lists of equipment.
Unless you’re driving a Bentley or Porsche SUV, the segment’s offerings aren’t particularly speedy. The QX60 advances better than many competitors. The 295-horsepower V6 has a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and it achieves the 0-60 miles-per-hour standard in 7.7 seconds.
The QX60 offers a comfortable, quiet ride. Seats are firm, with the best ride in the front row. The second and third rows aren’t as roomy but they’re satisfactory.
With multiple seat adjustment options, the QX60 adapts quickly to anybody. It’s an alternative to a favorite family room chair but with four wheels. A superior suspension defuses bumps in the road.
Like all Infiniti models, the XQ60 has an overall attractiveness. The interior leather is high quality with plenty of double stitching, handsome, dark- toned wood and impressive craftsmanship throughout the cabin.
The dashboard has large and easy-to-read numbers. The two main dials are slightly raised, providing a magnified appearance. The infotainment center is intuitive with an easy-to-read navigation screen. Headlights and taillights ideally fit into the body style.
The Infiniti has its share of small storage areas, including a two-level console compartment and adequate side compartments. The overall cargo area isn’t as large as many competitors.
Infiniti is also a not-too-distant relative of Lexus in one respect. The front grille is wider at the bottom than the top, giving it the appearance of a pouting fish.
James Raia, a freelance writer based in Sacramento, California, specializes in sports and lifestyle topics. He publishes the website theweeklydriver.com.