After only a year on the market, the JX35 becomes the QX60, but otherwise remains a slimmer, trimmer, more efficient wagon for luxury hauling; all-new Hybrid variant shares its gasoline-electric system with Pathfinder platform-mate.
Standard QX60 uses a 3.5-liter V6 with a continuously variable transmission; all-new Hybrid gets a supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder and electric motor combo with nearly as much power and torque.
The JX35, which was all new for the 2013 model year, has become the QX60: the QX prefix is the designation for a wagon body and “60″ denotes its ranking within the Infiniti lineup. The 2014 QX60 can carry up to seven passengers across three rows of seats, but due to its passenger-car construction and two fewer cylinders, it weighs about 800 pounds less than the flagship QX80 (the old QX56). Its base price is also close to $20,000 less. In the flesh, the QX60 is an attractive piece that shuns the boxy look of the QX80, but is decidedly more wagon-like than Infiniti’s five-passenger QX70 (old FX) and QX50 (old EX) models. The QX60 is supported by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 265 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. The continuously variable transmission has a “Sport” mode that simulates the gear-changing characteristics of a conventional automatic. Both front- and all-wheel-drive versions are available, the latter being an on-demand unit that directs 100 percent of the engine’s torque under normal driving conditions, but can deploy up to 50 percent of the available thrust to the rear wheels to maximize grip. Fuel economy is pegged at 17 mpg in the city and 24 highway for front-drivers. For 2014, the all-new Hybrid uses a supercharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder paired with a 15 kW electric motor that combines to deliver 250 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque. Fuel efficiency improves to 25-mpg city and 27-highway (slightly less for four-wheel drive). A compact lithium-ion battery is stowed under the third-row seat and doesn’t affect cabin or cargo space at all. Infiniti has made available most of its advanced electronic safety and crash-avoiding accessories, including Backup Collision Intervention (BCI) that can automatically prevent reversing into or over something or someone. BCI is part of a Driver Assistance Package that also adds distance-maintaining cruise control, blind-spot warning and Active Trace Control that modulates the torque and braking at each wheel for optimum cornering control. Other content enhancements include voice-activated navigation, 13-speaker Bose sound system, front and rear sonar-based parking assist combined with a multi-camera Around View Monitoring with Moving Object Detection alert.
Base price (incl. destination): $42,400; $45,400 (Hybrid)
Type: Four-door tall wagon
Base engine (hp): 3.5-liter DOHC V6 (265)
Optional engine (hp): 2.5-liter DOHC I4, supercharged, w/electric assist (250, Hybrid)
Layout: Front-engine, front- /all-wheel-drive
Transmission: Continuously variable
MPG (city/hwy): 17/24 (3.5, FWD)
Safety: Front airbags; side-impact airbags; side-curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes; stability control
Weight (lb.): 3,750