2022 Infiniti QX60 First Drive: A Plush Tool For Tackling Life’s Beautiful Mess

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"); $pagination = $thumbs.find(".spagination"); SPagination.Init($pagination.get( 0 ), { size: slide_obj.count, // pages size page: 1, // selected page step: 3, // pages before and after current cb: function(p){ $thumbs.flexAnimate(p-1, true); } }); } } function gtx_gallery_paginated_thumbs_before(slide_obj){ var slide=(typeof slide_obj == "object" && slide_obj.animatingTo ? slide_obj.animatingTo : 0); gtx_gallery_paginated_thumbs_lazy(slide_obj); } function gtx_gallery_paginated_thumbs_after(slide_obj){ var slide=(typeof slide_obj == "object" && slide_obj.animatingTo ? slide_obj.animatingTo : 0); //THUMBS SYNC - Go to first slide of this batch if($thumbs!=="" && navigation == "paginated_thumbs"){ var $active_slide=$slider.find(".slides>li.flex-active-slide"); var $active_thumb_page=$thumbs.find(".slides>li.flex-active-slide"); //Check if the current slide is within this thumb batch if(!$active_thumb_page.find("li[data-i="+$active_slide.attr("data-i")+"]").size()){ first_thumb=$active_thumb_page.find("li").first().attr("data-i"); flexSlider.flexAnimate(first_thumb - 1, true); } } if( typeof SPagination !== "undefined" && $thumbs.find(".spagination").length>0 ){ if(SPagination.page != slide+1){ SPagination.page = slide + 1; SPagination.Start(); } } } function gtx_gallery_paginated_thumbs_lazy(slide_obj){ var slide=(typeof slide_obj == "object" && slide_obj.animatingTo ? 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2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph
Carly Schaffner

If vehicles serve as the ultimate lifestyle enablers, Infiniti’s new 2022 QX60 aims to elevate yours, even if it consists of congested commutes, messy carpools and exhausting market runs. Wrangling life’s beautiful mess is an art that the Japanese automaker would like to help you embrace, not rebuff.

Infiniti’s glass-is-half-full redesign of its second-generation QX60 premium kid-hauler also widens the gap between it and the recently redesigned Nissan Pathfinder, its structural sibling. While the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder targets the outdoorsy, adventure moms, the Infiniti has no interest in mud. It does, however, welcome all the crumbs and crayons from your wonderful children.

Updates on the QX60—including its boxier, more chiseled styling—keeps it competitive among peers in the crowded premium midsize SUV segment. It’s frequently cross-shopped with the Acura MDX, which also received an update for the 2022 model year, including a move to a new dedicated platform (instead of one shared by other Honda vehicles). Other rivals include the Audi Q7 and the BMW X5. Kia’s Telluride teeters on entry luxury but is still a contender as it offers a fully-loaded package for under $45,000.

The 2022 QX60 comes in four different trims: Pure, Luxe, Sensory and the high-end Autograph. Pricing starts at $47,875, including a $1,025 delivery fee, and tops out at $61,375. Bottom trims come well-appointed with niceties like leather front and second-row seats, a panoramic moonroof and a 12.3-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay (Android Auto connectivity is wired).

2022 Infiniti QX60
Carly Schaffner

The Drive

The QX60 Autograph, is the pinnacle of the lineup and is flush with details meant to bring simplicity to an otherwise chaotic lifestyle. It’s also the only variant I drove at an Infiniti-hosted event in Napa, California. The picturesque setting offered a mix of rural, hilly roads and stop-and-go small town driving as well as an extended commute along wine country’s breathtaking coastline.

The 3.5-liter V6 engine remains unchanged from the outgoing QX60, but the transmission is upgraded from a continuously variable transmission to a nine-speed automatic. Each trim can be configured with an all-wheel driveline for an extra $2,000. Upgrading to AWD on the Autograph costs $2,900 and gives buyers access to a towing package that adds a hitch receiver and ups capacity to 6,000 pounds from the standard 3,500. (The tow package is available on Sensory AWD for $900.)

The new QX60’s on-road ride is comfortable and easy, even when turned to Sport mode, which tightens the steering and suspension—this is the mode I preferred over the Normal and Eco settings. It adds a bit more character to the drive, especially on twisty roads. Drivers unconcerned with driving behavior will prefer Eco, which will get it closest to its EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 20 mpg in city driving, 25 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg combined (AWD adds 1 mpg in each category).

Though I didn’t test the QX60’s towing ability, when equipped with the tow package the QX60 could confidently pull a 19-foot boat based on its poise on the road. The crisp 360-degree monitor (standard on Luxe and up) would lend a helping hand for tight maneuvering. Having a hitch would also be a good consideration for buyers that like to mount racks to the rear for bikes, boards or cargo. Roof rails come can be added to any trim for extra carrying space, but Infiniti’s require special crossbars that must be ordered from the dealer.

2022 Infiniti QX60
Carly Schaffner

The Second Row

Space inside the cabin is fairly generous for passengers, which increased 7.2 cubic-feet compared with the outgoing model. My five-foot-nine frame fit comfortably in the front-row seats and I was content in the second-row captain’s chairs, especially since the front-row seat backs are thoughtfully designed to curve around knees. The second and third rows also are positioned in a theater-style arrangement, which increases visibility and improves elbow room.

Curiously the QX60 Autograph is the only model to offer captain’s chairs, which are standard and drop seating capacity to six. All the other trims have a 60/40-splitting second-row bench. Personally, captain’s chairs are a no brainer, but each buyer will have different priorities.

One noteworthy feature on the Autograph is the console between the captain’s chairs that easily pops out to create more accessibility to the third row. It detaches using a simple two-step process; a child-proof panel requires removal to get to the main release lever. I’d opt to for no console on daily routes and reattach it for lengthier trips. There are two cupholders and a space for kids to store small items during extended stints on the road.

2022 Infiniti QX60
Carly Schaffner

The Third Row

The third row, which only has two seatbelts, is tight but feasible for growing teens on jaunts around town. There’s plenty of room for littler kids, who likely prefer the novelty of the wayback. Between the two seats is a device rest and all three rows have two USB ports (the Autograph gets a third in the front; Sensory can opt for the seventh USB).

I’ve driven a lot of different three-row SUVs and have frequently observed both of my small kids struggle to exit from the third row because of heavy, awkward seats or complex release systems. A convenient power-button on the back of the QX60’s second-row releases seats quickly and without frustration so little bodies can independently climb in and out of the vehicle. The power button is standard on the three-across bench and captain’s chairs. All seats slide fore and aft as well as tip and fold forward so car seats can stay connected (there are LATCH points on every seat but the passenger-side position on the third row). The rear doors also swing open wider than the outgoing model.

The rear seatbacks, also with a 60/40 split, fold flat with a lever and reveal a substantial subfloor that can stow extra cargo or can be used to store the center console when not in use. Stowage with the rear seatbacks up is limited (14.5 cubic-feet) but an available rear-view camera safely allows use of floor to ceiling space. The Autograph trim offers power return buttons for the seats. A power liftgate can be initiated with a slight foot motion. The return button will also lock all four doors.

2022 Infiniti QX60
Carly Schaffner

For the Driver

Though moms often put their kids first, it’s still important to we treat ourselves every now and again. The cabin of the QX60 Autograph elevates the driving experience in both comfort and luxury. Infiniti engineers took special care to use more sound-deadening materials and thicker second-row glass so the interior is quieter, bringing isolation from the road (you are unlikely to escape the sounds of your kids).

The driver and passenger front row seats have 14 pressure points designed to keep your body in a more natural position from your hips to your shoulders (Infiniti calls them “Zero Gravity” seats). Heated front seats and steering wheel are standard across the line. The Sensory and Autograph trims also have seat massagers—a delight on any drive or while idle in a long pickup line—that are controlled from the center touchscreen.

The native infotainment and navigation work just fine. Drivers may also operate infotainment with a fairly intuitive scrolling knob on the center console. I prefer to hook up to Apple CarPlay right away and the wireless connectivity makes that easy as does the charging pad large enough to fit the biggest iPhone (also standard on Sensory). Drivers who like to scroll will have to adjust to no tuning button; volume control gets a knob.

Also different are the climate control buttons. I always look for an A/C button; automatic climate control also is a plus for instant relief on hot summer days. The QX60 offers both in flush button form with haptic feedback but requires heavier pressure from fingertips. Both the QX60 Sensory and Autograph models have tri-zone climate control that distribute air through well-placed vents in the headliners in the second and third rows. Second-row passengers can control their own settings via a digital panel on the back of the console, right above the two charging ports (one USB-B and C) and a 120-volt plug.

A 12.3-inch digital instrument sits in front of the wheel. Above the dash is an available 10.8-inch head-up display, an option no one thinks they need until after they’ve had it. The information relayed—speed, speed limit, activated safety tech—is crisp enough and works with polarized lenses.

High up on the priority list are places to stow your stuff and keep organized. A cubby under the console is large enough for a purse and lined with a rubberized material so loose items like sunglasses won’t slide around. The leather-clad armrest also lifts to reveal a storage space—not quite tote-sized, but big enough to stash a medium crossbody or clutch. The top of the console also offers two cupholders; there’s also one on the door.

Safety Tech

The Infiniti QX60 offers the newest iteration of ProPilot Assist that integrates with the onboard navigation to slow the vehicle on turns or off ramps when the system is engaged. (ProPilot is a combination of adaptive cruise control and lane centering.) The new ProPilot also links with the Traffic Sign Recognition to slow the vehicle when speed limits change, and it can restart the vehicle from a stop if there is no driver input for 30 seconds.

The system works best on straightaways and gets tripped up on curved roads, sometimes overcorrecting for its own movements within the lane markers. However, the ability to stop for 30 seconds in traffic and then re-start without driver initiation greatly improves city driving—whether moving between stoplights or when caught in freeway traffic.

Other advanced driver-assistance safety tech includes rear automatic braking, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and predictive forward collision warning. Automatic high beams and auto-leveling headlights are available.

The 2022 Infiniti QX60 goes on sales and should be a top consideration for all moms that balance a busy work and family schedule but prefer to inhabit more upscale surroundings. For those who prefer more athletic handling, the all-new Acura MDX will stand out for its enthusiastic driving behavior. And as such its interior is more sport, less posh.

In a sea of proficient three-row choices, shoppers will have to balance what they find most important to them in a daily driver, but the second-generation Infiniti QX60 definitely puts the driver, and their lifestyle, ahead of all else.