BY RON SESSIONS, Contributing Editor These days, minivan-avoiders far outnumber…
Full disclosure, I’m not a mom; therefore, I don’t really have a need for a mommy-mobile. But if I did? Well, read the title again and you’ll see that I’d choose the gorgeous, three-row Infiniti QX60.
We’ve said it before — Infiniti has been impressing us big-time by striking a delicate balance between style, comfort and performance. The QX60 continues that trend.
Our Infiniti QX60–the X stands for “crossover”; there’s a Q60 from Infiniti in the form of a four-door sedan–came in a beautiful metallic gray called “Graphite Shadow” paired with a wheat-colored interior.
The QX60 is luxurious, true, but not overly so. Infiniti achieves a more subtle high-end feel by ditching superfluous flash-and-dash, chrome accents and too-large badging. Their selection of materials, the styling of them, and interior design give this SUV an upscale look without appearing to try too hard. Design elements flow elegantly and effortlessly together, from the exterior to the interior to the dash to the passengers’ experience. It’s as though their product team worked cohesively to accomplish one common goal–not a mishmash of several designers’ ideas forced into an assemblance of a unified vision.
Performance when piloting the Infiniti QX60 is smooth, powerful and effortless. With little effort from your foot, it launches forward eager to set out on your next journey–whether that’s to a weekend getaway or simply around the corner to the grocery store. The 3.5L V6 pumps out 265 horsepower and 248 lb.-ft. of torque, giving the QX60 more than enough power to confidently move seven passengers. The handling and cornering impressed us, striking a delicate balance between being comfortable and tight depending upon our need.
The Infiniti QX60 also has a nice ride height, making visibility easy for the most part. We had a little bit of a challenge in the far rear corners, but nothing out of the ordinary. The rear camera, large side-view mirrors, and safety alert system make up for any blind spots.
Three rows of spacious room for passengers and a going-going-gone panoramic sunroof make this people-hauler feel more luxury than utility.
Access in and out of the vehicle are the right height for women and men of many sizes. And the best feature of all? The one-hand-is-all-it-takes middle row of seats fold down functionality. It honestly only takes one hand! “Look, ma! One hand!” I know this is crucial for moms out there trying to get kids in the third row or simply trying to get everybody into the car at once while hauling groceries or sports equipment.
Source: Nissan Image Library
Perhaps Infiniti’s only challenge (at least in the eyes of the consumer) is its alphabet soup naming convention, which to complicate matters further, has changed several times in the past few years. Looking at the new vehicles, they’re the same as the old ones but with different names and updated designs and details.
While I wouldn’t recommend sticking adults in the third row for a long journey down the road, it’s certainly do-able for shorter trips. And if you are carrying six or seven passengers for the long haul, then you’ll likely want to invest in an external cargo carrier, as storage space in the rear is pretty much gobbled up by the third row and its inhabitants.
Bottom line, I wanted to drive this car everywhere. Yeah, it’s large, but it doesn’t have that massive Suburban (the truck, not the neighborhood) feel. I found the Infiniti not only nice to look at, but really nice to be in for several situations. For example, we packed in several teammates for a work trip to downtown DC to watch the World War II planes fly overhead. We had five passengers on that (albeit brief) trek into town, and everyone was completely comfortable — even Michael in the back row!