Luxury cars conjure destinations like five-star hotels and ski resorts, but the 2022 Infiniti QX60 is a three-row family crossover SUV, designed for school runs and shopping trips. Like it or not, it exemplifies modern automotive luxury.
Infiniti sold over 400,000 of the previous-generation QX60 globally, chairman Peyman Kargar told Digital Trends, making it one of the brand’s bestselling models. That really speaks more to the popularity of this type of SUV, however, as the outgoing QX60 didn’t really deserve its luxury billing.
The redesigned 2022 Infiniti QX60 aims a bit higher, emphasizing design to differentiate it from other three-row luxury SUVs and models from parent brand Nissan, and adding up-to-date tech, without compromising the “utility” part of “SUV.” That should give car shoppers more reason to consider the QX60 when the new model arrives in showrooms later this year.
Kargar expects styling to be one of the main selling points of the new QX60. The 2022 model is certainly a dramatic departure from the previous generation, sporting a bolder look and some interesting details. For example, you get the same grille and headlights that form the familial “face” of all current Infiniti models, but those headlights now have tiny graphics inspired by kimono folds. Subtle creases in the bodywork help break up what would otherwise be boring, flat expanses of sheet metal.
The 2022 QX60 is a bit shorter, taller, and wider than the outgoing model, Trisha Jung, QX60 model-line manager, told Digital Trends. Thing, horizontally oriented headlights and taillights help emphasize that width, a key ingredient to a good-looking car.
In top-spec Autograph form, the QX60’s interior boasts a panoramic moonroof, open-pore wood trim, and semi-aniline leather upholstery. Even the dashboard is covered in leather, with a classy-looking quilted stitch pattern, and Infiniti designed novel triangular speaker grilles for the QX60’s optional 17-speaker Bose Performance Series audio system.
Infiniti had to go all in on design because, under the skin, the QX60 shares a basic platform with the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder, which was also redesigned for the new model year. While some customers may not like the idea of their luxury SUV sharing DNA with a lowly Nissan, it’s a common strategy that produces economies of scale. It’s also something Infiniti is unapologetic about.
“The concept of sharing platforms is great,” Infiniti Americas group vice president Jeff Pope told Digital Trends. “It’s what we should be doing.”
The standard infotainment system includes a 12.3-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and a built-in WiFi hotspot that can support up to seven devices. A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.8-inch head-up display are also available, and the QX60 can be equipped with up to seven USB ports. Climate control and other functions are now handled by smartphone-like haptic controls.
Like its Nissan Pathfinder cousin, the QX60 also gets an updated version of the ProPilot Assist driver-assist system previously seen on other Nissan and Infiniti models. The previous version of ProPilot Assist coupled adaptive cruise control with automated lane centering on highways, but this new version can also link to the navigation system to automatically slow the car for posted speed limits or highway off-ramps. It’s also been tuned to provide more natural steering and braking inputs, and can now slow the QX60 to a stop in traffic and restart after 30 seconds, according to Infiniti.
Other driver aids include forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, rear automatic braking, and auto-leveling headlights.
The 2022 Infiniti QX60 is mechanically similar to the Nissan Pathfinder, meaning it gets a carryover 3.5-liter V6 engine coupled to a new nine-speed automatic transmission, with an updated all-wheel drive system designed to shunt power to the rear wheels more quickly, when needed. Engine output is unchanged at 295 horsepower.
The QX60 also has the same 6,000-pound maximum towing capacity as the Pathfinder, which is more than most competitor SUVs and a 20% improvement over the old QX60, according to Infiniti. The new QX60 also shares some of the 2022 Pathfinder’s clever interior features, including one-touch folding second-row seats, a removable second-row console, a washable storage bin underneath the cargo floor, and “theater-style” third-row seats, which give occupants a clearer view ahead.
Infiniti hasn’t released full interior dimensions, but claims the 2022 QX60 will have more room for second-row and third-row passengers to stretch out. The QX60 seats up to seven, or six with the optional second-row captain’s chairs. We climbed into the third row briefly, and found it a bit cramped for adults, but it should still be suitable for kids. With the third row folded, the QX60 has 41.6 cubic feet of cargo space. That’s above average, but not class-leading.
While some automakers have tried to make their SUVs sporty, that probably won’t be the case with this Infiniti. Pope said it’s tuned more toward the luxury end of the spectrum, meaning an emphasis on comfort over handling, while Kargar said the quietness of the interior will be one of the QX60’s main selling points.
Infiniti is specifically targeting the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, and Volvo XC90, but the Cadillac XT6 and Lincoln Aviator also offer three rows in a similarly-sized package. The popular Lexus RX is also available with a third row, but it’s something of an afterthought.
The MDX offers similar-sized screens, and sporty driving dynamics, but Infiniti’s infotainment interface will probably be easier to use than Acura’s touchpad-based setup. Volvo’s Pilot Assist system offers similar capability to Infiniti’s ProPilot Assist, but we’ll have to get some seat time to really compare the two systems. Acura, Audi, and Volvo also offer some form of hybrid powertrain on their SUVs — Infiniti doesn’t.
Pricing could tip the scales toward the QX60, but that information won’t be released until the SUV’s launch later this year. For reference, the outgoing 2020 QX60 (it skipped the 2021 model year) started at $ 45,375, including destination.