Is The 2015 Infinity QX60 An Affordable Audi Q7?

Although it took a few years, there is finally some logic behind Infinity’s Q-based naming system. What is initially presented as the JX series has now settled for the QX60 denomination. On a quick look, it is revealed that the 2015 Infinity QX60 is a three-row luxury crossover based on the Nissan Pathfinder platform, featuring optional all-wheel-drive and a hybrid engine version.

The 2015 QX60 opened up a new path for Infinity as it represents the first three-row vehicle that hasn’t been based on a truck platform, as well as the sole front-wheel drive unit currently available in Infinity’s product line. It makes a viable competitor for the Lexus RX, which doesn’t come with a third-row option and the Acura MDX. But, the big question remains: is QX60 big enough to face the European daddy Audi Q7? Let’s find out together.

Although the name took an 180-degree change, you can’t say the same about the design of the crossover. For the not so picky ones, it looks sleek, with nice detailing and modern insertions. Infinity managed to remove all block like elements as well as any other hints that may have led the viewer towards the picture of a dreaded minivan.

When stepping inside, the QX60 reveals plenty of well-stylized space, with rich but somewhat restrained cabin trims. Leather upholstery, eight-way power seating for the driver and six-way power seating for the passenger come as standard features on the French crossover. Other comfort elements include a tri-zone automatic climate control, a sound system composed of six speakers controlled through a 7 inch touch screen media control unit. It must be mentioned that Infinity’s control interface is as good as the money pays for; with the perfect combination of physical buttons, touch screen and rotary knob, the driver can quickly control any aspect of the vehicle.

If you want more, you’re going to pay. Not that the base model comes for free, not even cheap. The base price resides around $43,395. It can go up to almost $60,000 when adding options such as remote ignition, driver memory system, a 13-speaker Bose audio system upgrade or a heated steering wheel. These and quite a few other options are available through Premium, Premium Plus, Hybrid Premium, Deluxe Touring or Theater packages.

Enough window shopping; let’s take the 2015 Infinity QX60 for a ride. This 3 line seater gets its power from a 3.5 liter V6 engine that is able to deliver 265 hp and 248 pound-feet of torque to the wheels by the means of a CVT gearbox. Front wheel drive comes within the standard package; however clients may opt for all-wheel drive. In the all-wheel-drive version, acceleration was solid as tested with enough power to get up and move when necessary without any hesitation.

It’s clear that an all-wheel drive system coupled to a 3.5 liter V6 won’t sip fuel while holding 7 passengers above. In fact it is safe to assume it will drain the fuel tank like a professional Irish drink buddy. Even so, the EPA estimates a fuel economy at 23 mph combined for the front-drive system. Not bad at all. Still, this comes to a cost: don’t expect the QX60 to roar when pressing the throttle, neither to take you into warp mode. If you’re looking for a decent amount of power but not something ready to take a position on the racing grid, then the QX60 does the trick.

Standing next to the 2015 Audi Q7, the QX60 lacks 15hp and 47 pound-feet of torque. Also, the Q7 features basically no poor plastic elements on the inside, unlike its Infinity class counterpart. On the other hand, the QX60 follows with a better fuel economy and a $14,000 economy on the base price. And while some might balk at the comparison, feature-for-feature, they stand up well together.