As someone who is single and ready to mingle, I have no need, or room really, for a giant seven-passenger crossover in my driveway. But for all the folks who have kids and all the gak that comes along with them, Infiniti gives us the QX60.
This crossover is big enough to be a full-fledged SUV, but Infiniti slots it between the smaller QX50 and the sportier QX70 crossovers. The just-right QX60 puts the practical before anything else, emphasizing comfort and utility over performance. The other crossovers in the Infiniti lineup both get a 3.7-liter V6 engine, good for 325 horsepower. Meanwhile the QX60 sports a smaller 3.5-liter V6, with only 265 horses and 248 pound-feet of torque.
The QX60 is also available as a hybrid, with a 2.5-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine working in conjunction with an electric motor, producing 250 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque. Both the hybrid and the V6 are available with all-wheel drive. This is a new hybrid powerplant, which replaces the 3.5-liter V6 found in the older 2015 hybrids offered by Infiniti.
ESSS stands for eco, sport, standard and snow
Still, the QX60 gives a small nod towards performance with four driving modes. Infiniti flew me to the great state of Texas to sample the QX60 (see Editors' note below), and snow was not in the cards. But I did get to sample the other driving modes. Sport and eco will change the throttle response and transmission pattern to be more or less aggressive. I'm sure the eco mode is what helps the QX60 get an EPA fuel rating of 19 miles per gallon in the city, 26 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg combined in my all-wheel drive test model. But it made the car so sluggish I could only keep it on for a few minutes before switching back to the more satisfying sport mode.
The continuously variable transmission lets you shift between preset drive ratios, emulating fixed gears. It's not any kind of hot dual-clutch transmission, but it mimics an automatic well enough for the target market.
There are a few optional packages that tack on some driver's aids, in the hope of reducing stress behind the wheel. The deluxe technology package goes for a whopping $6,900 but includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, backup collision intervention, distance control assist, lane keeping assist and predictive forward collision warning.
Infiniti has been a pioneer of sorts when it comes to driver's aids. In 2012 it was the first to introduce back up collision warning, which warns the driver and can apply the brakes while in reverse. Distance control assist was introduced way back in 2006, and Infiniti remains the only manufacturer to offer this technology, which pushes back on the throttle or applies the brakes when you get too close to the car in front of you. It's very conservative and had a bit of a jarring effect on me and my passenger. Predictive forward collision warning is a neat little trick introduced in 2013, which monitors the car in front of the car in front of you and warns of any slow downs. Unfortunately I didn't get to experience this technology, as it seems Texas drivers are all pretty good.
During my drive, Roadshow producer Marc Ganley, fresh off the boat from England, noticed the SOS button near the sunroof and asked, "What's this button for?" Always a smart aleck, I said, "Why don't you push it and find out?" thinking that he understood that an SOS button would place a call to Infiniti Connection, the 24-hour emergency roadside assistance program. Instead I found myself flailing at the steering wheel, searching for the disconnect call button. In my panic I couldn't find it, but the operator, who probably deals with this sort of thing all the time, was understanding of our mistake.
In a nice little bit of ergonomic engineering, Infiniti makes it so you don't have to remove child seats from the second row to access the third row seats, a boon for parents.
Infiniti added acoustic glass to the 2016 QX60 for a quieter ride. It helps to eliminate wind and tire noise, but I noticed that it was also quite reflective. The vent on my side was reflected on the window, obscuring my view of the side mirror. This was true for my entire drive, regardless of time of day or direction of the sun.
Who's got the button?
While an 8-inch touchscreen displays vehicle information, entertainment and navigation, the center stack still sports over 40 manual buttons. Controls for the screen are located on the vertical part of the center stack, instead of the console where your hand naturally rests while driving, making for some very awkward ergonomics.
Instead of a real panoramic sunroof, like you see on many new cars, the QX60 gets two separate, regular sized sunroofs, one over the front cabin and one over the middle row seats.
The QX60 also gets four USB ports, satellite radio, push button start, incredibly effective heated front seats and an ingenious surround view monitor, giving me a 360-degree bird's eye view of the car when I put it in reverse.
On the outside, the QX60 gets LED running lights and fog lights, but older HID headlights. A chrome-trimmed grille gives the front end a handsome, aggressive look. There's a graceful style line along the side that flows right into the LED taillights, and the curve of the rear window echoes the curve between the spoiler and rear glass. The hatch gets some new chrome trim and a body color shark fin antenna sits atop it all.
A base QX60 will set you back $44,400, but you can option up your QX60 pretty quickly with five different packages. My top of the line test model came in at $58,845, including a $995 destination charge.
The 2016 Infiniti QX60 is a comfortable crossover that's sure to please most people, but it's far from exciting. While I didn't find a lot to dislike in the car, neither was I wowed by any one feature. It's a satisfying yet stodgy ride, and doesn't provide enough value as its base price would indicate.
Editors' note: CNET accepts multi-day vehicle loans from manufacturers in order to provide scored editorial reviews. All scored vehicle reviews are completed on our turf and on our terms. However, for this feature, travel costs were covered by the manufacturer. This is common in the auto industry, as it's far more economical to ship journalists to cars than to ship cars to journalists. The judgements and opinions of CNET's editorial team are our own and we do not accept paid editorial content.