Shoppers looking for a three-row luxury crossover utility vehicle would do well to consider the 2018 INFINITI QX60. Its lavish interior and powerful engine are its strong suits, while its greatest weakness may lie in its frustratingly complex option packages, which build on each other and drive up the price.

Best Value

The 2018 INFINITI QX60 is a single trim model with several packages available. Without trim levels, you need to examine carefully what each package represents. We chose the all-wheel drive model as it supplies better handling, especially on slippery roads. INFINITI prices this model from $44,295.

We also chose the most expensive package, the Deluxe Technology Package, as it brings in the many tech, comfort, and driver-assistance features. But there's a caveat – while it retails for $7,300, INFINITI requires two lower-tier packages to get it. Customers have to add the $1,800 Premium Package as well as the $2,900 Premium Plus Package. So while the Deluxe Technology Package seems pricey, its real-world $12,000 price tag is exorbitant– it's over a quarter of the QX60's starting price.

So is the Deluxe Technology Package worth it? Yeah, it is. It elevates the QX60 from simple luxury crossover to a tech-laden three-row that makes driving safer, and isn't that the most important thing for the families it's destined to tote?

  • Model: 2018 INFINITI QX60
  • Engine: 3.5-liter V6
  • Output: 295 hp / 270 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Continuously variable automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • MPG: 19 City / 26 Hwy
  • Options: All-wheel drive ($1,800), Deluxe Technology Package ($7,300, intelligent cruise control with full stop, blind spot warning, distance control assist, backup collision intervention, and front and rear sensors, 15-speaker Bose audio system, 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels, sunroof, ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats and maple interior accents), Premium Package ($1,800, 13-speaker Bose audio system, remote start, front seat memory function, heated steering wheel, prerequisite for Deluxe Technology Package), Premium Plus Package ($2,900, navigation, voice recognition, SiriusXM Traffic, INFINITI InTouch Services telematics, prerequisite for Deluxe Technology Package)
  • Base Price:$44,295 (including a $995 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price:$58,095

Performance

INFINITI QX60

With a QX60 Hybrid no longer available, you have only the V6 paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission. The engine is strong, but coarse sounding under hard acceleration – that's a characteristic of every Nissan and INFINITI product to carry this engine (and there have been a lot). The CVT works well and isn’t as grating as offered by some other automakers, managing the engine's willingness to rev well and keeping the engine speed up only as long as necessary. We also like that the QX60 can pull up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped.

But the QX60 is not an agile three-row crossover – you need the Mazda CX-9 for that. The steering is too light and detached, while the handling is ponderous when presented with a turn. There's too much body roll, with the QX60 constantly reminding the driver of its high center of gravity.

Style

The QX60’s look has held up as it occupies its fifth model year. A few tweaks here and there have kept this crossover in the game. INFINITI successfully managed to apply a sedan’s layout to a crossover without delivering an overwrought roof design or disproportionate fenders. Thus, it is easy to forget how large this model is until it is parked alongside a small coupe or sedan.

Inside, the cabin delivers the high-quality materials along with the fit and finish we expect from INFINITI. Exceptional leathers and pretty silver or wood accents provide substance. As for the quartz clock, we think it offers a look whose time has long passed by.

The front seats are comfortable and supportive, the kind of things we could easily manage a lengthy drive in. Ditto with the second-row chairs. The third row, though, is only really suitable for smaller children. There's only 30.8 inches of leg room in the very back row, which is something to consider if you're regularly planning on hauling adults or older children in the back. That said, getting in and out of that third row isn't all that difficult. Cargo volume is also disappointing with the third row up, with just 15.9 cubic feet of oddly shaped room. We'd strongly recommend keeping the third row folded flat when not in use – it boosts the cargo capacity to a far more suitable 40.2 cubic feet.

The Best and Worst Things

You’ll find a generous amount of standard equipment, including power-folding side mirrors, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, a power liftgate and a leather interior. For some shoppers, the base model is all they need.

Keeping the price tag of an option package artificially low by requiring a host of prerequisite packages is an infuriating practice that we wish would go away. If a package costs $12,000, why can't the automaker just say so?

Right For? Wrong For?

INFINITI QX60

Families that value refined style and want luxury from a less conventional brand will love the QX60. It's different, and that's a good thing.

Customers that will only occasionally use the third row should look elsewhere, like the new INFINITI QX50. It's smaller, more manageable, more affordable, smarter, and vastly better to drive, and all you need to give up is an undersized bench seat.

The Bottom Line

INFINITI had the family in mind when designing the QX60, delivering a comfortable experience for most passengers. To that end, it provides what shoppers in this segment want, wrapped in a stylish and comfortable package.