• 2022 Infiniti QX60

REVIEW: 2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph

Infiniti’s mid-size SUV gets rebooted

Lee Bailie By: Lee Bailie March 8, 2022
Comments

 

The QX60 mid-size SUV has been a sales workhorse for Infiniti in Canada for almost a decade – 35 per cent of sales since 2012 – but signs of its advancing age had been showing in recent years.

I remember thinking it was starting to look a bit dated as far back as 2016 when it received a mid-cycle styling update, so by 2021 the gig really was up. Just look at Infiniti’s sales figures, which show a precipitous decline. In 2021, the QX60 was still the brand’s number two seller in Canada, but its sales had shrunk to barely a quarter of what they were in 2019.

2022 Infiniti QX60

Of course, much of the decline is pandemic related. Infiniti’s sales volume in Canada in 2021 was roughly half of what it was in 2019, so big declines throughout the lineup are unavoidable. It is important to note also that 2020 was technically the final model year for the outgoing QX60 which left Infiniti dealers scrambling for the few remaining units available to get them through 2021.

Thankfully for them, and for Infiniti, a new QX60 era has begun. I recently spent a week driving the all-new 2022 second-gen model, which marked my first extended period with it after getting a shorter taste during its media launch last December.

So as not to repeat myself, my focus here will be on the car I drove and my impressions of it. For more context on the second gen QX60 and where it fits within Infiniti writ large, check out my first drive story here.

For this review, Infiniti set me up with a range-topping Autograph press unit which essentially comes with every bell and whistle imaginable. For the media drive back in December, all the units were Sensory ($64,995 base MSRP), which is one notch below Autograph.

2022 Infiniti QX60

And Sensory doesn’t mean stripped down. Standard kit includes 20-inch wheels, Bose Performance 17-speaker sound system, black open pore wood interior trim, climate-controlled massage front seats, adaptive front LED lighting system, 6,000-pound towing capacity and a lot more.

For an extra $3,000, Autograph comes with all that stuff plus semi-aniline leather seats (first and second row) with quilting, perforation and contrast stitching and piping, second-row captains chairs and removable centre console, Black Obsidian contrast roof and front central seat-mounted air bag. The biggest difference here is the presence of second row Captain’s chairs which reduce seating capacity to six as opposed to seven in the three lower grades.

The only option my tester has is a $1,000 paint charge for its two-tone Deep Bordeaux / Black Obsidian exterior finish.

From an appearance standpoint, I’d say the QX60 is quite handsome. With a longer hood, flattened double-arch grille and new front and rear LED lighting, the new QX60 possesses a look that is bolder and more sophisticated.

2022 Infiniti QX60

My tester on the launch program was a dark shade of blue, but the two-tone red and black colour scheme on this press unit is the more striking of the two. Combined with chrome trim and 20-inch wheels, this scheme is the most attractive available, in my view. The only missteps on the design front are the chrome diffuser inserts in the rear bumper, which don’t house exhaust finishers. They look strange as is but could be remedied with a mild redesign that ports the exhaust outlets through them, which would give the QX60 a more commanding view at the rear.

On the inside, the QX60 impresses. The dashboard and centre console are both logically laid out, with a minimal amount of clutter and every knob and switch located within easy reach. The mix of materials in use here are of high grade, with a premium look and feel. I’m not a big fan of capacitive touch panels for frequently used features such as climate controls, but the one in the QX60 isn’t as distracting as others I have encountered.

While I am impressed with the screens in the QX60 (digital instrument cluster, multimedia touchscreen and head-up display) and they’re all suitably large, customizable, and quite dazzling, what I like most about this cabin is the way it’s finished.

2022 Infiniti QX60 2022 Infiniti QX60

The open pore wood trim in the dash, and the quilting and piping detail on the semi-aniline leather seats and on the leather dash pad insert are simply magnificent. And the curvature of the dash itself, with the 12.3-inch multimedia screen set back at an angle, as if it was placed just so by the driver adds extra dimensionality to the proceedings. These details can be appreciated in black, but if I was building a QX60 for myself, I’d opt for the Saddle Brown / Black option, as the lighter shade makes these fine touches more visible.

As for the drive, the QX60 carries over with the same 3.5-litre V6 used in the previous model and in the current Nissan Pathfinder, which is also all-new for 2022. Output remains unchanged at 295 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, but what’s new is the gearbox. The CVT found in the outgoing car has been replaced with a nine-speed automatic, which makes a huge difference for the QX60’s road manners.

Previously, the V6 offered good, if not neck-snapping, performance off the line and in passing, but its goodness was undone by a groaning, rubber-banding transmission that turned the driving experience into a tedious chore. Thankfully, Infiniti engineers saw the light and made the change and the QX60 is much better for it. The nine-speed is much quieter and easier for the driver to modulate with their right foot, with operation that is more predictable and has better feedback.

2022 Infiniti QX60 2022 Infiniti QX60

In terms of ride and handling, I find the QX60 to be comfortable, quiet, and reasonably responsive for a mid-size SUV. Infiniti engineers have reworked the car’s steering (reduced vibration, better low and high-speed response), all-wheel drive system (new direct coupling) and have beefed up its sound insulation to deliver a more serene driving experience and based on my experience they have largely succeeded. Apart from the bumpiest and most broken roads, the QX60’s ride is quite composed.

Of note, I found the revised AWD system combined with snow mode to be quite effective at reducing wheel-spin and improving handling on snow-covered roads during my test.

2022 Infiniti QX60

In sum, the second gen QX60 is a much better vehicle than the one it replaces, with an attractive design, finely appointed interior, and much improved driving dynamics, especially on the transmission front. It offers plenty of space, technology, versatility, and style. It could be argued that it shares a little too much in common with its Pathfinder cousin, especially on the tech front, but I think the QX60 stands on its own merits.

The past two years have been difficult ones for Infiniti, but the new QX60 should mark the beginning of better days ahead.

The vehicle was provided to the writer by the automaker. Content and vehicle evaluations were not subject to approval.

2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph

BODY STYLE: mid-size premium SUV
DRIVE METHOD: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive, nine-speed automatic transmission
ENGINE: 3.5-litre V6 (295 hp / 270 lb-ft)
FUEL ECONOMY: (Premium 91+) 11.9 / 9.5 / 10.8 L / 100 km city / highway / combined
CARGO VOLUME: 2,135 / 1,178 / 411 litres (75.3 / 41.6 / 14.5 cu-ft) (behind first / second / third row)
MAXIMUM TOWING:
2,722 kg (6,000 pounds)
PRICE:
 $67,995 base / $71,090, as tested, including freight, excl. taxes
WEBSITE: www.infiniti.ca

Wheels.ca


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

FOLLOW US ON: