The last week has been characterized by shockingly cold weather. A major weather front came for a few day visit straight from the Arctic, and our lowest recorded temperature during the storm was -15ºF (that’s -26ºC). It was so cold that we were all worried about pipes freezing and windchill factors that could give you frostbite from just a few minutes of exposure. It’s winter in Colorado, but even for us hard-core Coloradans, it was darn cold.
This made it a really interesting time to have a loaner from Infiniti, the brand new 2024 Infiniti QX60 Autograph AWD. The company loaned me the vehicle without knowing it would be quite so challenging for driving and other than getting to and from the car without freezing, the QX60 performed admirably, easily chewing through snow drifts and keeping me safe on icy patches. In fact, try as I might, I couldn’t get it to slip or drift much at all, a testament to how well the antilock brakes performed. Let’s start with my usual first image, the exterior. This model is “2-Tone Deep Bordeaux” though as you browse the photos you’ll see that the weather/lighting conditions make it look almost black. It is, in fact, a beautiful deep red:
That picture was taken the day before the storm moved in. It was already cold, but there wasn’t yet any snow on the ground. Infiniti seems to have hit on a good design for its SUV lineup and this remains firmly tied to that design aesthetic with its side air scoops and front grill, coupled with those frowning front headlights. It’s a bit boxy, but they don’t try to hide the full lines by having a mock CUV trim line that tends to make the last set of windows look like an afterthought in some larger SUVs.
The QX60 is smack-dab in the middle of their SUV lineup too, with the QX40 competing with other Compact SUVs and the QX80 the more expensive big brother with all of the luxury features. But the QX60 comes in four trim levels, of which the Autograph is the top option, so given that it has three rows of seating, it’s a bit of a blurry line between the top two vehicles. The biggest difference is that the QX80 is powered by a big V8 engine, while the QX60 I drove had a 295 horsepower 3.5L V6 engine, coupled with 9-speed automatic transmission. If you want to use this to tow a heavy boat or trailer, the QX80 might be a better choice, but honestly, how often have you seen an Infiniti towing anything? The QX60 Autograph I drove did include a towing package and is rated for up to 5,000 pounds towing capacity.
Moving into the vehicle, Infiniti remains focused on a solid, standard dashboard design with lots of knobs and buttons:
A bit bewildering when you first enter the vehicle – in particular, the climate controls were a bit different than most other manufacturers – but controls were clustered and organized by function, alleviating some of that complexity. Notice in particular the quilted “semi-aniline” “leather-appointed” dashboard. It’s a lovely finish that gives the vehicle a luxury touch but I can’t help wonder how it’s going to weather the pounding sun through the front windshield after a few years. This same quilted leather is applied to the seats too, including the third-row fold-down seats.
Unlike some manufacturers, I appreciated that Infiniti has limited what controls are included on the steering wheel crossbar, as shown above. Companies that add too many features end up defeating the purpose of it being a safe and handy shortcut to essential features and controls. The vehicle is equipped with Intelligent Cruise Control with Stop & Hold, which was great fun in practice: I drove in stop and start traffic entirely allowing the QX60 to manage acceleration and braking, and it worked just fine. With Traffic Sign Recognition and Lane Departure Prevention, it has quite a few of the key self-driving features, without that label being slapped on the window.
The center console offered easy control of the Infotainment system along with a simple gear shift and an almost hidden drive mode controller. One of the drive modes is “SNOW” which I utilized to good effect in the worst of the weather, helping it stay sure-footed (sure-tired?) even with 6″ of slushy, wet snow on the ground. I also appreciated the big, central cup holders, and behind it (barely visible in the photo) is a wireless charging pad and a couple of USB plugs for phone charging.
Speaking of infotainment, Infiniti offers one of the least exciting default Infotainment displays with its dual-screen design across this Autograph-edition 12.3″ display:
Since it supports both wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto, I didn’t spend much time looking at this display. There’s also a built-in navigational system so many drivers likely just leave it on map mode whether their phones are paired or not. Notice that the row of buttons along the bottom remains if you go into CarPlay/Android Auto, making it very easy to navigate the InTouch infotainment system.
There’s also a lot of flexibility in the layout of the main gauge display, which still offers a tachometer that can be minimized if it’s not important (given it’s a 9-speed automatic):
Didja see that -8ºF temperature? No wonder it complained the tires were a bit low on air; extreme cold wreaks havoc with tire pressure, though as the tires warm up from driving, the psi typically inches up a few pounds per square inch.
It was cold, which affects fuel efficiency, but even with that, I was disappointed with my average of 20.9 mpg. It’s right on the lower end of the EPA estimates of 20/25, but a 2024 vehicle should have better fuel efficiency than this, in my opinion. The QX80, with its bigger engine, has even lower efficiency figures, something that might not be a big deal when gas is hovering around $3.50/gallon, but when it goes up to $5.00-$6.00/gallon? Road trips suddenly seem a bit less appealing.
After the minuscule legroom of the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport Heritage Edition I was driving the prior week, I will say that I was favorably surprised by the very good legroom for second row passengers in the 2024 Infiniti QX60:
Notice the built-in window shade handle on the top right and that quilted stitching on the seat too. All very nice in practice, a luxury touch for this fairly pricey Sport Ute. The rear climate controls were also excellent, sure to please those passengers when the weather’s either too darn hot or ridiculously cold:
The USB-C, USB-A, and 110V plugs for powering or charging devices are also bound to be appreciated. Notice that the vehicle includes rear-seat heaters too, one of the Autograph trim package upgrades.
Rear cargo space was good, and got better when that third row of seats was folded down:
As is typical across just about every vehicle in the market today, the rear seats are in a 60/40 configuration.
Finally, while many of my neighbors just hunkered down during the storm, I was out and about, which was a great opportunity to learn more about the 2024 Infiniti QX60. AWD was a must, but I found that I almost never felt I needed to move from AUTO into SNOW driving mode, even with rough terrain. When it was safe, I would jam on the brakes and spin the wheel to see how it performed, and I never once felt a loss of control, which was impressive. The vehicle heated up quickly and quickly cleared the windshield so I could see as I motored along.
The Bose Performance 17-speaker sound system was great and the car has excellent sound insulation so even when I was driving at highway speeds it was a very pleasant experience, which the comfortable seats helped with too. While the fuel efficiency might be a bit underwhelming, the upside of that big 3.5L V6 engine was that the QX60 had plenty of power to pull from a stop or pass someone on the highway. All in all, an excellent week of driving experiences during some miserable weather and mediocre conditions. It’s spendy, but this is definitely a luxury SUV to keep on your shortlist.
2024 Infiniti QX60 Autograph AWD in 2-Tone Deep Bordeaux, powered by a 3.5L V6 engine and 9-speed automatic. MSRP: $66,100.00. OPTIONS Included: Lighting package, radiant grille emblem, illuminated kick places, premium paint. AS DRIVEN: $69,445.00
Disclaimer: Infiniti loaned me the QX60 for a week in return for this candid writeup. Thanks, Infiniti!