Infiniti QX60 crossover a winner in name game

| Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

The Infiniti QX60 is a seven-passenger luxury crossover, originally known as the JX35, updated for 2014 with a new name and a new available hybrid powertrain. Infiniti's whole lineup comes with new alpha-numeric designations ­­— SUVs are “QX,” and sedans, coupes and convertibles are “Q.”

A single trim level is offered, in front- or all-wheel drive, and with gasoline-only or gasoline-electric hybrid drive.

Other changes for 2014 include a power folding third-row seat in the deluxe touring package; auto-dimming rearview mirror with universal gate/garage door opener standard on all models; and two premium packages: premium and premium plus.

My tester was the 3.5-liter AWD model with java leather interior with maple wood accents on the door panels, dash and center console. Even the gasoline-only models have decent fuel-economy ratings for a large crossover — 20/26 for the front-drive model and 19/25 for the AWD model. During my test, which included a long holiday trip, I averaged 22.1 mpg with lots of highway driving. That was aided by use of the intelligent cruise control with distance control (part of the technology package).

The QX60 has lots of room for seven passengers, with an easily accessible real third row.

My QX60 had the panoramic moon roof with a power sunshade.

The tri-zone climate control includes vents under the first and second row seats, and rear console vents in addition to third-row side vents.

Cargo space behind the third row is a generous 15.6 cubic feet. With both rows folded flat, I was able to load two mountain bikes, a large box of presents, luggage for a week and plenty of on-the-road snacks.

My grandkids enjoyed the theater package, which included 7-inch monitors on the backs of the front headrests; two wireless headphones with remote, auxiliary input jacks; and a 120-volt outlet, headphone jacks and volume control.

The interior was luxurious and beautiful, with quilted leather seating, satin-finish trim and thin chrome accents. The front seats were heated and cooled, and the outboard second-row seats and the steering wheel were heated.

Standard technology includes a rearview monitor, seven-inch color information display, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, USB for iPod and other devices and satellite radio.

The QX60 includes Infiniti-developed world firsts such as backup collision intervention. In reverse, the system will detect large objects or vehicles behind the vehicle and can automatically engage the brakes to help avoid a collision. This package comes with intelligent brake assist with forward collision warning, blind-spot warning and intervention, lane-departure warning and prevention, intelligent cruise control and distance control assist.

With all these technologies, the QX60 almost drives itself. The intelligent cruise control and distance control were helpful, helping to maintain an efficient speed and a safe following distance without much thought on my part.

Emma Jayne Williams writes for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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