Big, roomy Infiniti QX60 good in the snow

All-wheel-drive was key to test of Infiniti QX60. (Bud Wells photo)

All-wheel-drive was key to test of Infiniti QX60. (Bud Wells photo)

Handling heavy-duty maneuvering in the deep snow and icy streets through the Christmas holidays was the 2015 Infiniti QX60 all-wheel-drive crossover.

The big and roomy QX60, in response to wheelspin and throttle position, can divert up to 50 percent of available power to the front wheels for improved traction and control in adverse situations. Under normal conditions, 100 percent of power goes to the rear wheels.

Though it is third in order of Infiniti’s alphanumeric SUV crossover designations – QX80, QX70, QX60 and QX50 – it is actually second largest. The QX60 is built upon an unusually wide track, 4 ½ inches wider in front track than the QX70. The QX60 is 5 inches longer than the QX70, 3 inches longer in wheelbase and 200 pounds heavier. The QX70, though, is sportier. Infiniti’s biggest SUV crossover is the huge, strong QX80; its smallest is the QX50.

Equipped with Bridgestone Dueler 235/55R20 tires, the QX60 provided lots of stability in the snow and cold.

The constant cold and the oftentimes deep snow in the streets took their toll in fuel mileage; the QX60 averaged only 18.1 miles per gallon and that included a highway drive to Flatirons Shopping Center at Broomfield. EPA estimate for the crossover is 19/26 mpg. My drive last spring of the QX70 was 17.6, a bit lower than the QX60; the QX70 operates with a 7-speed automatic transmission rather than the CVT of the QX60.

A 265-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine is beneath the hood of the 60. With the CVT, throttle response and shift points can be adjusted to driver preference with rotary dial control for standard, sport, snow or eco.

A small sunroof over the front-seat occupants adds appeal to the interior, with a large fixed-glass roof over the two rear rows.

For accesing the third row of seating, the second-row seats fold and slide forward; the third-row seatbacks lift up into place for somewhat limited seating space. This leaves a small cargo area of 15.8 cubic feet at the rear. Fold the third-row seatbacks down and the cargo space amounts to almost 41 cubic feet.

A base price of $43,800 for the QX60 swells to $56,090 with the addition of maple interior accents, backup collision intervention, blind-spot and lane-departure warning, intelligent cruise control, Bose Cabin surround-sound system, Infiniti hard-drive navigation with 8-inch touch-screen, heated and cooled front seats and heated second-row seats, heated steering wheel, remote start and around-view monitor.

Here are the specifications for the 2015 Infiniti QX60:

  • Capacity 7-passenger crossover SUV
  • Wheelbase 114.2 inches
  • Length 196.4 inches
  • Width 77.2 inches
  • Height 68.6 inches
  • Curb Weight 4,524 pounds
  • Track 68.9 inches front, 65.7 rear
  • Ground Clearance 6.5 inches
  • Turn Circle 38.7 feet
  • Drivetrain All-wheel-drive
  • Engine 3.5-liter V-6
  • Horsepower/Torque 265/248
  • Transmission continuously variable
  • Steering speed-sensitive power
  • Suspension struts and coilds front, multilink rear
  • Fuel mileage estimate 19/26
  • Fuel mileage average 18.1
  • Fuel Tank 19.5 gallons, premium
  • Wheels 20-inch
  • Tires Bridgestone Dueler 235/55R20
  • Cargo Volume 15.8 cubic feet
  • Warranty 4 years/60,000 miles basic, 6/70,000 powertrain

Competitors Lexus GX, Acura MDX, Audi Q7, Land Rover LR4

Assembly Plant Smyrna, Tenn.

Parts Content N.A.

Base Price of Lowest Model $43,800; Base Price of Review Model $43,800; Destination Charge $995; Sticker Price $56,090.