Infiniti updates its three-row QX60, replaces CVT with 9-speed automatic


The Infiniti QX60 crossover returned for 2022 with a complete makeover and a welcome new feature: a conventional nine-speed automatic transmission, which replaced the previous generation’s continuously variable automatic.
This three-row family hauler comes with a long list of standard and optional features that make this one of the best choices among the midsize crossovers on the market.

For 2022, this second generation of the QX60 comes in four trim levels: the entry Pure model (base price $47,850, front drive; $49,850, all-wheel drive); Luxe ($53,900; $55,900 AWD); Sensory ($57,350; $59,350 AWD); and Autograph ($61,350; $64,250 AWD). The freight charge on all trims is $1,195.
Standard seating is provided for up to seven people with bucket seats up front, a three-passenger middle-row bench seat, and a two-passenger third row.

That can be reduced to six passengers by replacing the middle-row bench seat with dual captain’s chairs.
Like the previous generation, front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available across the board for $2,000 extra, except on the Autograph model, where it’s $2,900.
Although mostly new, the 2022 model does carry over the previous generation’s normally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 direct-injection gasoline engine, rated at 295 horsepower and 270 foot-pounds of torque.

There’s no carry-over with the transmission, however. Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury brand, has introduced a nine-speed automatic to replace the previous generation’s CVT, just as Nissan did with the new 2022 Pathfinder, which is similar to the QX60.
Our tester was the Sensory AWD, which came with the seven-passenger seating. 
One of its strong points was the new transmission, which shifted almost imperceptibly through its range in the same way a CVT does.
There are steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for those who want to choose when to shift gears, which allows for even sportier driving.
The tester had plenty of power from the V-6 engine with our normal load of two or three adults and some light cargo.
We had more than sufficient pickup for routine passing and mild hill-climbing. We did not try any steep mountain roads, and did not tow a trailer.

QX60’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive has direct coupling that automatically transfers up to 50% of available power to the rear wheels when wheel slippage begins. No driver intervention is needed.
Outside, the new QX60 is sportier and more stylish than before, although a bit boxier. Ours came with the premium Deep Bordeaux (red) exterior paint, which was $900 extra.
Inside, there is a more-premium appearance, but the cabin is is surprisingly similar to that of the Pathfinder. Our tester came with the Sandstone leather seats and black open-pore ash wood interior trim. 
The engineers designed the new QX60 to have a sportier driving experience, with the trade-off being a bit stiffer ride. Those of us who enjoy crisp handling and a sturdy suspension will appreciate that. 

Fuel economy has improved just slightly, with EPA ratings of 21 mpg city/26 highway/23 combined for front-drive models, and 20/25/22 for all-wheel drive.
All 2022 QX60 models come with the new 12.3-inch Infiniti InTouch Interactive Display, which features wireless Apple CarPlay and USB-based Android Auto compatibility.
Standard on all grades are leather first- and second-row seats, a panoramic moonroof, power liftgate, and rear parking sensors. The Autograph model comes with the plusher quilted semi-aniline leather upholstery.
Also standard across the lineup are heated, eight-way power-adjustable “zero gravity” front seats with power lumbar adjustment. The driver’s seat has a dual-occupant memory that includes the outside mirrors. 

The second-row bench seat comes with a 60/40-split-fold feature, along with a one-touch release for access to the two-passenger third-row seat, even with child safety seats in place in the middle row.
Entry level Pure models come with 18-inch alloy wheels, auto-dimming rearview mirror, Rear Automatic Braking, Blind Spot Warning, six USB ports including charge points in all three rows, LED headlights and taillights, and tri-zone automatic climate control with headliner-mounted air vents above the second and third rows.
On the Luxe model, there are 20-inch wheels, slimline roof rails, a 12.3-inch Infiniti Dynamic Meter Display, enhanced ProPilot Assist system with Navi-link, navigation, an Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, Lane Departure Prevention, Traffic Sign Recognition, remote engine start, and climate-controlled front seats.

With the Sensory model, extras include massaging driver and front passenger seats, heated second-row seats (outboard positions), a power-return for third-row seats, advanced climate control with Plasmacluster air purifier and Grape Polyphenol Filter, wireless smartphone charger, motion-activated power liftgate, black open-pore ash wood trim, enhanced interior ambient lighting, illuminated kick plates, and Bose Performance Series audio with 17 speakers.
There is an additional USB port in the third row, for a total of seven throughout the interior.
The Autograph model has such additional features as the upgraded leather seats with contrast stitching; dual second-row captain’s chairs in place of the three-seat bench; a removable second-row console; a 10.8-inch head-up display with dual free-form mirrors, Smart Rear View Mirror; Adaptive Front Lighting; and color-contrasting black roof and roof rails.
With all-wheel drive, the Autograph model can tow trailers weighing up to 6,0000 pounds. It comes with upgraded transmission cooling and a hitch receiver. Otherwise, standard towing capacity is 3,500 pounds.
Available on the Luxe model is an upgrade from the standard nine-speaker audio system to the 17-speaker Bose Performance Series sound system ($900).

The Vision Package ($1,500) is available on Luxe and Sensory models, bringing the Adaptive Front Lighting, 10.8-inch head-up display, and Smart Rear View Mirror.
On Sensory models with all-wheel drive, the Tow Package ($900, not included on our tester) adds a hitch receiver, wiring, and upgraded transmission oil cooler, which raises the towing capacity to the 6,000 pounds of the Autograph AWD model.
 Of the available exterior colors, three are available at no extra cost: Liquid Platinum, Graphite Shadow and Glacier White. For $695 extra, there are Mocha Almond, Mineral Black, Warm Titanium, Moonbow Blue and Grand Blue. And for $900, there is the “super premium” Deep Bordeaux color of our tester.

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