By Charlie Cooksey
INFINITI is a car brand I’ve not been hugely familiar with, so this was a chance for me to both experience the new QX60 as well as learn more about the brand. Also, I had never been to Georgia before and for some time been curious to visit – it always makes a car drive more exciting when flying somewhere new.
After landing at Georgia’s capital Tbilisi, I and the other motoring journalists were taken for about a two-hour drive into what seemed like the middle of nowhere. We stayed in a beautiful vineyard estate house that’s been converted into a boutique hotel. Surrounding the property were vineyards, snow-capped mountains, and generally just lots of stunning nature – it was Autumn so nature’s colours were red and radiant all around us.
So, let me tell you about the QX60. It is a luxury, three row mid-size crossover SUV, sharing its platform with its ‘cousin’, the Nissan Pathfinder.
Before even stepping into the latest QX60 I was impressed by the design. It doesn’t look too much like the previous model it replaces which had a more rounded and ‘bulbous’ look. The exterior designers of the new QX60 have made it sharper and more aggressive in appearance. There are slimmer headlights, a prominent and sizable grille with a design inspired from Japanese Origami, new attractive wheels and overall, a sleek distinctive style.
The cabin is covered in top quality materials, and higher spec models come standard with such things as massaging front seats, an air purifier, wireless smartphone charging, motion-activated power liftgate, and a 17-speaker Bose stereo system.
The interior oozes luxury and comfort, especially in the top-of-range Autograph edition. The interior has seen a huge upgrade over previous models including Bentley styled quilted soft leather ventilated seats, door panels and dash top. There’s plenty of space inside, further helped by numerous useful compartments and storage areas.
This QX60 is designed and built with families in mind. There’s space for up to seven passengers, unless you go for the top of the range Autograph model which has second-row ‘captain’s chairs’ which reduces passenger capacity to six. The rear seats are easy to fold and move out the way, and the rear doors open wide and easy.
There are practical and sleek controls, a digital meter display plus a 12.3inch INFINITI InTouch display which features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A secondary 12.3-inch digital gauge display is optional, as is a 10.8-inch head-up display. This car is not short on technology.
The 3.5-litre V6 engine sends 295 horsepower through a new 9-speed automatic transmission. This new automatic gearbox replaces the previous generation’s somewhat awkward continuous variable transmission (CVT), and it seems all the other motor journalists with me agreed that this was an improvement.
The new QX60 offers up 6000 pounds of towing capacity (1000 pounds more than the previous model). Front wheel drive is standard, with all wheel drive optional.
This is a very smooth drive. It soaks up the bumps on rough roads providing passengers a relaxing ride. It’s extremely quiet in the cabin too. Infiniti’s engineers have gone to great efforts to make the cabin as quite as possible from road and other outside noises.
I put a fair share of miles on this gleaming new QX60 and got a good feel for some long-distance driving and felt comfortable throughout – both myself and my “co-pilot” Omar. Comfort was further enhanced by the massaging seats (both driver and front passenger seats).
I thoroughly enjoyed this SUV. The looks, how it drives, the comfort, the technology, the space, and the relaxing and quiet zen-like feeling inside the cabin. Infiniti have really stepped up their game.
To arrange a test drive in Bahrain, contact +973 1773 1773.