In­finiti’s QX60 seats seven adults with ease. But it is the looks that are a bit of a bother.

As the first gen­er­a­tion QX60 ap­proaches the last leg of its life cy­cle, In­finiti seeks to keep the seven-seater com­pet­i­tive and rel­e­vant with an up­rated en­gine and new tech­nol­ogy. wheels’ Sony Thomas tests it

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It was just late last year that In­finiti launched its re­freshed 2016 model here. In a bid to fend off stiff com­pe­ti­tion from the likes of Audi Q7, Volvo XC90 and the Mercedes GLE, the Ja­panese brand gave the seven-seater SUV a mid-life up­date, which was mostly lim­ited to cos­metic tweaks. These in­cluded a larger, more dis­tinc­tive “dou­ble arch” grille, and a lower air in­take with chrome gar­nish­ing in­te­grated into the bumper, along with re­designed head­lights and tail­lights.

How­ever, a vi­tal com­po­nent in the 2016 model up­grade that was avail­able in other mar­kets was not brought here. In fact, the 3.5-litre V6 in there was the same that pow­ered the model in 2012 when it was first in­tro­duced as the JX35. At 265bhp and 336Nm of torque, it was no pushover, but the pow­er­train avail­able else­where made sig­nif­i­cantly more power and torque. But In­finiti Mid­dle East has been quick to an­nounce the 2017 model of the util­ity ve­hi­cle with the more pow­er­ful en­gine.

It is still a ver­sion of the old 3.5-litre six-cylin­der block, but the pow­er­train has been up­rated to put out 30 horse­power and 14Nm of torque more than be­fore. This means it now makes 295bhp at 6,400rpm and 350Nm of torque at 4,800rpm. It’s still not as pow­er­ful or torquey as a Volvo XC90 T6 or an Audi Q7 45TFSI, but the V6 is smooth and pow­er­ful enough at cruis­ing speeds and for driv­ing around town. Al­though the en­gine is still mated to a con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion, In­finiti has man­aged to keep the drone typ­i­cally as­so­ci­ated with such trans­mis­sions un­der check. In­finiti has even added a Sport mode that remaps the CVT to sim­u­late the shift pat­terns of a con­ven­tional au­to­matic gear­box.

Things re­main un­changed in­side the QX60, which isn’t a bad thing at all, as it has al­ways been a very prac­ti­cal seven-seater. Apart from the spa­cious first and sec­ond rows, it also boasts a third-row that’s ac­tu­ally roomy, enough for av­er­age-sized adults and comes with in­di­vid­ual AC vents so that you feel less sti­fled. It’s also easy to get

in and out of the last row as the sec­ond-row seats slide for­ward to make am­ple space.

But as I have men­tioned be­fore, de­spite all the up­mar­ket ma­te­ri­als and, QX60’s cabin looks and feels very sim­i­lar to that of the Nis­san Pathfinder with which it shares a plat­form. I hope the next gen­er­a­tional up­date will see more ef­forts at dis­tin­guish­ing the In­finiti with its lesser Nis­san sib­ling.

The 2017 QX60 also comes equipped with a host of con­ve­nience fea­tures such as a Mo­tion Ac­ti­vated Lift­gate that lets you open the tail­gate with just a swipe of your foot un­der the rear bumper, two large 8.0in head­rest mon­i­tors for rear pas­sen­gers, and an up­graded in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem. Safety has also been given due im­por­tance with fea­tures such as For­ward Emer­gency Brak­ing with Pedes­trian De­tec­tion, Pre­dic­tive For­ward Col­li­sion Warn­ing, Backup Col­li­sion In­ter­ven­tion and Around View Mon­i­tor among oth­ers.

Hav­ing been in­tro­duced five years ago, a com­pre­hen­sive up­date is over­due for the QX60. Un­til that hap­pens, these tech­no­log­i­cal up­grades and the up­rated en­gine have the up­hill task of keep­ing the thor­oughly mod­ern ri­vals at bay.

Apart from the SPA­CIOUS first and sec­ond rows, it also BOASTS a third-row that’s ac­tu­ally ROOMY, enough for av­er­age-sized adults and comes with in­di­vid­ual AC vents so that you feel less STI­FLED

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Inifiniti’s new QX60 is comfy and kit­ted out for seven adults but it still looks dated

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