I’m backing out of a parking spot with honking SUVs on either side of me. My rearward visibility is zip, zero, nada. You know you’ve been there.
Inch by inch I gently ease rearwards hoping that (a) some kind soul will be gracious enough to stop and let me exit, or (b) no one will be in the lane.
As I’m halfway out—still driving blind—some fool lays on the horn as he approaches me at what seems like 90 mph.
Then a truly amazing thing happens. The car I’m driving suddenly senses the approaching vehicle, beeps and flashes dashboard lights like crazy, and finally slams on the brakes. Hard.
For some reason (as in I hadn’t read the spec sheet) I had no clue that my 2016 Infiniti QX60 sport-ute test car came with its latest new piece of technology: the Backup Collision Intervention.
Infiniti claims it as a world first. And while it’s part of a $1,700 Driver Assistance Package, in that split-second it proved to be worth every cent in avoided mangled bodywork.
Whatever I had thought of this new seven-seater Infiniti before the beeps and the braking, I was now head-over-heels in love with the thing.
Smart technology does that to you.
Not that there’s too much not to love about this luxurious, versatile, and well-equipped big crossover.
And while $43,595 for the front-wheel drive QX60 could never be described as cheap, it’s a good $10-grand less than its European seven-seater counterparts.
If you know your SUVs, you might remember the QX60 by its previous JX35 badging. In the move to QX nomenclature, it got a mid-ife nip, tuck, and refresh to increase its appeal.
Under the hood, it still comes with Infiniti’s Teflon-smooth, 265-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 mated to a best-in-class CVT continuously variable automatic transmission. And while 265 ponies may sound like a few stallions short of a rodeo—especially when called on to move 4,400 pounds—somehow the V-6 and CVT combine to deliver lively, responsive, and positively zippy acceleration.
What really impresses, however, is the QX60’s ability to sip fuel like the Queen of England sips afternoon tea. We’re talking 20 mpg around town and no less than 26 mpg on the highway. That’s another best-in-class.
As we’ve come to expect from Infiniti, the QX60’s spacious cabin is as sumptuously upholstered as a booth at The Palm restaurant. The leather is exquisitely hand-stitched with contrast-color piping, while the satin-finished metal bits and lovely faux carbon-fiber on the dash and doors are exceedingly classy.
And while the third row is best suited for youngsters, just fold the seats flat and you have a load area as big and flat as the deck of an aircraft carrier. Slide back the second row pews and recline the backrests and you could be in a stretched Town Car.
This is one impressive mid-size luxe crossover, and one that definitely has your back when backing up.