From the eyes of an enthusiast, Japanese automakers have been painting themselves into a corner when it comes to crossovers. People movers that were once known as minivans have lost the sliding doors and gained more infotainment options in keeping with the modern connected family. Under the auspices of Badge Engineering, we have seen once proud names relegated to soccer practice. A few weeks ago we had a chance to review the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder and we found it completely acceptable for the modern family. But if you want to set yourself apart from the crowd, its luxury SUV sibling is the Infiniti QX60.
Having undergone a freshening for 2016, the QX60 and Pathfinder are only different in price and colors. To give you a valid idea of the QX60’s underpinnings you should refer to the Pathfinder, as every part from lugnuts to crank bearings are identical. The reason why both are sold in profitable quantities comes down to Camaro and Firebird. Both were sold at different dealers with just enough differences to keep the public from a direct comparison and it worked for 35 years. Nissan builds the QX and the Pathfinder on the same assembly line in Smyrna, Tennessee. Since they share so much in common, let’s take a look at what makes each one unique.
With Nissan receiving the refresh first, it has gained LED headlights while Infiniti has to make due with HID. If you want to go offroad, Pathfinder is 4WD while QX60 is AWD. If you believe there is any mechanical difference in the transfer case you are mistaken. Nissan just allows you to disconnect the rear wheels when you don’t need them. Nissan is also capable of towing more, being rated at 6,000 lbs vs 5,000 in the QX60. Finally, the main difference is price. Our Pathfinder was well equipped at $46,555. If you want a well-appointed QX60 you will need over $60,000. For that premium, you will not receive LED headlights, extra towing capacity, or shifting transfer case. We don’t presume to know what strategies are at work at Nissan HQ, but something doesn’t add up. They are both great choices, and we don’t have a dog in this fight. Drive them both and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.