Sometimes a hybrid model just doesn't work out. Such is the case with the Infiniti QX60 Hybrid. Released for the 2014 model year, it was a one-hit wonder.
Like its Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid sibling, which has also been dropped for the 2015 model year, the QX60 Hybrid traded a 260-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 for a 2.5-liter four and a mild-hybrid system making a total of 250 horsepower. While V-6 fuel economy topped out at 20 miles per gallon city/26 mpg highway/22 mpg combined, Infiniti claimed a 24-percent improvement in overall fuel economy for the Hybrid model and EPA ratings of 26 mpg city/28 mpg highway/26 mpg combined.
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Unfortunately, we weren't impressed with the hybrid system in either the Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid or the Infiniti QX60 Hybrid. It didn't deliver the power we would want in a seven-passenger crossover SUV, and our sister site, Green Car Reports, found that the Pathfinder Hybrid failed to meet its 26-mpg combined EPA rating during a lengthy real-world winter test.
GCR asked Nissan for a Pathfinder Hybrid last summer to repeat the test in warmer weather, which is usually kinder to hybrid fuel efficiency, but the company declined to make one available.
In response to a GCR article noting the demise of both the Pathfinder Hybrid and the QX60 Hybrid, Infiniti USA reached out with the following statement explaining that the QX60 is indeed gone, but it could be revived:
We base our production upon retailer orders and consumer demand worldwide. The Infiniti QX60 remains in production for several global markets, including China and Mexico.
For the United States, while the QX60 Hybrid continues to be available at some retailers across the country, our production is currently focused on the QX60 3.5 model. If consumer interest for the QX60 Hybrid increases with fuel prices in this market, we have the manufacturing ability to make them available.
While we are currently not producing them for the U.S. market–due to consumer demand–the vehicle has not been cancelled or discontinued, and is still being built, for other markets. There is inventory still available at some Infiniti retailers here in the States.
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As GCR suggests, we advise that buyers approach the purchase of either a hybrid Pathfinder or a hybrid QX60 with caution.
Hybrids sold in low numbers, especially those available only for a single year, may be unfamiliar to dealers and service departments in some areas. Down the road, they could present service challenges.
Nissan is planning a plug-in hybrid system to replace this most recent hybrid effort. It's said to be based on the electric powertrain of the Leaf, and is said to incorporate an electric-only mode. An Infiniti version is sure to follow.