Since November 2018, Infiniti’s parent corporation, Nissan, has been shrouded in controversy. Former Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi CEO Carlos Ghosn was arrested in Japan just over four years ago, charged with financial malfeasance against one of the world’s largest auto-making conglomerates. While the case against Ghosn is still unresolved, the damage to Nissan — and its auto-partners — has been significant and long-lasting.

New vehicle development suffered, including work on BEVs from the brand that once had the first “affordable” electric car — the Nissan Leaf, which is long-in-the-tooth and practically irrelevant now. Marketing plans went awry, and sales plummeted as aging products in the showroom didn’t keep up with the latest offerings from the competition — at both Nissan and its upscale Infiniti brand. The balance sheet bled red ink.

Late in 2022, Nissan claimed that its finances are better, while the three-headed brands have resolved their conflicts. The coming year will prove whether both of these claims are actually true.

In the meantime, Infiniti finally received a luxury version of the new Nissan Pathfinder. The top-selling model for Infiniti, the three-row QX60 SUV is essential to the success of Infiniti as the brand has lost a huge amount of market share in the U.S. Dealers are hoping that the QX60 will reverse this slide.

Wearing new styling, with nice lines and a more upright stance, the QX60 brings comfort and convenience to the premium segment — at pricing that reflects greater value, as well as its Nissan roots. The cabin is nicely presented, with rich leather all around and a host of features that premium buyers expect (side window shades, massaging front seats, panoramic sunroof, ProPilot driving assist) while the corporate 3.5-liter V-6 engine, with 295 horsepower running through a nine-speed automatic, delivers competitive performance.

Yet this is a heady class of mid-size, three-row family wagons up against the QX60. Rivals like the esteemed Audi Q7, Acura’s MDX, BMW’s X5, the Mercedes GLE, Lincoln’s Aviator, and Volvo’s XC90 are well-established and often offer a level of panache that must be matched. Even the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade have conquest sales against these premium SUV’s.

Built in Smyrna, Tennessee, the QX60 is a mix of strong successes, with some intangibles that leave it a tick behind the class leaders.

It starts out with earnest pricing: $50,395 to start with front-drive models ($2,000 more for AWD), with our mid-level Sensory AWD model stickering for just under $65,000. From a standing start, the Infiniti launches itself with confidence, the AWD system apportioning traction as necessary. However, mid-range power requests are met with a prolonged reluctance to engage as you wait for the powertrain to find the correct gear and the engine to spool up to meet your passing demand. Fuel economy — 21/26 mpg for front drive models, one mile per gallon less for AWD — proved to be right on top of the projections.

Currently, there is no hybrid version or an EV model.

A view of the QX60’s interior.

Inside, big pluses for the cargo hold, with a deep well under the rear floor, plus flat-folding third-row seatbacks. Second-row bucket seats (six- or seven-passenger configurations are offered) feature a slick one-finger push button to slide and tilt the seat for enhanced third row access. The buckets here also slide and recline, so third row occupants may earn extra legroom with accommodating passengers ahead of them.

Up front, Sensory trim brings massaging heated and cooled leather clad chairs, while a 17-speaker Bose audio system brings excellent entertainment sound. Wi-Fi, wireless charging, navigation and the usual electric-driving aids are also included, while open-pore ash wood trim complements the colorful leather swathed around the cabin.

Nitpicking finds drivers must depress and hold the push-button start button on the console for a deliberate period of time or you get nothing. The large color touchscreen is aided by a series of console-mounted assists, plus the radio has a dedicated volume knob, but other selections require multiple finger strikes. The heads-up display is easily adapted, and very welcome, but the mass of white-on-black readouts in the driver’s information dash-panel would greatly benefit from some color contrast. Some pre-selected functions are not retained from start to start, while some others are, which makes it noteworthy because Infiniti can accomplish some but not others, which is annoying.

The new QX60 can tow up to 6000 pounds, a big improvement over its predecessor, while its 4600 pounds are readily handled by a chassis very competitive with other wagons in this segment.

The newest QX60 is better in many areas. Stance, quietness, and interior equipment make it a solid value offering in the premium class. Some buyers may expect more from a company that used to be a performance benchmark.

Tim Plouff has been reviewing automobiles for more than 20 years.