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Infiniti QX56

February 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Auto


Infiniti QX 56In today’s quest of lessening one’s carbon footprint on the automotive landscape, most manufacturers tend to shy away from the full-size SUVs and offer instead downsized and improved fuel-efficient vehicles. Infiniti on the other hand, continues to play in the premium full-size body on-frame SUV segment with its second generation QX SUV. Larger and more imposing than before, the all-new QX56 boasts loud styling, big power, lots of bright work and high-end equipment to satisfy the most discerning buyers. This niche segment is made up of players from Cadillac with its Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, Lexus LX570 and the luxuriously appointed military grade-style Mercedes G-Wagon. There’s other large SUVs, like the Mercedes GL and Audi Q7, which are more car-like thanks to their unibody type construction.

The all-new QX was developed in conjunction with the Nissan Patrol, a model not sold in North America. They both share componentry, which is a good thing as the Nissan Patrol, a traditional body-on-frame SUV, has proven serious off-road credentials and ruggedness. When playing in the full-size body-on-frame luxury SUV segment, nothing less than a high-power V-8 will do. The QX has this covered as it shares the same sophisticated V-8 with the Infiniti M56 sedan. The variable valve timing, direct-injected 5.6-litre V-8 makes an astounding 400-horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. Together with the seven-speed automatic transmission, this 5,850 pound luxury SUV can easily hit 100 kilometres an hour from a standstill in under seven seconds if the driver chooses to do so! If towing is required, the 8,500-pound capability will be more than sufficient. Heavy fuel thirst is expected and very unfriendly to the wallet, but most folks getting into this type of vehicle won’t be surprised by this fact.

As with vehicles of this nature, a sophisticated full-time, four-wheel-drive system is standard with a computer-controlled transfer case and limited slip differential. With the availability to select 4WD Lo setting, the QX56 should be able to traverse over challenging terrain with ease. Located on the centre console is a silver knob that controls the driver-selectable four-wheel drive modes. For toughness, the QX56 continues as a body-on-frame design with 9.2-inches of ground clearance for rough off-road trails. In reality, off-road for most vehicles in this class is backing a trailer down a boat ramp or the weekend trek to the cabin in the woods.

In keeping with the luxury theme, the suspension is designed to keep the big Infiniti from rolling around too much in the corners, thanks to the use of its Hydraulic Body Motion Control System. In the past, most body-on-frame SUVs utilized a beefy solid rear axle for strength and ruggedness but in the interests of better handling and ride, the QX uses a rear independent control-arm suspension.

When viewed in person, the full-size QX56 can be somewhat mesmerizing. All the required “bling” is present in the form of super-sized diameter wheels at 20-inches, heavily chromed front grille and lots more chrome accents adorning various bodywork jewelry. If that’s still insufficient, there’s a wheel-size upgrade to optional 22-inch wheels! Interestingly enough, the V-8 powered QX56 wears a three port-hole trim piece on its front fenders, which usually signifies a six-cylinder power plant.

Once inside, the roomy seven-to-eight passenger cabin surprises with opulence in the use of rich materials and attractive design. Lots of supple leather and wood trimming adorn the classy interior. As expected, the QX is packed with just about every feature you can think of. From a wireless rear-seat DVD system and heated seats in the first two rows, to power-folding third-row seats and second-row seats you can fold and tumble from the front seat with the push of a button. A hard-drive navigation system is also equipped with a Zagat restaurant guide. There are always folks out there who demand a vehicle like the QX and they will not be disappointed with all the high-end features and capability the QX56 delivers.

Engine: 5.6-L V-8 DOHC 48-valve, Direct Injection, Variable Valve Timing
Horsepower: 420
Torque: 413 lb. ft.
Fuel economy L/100km: City – 15.7 / Hwy – 10.3
7-speed Automatic
Drivetrain: Longitudinal front engine / All Mode Four-Wheel-Drive
Base MSRP: $73,000


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