The Infiniti QX56 always leaves me with contradictory feelings. I’m not crazy about the rather bulbous exterior styling, but the cabin is as luxurious as a five-star hotel and the ride is so smooth you can hardly feel the wheels touch the pavement.
Once I got used to the styling I concluded that the QX56 is truly competitive with other luxury SUVs such as the Lexus LX570 and Cadillac Escalade ESV.
The QX56 comes in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, and the direct-injection, 5.6-liter engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. The 400-horsepower V-8 can tow up to 8,500 pounds. Fuel economy is rated at 14 miles per gallon in the city and 20 on the highway.
Base prices are $61,350 for rear-wheel drive and $64,450 for all-wheel drive. The test car was loaded with nearly every option and it topped out at $78,140.
On the road, the QX56 felt as if it were gliding over the pavement, yet the vehicle didn’t feel overly soft and mushy in turns. That’s a benefit of the optional hydraulic body motion control system that links shock absorbers from one side to those on the other, keeping body lean in check without forcing a stiff ride.
The best part of the QX is the lush interior that has seating for eight. The fit and finish are all that one expects in a full-size luxury SUV. Standard equipment includes a navigation system, a Bose stereo with 13 speakers and an Around View monitor that gives a birds-eye view of the vehicle and now has moving object detection that alerts the driver to approaching vehicles in parking lots.
The front seats had adequate lateral support, but the bottom cushions need deeper contours. The split-folding second seat had plenty of legroom, and the power-folding third seat had adequate space. The test vehicle was equipped with the theater package that has 7-inch monitors in the back of each front headrest. Games or videos can be watched separately on either screen.
Safety items included front, side and side-curtain airbags, vehicle stability control with traction control, brake assist, anti-lock brakes, blind-spot monitor and a tire pressure monitor.
Price: The base price of the test car was $64,450. Options included the theater package, blind-spot monitor, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, upgraded Bose stereo with surround sound and 15 speakers, heated and cooled front seats and 22-inch wheels. The sticker price was $78,140.
Warranty: Four years or 60,000 miles with a six-year, 70,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Tom Strongman’s e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.