2012 Infiniti QX56
We drive Infiniti's flagship SUVNo Comments
Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and lots of space and luxury duds will warp one's automotive tastes.
Soft-roader. Luxo-barge. Land yacht. All these barbs and more have been aimed at the luxurious large SUVs being peddled by Toyota, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and Infiniti. Yet those moneyed few who have the means (and only sometimes, the need) to drop well north of $50K on a luxury full-size SUV haven't shied away from showrooms, impracticality and recession be damned.
After spending a week in an Infiniti QX56, we can see why. While we can't justify this vehicle to ourselves (not because we're frugal, but because our own automotive tastes are, shall we say, quirkier), we can see why families are using it to drop the kids at their Advanced Latin for Second Graders classes at Fancypants Academy before shipping off to the country club for a nice discussion on sweater-vest futures. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and lots of space and luxury duds will warp one's automotive tastes.
Options included a $2,950 Theater System (Dual 7-inch color monitors, two wireless headphones, a wireless remote control, a 120-volt power outlet, auxiliary audio and video jacks, heated second row seats, tip-up second row seats) and a $3,000 Technology Package (intelligent cruise control, a blind-spot warning and intervention system, a lane-departure prevention system, a brake-assist system, a distance-control assist system, a forward-collision warning system, pre-crash seat belts, and adaptive front lights). Our tester also had the $4,100 Deluxe Touring Package (Bose surround system, hydraulic body-motion control system, climate-controlled front seats, semi-aniline leather seats, Mocha Burl trim, an advanced climate-control system, second-row foot well courtesy lights, and headlight washers). For $200, we had a cargo mat, cargo net, and first aid kit, and rounding out the options list was a $2,300 Tire and Wheel Package with 22-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and all-season tires. Destination added $990, bringing the total to $75,340.
Steering feel is class-appropriate, and all the interior switchgear is easy enough to use, even if there are enough buttons to make NASA controllers feel right at home.
Power reaches the wheels through a 7-speed automatic transmission, and an all-wheel drive system with several drive modes drives the QX.
Yet it charms us plenty with its upscale cabin, and again, all that space doesn't hurt. Boulder bashers will know to apply elsewhere, as will enthusiasts who want engagement from their on-road partner. But for the discerning soccer mom or dad, the QX is quite nice, and stacks up well against the Lexus GX and others of its ilk.
Now that's something to talk about over high tea.