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Bold exterior looks. Very large interior. Luxurious materials and
comfortable large seats. Advanced features like DVD navigation system,
laser cruise control. Silent. Powerful. Easy to control.
Seats should be powered for folding operations. Need for front radar
sensors as well as the standard rear.
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"Luxury in a grand scale". Take a look at the QX56 window
sticker and you find not only price, features, and fuel economy estimates,
but this statement, at the very top. Nissan's Infiniti luxury division has
been setting record sales as automakers compete in an every luxurious
market. Just in August, Infiniti sales were up 5.1% as compared to the
prior year, as more and more buyers hunger after more luxury in their
vehicles. The market for the super large SUV is limited with only a few
luxurious models available right out of the factory, with the QX56 being one
of these very few.
If you want the ultimate large SUV experience, with seating for
seven to eight, go anywhere capability, and want the feeling of soft leather
and high gloss wood, and the capability to tow a even larger yacht, the QX56
is the perfect SUV.
"In the short amount of time that the QX56
has been on sale, it's made a tremendous impact on the full-size luxury SUV
segment," said Mark Igo, vice president and general manager, Infiniti
Division. "The biggest unmet need in the luxury SUV category is for refined
dynamics, the sense that even though these are full-size, fully capable
vehicles they shouldn't ride and look like trucks".
Exterior dimensions are large, with 206.9 inches of length, the
QX56 stands tall and wide. Jewel-like Xenon headlamps are located lower in
the front fender, giving a resemblance to an 18-wheeler semi truck. The large 18-inch
wheels and beefy tires enhance the taut, athletic stance of the QX56, with
chrome adding a touch of bling-bling to the wheels, door handles, and
exterior mirrors. Standard body side cladding and running boards complement
the QX56's sophisticated luxury. A distinctive power-operated liftgate with
opening rear glass and a large bumper with integrated towing hardware
complete the rear exterior appearance. We especially liked the large chrome
door handles on the gigantic front doors giving a strong feeling to the
owner each time he or she drives the QX56. All this does not even mention
the sheer size of the QX, its 206.9 inches in length and stands tall and
wide as well.
opulent interior is swathed in soft leather and high gloss light wood. Look
at the carpet and you find thick 16 oz Tuscano carpeting, noticeably better
than what is found on most vehicles. The interior is large and spacious,
where you can easily sit cross-legged in the first and second row. Large
windows allow you to see out with a commanding view. The high seating
position also provides good leg support. The standard seating configuration
includes fold-flat 2nd row captain's chairs with integrated
armrests, removable 2nd row center console and fold-flat 3rd
row bench seat. A fold-flat 2nd row bench seat is also
available, providing 8-passenger seating if desired. The front seats
feature 10-way power adjustment for the driver and 8-way power adjustment
for the passenger, while both the front and 2nd row seats are
heated. The front passenger seat folds down and includes a recessed work
area. The QX56 also offers 2nd row legroom of 41.9 inches and
large front center console storage capacity. The third row bench seat folds
flat easily but is quite heavy to pull upright again. With both second and
third row folded along with the front passenger seat folded it is possible
to carry very long items with the rear hatch closed.
instrument cluster is typical of Infiniti vehicles with a standard setting
signature Infiniti analog clock, standard DVD based navigations system with
a 7- inch LCD screen up high in the center console. A rear backup camera is
also shown through this screen each time you select reverse gear. The
instrument panel is electronically lighted using what Infiniti calls Fine
Vision illumination, basically its orange in color. The standard Bose audio
system sounds very good and included is a 6-disc in-dash CD changer. It
even allows you to listen to radio and CD functions at the same time using
headphones in back. Also found in the information system is tire pressure
monitors which show you that everything is ok in all four wheels. Trip data
is also shown in typical Infiniti graphics providing fuel economy data and
average miles per hour. The great NAV system allows you to customize the
icons and offers a birds eye view as well as the standard flat map mode.
The navigation system does not work fully unless you are stopped and we
found this to be an awful feature especially when we had a co-pilot along on
Foot pedals are adjustable and stored in
driver memory. Our tester also featured the overhead DVD entertainment
system with monitor and wireless headphones with remote control.
Ventilation system controls are easy to understand with dual zones up front
as well as plenty of air ducts in back for the second and third row. We
were quite comfortable in any row we sat in. Rear third row windows also
are powered to open and vent the cabin. When reversing we would also have
liked both rear mirrors to look downward. All interior parts feel very
solid except for the sunroof shade and the movement of the shift lever,
these items could be improved.
The QX features a powerful
5.6 liter V8 engine producing 315 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque.
Advanced design features such as
aluminum block with cast iron cylinder liners, forged steel crankshaft,
micro-finished crankshaft and camshafts, molybdenum-coated pistons, 6-bolt
main bearing caps, single-stage timing chain and, for precise control, an
electronic "drive-by-wire" throttle all make this a smooth and powerful
engine. Fuel economy in our range of testing came in at 14 miles per
gallon. The feeling behind the wheel is of a light and controllable
vehicle. Power is available quickly and fast. Passing cars is easily done
with almost 400 pounds of torque. Cruising at triple digits is also easy to
do and very quiet, its time to change speed limits across the country.
QX56 is available in two drive configurations, rear-wheel drive and an
all-wheel drive model. The two-speed electronic transfer case allows the
driver to select between auto, full-time all-wheel drive and 4LO. A gated
floor shifter provides enhanced shift control when towing. The
transmission's tow/haul mode revises the shift pattern when towing and
hauling. The QX56 has a maximum towing capacity of 9,000 pounds for RWD and
8,900 pounds for AWD. Up to 50 percent of available torque can go to the
front wheels on demand as road conditions warrant. Under normal driving
conditions the system operates as a rear wheel drive vehicle.
exceptionally comfortable and yet controllable ride comes from the Infiniti
four wheel independent suspension with auto leveling rear air suspension.
The 2005 QX56 also features standard engine-speed-sensitive power-assisted
rack-and-pinion steering, leading to responsiveness and good feel. Body
lean and sway is evident but much more under control than we would expect.
Set the intelligent laser cruise control and the car almost drives it self,
staying a good preset distance away from cars in front of you. If only it
would work in the normal traffic jams on local highways.
features abound with standard curtain airbags for all three rows, side
impact airbags on the front seats, as well as front dual airbags. Being so
high you are unlikely to be hid directly from the side as in a car.
Antilock Brakes by Bosch, Electronic brake force distribution and brake
assist all add to safety.