Infiniti has been upending a lot of long-held beliefs about luxury vehicles lately. Now arriving in Infiniti dealerships nationwide, the all-new QX56 blows beliefs about full-size luxury SUVs right out the tailgate. Once again, Infiniti has rewritten the playbook for an entire segment, and the details spell it out.
The formula for building a full-size luxury SUV might appear to be simple, yet as the 2011 Infiniti QX56 amply shows, perfecting the formula is its own science. The reward for drivers and passengers is substantial: the new QX56, like a private jet or custom yacht, provides a world-class travel experience.
About the only thing Infiniti left unchanged for the all-new QX56 is its generous size: it’s slightly larger than the previous model (1.4-inches longer and 1.1-inches wider), yet a bit lower (2.0 inches for the 2WD model and 2.9 inches on the 4WD model) without compromising headroom. Those small changes barely hint at the tremendous transformation underneath. A stronger frame helps give the QX56 an even quieter and smoother ride.
Smoothness defines the new 5.6-liter V8 powerhouse, too. Fortified with Infiniti’s VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift) technology and Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™), the new V8 pumps out a prodigious 400 hp and 413 lb/ft of torque. Channeled through a new seven-speed automatic transmission, this high-tech powerplant gives the 2011 QX56 an impressive 8,500-pound towing capacity (when properly equipped), yet fuel efficiency is 14 percent better (EPA combined) than before.
The 2011 Infiniti QX56 harnesses its power in such a way as to make this full-size luxury machine a pleasure to drive. That point is perhaps best illustrated by the new Hydraulic Body Motion Control system. Available for both 2WD and 4WD models as part of the Deluxe Touring Package, (which also includes 22-inch wheels and numerous other features), this new system helps take body lean out of turns. That translates into exceptional comfort for passengers in all three rows.
The standard suspension is impressive in its own right. It’s a fully independent setup front and rear with Dual-Flow Path® twin-tube shock absorbers and an automatic rear leveling system. It delivers a truly luxurious ride while maintaining uniform ground clearance, even when towing or carrying cargo.
Here’s a stark contrast: the Lexus LX 570 has a yester-tech solid-axle rear suspension, and so does the Cadillac Escalade. A solid-axle setup is more likely to induce annoying side-to-side rocking motion on bumpy roads. And, the Lexus starts $17,000 to $20,000 higher than the 2011 QX56’s MSRP of $56,700 (2WD) or $59,800 (4WD).
Inside the QX56, there’s room for seven (with middle-row captains’ chairs) or eight. World-class travel experience means standard leather-appointed seating for all three rows with even more luxurious semi-aniline leather seating surfaces offered in the Deluxe Touring Package. The driver gets a 10-way power seat, the front passenger an eight-way power seat. Both are heated, and so is the leather-wrapped steering wheel. Or choose the available climate-controlled front seats (heated and cooled) and heated second-row seats.
The standard equipment list includes the Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System, Around View™ Monitor and Bose 13-speaker Premium Audio System. The Around View Monitor provides a bird’s-eye look at what surrounds the vehicle, making it easier and safer to maneuver in tight situations. Music is at your control with standard XM Satellite Radio, a USB connection for iPod or other devices plus Bluetooth streaming audio.
The Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System includes XM NavTraffic® with Real-Time Traffic Information, XM NavWeather™ with Real-Time Weather and three-day forecast and Zagat Survey® Restaurant Guide. Staying connected is easy and convenient with the standard Bluetooth hands-free phone system. The available Theater Package includes a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with dual seven-inch color monitors and can play from two different sources at the same time (with headphones).
Safety is a top priority in the new king of luxury SUVs. Available Intelligent Cruise Control, Distance Control Assist, Intelligent Brake Assist with Forward Collision Warning and Front Pre-Crash Seatbelts underscore that point. Also consider Infiniti’s Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Prevention systems, which alert you to unseen vehicles as you change lanes. The new Blind Spot Warning system warns you if another vehicle is detected in the vehicle’s blind spot area.
Here’s the clincher. The 2011 Infiniti QX56 has the same MSRP as the 2010 model. See your local Infiniti dealer – it’s waiting for you to come in to test drive.