The Infiniti QX56 is a luxuriously appointed fullsize SUV that was introduced for the 2004 model year. Only minor changes have been incorporated since its introduction, with the most significant being in 2006 when a 60/40 split folding 3rd rear seat was added, in addition to Bluetooth technology. For the 2008 model year, the Qx56 was refreshed, boasting new additions to its list of standard equipment that include power hardware and enhanced entertainment parameters. Infiniti has improved the layout of the instrument panel, with upgraded materials.
This 7-8 passenger SUV belongs to a category created by American manufacturers - but import brand manufacturers subsequently jumped upon the lucrative-and large sized - American automotive consumer band wagon. The Infiniti QX56 offers roomy cabins with spacious seating arrangements, more than ample V8 power and plenty of exterior chrome. However, until a 2008 model year refresh, the interior of the QX56 was comprised of inferior quality materials compared to several other luxury SUV's.
The 2008 Infiniti QX56 is only offered in one trim, but that single trim comes standard with an abundance of features that include 20 inch chrome wheels, xenon HID headlights, heated leather seats, a navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity and a 10 speaker Bose stereo system with an in-dash CD changer. Many safety features also come standard, including antilock disc brakes, stability control, full-length side curtain airbags, a reverse parking sensor and a rearview camera. Options includes rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a second row bench seat- replacing the standard captain's chairs - that increases the QX56's seating capacity to 8 passengers. With all three rows occupied, the QX56 offers 20 cubic feet of cargo space and with the second and third rows folded down the cargo area is increased to 97 cubic feet, which is still less than average for its class.
Torque is provided by a 320 horsepower, 5.6 liter V8 that is paired to a 5 speed automatic transmission. Although there is one only trim, the QX56 is available in either rear wheel or all wheel drive. Extremely thirsty at the gas pumps, like most others in its class, owners should not expect more than 12 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway. Rear wheel drive models can tow up to 9000 pounds.
The Infiniti QX56 has received industry praise for its advanced engine, agile handling and spacious and comfortable interior. Its bold style is a little over-flashy for some, admired by others. All in all, for under $55,000 the QX56 is an above average contender in the large luxury SUV category.