The Infiniti QX is now in the third year of the current design, and it’s still as imposing as ever. What do we mean by that? Well, the main takeaway from the QX is its incredible size. It looks huge. It feels huge. It is huge. But that’s not all there is to it with the QX. In a lot of ways it makes the most of all that bulk, and the total package is a luxurious, tractable and strong machine. We were able to test its family hauler credentials on a weekend away, ten hours total, so were really able to see what was what with this heavyweight member of the Nissan family.
This isn’t a bad looking machine by any means, and for something that can pack in families or pull trailers it’s actually pretty sharp. The chrome grille flanked by xenon headlights as well as the LED taillights make it look sleek and modern, and supposedly the underbody spoiler, rear liftgate spoiler and redesigned side mirrors give it better aerodynamics and zero lift. To top it off, our test car had the optional 22-inch 9-spoke wheels, which fit a big SUV like this better than the standard 20-inchers.
Not to harp on size, but it was just plain intimidating just how fat this thing is, and it’s a theme that carries on into the interior. If felt like there were acres of space inside, but each of those acres was surprisingly well refined. The QX has leather seating on all three massive rows, nine cupholders, a beautiful Infiniti analog clock, and room to fit eight adults, along with their stuff, very comfortably. And as far as entertaining passengers, the QX has that more than covered. The Deluxe Touring Package in our test car gets you the BOSE 15-speaker system, and the Theater Package includes two 7-inch color monitors that allow for different sources to be played at the same time. Two pairs of wireless headphones, auxiliary input jacks and a 120v power outlet are also included. This kept the kids happily entertained for hours, and the sheer volume of space inside kept them far enough apart that there was none of the usual road trip monkey business.
As for actually driving the QX56 4WD, size was again a source of some trepidation. The thing is, though, there are just so many sensors and warnings looking out for this thing’s extremities that parking and maneuvering is pretty much idiot-proof. New for 2013 is Infiniti’s Moving Object Detection, which joins the Forward Collision Warning, Distance Control Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention, Blind Spot Warning, Blind Spot Intervention, and Adaptive Front Lighting System included in the Technology Package. The 4WD also has a hill start assist. So if you ever do knock into something with this QX, you certainly can’t blame the car!
On the open road, the QX soaks up miles and we hardly felt a bump the whole way. It even did alright on curves, and as a driver it’s noticeably better than SUVs like the Chevy Suburban. What the QX, then, is a really luxurious people hauler, and with its 8,500 pound towing capacity it’s liable to be a good car hauler, too. Again, it’s big and probably too big for some. Plus, thanks to a 5,800-pound curb weight you’ll only get 14 miles per gallon driving around town. And while the fit, finish, and wide array of gizmos was hugely impressive, it will cost you. A loaded QX like our test car is almost eighty-grand, and it’s hard not to think of what else you could do with that much cash. However, if you need a solid all-rounder that’s well-designed both inside and out, then the Infiniti QX56 is a solid contender.