Our fave dynamic driving team duo of Holly Reich and SékouWrites are back at it. This time they test drove the 2011 Infiniti QX56 for UPTOWN. Story reprinted on UptownMagazine.com and below.
The QX56 is probably the largest SUV I’ve ever driven. In fact, I believe I’ve lived in apartments smaller than its interior. Moments after climbing in, I began to think of it as a limo on steroids. Aside from the cushy factor, it’s laced with technology to make life easier, like four power outlets to charge everyone’s laptops and cell phones, and a genius notification system that actually honks when you’ve put the right amount of air in the tires. My favorite feature, though, was subtler. In most lane-departure systems, a chime sounds when you stray over the dotted white lines—an auditory reprimand. The QX takes things a step further: Not only does a chime sound, but the two wheels on the opposite side of the car gently brake themselves to pull you back into your lane—extremely handy for guys trying to cruise cooly past the eye candy on Venice Beach. Not that I’d know. –SékouWrites
Admittedly, I was intimidated when all 5 feet 6 inches of me climbed into this mammoth SUV. But then I settled into the eight-way power heated leather captain’s seat, admired the mocha burl trim, adjusted the ample outside mirrors, and backed up using the 360-degree monitor. I powered up smoothly as I took off down Manhattan’s West Side Highway in a rainstorm of epic proportions. We sailed through knee-high puddles (New York’s infamous potholes) with elegant ease. That baby was facile enough to navigate in a tight indoor parking lot and roomy enough to pack in a huge load of pickings from Costco. To note: The third row of seats tilts or folds flat with the push of a button. For snowy days, the QX56 comes equipped with snow and tow modes, All-Mode 4WD, a seven-speed automatic transmission, and tri-zone climate control (a must for backseat passengers). The supersize SUV is also profile-worthy—my car was a delicious dark currant color. –Holly Reich
2011 Infiniti QX56 4WD STATS
POWER: 5.6-liter direct injection V-8 with 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque
MPG: 14 city/20 hwy
OPTIONS: The Theater Package includes dual seven-inch monitors and wireless remote control; the Deluxe Touring Package adds features such as 22-inch forged aluminum alloy wheels, second- row foot-well lights, and remote tip-up second-row seats; the Technology Package incorporates Intelligent Cruise Control and Lane Departure Warning.
PRICE: From $60,950