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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, May 10, 2009

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

EXTRA-LARGE, AND IN CHARGE By Paul Robinson Ever wonder how three guys all weighing over 250 pounds (or two at 375 pounds) with an average height of over six feet, five inches get across the California and Arizona desert without looking like sardines in a can? The answer is the Infiniti QX56. This full size SUV with seating for six is a strong contender when it comes to comfort in the tough luxury SUV market. The reclining rear captains chairs with leg and head room seemingly designed for a NFL starting offensive line makes the long trip from LA to Tucson seem like a day at the spa.

With its 188 cubic feet of interior room the QX56 has ample space to load in the options, a category in which it does not disappoint. The Technology Package, which includes dash mounted DVD player with an 8 inch flip down rear monitor, is integrated into the 12-speaker Bose premium audio system. The DVD player can either be played through the Bose system or included headphones (recommended for action movies). Luckily for the driver, Infiniti did not forget about the person that's ultimately in control. The QX56 comes equipped with the Infiniti dash mounted GPS with XM Navtraffic, XM satellite radio, and a 9.3 gigabite hard drive for MP3 Music. The GPS allows the driver access the current traffic conditions and the system will give the driver shortest commute by distance or estimated travel time. While the traffic feature isn't much use when driving through the desert, however it does save us almost an hour as we avoid an accident through San Diego. With about 400 miles of flat highway between us and our destination and not another car on the road it is difficult to resist the temptation to test the 5.6 liter V8. As the 5 speed automatic transmission double downshifts and all 320 horsepower and 393 pound-feet of torque hit the pavement the attention definitely shifts from the movie in the back seat to the engine upfront. The throaty roar of the exhaust sounds more like sports car than a luxury SUV, and mimics the performance as well.

Interior space, luxury and performance all are important but it is the unique exterior design that catches the eye. The QX56, although a large vehicle, is very well-proportioned and striking as it drives past. The large 20-inch wheels help to proportion the tall profile and the mild use of chrome works perfectly with the design. Even in the middle of the desert the QX 56 receives attention as it drives by. The best test of comfort for any vehicle is a long road trip and the Infiniti QX56 passes with flying colors. The interior is very spacious and even for us large guys never feel like spam in a can or claustrophobic. The best seat is the second row behind the passenger, not only is it the best view of the DVD screen, but the front passenger seat also folds forward making the rear seat into more of a recliner than a cramped back seat. The Infiniti QX 56 is comfort, style, and performance all wrapped in one very large box. It may not be the ideal vehicle for parallel parking in a large city, maneuvering through small alleys, or getting 30-plus mpg. Infiniti might just consider renaming this in the future. A name should say a little something about the product. QXXL should fit the bill.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT Notwithstanding the current vogue to go small, if big and tall fits your profile, Infiniti has a QX56 that will suit you just fine. For more information about Infiniti products, go to 

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2009 Infiniti QX56 Price: $55,050.00 (base model) $59,115.00 (as tested, Technology Package and Mobile Entertainment Package) EPA mileage rating 12 mpg/city and 18 mpg/highway Engine: 5.6-liter V8 Horsepower: 320 hp @ 5,200 rpm Torque: 393 lb-ft @ 3,400 rpm Transmission: Electronically controlled 5-speed automatic. Driver-adaptive learning algorithm senses driving style and adjusts automatic shifting accordingly Drive configuration: Rear-wheel drive Suspension: Front: Independent, double-wishbone with stabilizer bar Rear: Independent, double-wishbone with auto-leveling, stabilizer bar Brakes: Front: 13.8 x 1.2-inch ventilated discs Rear: 12.6 x 1.02-inch discs Wheels and Tires: 9-spoke, 20 x 8.0-inch chrome-finished alloy wheels with 275/60R20 all-season tires Dimensions: Length: 206.9 inches Width: 78.8 inches Height: 77.8 inches Curb Weight: 5,704 pounds

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