2004 QX56 New Car Test Drive
The 2004 Infiniti QX56 is an all-new, from frame rails to roof rack, full-size SUV that's as big and as luxurious as the Lincoln Navigator or Cadillac Escalade. It is by far the biggest vehicle Nissan's Infiniti luxury division has ever sold. The Infiniti QX56 has nothing in common with the much smaller Pathfinder-class Infiniti QX4, which is expected to be discontinued.
The QX56 is the most powerful, quietest, most luxurious, most spacious, most completely featured and stylish vehicle in its class. It's also the most utilitarian, boasting the most cargo and towing capacity.
Want more? How about also being the most competitively priced? And at least as fuel efficient?
If all this sounds too good to be true, for once, it isn't.
Infiniti offers one model of its new full-size SUV. You need only choose between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. The engine is a 315-horsepower 5.6-liter V8, and the transmission is a five-speed automatic. The Infiniti QX56 is expected to retail for $50,500 when it goes on sale early this year (2004).
It's telling to note there are but four factory options: a middle split bench seat in place of the standard two captain's chairs (no charge), a DVD-based entertainment system, a power sunroof and a Smart Vision package comprising a rearview video monitor and adaptive cruise control. Everything else usually expected in a luxury vehicle is standard, plus a few items that appear if at all as options on other car makers' entries in the field.
Leather-trimmed upholstery is standard. Xenon HID headlights are standard along with LED tail lights and brake lights, which light up quicker and brighter, the hope being this will more quickly grab the attention of following drivers. Two more pluses on the list of standard features are the power liftgate and backup warning system.
Standard wheels are 18-inch chromium aluminum alloy, with 20-inch wheels optional. Skid plates protecting the transfer case, oil pan and fuel tank on the four-wheel-drive edition are yet another plus for the few who will actually dare to venture off the paved way. The four-wheel-drive system features low range. The QX56 comes with a full-size spare tire.
Safety features include the latest generation front airbags that deploy at different rates depending on crash severity and occupant seatbelt use and front-seat side airbags. Also standard are full-cabin side curtain airbags.
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