Promising, And Delivering, Bigness Some things appear much smaller in pictures than they do in person. The Eiffel Tower, Space Shuttle orbiters and the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the National Mall come immediately to mind. The 2013 Infiniti QX56, however, isn't one of those things. The Infiniti flagship sport utility looks massive in pictures, and it grows to simply colossal when you are standing next to it. Even at an arm's distance, the QX56 has the physical presence of a Clydesdale horse – its styling cues project power and strength, says the automaker, and the designers apparently made no attempt to downplay the full-size SUV's massive V8 engine and cavernous eight-passenger cabin. There are other passenger vehicles on the road that are physically larger, but none visually cast their mass as well as Infiniti's traditional body-on-frame QX. We recently spent a week with the heavyweight in an effort to determine whether three tons of substance is overkill or handy to have around. In a nutshell, does bigger always equate to better? The QX56 is currently the automaker's most expensive SUV offering. Infiniti launched its QX-Series SUV in 1996, sharing platforms with the Nissan Pathfinder, but the full-size (and arguably more mature) QX56 didn't make its appearance until 2004. That second-generation model was closely related to the Nissan Titan pickup, complete with its body-on-frame architecture and 5.6-liter V8 power. The current third-generation QX56, launched in 2011, abandoned its Titan underpinnings in favor of the Nissan's rugged Patrol platform. For those who found little to like with the first- and second-generation QX models, the current third-generation model is a whole different ballgame. The QX56 is currently the automaker's most expensive SUV offering in the States (the IPL G Convertible is Infiniti's most expensive vehicle, by a mere $100). But instead of confusing consumers with a handful of models and a range of engines, like most other automakers in this segment, there is only one basic choice: 2WD or 4WD. The well-appointed two-wheel-drive model starts at $62,345 (pricing includes $995 destination and handling), while the four-wheel-drive model commands a $3,100 premium. With the exception of the driven wheels, both are appointed identically. The bottom line on our seven-passenger SUV was $78,845. Our test car was a 4WD model with a base price of $65,445. Standard equipment included leather-clad power driver and passenger seats, Tuscan burl wood trim, tri-zone climate control, navigation and a full suite of other goodies. While the base model would satisfy 95 percent of us, our Smokey Quartz over Wheat QX56 was upgraded with the theater package ($3,100), Technology package ($3,000), Deluxe Touring package ($4,650), Tire and Wheel package ($2,450) and a cargo mat/first aid kit ($200). The bottom line on our seven-passenger SUV was $78,845. Under the hood of the QX56 is a 5.6-liter V8 (VQ56VD, in Nissan speak) rated at 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. The all-aluminum engine is mated to a standard seven-speed automatic transmission. Our model featured Infiniti's All-Mode 4WD, with Auto, 4H …
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|MPG||14 City / 20 Hwy|
|Transmission||7-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||400 @ 5800 rpm|
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