Due to its 5,590 pound weight, this behemoth needs lots of horsepower and torque. The 5.6 liter V8 fills that bill with 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. Though it lacks steering wheel paddles, the 7-speed automatic gearbox offers manual override for up and downshifts, plus rev-matching for downshifts, via a console-mounted stickshift with manual gate. Around town and when towing, the QX struggles to achieve 14 MPG, but cruises comfortably at 20 MPG on the open road. And long distance cruising is definitely the métier of this big Infiniti. Pile the kids in back, let them have at the twin DVD players, and they’ll be anesthetized for hours. Meanwhile the adults up front can luxuriate in comfort while benefiting from all the stress reduction provided by that automatic watchdog, the Technology Package. For such a transcendental driving experience, $72,475 seems a reasonable price to pay.
2011 INFINITI QX56 AWD
ENGINE: 5.6 liter DOHC 32 Valve V8
HORSEPOWER: 400 hp @ 5,800 rpm
TORQUE: 413 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
TRANSMISSION: Electronically controlled 7-speed automatic with Adaptive Shift Control (ASC)
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 14 City MPG/20 Highway MPG
PRICE AS TESTED: $72,475
David Colman has been writing vehicle tests for 25 years. His work has been featured in AutoWeek, the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, and Marin Independent Journal. In 1987, he helped start Excellence, The Magazine About Porsche, which he edited for many years. He has been an active participant in racing and Solo events since 1961.
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