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2006 Infiniti QX56

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San Francisco: Based on the same platform as Nissanís Titan pickup truck, the huge Infiniti QX56 offers luxury on a grand scale with room for eight people and lots of standard amenities. Leather seats, a navigation system and a rear-view camera are just a few of the luxuries that come standard on Infinitiís QX56.

You know you drive a big SUV when it comes standard with a rear-view camera. Infinitiís yacht-size luxury SUV, the QX56, comes from the factory with a fish-eye camera mounted above the license plate on the rear bumper to eliminate a big blind spot when backing up.

Itís a great safety feature that helps the driver avoid hazards that they wouldnít otherwise be able to see out the back window Ė things like kids on tricycles, animals, or anything else that shouldnít get squished Ė by lighting up a video screen on the dash that doubles as a navigation system. And the fact that the back-up camera comes standard shows how big Ė and I mean absolutely, breathtakingly huge Ė this SUV is.

If it fell through the atmosphere, it could have wiped out the dinosaurs. Its back seat could be a contender for hosting the 2012 Olympics. Its glove box could be declared a natural habitat for condors. Itís that really freakiní big.

All this space is perfect for hauling lots of people and their stuff on long highway trips. In the first- and second-row seats, thereís plenty of room to stretch out and relax, and even the third-row seat isnít too shabby. Itís like the whole cabin was designed for NFL linemen.

But size isnít all that matters. In the competitive world of high-end SUVs, it also takes a cabin full of gizmos and quality materials to stay on top. The QX doesnít disappoint.

Thereís very little cheap-feeling plastic inside, as most surfaces are covered either in leather, wood or soft-touch rubber. The carpet is thick, the seats are soft and comfortable, and the wood trim is classy.

Standard features include heated, power-adjustable seats in the first and second rows, three-zone climate control (driver, passenger and rear), four 12-volt power outlets, a navigation system, 12 cup holders, a Bose stereo, power everything, and adjustable pedals for the driver. It lacks nothing in the comfort department.

For over-the-top luxury, you can add a DVD player ($1,600), intelligent cruise control ($800), satellite radio from either XM or Sirius ($400), and a power sunroof ($1,200). A fully-loaded QX56 compares favorably with other full-size luxury SUVs, like the Cadillac Escalade EXT, Lincoln Navigator and others from import brands. It also has good performance Ė at least for such a big vehicle.

It has a big, 5.6-liter V8 that makes 315 horsepower and 390 foot-pounds of torque, enough to tow up to 9,000 pounds with the right equipment. Power is routed through a five-speed automatic transmission.

The QX has a remarkably silky ride on the highway, making potholes and bumps feel like theyíre almost nonexistent. On the downside, it definitely shows its mass in corners as the body rolls and wallows.

Worst of all, in an era where $3 gas is the norm, it gets only 13 miles per gallon in town and 19 on the highway. That might not be much of a consideration for people who have over $50,000 to plunk down on a luxury vehicle, but it certainly doesnít help matters.

All in all, the QX is a great vehicle for people who want lots of standard features, a comfortable ride, and room for eight big folks. Itís luxury on a grand scale.

What was tested? The 2006 Infiniti QX56 AWD with a base price of $50,400. Options: XM Satellite Radio ($400), sunroof ($1,200), DVD player ($1,600). Total (including $680 destination charge): $54,280.

Why buy it? Itís huge, quiet, comfortable and smooth riding for such a big vehicle. And it also performs well for its size.  By Derek Price © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

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Byline:  Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Column Name: Infiniti QX56 offers luxury on a grand scale with room for 8
Topic: The 2006 Infiniti QX56 AWD
Word Count:  724
Photo Caption:  The 2006 Infiniti QX56 AWD
Photo Credits:  Infiniti Internet Media
Series #:   2006 - 37
 

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Publisher - Editor:   Tony Leopardo
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