It's certainly not the best-looking steed in the Infiniti stable -- that honor goes to the new M sedan -- but the all-new QX56 is every bit as important to Infiniti's fortunes in the American market. After all, in September, Infiniti sold 1460 M sedans and 822 QX56s, but the gap had nearly closed by October, when it found buyers for 1175 M sedans and 1157 QX56s. The QX was in such demand, in fact, that our Four Seasons QX56's arrival was delayed by more than a month, as eager Infiniti dealers scooped up every available QX coming out of the Kyushu, Japan, plant where the Nissan Patrol on which it's based is also built.
We think our seven-passenger QX will prove to be worth the wait. You see, many of us at Automobile Magazine suffer from that typical American condition wherein we don't know how to travel lightly. Our children are typical Americans as well: they want to watch videos while we drive, and they want to bring all their toys with them. Our QX's 168 cubic feet of total interior volume and its $2450 Theater Package with two seven-inch monitors will make that a cinch. Art director and father of two Matt Tierney photographed the QX during its first weekend with us, and he was beaming on Monday morning as he planned the excursions he and his family will make in it. Those of us without young children are just as enthused: tech editor Don Sherman is eager to put the QX56's 8500-pound towing capacity to use, and we fully expect that the QX's cargo hold will soon be familiar territory for editor-in-chief Jean Jennings's prize-winning Chesapeake Bay retriever, Bob, as they travel to dog shows around the Midwest.
Whether we're ferrying children or dogs or simply groceries, we'll all be enjoying our QX56's standard silky V-8 and seven-speed automatic, along with two more pricey but useful option packages. The $2850 Technology Package provides smart cruise control, lane departure and collision warning, blind-spot detection, and brake assist, while the $5800 Deluxe Touring Package boasts huge, twenty-two-inch wheels; Infiniti's new hydraulic body-motion control system, which reduces head toss for rear-seat passengers; extrafancy leather upholstery; headlight washers; heated second-row seats; and an advanced climate-control system that is purportedly more efficient at cooling the rearmost parts of the cabin, in a nod to the QX's popularity in the stifling hot Middle East. Before we get a chance to check that out, though, we have to endure another Michigan winter. There's nothing better for that task than a big, capable, luxurious four-by-four.