Last month we were feeling guilty because the QX wasn't being used to its fullest potential. It was mostly just being driven to and from the office, which meant we weren't allowing the QX the opportunity to play to its strengths hauling people, cargo, or trailers. But we put it back to work in July.
Early in the month a staffer used the QX to tow his 24 Hours of LeMons car and our QX didn't mind the load one bit. He found that the exhaust tone "perfectly matches the QX's personality -- it's just loud enough to be authoritative when you've got it floored, but it's never annoying when you're cruising." Even while towing another vehicle, the 400-hp V-8 doesn't need to work very hard and there's power in reserve for passing or merging with freeway traffic.
Associate web editor Donny Nordlicht didn't have any trailers to tow with the QX, but he tested its utility by hauling a dresser and four friends around town on separate occasions. Nordlicht reports: "The QX had no problem swallowing the medium-sized dresser, though the lift-over height was a bit tall for me (I'm 5'9") and my neighbor, who is 5'5"." Donny would prefer that the armrest between the second-row bucket seats not stick up above the seatbacks when they're folded down. This is a compromise you have to make in QX56s equipped with buckets; a second-row bench seat is also available, but we chose the buckets to emphasize passenger comfort over utility.
Unfortunately there's no way to emphasize passenger comfort when asking a tall adult to sit in the third-row seats of the QX. Nordlicht's 6'2" friend, Gordon, was relegated to the far back during a recent trip. Donny would have preferred our Four Seasons Honda Odyssey for hauling four passengers, but another staffer had already signed it out for the weekend. Although Gordon was a little cramped, Donny enjoyed driving the QX more than a loaded Odyssey. The Infiniti's 5.6-liter V-8 didn't notice the extra weight but the Odyssey, with only 248 hp, isn't as happy hauling a full load of passengers.
We took the QX in for its 22,500 mile service this month, which included a tire rotation and an oil change, for a total of $140.36. While the vehicle was in the shop, we asked the technicians to inspect our brakes because of all the miles we've put on the QX with a trailer in tow. The brakes passed the inspection but the pedal has a lot of travel before the brakes really bite. We'll continue to keep an eye on the brakes as we enter the final season of our Four Seasons test for the 2011 Infiniti QX56.
|Deluxe touring package||$5,800||22-inch forged-aluminum wheels Hydraulic body motion control system Climate-controlled front seats Heated second row seats Remote tie up second row seats Advanced climate control system Headlight washers|
|Technology package||$2850||Intelligent cruise control Blind spot warning Land departure warning Land departure prevention Intelligent brake assist Forward collision warning Adaptive front lighting system with auto leveling|
|Theater package||$2450||Dual 7-inch color rear monitors Two wireless headphones Wireless remote control Auxiliary audio/video input jacks 120V power outlet|
|Illuminated kick plates||$390|
|Roof rail crossbars||$320|