The bigger the vehicle, the harder it gets used during a Four Seasons test. Such is the case with our 2011 Infiniti QX56. In the past ten months, we've crammed our belongings into virtually every possible cubic inch of cargo space, towed heavy trailers, and generally treated the QX56 as the workhorse of our Four Seasons fleet. To make up for the abuse, we decided to treat the big Infiniti to the automotive equivalent of a day at the spa: a full detailing courtesy of 3M.
Todd Mathes, a technical service specialist for 3M, delivered an arsenal of cleaning products to help restore our QX's interior and exterior to like-new condition. The results -- after several hours of scrubbing and polishing -- were amazing. Deep scratches that went all the way to the primer need more than 3M's scratch removal system to be repaired, but those that were no deeper than the clearcoat simply vanished. For good measure, 3M also gave the QX a paint restoration treatment. These two systems definitely helped restore the QX's original luster and can be purchased through local retailers for the reasonable price of about $60 each.
We were very pleased with the exterior detailing, but we also knew that our stained interior would prove to be the real challenge for 3M's products. Benefiting from hindsight, we now realize that the next vehicle in our fleet equipped with a V-8 and a tow hitch should probably not be ordered with a cream-colored interior. Here are some of the things that helped us come to that realization: a greasy handprint on one of the light-colored leather seats, muddy footprints on the soft floormats, and a stain on the carpet below underneath the mat on the passenger's side. All of these posed a challenge for 3M's Scotchgard OXY auto spot and stain remover. Even with a lot of elbow grease, the stains weren't completely removed, but the results were still very impressive. We likely would have had even better luck removing the stains if they were treated immediately. What this exercise proves is that if you're willing to detail your vehicle regularly and you use the right products in a timely manner, even a light-colored interior can withstand the rigors of heavy use.
After the intense cleaning, we put the QX right back to work. Associate online editors Donny Nordlicht, Jake Holmes, and Ben Timmins used the QX as transportation to a Monday night showing of Senna and returned unfatigued from the 100-mile trip. "The QX continues to be extremely comfortable, luxurious, and powerful - a fabulous highway cruiser," reported Nordlicht. Holmes was relegated to the back seat and didn't mind one bit. That's because the second row seats, which have been described as thrones by more than one staffer, actually have a fraction of an inch more head and legroom than the front row.
Now that our QX is looking almost as good as new, we'll see how quickly it accumulates miles during its last two months in the fleet. We'll also monitor the interior's cleanliness and reapply 3M's excellent cleaning products immediately if new stains appear. A vehicle this comfortable and luxurious needs to look as good as it drives.
|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|