Ride and Handling: Shopping Mall Chicane
The Infiniti QX56 is better to drive, with handling characteristics that are akin to those of a very large luxury sedan. Until you glance in the rearview mirror and see all that SUV riding along behind you, it's easy to forget that you're driving such an elephantine vehicle. While it may not be a canyon carver, the QX56 holds its own once the roads start twisting, staying planted and only feeling top-heavy when you come into a turn too quickly. The brakes are linear and strong, and the steering is appropriately boosted for a vehicle this size. Lower speeds, however, reveal the Infiniti's size, and you might have to troll the parking lot at Neiman Marcus for a while before you find a space that's easy to slide into.
The Lexus LX570 drives like a truck. Uneven surfaces as small as grooved pavement will upset its ride, and the vehicle wallows even when the suspension is at its firmest setting. The steering feels numb and provides little feedback, and the brake pedal is hard to modulate. In short, there's too much isolation between the driver's hands and feet and what's happening on the road surface. The good news is that the LX's off-roading heritage pays dividends during around-town, low-speed maneuvering -- a best-in-class turning radius of 38.7 feet and short overhangs mean that rock scrambling and parking lot maneuvers alike are a breeze.
Advantage: Infiniti QX56