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Autos

Redesigned QX56 packs oodles of luxury, power

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 05:09 PM

Yes, it's possible. The full-size 2011 QX56 is even bigger and larger than its predecessor.

While retaining the 5.6-liter V-8 engine, the second-generation Infiniti puts out an extraordinary 400 horsepower (up from 320) and 413 pounds-feet (up from 393) of torque. Also, the previous 5-speed automatic transmission is history. Getting power to the ground is the all-new 7-speed auto, which was long overdue. And this year's QX56 is 1.4 inches longer, 1.1 inches wider and 2.9 inches lower too. All these changes translate into a powerful and robust ride.

Infiniti has left the independent double-wishbone front and rear suspension untouched, and wisely so. Our test drive was equipped with an all-wheel-drive system (base-priced at $61,800), which distributes torque to all the wheels depending on weather/road conditions. But the rear-wheel drive (starts at $58,700) should serve the flat Florida landscape just fine. Need to tow a boat or trailer that weighs up to 8,500 pounds? Trust in the bulky QX56 to make the rigorous job absolutely effortless.

If comfort is of significance, be assured that you are traveling in a lap of luxury. Everyone aboard is treated to royalty with 10-way power driver and eight-way front-passenger seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, nine cup holders and four bottle holders, power tilt/telescopic steering column, reclining third-row seat and a 13-speaker Bose sound system. Even six-footers can stretch cozily in the power 60/40 split fold second-row seat.

Some may require a little convincing to justify the premium price on this full-size QX56. But a perfectly balanced blend of performance and luxury should help the potential buyer sign on the dotted line.

QX56 (AWD)

Wheelbase: 121.1 inches

Length: 208.3 inches

Weight: 5,850 pounds

Fuel capacity: 26 gallons

City: 14 mpg

Highway: 20 mpg

Website: infinitiusa.com

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