A Week In The Gigantic Infiniti QX56 SUV Mobile Tech Wonderland

First impression? The 2011 Infiniti QX56 is a monster. Like really big. I grew up in a world of Tahoes and Suburbans, but this Infiniti QX56 feels the size of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle — with a fancy plush interior of course. I’m not entirely sure why the civilized world needs such a large vehicle just to move snotty kids around town but I like it. In fact, out of all the vehicles we’ve drove lately — including the $101k Range Rover Supercharged and Audi A8 — this one is the most comfortable.

The QX56 is all about techy creature comforts. The driver’s seat is like a leather-wrapped command center. With the sheer amount of buttons around, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed. But once you start driving. Oh man, the optional hydraulically-controlled suspension takes over and it’s as if you’re piloting a 6,000lb pound fluffy brown cloud.

We have the QX56 for a week and I already like it. The electronics are plentiful, perhaps a bit much, but presented in a restrained manner. The QX56 shares much of its interior layout with the M37s. I hated the design in the sedan, but the large canvas available in the massive SUV allows for a much less cluttered feel.

We’ll put some miles on the truck and report back later in the week. First up will be a look at just the infotainment system — navigation, media playback, rear seat entertainment, and the 50 zillion buttons — with the full review coming towards the week’s end. Oh, and yeah, there’s a 400HP monster V8 under the hood that’s averaging just 11.6 MPG so far. Sigh.

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Tech Gear Luxury Gear
13-Speaker Bose Audio System(STD) 8-Way Driver Seat (STD)
9.3GB Music Box HDD system (STD) Heated steering wheel (STD)
USB and iOS support (STD) Steering wheel controls (STD)
Bluetooth hands-free and streaming (STD) Rain-sensing windshield wipers (STD)
Around view camera system (STD) Power rear liftgate (STD)
8-inch WVGA touchscreen (STD) Xenon headlamps (STD)
Navigation W/ XM traffic (STD) 22-inch wheels, Hydraulic Body Motion, Heated front and rear seats ($5,800)
Dual 7-inch headrest screens w/ AV inputs and 120V power ($2,450)
Intelligent Cruise, Blind Spot Warning, Distance Control Assist ($2,850)

Base price: $59,800. Price as tested: 71,850