Those who need a full-size SUV to haul people and stuff will appreciate this more powerful, more fuel-efficient and more luxurious QX56. Though the go-go days of the full-size SUV era are unquestionably over, about a quarter million drivers will take new ones home this year. Customers who need the ability to haul a lot of people and their stuff will appreciate the fact that the new 2011 QX boasts 25 percent more power – now 400 horsepower – and 10 percent better fuel economy – now 20 mpg highway. There is also a new seven-speed automatic transmission replacing the old five-speed, which helps boost both performance and efficiency.
Infiniti accomplished its self-improvement the old-fashioned way; by hitting the gym and pushing back from the table. Direct gasoline injection lets the engine make more power while also maximizing each drop for better economy. Meanwhile the QX is about 100 lbs. lighter than the outgoing model, a loss that comes right off the vehicle’s hips – in this case the frame and main body structure where high-strength steel replaces regular steel so less metal is needed than before.
The company also applied big-brained computer power to the design of the QX’s wheels, which get incredibly heavy when you’re talking about dubs and larger tires. Designers were able to whittle the weight of the new optional 22-inch wheels down to the same amount as the 20-inch wheels on the outgoing model, while the new dubs are lighter than the old ones. Infiniti also included all the latest widgets and doohickeys a technophile could want, with hydraulic active suspension leveling the ride, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, and front radar for automatic cruise control and collision warning.
Giving the customer more for less, Infiniti set pricing for the more powerful, more efficient and better-equipped QX56 on par with the outgoing model, at $56,700.