The Infiniti QX56, all-new in 2004, receives minor modifications in 2005. The back-up/reverse gear monitor – displayed via the 7-inch LCD navigation system screen on the instrument panel – is now standard fare in 2005. There’s also an active head restraint for front passenger for the 2005 model year. QX56 is an immensely large SUV. It rides on 18-inch tires from Continental. The vehicle’s overall length is 206.9 inches, while its wheelbase is 123.2 inches. Making the SUV move (and it does move nicely and easily) is a 5.6-liter V8 engine with 315 horsepower at 4900 rpm and 390 pounds of peak torque at 3600 rpm. About 90 percent of torque is available below 2500 rpm, which meshes well with the maximum towing capacity ratings: 9,000 pounds for rear wheel drive and 8,900 pounds for all wheel drive. (The AWD – with 10.77 inches of ground clearance – also has standard heavy-duty skid plates for oil pan, fuel tanks and transfer case.)

Roominess is the bread and butter of the QX56. Standard seating showcases second row captain’s chairs with armrests, a removable center console between the chairs, and a third row bench seat. Both second and third rows can be folded flat. Front passenger seat has 8-way power adjust, while the driver’s seat features 10-way power adjust. QX56 offers 10 cupholders and 2 bottle holders. Privacy glass, for second and third rows, gives passengers the feeling of riding in a VIP vehicle – make that a smooth riding SUV because this vehicle barely nods when it encounters a nasty pothole or rough road patches. Standard equipment includes power/heated chrome side mirrors, roof rack, running boards, DVD navigation system, tire pressure monitoring system, roof mounted curtain side impact airbags for all 3 rows, and four, 12-volt outlets (two with direct battery access). Mile per gallon estimates with V8 and 5-speed automatic transmission are 13 city/18 highway. MSRP for QX56 with 4x4 is $50,750.