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We've had a few years to get used to the design of the INFINITI QX56, but the rolling curves and slopes of its sheetmetal continue to elicit love-it-or-hate-it reactions from buyers. But the big SUV's design might not even matter for those who want a large luxury SUV that still retains some off-road capabilities.
As other SUVs swap out performance for fuel efficiency, the 5,500-pound QX56 sticks to a 5.6-liter V8 that churns out 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. Paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission, the INFINITI is both powerful and quick, towing up to 8,500 pounds and going from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. Expect 14 mph city and 20 mpg highway.
Offered with rear- or four-wheel drive, the QX's off-road capability -- while limited -- is better than much of the competition. This results, though, in a stiffer ride than most luxury shoppers expect.
The INFINITI's cabin is luxuriously-appointed and roomy, especially in the first two rows. While the 60/40 split bench in the third-row is tight on legroom, it does have a quick power-folding feature that's new for 2013. Another addition this year is an around-view monitor that combines images from four different cameras to create a bird's-eye view from the QX56.
INFINITI offers tow and snow modes on all QX56s. Other standard features include: 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; HID xenon headlights; fog lights; a power liftgate and third-row seat; three-zone climate control; and a hard drive navigation system with an eight-inch touch-screen and Lane Guidance.
An optional Theater package includes dual seven-inch monitors, wireless headphones and heated second-row seats.
More upscale interior but not as capable off-road
Available in longer L model but features less interior options
Outperforms the QX56 in many areas except price
Less cargo utility yet has a car-like feel and good fuel-economy