Vehicle Review - 2004 Infiniti QX56

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Playing with the Big Boys

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    By ROGER HART
    (08:30 Dec. 29, 2003)

    NISSAN’S ENTRY INTO THE full-size truck world is as subtle as Pamela Anderson.

    The company’s first full-size pickup, Titan, and its first full-size SUV, Pathfinder Armada (AW, Aug. 25), are big—with big engines and big amenities for big-truck buyers. Now the Infiniti luxury division has joined the bigger-is-better fray with QX56 making its debut at January’s Detroit show.

    “Customers have told us bigger is a key part of being a premium brand,” says Edward Baldwin, an Infiniti senior marketing manager. Just to make sure no one on the development team forgot the mission, its theme for the QX56 was “massive precision.”

    How easy could the argument be made that the world doesn’t need another road behemoth taking up space on the road and in parking lots? After all, there are enough Cadillac Escalades, Lincoln Navigators, Lexus GX 470s and Range Rovers on the highway already, right?

    No, not if you’re Infiniti.

    “The demand for SUVs in the U.S. will grow by 27 percent over the next six years,” says Larry Dominique, chief product specialist for the QX56. “Luxury SUVs will be a big part of the group fueling that growth.”

    Where there’s growth, there’s money to be made. Infiniti plans on selling 15,000 QX56s a year, which would mean taking a 15 percent bite out of the competition’s lunch. For a new $50,000 truck, that would be a pretty healthy portion.


    Nissan made sure the QX56 has the goods to compete against established luxury foes. In head-to-head paper matchups, not to mention over-the-road evaluation, the QX56 gives little ground. Its 206.9-inch overall length and 123.2-inch wheelbase is tops in category, and its 5.6-liter V8 that produces 315 hp and 390 lb-ft is bettered by one, the Caddy’s optional 6.0-liter V8 (345 hp, 380 lb-ft). The QX’s 8900-pound towing capacity is at the top of the range, as is its optional seating for eight.

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    The QX56 comes with second-row captain’s seats and a removable center console, though a bench is available (that allows for eight). The third-row bench is nearly three inches higher than the second row, giving way-back passengers a better road view. Second- and third-row seats fold flat, opening up an expansive cargo area. Headroom, shoulder room, hip room and legroom are all at or near the top for full-size sport/utes.

    While the QX56 is built on the same platform as Armada, the Infiniti version’s exterior is different from the A-pillar forward. Still, the family resemblance is unmistakable. Looks aside, the biggest difference we noted between Armada and QX56 is the difference in noise, vibration and harshness: The Infiniti version gets significantly more sound insulation to help quiet road noise. Glass, too, is thicker than on the Armada, and all the QX’s doors are triple-sealed. On our initial drive we found little wind noise seeping into the cabin, with only a hint of tire-road sound coming from the 18-inch, P265/70-R BSW Conti-Tracs. Dip into the throttle and a nice rumble comes from the V8 that mellows out once you reach cruising speed.

    From behind the wheel, the sloping hood doesn’t allow you a fair sense as to where the front lies, which is intimidating when driving in unfamiliar territory. In negotiating parking lots you appreciate the rearview monitor, an option we’d get if this truck were headed to our garage. Oh, but wait: The QX56 wouldn’t fit in our garage. Even though this isn’t the biggest vehicle on the road—Chevy’s Suburban is more than a foot longer—customers should know the QX56 is more than 17 feet long.

    We didn’t sample the QX56’s off-road capabilities, but the fully boxed ladder frame, four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel-drive system with low-range, coupled with nearly 11 inches of ground clearance, should make it a player in the brush. The center differential allows for an infinitely variable torque split, sending power to the wheels with grip. At start, power is dispersed evenly between the front and rear axles, while at cruising speed, all power is sent to the rear. Two-wheel-drive models are available as well.

    But let’s be serious: Like most luxury SUVs, few QX56s will negotiate anything more difficult than a new subdivision’s gravel road. But there are people who like the ability to go anywhere at anytime, and more than 8000 of them have inquired about the QX56 since it was listed on a corporate website in early October. Perhaps for Infiniti that 15 percent bite of the market isn’t such a big dream after all.

    2004 INFINITI QX56
    ON SALE: Spring 2004
    BASE PRICE: $50,000
    POWERTRAIN: 5.6-liter, 315-hp, 390-lb-ft V8; rwd, five-speed automatic
    CURB WEIGHT: 5360 pounds
    0-60 MPH: n/a

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  2. mucky

    mucky .

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    Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugly! :barf:
     
  3. Mr.Fusion

    Mr.Fusion feast upon my magnificence

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  4. nucl3ar

    nucl3ar Guest

    The Armada is already ugly, this is even worse.
     
  5. bryan305

    bryan305 Lurker OT Supporter

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    i'll take an fx45, thank you.
     
  6. mobile587

    mobile587 Guest

    needs a black guy behind the wheel and a set of 24's

    hella pimp ride though :bigthumb:
     
  7. btatedash

    btatedash New Member

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    why can't nissan actually DESIGN vehicles for infiniti instead of just rebadging them? seems like rebadging should eat into their sales (ie people buying a g35 instead of a z). i know toyota rebadges as well, but at least they have some unique vehicles for each brand (sc, gs, celica etc). stupid nissan
     
  8. Chizm

    Chizm OT Supporter

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    $50,000 for it? I'll pass... :ugh:
     
  9. Priest Tango

    Priest Tango Custom User Tits

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    it. is. h. u. g. e.


    :eek:
     
  10. jk

    jk Guest

    SUV, blah.
     
  11. AsianRage

    AsianRage Know about Media Ventures?

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    :slap: They do redesign the line up. Your definition of rebadging is Fucked up.

    www.dictionary.com
     
  12. HisXLNC

    HisXLNC ๑۩۞۩๑ Hot ๑۩۞۩๑

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    Only ignorant internet nerds will cross shop a G35 and Z because they are far from a rebadge. The Z and G have completely different unibodies. The only thing they share are engines and transmissions.

    The Pathfinder Armada and QX56 are the only rebadges in America and they offer completely different driving experiences. Not to mention, its more than a rebadge. They have 2 completely different building processes and sheet metal.

    All other Infiniti vehicles have no Nissan equivalent in the US.
     
  13. HisXLNC

    HisXLNC ๑۩۞۩๑ Hot ๑۩۞۩๑

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    I'd love to graft that front clip onto the Titan along with the more powerful engine.
     
  14. Nyce

    Nyce .

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    i can't wait to see them in person


    it's a powerful beast though :eek:
     
  15. guitaraus

    guitaraus Guest

    Why the hell are the headlights so low?
     
  16. HisXLNC

    HisXLNC ๑۩۞۩๑ Hot ๑۩۞۩๑

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    So unlike other wastes of space, this one won't be shining its lights right into your mirror at night or directly into your face.
     
  17. bokhan

    bokhan i love you

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    frumunda cheese~!
    pretty ugly.
     
  18. guitaraus

    guitaraus Guest

    Well, then they should make the grill not go so high up, then. The top of the grill shouldn't be that far above the upper line of the headlights...it makes the car look like it's retarded.
     
  19. HisXLNC

    HisXLNC ๑۩۞۩๑ Hot ๑۩۞۩๑

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    Big grilles = prestige
     
  20. guitaraus

    guitaraus Guest

    white people = no care
     
  21. HisXLNC

    HisXLNC ๑۩۞۩๑ Hot ๑۩۞۩๑

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    White people aren't exactly the smartest people when it comes to buying things for prestige.
     
  22. guitaraus

    guitaraus Guest

    90% of the sales of this thing will be to white people. Besides, I was just saying that the lights and grille should match up. Bigger headlights + Bigger grille = prestige, too.
     
  23. thewise1

    thewise1 Guest

    I like it, but I like the Armada too
     
  24. HisXLNC

    HisXLNC ๑۩۞۩๑ Hot ๑۩۞۩๑

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    Big headlights are pointless if the light is designed correctly.


    What is done is right.
     
  25. fallenbox

    fallenbox Guest

    I like it, but wouldn't pay 50 grand for it
     

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