When your 16-year-old daughter makes a claim that she likes something, you can take that to the bank as cool. Or it could mean that she wants something – like a car to cure her newly licensed life. "I like this car,"Marissa said after riding in the Infiniti QX56. "We should keep it."
That's high praise from a girl who in know way fits the buying demographic that Infiniti had in mind when they created this large sport utility vehicle.
And it's especially notable when you consider that this teen is very much eco-friendly, taking great care to recycle and reuse as much as possible. So the pathetic fuel mileage that the QX56 achieves – we got 14.3 mpg tops – should have gotten her attention. But then, she wasn't the poor guy having to pony up the bucks at the pump every other day.
However, if you take away the gas guzzling aspect for a moment, I can certainly see what tickled my daughter's fancy about the luxurious QX56. The big brute is powerful enough to climb just about everything in its path, yet does so with a quiet confidence. There's no massive roar when accelerating, just a subtle push for extra power.
Climbing into the "Q"is a challenge for small and agility challenged dogs, so a tailgate ramp would be a welcome addition. However the interior is large enough to accommodate at least two midsize crates, with cargo room to spare. And the separate climate controls help keep pups and people comfortable in any situation.
Technology is everywhere in the Q, with navigations system, satellite radio and heated seats to just start the list. But the adaptive cruise control is perhaps the one thing that takes some practice to get used to. When a vehicle gets too close in front of you, it slows down the engine and applies the brakes – sometimes quite suddenly – to avoid a collision.
The QX56 may not be the most economical bet for a daily driver – unless Half Dome is on your commute -- but for weekend adventures to the snow, or surf, it's a great way to go. Just ask your teen what he/she thinks.
2010 Infiniti QX56
Engine: 5.6 liter V8
Towing capacity: 9,000 pounds
EPA ave. mpg: 12 city / 18 highway
As tested: $59,765