What's New for 2007
Apart from a small bump in output (5 horsepower and 3 pound-feet) from its V8 engine, there are no significant changes for the 2007 Infiniti QX56.
Like many other luxury-brand SUVs, the 2007 Infiniti QX56 is based on a less status-conscious vehicle, in this case the Nissan Armada. To separate the high-society QX56 from the common man's Armada, designers gave the front end a heavy chrome grille with Infiniti's strong horizontal theme and added liberal splashes of chrome to the body. Unfortunately, the QX56 inherits the same oddball form as the Armada, meaning the strange greenhouse design that looks like the melding of two dissimilar structures.
Look beneath the controversial skin, however, and there's some beauty to be found. This year, the already burly 5.6-liter V8 sees a small bump in output, putting those figures at 320 horsepower and 393 pound-feet of torque. That's enough to make the 5,600-pound luxury SUV feel light on its feet, an impression confirmed by its impressive 0-60 time of 7.3 seconds. That muscle also allows a maximum towing capacity of 9,000 pounds. The QX56 also possesses handling that belies its considerable mass, making the big sport-ute easy to drive around the typical perils of suburbia.
The cabin is a mixed bag, with plush leather seating, handsome wood accents and well-padded armrests boosting the luxury quotient considerably over that of the bland Armada. But some low-grade components, notably the dull gauge cluster and the hard plastic used on the doors and dash top, bring it down when compared to its more lavishly appointed competitors such as the Lexus LX 470, Mercedes GL450 and Cadillac Escalade. The luxury of space is there in spades, however, as even 6-footers can get comfortable in the second row; the third row can accommodate adults as well.
In the practical sense, the 2007 Infiniti QX56 makes a convincing argument for itself with its strong performance, massive towing capacity and roomy, comfortable cabin. None of this will matter to those who don't warm up to the styling, and the Escalade and GL450 arguably provide all of that in much more attractive wrappers, and both are priced competitively with the Infiniti. Still, for those needing a capable, full-size luxury SUV with three fully usable rows of seating, the QX56 is worth strong consideration.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
A large luxury SUV, the seven-passenger 2007 Infiniti QX56 comes in one trim level with a choice of either two- or four-wheel drive. Standard features include 18-inch chrome alloy wheels, xenon HID headlights, Bluetooth connectivity, leather seating for seven, power and heated front seats, real wood trim, a navigation system and a 10-speaker Bose audio system. Dual-zone automatic climate control, a separate rear air-conditioner, a rearview monitor, park assist, power-adjustable pedals and a power rear liftgate are also standard. The short list of options includes a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a bench seat for the second row (increasing capacity to eight), satellite radio, a sunroof and adaptive cruise control.
Powertrains and Performance
The QX56 is powered by a 5.6-liter V8 with 320 hp and 393 lb-ft of torque matched to a five-speed automatic transmission. Buyers have a choice of either rear-wheel drive (2WD) or a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a low-range transfer case. For a large SUV, the QX56 is quick, with the sprint to 60 mph taking just 7.3 seconds. Towing capacity stands at 9,000 pounds with 2WD and 8,900 with 4WD.
Antilock disc brakes, stability control, a tire-pressure monitor, front seat side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, a reverse park sensor and a rearview monitor are all standard on the 2007 Infiniti QX56. In NHTSA frontal-impact crash tests, the QX56 scored four stars (out of five) for the driver and five stars for the passenger.
Interior Design and Special Features
Emphasizing the luxury theme, the Infiniti QX56's cabin is bedecked in leather, thick carpeting and lustrous wood and aluminum accents. Unfortunately, some hard plastic on the dash and doors takes away a bit of the upscale ambience, as do the dull, orange-illuminated gauges that look like they were yanked from a workaday Nissan Titan pickup. On the other hand, the QX's standard rearview monitor and reverse park sensor make parallel parking this large SUV a lot easier. Second-row captain's chairs are standard, along with a removable center console and fold-flat third-row bench seat. A fold-flat second-row bench seat that increases passenger capacity to eight is optional. As big as it is, the QX56 has less maximum cargo capacity than an Escalade or Lincoln Navigator, with just over 97 cubic feet of space. The Infiniti does have more capacity than these two if you're planning to seat passengers in all three rows (20 cubic feet behind the rearmost bench), but the extended-length Escalade ESV and Navigator L offer even more room.
Around town, the 2007 Infiniti QX56 moves out briskly and effortlessly storms up freeway on-ramps to blend into fast-moving traffic. The five-speed automatic provides seamless gearchanges and steps down promptly when a burst of power is needed for quick passing. An independent suspension all around provides the well-damped ride that luxury SUV buyers expect, along with surprisingly nimble handling for a vehicle of its size. Body lean is noticeable when cornering, but it's nothing excessive -- just a reminder to the driver that in spite of the QX56's sure handling, there are still close to 3 tons worth of luxury sport-ute getting tossed around.