The Infiniti QX56 full-size SUV has received modest exterior styling changes and a new interior for the 2008 model year, though its V-8 powertrain remains essentially unchanged. It hits dealerships this spring.
The only readily visible difference between the front end of a 2007 QX56 and the new 2008 model is in the grille. Whereas the 2007 model has flat horizontal chrome bars, the 2008 model gets notched ones, and there are new chrome pegs between them.
Standard chrome wheels now measure 20 inches in diameter — up 2 inches from previous wheels — and the SUV has xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights. A power liftgate is standard. Front and rear parking sensors can help make parking this 17-foot-long SUV less hair-raising, as does the standard rearview camera. A power sunroof is optional.
The revised interior styling looks richer than before, with greater use of wood trim on the dash and doors. A heated steering wheel is standard in four-wheel-drive QX56s, and the gauges and center controls are new. Standard second-row captain's chairs give the three-row SUV a seven-person seating capacity, and a second-row bench seat bumps it up to eight. The QX56 now comes standard with a power-folding third-row seat.
Power-adjustable, heated leather front seats with memory, a Burr-Brown stereo with a 9.5 GB hard drive, Bluetooth-based cell phone connectivity and a navigation system are standard. Just as the wheels have grown in size, so has the overhead screen for the optional DVD entertainment system; it's now 8 inches, up from 7 inches. Intelligent Cruise Control, which can maintain a given distance between the QX56 and a vehicle ahead, is optional.
Under the Hood
Unchanged from last year, the 2008 QX56 is powered by a 5.6-liter V-8 engine that produces 320 horsepower and 393 pounds-feet of torque. The engine drives a five-speed automatic transmission that features a tow/haul mode. Rear- and four-wheel-drive models are offered. Maximum towing capacity is 9,000 pounds when properly equipped.
All-disc antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, side-impact airbags for the front seats, three-row side curtain airbags, an electronic stability system, active front-seat head restraints and power-adjustable pedals are standard.