The more I drive the QX56, the more I can't help but think of it as an exercise in excess. Gasoline is not inexpensive (especially the premium fuel our V-8-powered behemoth devours a gallon of every 15 miles) and it gets a man to thinking whether he really needs a nearly three-ton, 400-horsepower SUV for the daily commute. Of course, once foot is firmly planted on accelerator and the floodgates open on that 5.6-liter engine, the answer is unwaveringly "yes, he does." The QX might be about the largest production vehicle on the road, it might have been designed by a drunken anime cartoonist, and it might be completely unnecessary for any sort of rational commute. But you don't buy a vehicle like this out of rationality, you buy it because of its presence, unreal power, and living-room-like comfort. And in those three areas, the Infiniti is unique.
It's also an easy go-to vehicle when anything largish needs to be moved. The 16.6 cubic feet of cargo volume expands considerably with the third row folded flat, to the degree that small dressers or bookshelves, a couple adult bicycles, or several sets of golf clubs can be stashed neatly. Wondering how you're going to get that new five-piece Ikea bedroom set home? Drop the second row too and you'll find space for all of it. See? The QX can be rational too.
With nearly 21,000 miles on the clock and over 9 months in service, the QX has proven to be quite reliable as well. Mechanical issues have been nil, and the leather-trimmed interior is holding up well to the abuse it's been given, hauling more staffers, family, friends, and furniture than we can remember. How will it hold up for its final months in service? Stay tuned to find out.
| Our Cars |
| Months/miles in service || 9/20,999 |
| Avg econ/CO2 || 15.4 mpg/1.26 lb/mi |
| Energy cons || 219 kW-hr/100 mi |
| Unresolved problems || None |
| Maintenance cost || $445.96 (2- oil change, inspection, rotate tires, 1- cabin air filter) |
| Normal-wear cost || 0 |