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(long-term test) arrival words jonny lieberman

Infiniti QX56 4WD

The beauty of full size

DOES THE world need a better Cadillac Escalade? Tha:'s the question we'll ask ourselves for the next 12 months as we run around the country in our newest long-termer, the 2011 Infiniti QX56. While the latest and largest from Infiniti didn't win our SUV of the Year calipers, it did well enough in the competition for us to hound Infiniti into giving us one for a year. In other words, we like it.

But do we need it? Turn the dial back about 18 months to the days of $5/gallon gas here in Southern California, and the idea of a vehicle with an observed fuel pconomyof V ? mpg would have been obscene. But now, in 2011, with gas prices lower and stabilized, such figure* register as only borderline ohscen*ยป Which is a fancy way of saying obnoxious but still somehow tolerable, like Snooki.

That said, we like the new 0X56 much better than "Jersey Shore." We like it much better than the last-generation QX56, too.

Part of the reason is that unlike the previous car, which was based on the Nissan Armada/Titan platform, the new QX shares almost everything with the mighty Patrol, a legitimate desert warrior of a four-wheeler that's beloved in India, Australia, and Iran.

our vehicle

Base price

$59,800

Price as tested

$71,850

Vehicle la/out

Front engine, AWD, 7-pass, 4-door SUV

Engine

5.6L/400-hp/413-lb-ft DOHC 32-valve V-8

Transmission

7-speed automatic

Curb weight (dist, ff/O

5971 lb (52/48%)

Wheelbaso

121.1 in

Length x width x height

208.3 x 79.9 x 75 6 In

O-fiO mph

fi 1 SflC

Quarter mile

14.7 sec (& 94.4 mph

Braking, 60-0 mph

122 ft

Lateral nrrnl

O 74 0 (nvg)

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