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A new bed purchased for my college-aged daughter quickly became a dilemma. It was too large for our midsize sport utility vehicle to transport the100-plus mile trek and none of our friends owned an oversized truck.

Fortunately for us, the Infiniti QX56 became available and stepped in to save the day. With its second and third rows folded to the floor, the queen-size bed fit, just barely, in the Infiniti’s full-size, flagship SUV.

⤹ FINAL DAY TODAY! ⤸

⤹ FINAL DAY TODAY! ⤸

⤹ FINAL DAY TODAY! ⤸

⤹ FINAL DAY TODAY! ⤸

Size is an obvious plus with the latest version of the QX56. Featuring a truck-like chassis, the QX56 is not only a people carrier, it can transport large and heavy amounts of cargo, thanks to its maximum 8,500-pound limit.

2012 Infiniti QX56

  • Performance: 5.6-liter, V8, 400 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 14-20 mpg
  • Price: $61,000
  • Warranty: 4 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain 6 years/70,000 miles; corrosion 7 years/unlimited; roadside assistance 4years/unlimited

The 2012 Infiniti QX56 went through a complete redesign a year ago. One of the upgrades was bumping up the horsepower, and another was adding a seven-speed automatic transmission, and a new, optional full-time four-wheel drive system. The standard model has rear-wheel drive.

This SUV is not only big, it’s fast and quick as well. Available in only one trim, the QX56 has a 5.6-liter, V8 engine that produces 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. It can gobble up the pavement in a hurry, evidenced by its clocking of 6.8 seconds going from 0-60 mph.

While the power and performance are certainly something to admire, not everyone will like the QX56 styling. Big SUVS like this one are never sleek. That’s certainly the case regarding the QX56, which has a bulky, rounded front end that is just not appealing to the eye – one expects more from a luxury brand. Complaints also come due to the low positioning of the headlights that look weird paired with its squared-off, very flat roofline.

Another thing that’s not admirable regarding the QX56 is the gas mileage. While the company line says 14-20 mpg, on my week with this SUV it averaged nothing even close to 20 mpg. And the majority of the driving came on the freeway!

Despite its lack of visual appeal and bad gas mileage, there are other areas that shine. For a truck-based SUV with 20-inch tires, the QX56 offers a fairly refined, smooth ride. Braking is solid as well and it corners with confidence.

The QX56 has an abundance of high technology, starting with its 8-inch dash touchscreen that is relatively easy to master. Although not standard, the Blind Spot Intervention system was very helpful on the freeway, providing an alert every time the vehicle even slightly drifted from its lane. The QX56 offers lots of comfort and roominess in all three rows, a rarity.

There are certainly other notable rivals to contemplate when considering the purchase of a full-size SUV, including the Cadillac Escalade, Lexus LX470 and the Range Rover. If you’re OK with its exterior styling, the QX56 is a solid choice among its luxury-division competitors.

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