The 2008 Infiniti QX56 sport-utility vehicle, a more luxurious and ornately styled version of the big Nissan Armada, gets a revamp for the 2008 model year, including a new audio and navigation system, fresh front and rear styling, and a power folding third-row seat. The QX56 returns with rear- or all-wheel drive models--oriented for on-road driving--both powered by a 5.6-liter V-8 with 320 horsepower and 393 pound-feet of torque, teamed to a five-speed automatic transmission. It can tow up to 9,000 pounds.
The 2008 Infiniti QX56 isn't as fast as the numbers make it sound--most notably, because it weighs about three tons--but the huge V-8 engine has enough torque to propel this hefty vehicle quite briskly. Handling is a low point, though; the steering is overboosted and light, and aggressive cornering is met with a disconnected feel for the driver and an ungainly wallow for passengers. Maneuverability is hindered by a large turning radius and poor rearward visibility.
The 2008 Infiniti QX56 has a surprisingly stiff ride, considering the pronounced body lean in corners. The interior includes nice, supportive front seats, but the second row isn't as comfortable as one would expect in a full-size SUV, and the third row is cramped, though elevated to avoid help claustrophobia. And while the materials are slightly disappointing, the QX's upright instrument panel is both distinctively styled and user-friendly. For 2008, there's a power-folding third row, steering wheel controls are now lit, and the gauge faces get a new style.