Ask a petrolhead about their favourite cars, and they’ll rattle off a list that will include things like the Porsche GT3 RS. They’ll ramble on about driving sensation and how important it is to preserve the purity of the man-machine interface.
Sensory deprivation in a car is a bad thing — it renders them mere transportation devices, and no petrolhead will ever publicly admit to liking one. The QX 56 would be pretty low down a petrolhead’s favourite-cars list then. It’s one of the softest and most undramatic cars on sale today.
Sure, it’s a body-on-frame construction, but you’d be hard-pressed to tell; the ride is serene and surprisingly, even those huge wheels don’t seem to have an adverse effect. The QX 56’s predecessor was based on the crude Nissan Armada, and it showed inside.
The plastics were scratchy and the general aura was low-rent. But this time it shares a platform with the much-refined Nissan Patrol, and that means that the interior is slathered with high-quality materials, the leather is posh and the wood trim is real stuff.
The 5.6-litre V8, which comes from the M 56 saloon, develops the same 560Nm of torque as the saloon, but they are achieved 400 revs earlier, which makes the QX slightly more tractable. It’s incredibly quiet in there too, with just a hint of V8 rumble in the distance.
The boffins paid special attention to aerodynamics — as much as they could in a car with the proportions of a small house — and even the side mirrors are designed to slice through the air efficiently to reduce wind noise.
The steering meanwhile, is ultra-light, so you are almost completely isolated from the world outside. Sensory deprivation? Sensory vacuum, more like. That said, it’s a great all-rounder. And it could even find a place on my list of favourite cars... Way below the GT3 RS, obviously.
As far as road presence is concerned, there's no other SUV that can better the QX's menacingly huge proportions. The same applies to the high-tech features too.
Highs: Plenty of gadgets, serious technology under the skin
Lows: Terrible fuel economy
A bad week for the Infiniti. We manage to scrape the front bumper while driving out of an underground car park. Fuel economy is ruinously poor.
Highs: Great engine
Lows: The sheer size of it makes it difficult to manoeuvre, thirsty
The QX 56 is a massive car that makes driving out of tight spaces a jaw-tightening affair. On the upside, it’s very spacious.
Highs: Superb ride, faster than you expect, loads of space
Lows: Huge and very, very thirsty