In Wheel Time – Big Bucks Beauties for the Bay

by Don Armstrong

2013 Infiniti QX

Infiniti QX56

If you thought “big” was on the way out, better think again. “Big” is back and there’s not much bigger than the Infiniti QX 56, a mammoth SUV with large amounts of opulence to match its size.

The QX takes advantage of its large proportions – like a houseboat does when compared to a bass boat – with more interior room. Seating for 7 or 8 now gets a little more comfortable during that long trip to Aunt Mary’s house this summer.

Powering this almost 3-ton beast is a 5.6-liter V-8 that delivers 400 horsepower through a 7-speed automatic transmission. With that kind of heft, its 14 mpg-city and 20-highway rating is no surprise.

Standard amenities abound, but packaged extras will really set you apart from the Jones’. There’s the Theatre package, Technology package and Deluxe Touring package, each bringing its own set of upgrades that can swell the base price of $61,350 by an extra $10,000 or so.

If you’d rather spend your money on high-end quality and on-road luxury then get the 2-wheel drive version and take the QX56 for a romp, you’ll be impressed.


Lexus LX 570

The Lexus LX is the conservatively styled luxury cousin of the Toyota Land Cruiser. The differences, however, are plenty with it’s elegantly appointed interior, Lexus-exclusive suspension and impeccable attention to detail.

The 2013 LX model adopts the new corporate “spindle” grille, LED daytime running lights along with revised tail lamps.

The LX’s full-size SUV label provides interior designers more room to ply their trade and to say they have worked magic is almost a given. This year there is more chrome, mahogany wood trim and better cooling for your derriere.

The LX 570 comes in a single trim level – grandiose – but you can get the Luxury Package that bumps up its grandiose-ness to crazy luxury. Also available is a self-parking system, adaptive cruise control, dual-screen rear entertainment and a 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system.

A full time all-wheel drive system keeps this Lexus firmly planted, whether you are traversing the Bay Area’s concrete jungle, towing the 35-footer or headed to your ranch in the hill country.

Its 5.7-liter V-8 produces a stout 383-horsepower, but as you can imagine is thirsty, returning 12 mpg-city and 17-highway. Luxury comes at a price and that includes a little pain at the pump.

MSRP begins at $81,530.


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