Infiniti QX56: Posh Meets Practical

Infiniti QX56 Exterior Infiniti QX56: Posh Meets Practical

This summer we had another great test drive opportunity, this time for a beautiful luxury SUV, the Infiniti QX56. Nissan’s North American headquarters is located here in Middle Tennessee and I’ve worked with them in the past on Nissan reviews, but this was my first time behind the wheel of an Infiniti, which they also manufacture.

Let’s not dance around the price, the QX56 is in the high dollar luxury range,  but this vehicle delivers on every front, from performance to design to safety. Not to harp in on exterior beauty, but the QX56 is one incredibly beautiful vehicle. I nicknamed it “the post beast” as it’s luxurious, certainly the most luxurious vehicle this suburban soccer mom has ever had the pleasure of driving, and it’s big. It made my regular SUV look tiny in comparison in our driveway. From the soft, plush leather interior to the gorgeous exterior, this is a vehicle that can do it all, and looks good while doing it. I briefly contemplated camping out in it.

Now I’ve been wanting to test drive a three-row SUV for a while. With “only” two kids it’s not really a practical decision for our family, but I was pleased with how roomy the QX56 was without feeling too cavernous. My girls eagerly clambered into the third row to test out the view of the built-in DVD 7-inch screens in the back of the front-row seats (part of the theater package.) Each row of seats has its own climate control, too, which wasn’t surprising since the QX56 is made for comfort. The large storage unit between the second-row seats holds ample DVDs, as well as the wireless headphones and remote control for the DVD player. A Bose 13-speaker premium audio system comes standard with every QX56.

Infiniti QX56 3rd Row seat Infiniti QX56: Posh Meets Practical

Hellooooo back there in the third row!

As far as driving and maneuvering, I found the Infiniti QX56 easy to drive, although it definitely felt larger than anything I’m used to driving. Still, it handled well in our neighborhood and on the interstate. The V8 engine in the Infiniti QX56 is powerful, yet quiet. I did feel a tad small behind the driver’s seat (I’m barely 5 ft. 2 inches tall), but the GPS and parking guidance cameras helped boost my driver’s confidence.

As far as safety features for your family, the Infiniti QX56 has layers of safety, literally. From the Blind Spot Warning System to Intelligent Brake Assist, the Infiniti QX56 is designed to help you avoid a collision and, if you are in one, to help you avoid injury.

Storage space is beyond ample, especially when the third row of seats are not in use. The seats lower with the touch of a button, so there are no complicated levers to pull or yank.

Infiniti QX56 Hatch 3rd Row Down Shot Infiniti QX56: Posh Meets Practical

 

When the third row of seats is being used, there is still ample room for groceries and gear, especially in the large hidden storage area.

Storage Well Hatch Infiniti QX56 768x1024 Infiniti QX56: Posh Meets Practical

I can’t help but fantasize about how fantastic the QX56 would be to drive on a long family road trip. Both the driver’s seat and front passenger’s seat are heated and have lumbar support. Satellite radio and XM Nav Traffic and XM NavWeather are also standard on every QX56.

If you’re in the market for a luxury SUV, the Infiniti QX56 definitely stands in a class by itself.

Savvy Housewife is a shopping blog featuring product reviews, great giveaways, and fabulous finds. Be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed as well as visit and subscribe to my main mom blog, BlondeMomBlog.com, for more great content from this 41-year-old Nashville working mom.

Nissan Quest: 10 Favorite Family Features

2011 Nissan Quest Blonde Mom Blog Nissan Quest: 10 Favorite Family Features

Yesterday I gave you a play-by-play of our recent Nissan Quest road trip experience on my mom blog. Today I’m getting into specifics about some of my favorite features the 2011 Nissan Quest offers.

First a note on how the Quest drives. I’ll admit I thought I’d have to adjust to driving a van as my usual vehicle is an SUV but there was absolutely no adjustment period for me as I eased behind the driver’s seat. The Quest was very easy to handle and the rear park assist camera makes backing out of parking spaces a breeze.

Nissan Quest Rear Camera Nissan Quest: 10 Favorite Family Features

Without further adieu, here are my 10 favorite features of the 2011 Nissan Quest LE:

Nav System With GPS And More

Going back to my 2003 SUV I must say I missed the nav system and all its bells and whistles. The Quest nav system and GPS was incredibly helpful on our beach road trip. We punched in our destination address and received directions, tracked our mileage, and were able to see how many miles per gallon we averaged. I love that the weather alert system warns you when there is nearby in-climate weather and that you can view the forecast for your home as well as your destination. If you’re a huge weather nerd like me, this feature will keep you in the know and feeling very Jim Cantore. I also appreciated the traffic information which comes in handy when you’re running late for work and you need photographic evidence of that 8-car pile up on the interstate!

weather map Nissan Quest nav Nissan Quest: 10 Favorite Family Features

Power Adjustable Lumbar Support

Lumbar support in the driver’s seat on long trips is a must have.  My husband and I both loved this feature and it makes sitting for long periods much more comfortable. Speaking of comfortable, the leg room in the front of the Quest was more than ample. My husband was able to nearly fully recline and nap in the front passenger’s seat without crowding out our 9-year-old, seated behind him.

Nissan Quest Interior 767x1024 Nissan Quest: 10 Favorite Family Features

DVD Entertainment System With 11-Inch Monitor

Seriously, how did our parents survive without built-in DVD players for kids? My girls would have probably camped out in the Quest and had a slumber party if I’d let them. I loved that they had separate audio for their movie watching in silence except for the occasional giggles and singing along with their favorite flick while my husband and I tuned into XM radio. The wireless headphones ensured there were no messy wires to tangle with and the storage cubby between the second row seats held their DVDs and headphones when not in use (I also liked the pocket storage on the backs of the front seats which were also handy for keeping DVDs within arm’s reach. The DVD player itself is actually located in the lower front console so your kids still need to rely on you to pop in a movie. Hey this way they’re not secretly watching The Hangover.

Rear Storage Well

I honestly forgot about some of the drinks I brought along for our trip because there is so much storage space in the hidden storage well. This would also be great during the holidays when you want to put shopping bags and other valuables out of sight. If your kids play sports, like mine, it’s also incredibly handy for sports gear, from soccer balls to bulky gym bags and from camping chairs to blankets.

Blind Spot Warning System

The first time I saw the orange blind spot warning light up on the rear side view mirrors I was amazed. Great safety feature especially helpful when trying to change lanes on the interstate in heavy traffic.

XM Satellite Radio

Who doesn’t like XM radio? There’s something for everyone, from ESPN to channels dedicated to your favorite decade of music (mine would be the 80s).

Rear Hatch Opener

I loved being able to open the hatch with the click of a button on the key fob. Plus at barely 5 ft. 2 inches tall it’s really difficult for me to reach up and pull down a rear hatch without feeling like I’m going to pull a muscle. Opening the hatch with the touch of a button saves my strength for those important things in life, like power bargain shopping.

Power Outlet

I’m known for working my smart phone overtime and I loved being able to charge my phone in the Quest. The power outlet is conveniently located in the front of the Quest, in the console located between the two front seats. Of course there were times when hubby and I were jockeying for that outlet (ahem.)

Safety Features

Every Nissan Quest model (S, SV, SL and LE) features the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant-classification sensors, driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags, and roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags.

Cup Holders Out The Wazoo

Call me petty, but if you’re a “can’t just have one beverage on hand” kind of mom like me and you love carrying a water bottle with you at all times AND need your morning coffee, then you’ll love the 16 cup holders the Quest features. If you’re sitting in the driver’s seat or front passenger’s seat you can easily reach 6 cup holders, which is nice for those times you need to monitor your kid’s beverage intake.

As far as gas mileage we averaged 20 MPG during our entire trip which is about par for the course for the competing minivans on the market.

What type of vehicle do you drive? What features do you look for in a family ride?

Savvy Housewife is a shopping blog featuring product reviews, great giveaways, and fabulous finds. Be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed as well as visit and subscribe to my main mom blog, BlondeMomBlog.com, for more great content from this 41-year-old Nashville working mom.

 

Land Rover Nashville LR4 Review: Rugged Elegance

Land Rover LR4 Savvy Housewife Nashville Land Rover Nashville LR4 Review: Rugged Elegance

I loved driving the rugged, but luxurious, LR4. View all my photos from our Land Rover Nashville LR4 Test Drive weekend on Flickr.

Although I’m not necessarily an outdoorsy girl, I do love outdoorsy vehicles. That’s why I jumped at the chance to test drive a beautiful 2011 Land Rover LR4 from Land Rover Nashville, located in Brentwood.

Underneath the hood, the LR4 boasts a powerful V8 engine, meaning I had no trouble merging on to the interstate on the way to my daughter’s busy soccer tournament weekend! This is an all-terrain vehicle, with all the bells and whistles one might need plus a roomy and comfortable interior. Speaking of the interior, I loved the leather seats and my girls loved the triple, yes triple, sunroofs.

This is the first Land Rover I’ve ever had the pleasure of driving and I found it to be an easy, comfortable ride and drive. It’s not too unwieldy for parking in tight retail store parking spaces and it has plenty of storage. The LR4 has a third row of seats that boast the same comfortable, and beautiful, leather as the rest of the interior, making it a comfortable ride for seven passengers, and not just kids as the third row is quite spacious even for adults. By folding down the optional third row of seats, we had more than enough space for our three suitcases, camping chairs, and soccer gear needed for an overnight stay during my daughter’s soccer tournament.

Although the vehicle is tall, my girls are older now (6 and 9) and they had no trouble getting in and out of the LR4. I’m also vertically challenged, at just under 5 ft. 2 inches tall, but the driver’s seat was easily adjustable and I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the size of the LR4, which is a big plus in my book.

The down side, as I’m familiar with my own SUV, is that fuel economy with the LR4 is not one of its selling points, but if you’re like me and generally commute within a 10-mile radius of home, then it’s a perfect, rugged, but luxurious, family vehicle. Think off-road vehicle ruggedness meets Ralph Lauren style.

As a mom, vehicle safety is always a concern. This interesting safety report shows that the Land Rover is also a safer option when looking at family SUVs.  I was given a fun demonstration of the electronic stability system with anti-roll control, and although I can’t imagine driving the LR4 on a rocky, sloped surface, it is definitely made for off-road conditions. The LR4 has six airbags, including side-impact airbags for the front row and side curtain airbags for the first and second rows. It drives, looks, and feels like a sturdy work horse but the comfortable interior reminds you that yes, indeed, you are in a luxury SUV.

If you’re in the market for a mid-size luxury SUV, I’d highly recommend test driving an LR4! You can connect with the great staff at Land Rover Nashville on Facebook or Twitter.

Savvy Housewife is a shopping blog featuring product reviews, great giveaways, and fabulous finds. Be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed as well as visit and subscribe to my main mom blog, BlondeMomBlog.com, for more great content from this 41-year-old Nashville working mom.