Garish, or just livin' large? You make the call with the QX56. But there's no denying the space (seats up to eight) or functionality (tows up to 8500 lb.) of this massive, somewhat porcine vehicle. Power is provided by a direct-injected 5.6-liter 400-bhp V-8 mated to a 7-speed automatic, and a choice of 2wd or 4wd. But that's one of few choices you'll make, as there's just one lavishly appointed trim level, with a navigation system and 13-speaker Bose audio. We'd opt for the dual-monitor Theater Package to keep the kids entertained, which features an upgraded remote control and interface for 2013. Also, Moving Object Detection is added to the standard Around View Monitor and auto-dimming exterior mirrors are standard.
So you’ve got a large family. Does that mean that you should have to sacrifice luxury for an 8-passenger van? Infiniti doesn’t think so, and it’s betting you won’t, either—which is why it invested in an all-new QX56 just last year. Understandably, the big Q is mostly carryover for 2012, the only changes being the addition of features to the available Technology, Deluxe Touring and Theater Packages. Available in 2- or 4-wheel drive, the QX only comes in one well-equipped trim level, then lets you customize it from there with a long list of available equipment. Standard features include leather-trimmed, heated front seats; 13-speaker Bose audio system; Tri-Zone automatic temperature control; Bluetooth hands-free phone system and navigation.
The BMW 7-series is the pinnacle of BMW sedans. A big luxury sedan that is loaded with state-of-the-art technology to keep you safe on today's roads.
Available in rear-wheel drive, or xDrive all-wheel drive, the 750i and long-wheelbase 750Li are powered by a direct-injection, 445-hp 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V8 bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. The 750 has many standard luxury features such as four-zone automatic climate control, power sunroof, high-gloss wood trim, heated 16-way multi-contour seats, voice-activated navigation system on a 10.2-inch color monitor, power trunk lid, HD radio and BMW Assist emergency and information communications. Standard run-flat tires wrap 18-inch alloy wheels, while standard Park Distance Control, adaptive brake lights and steerable adaptive bi-xenon headlights provide active safety. High-tech options include a head-up display, surround-view cameras, high-beam assistant, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, dual LCD screens for rear seat entertainment and ventilated front seats.
For 2014, the base audio system is now harman/kardon, a new Dynamic Digital Instrument Cluster is now standard, and the iDrive controller adds a multi-touch surface to the top of the control knob.
The Lexus GS has been reinvented as a more expressive luxury sedan, one that places additional emphasis on distinctive design and driving enjoyment. While the new GS450h wears a hybrid badge, this is not your typical fuel-sipper. For starters, this 4-door can hustle down the road. An electric motor coupled to a 3.5-liter V-6 is good for a combined output of 338 bhp. According to Lexus, this is enough to propel the GS450h from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. Engineering improvements ensure the latest model doesn't sacrifice usability for extra mileage — the battery pack in the previous model noticeably cut into cargo room. Fuel economy is impressive at 29-mpg city/34-mpg highway. The cabin is quiet and comfortable, and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the extra growl Lexus has worked into the exhaust note.
Handy-sized and an enthusiastic daily driver, Lincoln’s MKX is also affordable and chic, despite being everyday wear. It offers comfortable second-row seating for five, plus an excellent collection of standard features such as remote starting, heated and cooled seats, and extensive electronic aids. Thoroughly freshened last year, the MKX needs little for 2012, but Lincoln managed to squeeze a 14-channel amplifier into the optional THX sound system. Available with either front- or all-wheel drive, the MKX has a naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V-6 that whirs up 305 eager horsepower while also providing best-in-class gasoline fuel economy, so it’s one of the sportiest Lincolns as well. Top safety ratings round out this all-star’s résumé.