Honda HS520 liberates high-performance SUV.


What with the holidays, 40-some inches of white stuff dumped by three snowfalls and one full-bore nor’easter blizzard, plus a couple of days of freezing rain followed by below-zero temperatures, we’ve been driving the Infiniti QX70 for going on three weeks now.


Fresh cars just haven’t been able to get up to the western shore of Maine’s Penobscot Bay.


To be sure, there are worse vehicles to be wintered-in with than this one—even though, as mentioned two weeks back, the QX70 is so rear-wheel-happy that sometimes it doesn’t feel very AWD at all.


It’s the only SUV where we’ve ever seriously relied on the “Snow” drive setting. (Everyone in the Frozen North who learned to drive before about 1990 has a “snow mode” already programmed into his or her right foot, and tends to disdain such babysitting.)


It sedates the QX70 enough so that the front wheels can get a decent bite before the rears begin to spin. True snow tires would help too, but in any case the anti-spin gremlins step in to chop the throttle and brake one or another wheel(s) before the QX gets too far out of line.


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Honda HS520 liberates high-performance SUV.

What with the holidays, 40-some inches of white stuff dumped by three snowfalls and one full-bore nor’easter blizzard, plus a couple of days of freezing rain followed by below-zero temperatures, we’ve been driving the Infiniti QX70 for going on three weeks now.

Fresh cars just haven’t been able to get up to the western shore of Maine’s Penobscot Bay.

To be sure, there are worse vehicles to be wintered-in with than this one—even though, as mentioned two weeks back, the QX70 is so rear-wheel-happy that sometimes it doesn’t feel very AWD at all.

It’s the only SUV where we’ve ever seriously relied on the “Snow” drive setting. (Everyone in the Frozen North who learned to drive before about 1990 has a “snow mode” already programmed into his or her right foot, and tends to disdain such babysitting.)

It sedates the QX70 enough so that the front wheels can get a decent bite before the rears begin to spin. True snow tires would help too, but in any case the anti-spin gremlins step in to chop the throttle and brake one or another wheel(s) before the QX gets too far out of line.

(more…)