2011 Infiniti QX56

Base 2WD 4-Dr Sport Utility V8 auto trans

Base 2WD 4-Dr Sport Utility V8 auto trans

2011 infiniti qx56 Reviews and News

2011 Infiniti Qx56 Lexus Lx570 Front In Motion
I spent my impressionable childhood being toted around in the way back of my family's 1992 Toyota Land Cruiser and in many large sport-utilities owned by my friends' families, so I feel that I have a pretty good idea of how buyers actually use them. Our Land Cruiser took us from our home in suburban New York City to the Outer Banks, to the Berkshires in the dead of winter, and of course to the Stop n Shop about ten thousand times. I've arrived at school plays, ceramics classes, Japanese-language classes, violin lessons, and Broadway shows in the third-row seats of Cadillac Escalades and Mitsubishi Monteros and Lexus LX470s and Chevy Suburbans. By the time I got my driver's license, my family had downsized to a series of Lexus RX's, but when I was with my friends in their big family SUVs, I usually managed to take the driver's seat. So, yeah, I know SUVs. And, yeah, I know they aren't the most efficient vehicles on the road, but even with impending $4-per-gallon gasoline, there are still people who have boats to tow, big families and luggage to haul on summer vacations, and household goods to be ferried home from Costco and the Home Depot, and there are plenty of families who want to do it in the lap of luxury and style.
2011 Infiniti Qx56 Front Angled View
Plenty of vehicles meet those needs, and we have one of them, a 2011 Infiniti QX56, in the Automobile Magazine Four Seasons fleet right now. So far, we quite like the big beast, because it's a master at tackling all of the tasks we've mentioned above. However, many editors have complained that the QX is too expensive and too thirsty. But is it really any pricier and thirstier than its most obvious competitor, the 2011 Lexus LX570? Only a comparison test could tell us which Japanese luxo-SUV would come out on top.
Styling: Not a Sight for Sore Eyes
2011 Infiniti Qx56 Lexus Lx570 Front View
When it was unveiled at the 2010 New York auto show, the Infiniti QX56 was criticized by many members of the media for its bulbous sheetmetal; its huge grille; and especially for its oversized front-fender portholes, only one of which is even functional. The QX also is incongruous with the rest of Infiniti's lineup, especially the handsome FX crossover. From the grille, which is twice as tall as the low-set headlights, making the QX look like a beluga whale; to the side profile, with rear quarter-panel sheetmetal that undulates excessively and inexplicably and doesn't relate to the front quarter-panel; to the rear hatch, with its characterless, amorphous-blob taillights and oversized license plate surround and bumper, the QX56 lacks proportion and is far from pretty.
The LX570 does a better job of hewing to its family design theme, the Lexus "L-Finesse" design language. Too bad it doesn't translate well on this scale. The body, inherited from its Toyota Land Cruiser cousin, does not translate well into flowing curves, and the overall mass of the LX means that design cues have been stretched to their max. The trapezoidal headlights and grille from the Lexus LS460 sedan have ballooned to give the full-size sport-utility the face of a very large guppy and are trimmed in copious amounts of blinding chrome. The remainder of the LX is a box -- upright and square, with little visual interest. Even the wheel wells are squared off. Whereas there is a lot going on with the Infiniti QX56's design, there is very little going on with the Lexus LX570. Sadly, this is not a case of "less is more."
Advantage: Neither
Ride and Handling: Shopping Mall Chicane
2011 Infiniti Qx56 Left Angled View
The Infiniti QX56 is better to drive, with handling characteristics that are akin to those of a very large luxury sedan. Until you glance in the rearview mirror and see all that SUV riding along behind you, it's easy to forget that you're driving such an elephantine vehicle. While it may not be a canyon carver, the QX56 holds its own once the roads start twisting, staying planted and only feeling top-heavy when you come into a turn too quickly. The brakes are linear and strong, and the steering is appropriately boosted for a vehicle this size. Lower speeds, however, reveal the Infiniti's size, and you might have to troll the parking lot at Neiman Marcus for a while before you find a space that's easy to slide into.
The Lexus LX570 drives like a truck. Uneven surfaces as small as grooved pavement will upset its ride, and the vehicle wallows even when the suspension is at its firmest setting. The steering feels numb and provides little feedback, and the brake pedal is hard to modulate. In short, there's too much isolation between the driver's hands and feet and what's happening on the road surface. The good news is that the LX's off-roading heritage pays dividends during around-town, low-speed maneuvering -- a best-in-class turning radius of 38.7 feet and short overhangs mean that rock scrambling and parking lot maneuvers alike are a breeze.
Advantage: Infiniti QX56
Interior Dimensions: Sitting in the Lap of Luxury
2011 Lexus Lx570 Front Right Angled View
The interior of our Four Seasons Infiniti QX56 is a feast for the eyes, with a sweeping dashboard bisected by a tastefully designed center stack, subtle white LED lighting, and chrome accents setting off the mocha burl wood trim and wheat-colored leather. We especially like the gathered leather on the door panels and the calming, blue-lit gauges. The audio and climate systems are handled by two sets of buttons and rotary knobs, all logically laid out and easy to reach. More complex tasks are handled by the eight-inch touch screen; for those who prefer a more tactile experience, the Infiniti also has a rotary knob just beneath the screen that duplicates the functions. While well executed, the Infiniti still leaves a little something to be desired -- it doesn't feel special enough.
On the other hand, the Lexus LX570's sumptuous cabin is a 100 percent cashmere sweater to the Infiniti QX56's cashmere-poly blend. All eight seating positions, the doors, and the dashboard are trimmed in creamy, semi-aniline leather and accented with African bubinga wood, the same type of timber used to make those gorgeous Gibson guitars. The remainder of the cabin is trimmed in the highest quality plastics and every button you press is dampened for silent, silky operation. The LX is crypt-like in its silence, which is quite an achievement given its upright shape and twenty-inch wheels wrapped in beefy tires.
Advantage: Lexus LX570
Powertrain and Performance: We head to the track
2011 Infiniti Qx56 Rear View
If you were to look only at the basics of these two SUVs, you would conclude that they are pretty evenly matched. The Infiniti is powered by a 5.6-liter V-8 engine mated to a seven-speed automatic, the Lexus has a 5.7-liter V-8 with a six-speed auto, and both have standard four-wheel drive with a low-range transfer case. Look past the surface, though, and you'll discover that these two are very different beasts.
The Infiniti QX56 is the athlete of the two. Though it is slightly longer, wider, and taller than the Lexus, it's 145 pounds lighter, and its V-8 pumps out 400 horsepower versus the LX570's 383 horsepower; the Infiniti tops the Lexus in torque, too, with 413 pound-feet, 10 more than the Lexus.
When we headed to our test track, the Infiniti QX56's extra power and lower weight became more apparent. We measured the run from 0 to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, which was 1.7 seconds quicker than the Lexus LX. Not many QX56s and LX570s will see drag strips, but our Infiniti polished off the quarter-mile run in a respectable 14.9 seconds at 94 mph, topping the Lexus LX570's best run of 15.3 seconds at 91 mph. In our braking tests, the QX56 stopped in 166 feet, 14 feet sooner than the LX570.
Equipped with such large engines, both SUVs suck fuel. The Infiniti manages to wring a few extra miles out of each gallon of premium gasoline with a best-in-class EPA rating of 14/20 mpg city/highway; the Lexus is rated at 12/18 mpg. In a combination of stop-and-go suburbia and freeways, our mileage from both of the sport-utilities averaged 15 mpg, according to the trip computers.
Advantage: Infiniti QX56
How much is it?
2011 Infiniti Qx56 Lexus Lx570 Front View
The Infiniti QX56's $72,560 sticker price might seem high, but it's a fully loaded model, and that price still undercuts the LX570's base price by $5980. At $87,274 fully loaded, our LX570 tester is more expensive than every other competitor in its class. That $14,714 price difference is hard to justify, as the options lists for the Infiniti and the Lexus are almost identical. Both include rear-seat entertainment systems (though the LX570 has two screens, where the QX56 has only one), trick cameras that show all around the car, premium sound systems (Bose in the Infiniti, Mark Levinson in the Lexus), and keyless entry with push-button start.
What the Lexus LX570 has over the Infiniti QX56 is a number of different off-roading features, such as a variable-rate crawl mode and an adaptable air suspension. It also has another important feature for many people: a Lexus badge. Infiniti is making big strides, but the Lexus brand reputation and prestige paired with sumptuous interiors and a top-notch dealer experience keep Toyota's luxury buyers coming back car after car. Is the value of Lexus ownership equal to the value of one Hermes Birkin bag? These are the questions that try men's' souls....
Advantage: Infiniti QX56
After a Battery of Bourgeoisie Testing, the Winner Is
2011 Infiniti Qx56 Lexus Lx570 Side View
Our first thought was to take the 2011 Infiniti QX56 and 2011 Lexus LX570 off-roading, but as capable as these vehicles are, few of them will actually see anything worse than a gravel driveway on the Cape. Really, their natural habitat is the suburban jungle. While they might be overkill for Starbucks, shopping, and soccer runs, that's often what they are used for. Lattes in hand, we hit the mall.
As we wheeled our mountain sage green Infiniti QX56 into the parking structure adjacent to the Nordstrom store at the Somerset Collection, we saw no fewer than six other current-generation QX56s. This comes as no surprise, as the QX handily outsold both of Infiniti's smaller EX and FX crossovers in 2010 and over 3000 QXs have already been sold in the first quarter of 2011. The LX570's sales have not been quite as impressive; Lexus found homes for only 897 of them in the first three months of 2011.
With its athleticism, powertrain, and value, the 2011 Infiniti QX56 handily beats the 2011 Lexus LX570. Though its interior might not be quite as sumptuous and the Infiniti brand lacks the cachet of Lexus, the Infiniti QX56 is the one I'd most like to take to Costco...and home to Mom.
2011 Infiniti Qx56 Lexus Lx570 Front In Motion
2011 Infiniti QX56 4WD
Base price:
5.6-liter V-8
Power: 400 hp @ 5800 rpm
Torque: 413 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Drive: All-Mode 4WD
L x W x H:
208.3 x 79.9 x 75.8 in
Wheelbase: 121.1 in
Curb weight: 5850 lbs
Cargo capacity: 16.6 cu ft (3rd row up), 49.6 cu ft (3rd row down), 95.1 cu ft (2nd & 3rd rows down)
Tires, F,R: 275/50R22 H-rated all season tires
Wheels, F,R: 22.0 x 8.0 in
0-60 mph:
6.6 sec
EPA city/hwy fuel econ: 14/20 mpg
2011 Lexus LX570
Base price:
5.7-liter V-8
Power: 383 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque: 403 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: Full-Time 4-Wheel Drive with 2-Speed Transfer Case
L x W x H:
196.5 x 77.6 x 75.6 in
Wheelbase: 112.2 in
Curb weight: 5995 lbs
Cargo capacity: 83.1 cu ft (2nd & 3rd rows down)
Tires, F,R: 285/50R20 mud- and snow-rated tires
Wheels, F,R: 20.0 x 8.5 in
0-60 mph:
7.3 sec
EPA city/hwy fuel econ: 12/18 mpg
2011 Infiniti QX56 Front
If you thought Infiniti was going to abandon the full-size luxury SUV segment just because most people are segueing toward smaller, more fuel-efficient, less ostentatious crossovers, think again: the smell of money is in the air.
2011 Infiniti QX56 Front Three Quarters
Ben Poore, vice president of Infiniti Americas, explains: "The bling-bling buyers have left the segment, leaving families." Rich families at that, he adds: "Our QX buyers are the wealthiest Infiniti customers: many pay cash, 55 percent of them have another luxury vehicle in their garage, and a lot of them tow boats and horse trailers. Our biggest market," he continues, "is Long Island, and Dallas and Houston are also growing." Which leads us to conclude that the Infiniti QX56 is the official vehicle of the Real Housewives of East Hampton, Preston Hollow, and River Oaks. But those gals still like their bling, don't they? Lucky for them, the new QX56 has plenty.
Let's start with the cabin, which is slightly narrower than the outgoing QX56's because the new QX is based on the Nissan Patrol (not sold here) rather than the Armada. This interior has an attention to design detail and material finish that rivals Lexus and even Land Rover. The steering wheel gets a rich helping of wood and hide, the front seats are deserving of the most discerning derrieres, and the center stack is framed by two stitched-leather goalposts. A center console between the heatable second-row buckets (a second-row bench that adds an eighth seat is a no-cost option) is big enough to hold all the detritus that Real Children must tote, and a new tri-zone climate-control system improves airflow for second- and third-row passengers-a nod to the Middle East, where the QX56 is popular. Infiniti's Around View Monitor, a series of cameras that project a 360-degree view of the immediate surroundings onto the dash, is crucial not only for Real Husbands to back up to boat trailers but also for Real Housewives to slip into tight parking spots when they're late for mani/pedi appointments.
Not that the QX56 should be a late arrival anywhere, since its 5.6-liter V-8-mated to a new seven-speed automatic-is now the modern unit from the 2011 M56 sedan rather than the old truck engine. With this direct-injected mill under its expansive hood, the 5850-pound QX56 (down 161 pounds) can definitely move. The tow rating is 8500 pounds, and EPA fuel economy now inches toward respectability, at 14 mpg city, 20 mpg highway, and 16 mpg combined. Executive summary: The responsive V-8, the rigid body-on-frame structure, and the well-insulated interior are impressive. Steering that's reasonably precise but devoid of feedback is less so.
Perhaps the coolest feature is at once both an indulgence and a potential lifesaver. Connect an air hose to the QX56's standard twenty-inch or optional twenty-two-inch tires and start pumping. When the tire pressure approaches the correct level, the hazard lights flash; when the correct pressure is reached, the horn sounds. If the tire is overinflated, the system works in reverse as you bleed out air. This is a Really Good Idea that needs to trickle down into cars that Real People drive.
2011 Infiniti QX56 Front
No Head Banging Here
In Infiniti's new Hydraulic Body Motion Control system, part of the $5800 deluxe touring package, the upper chambers of the dampers on one side of the vehicle are cross-linked to lower chambers on the other side, and vice versa. This creates counteracting forces to resist body lean, minimize roll, and reduce head toss for rear-seat occupants, thereby curtailing motion sickness. QX56s thus equipped have no antiroll bars, so another benefit is greater wheel articulation over rough terrain, in the unlikely event that a QX56 owner should engage low range on the optional four-wheel-drive system and go off-roading.
ON SALE: August
PRICE: $57,650/$60,750 (RWD/4WD)
ENGINE: 5.6L V-8, 400 hp, 413 lb-ft
DRIVE: Rear- or 4-wheel
1005 09+2011 Infiniti QX56+front Three Quarter View
Believe it or not, people are still buying full-size luxury SUVs, even in this age of increased "green" concerns and our dismal economy. Although full-size luxury SUV sales peaked at nearly 300,000 units in 2006, the market has settled into a 100,000-unit rhythm in the United States, which Infiniti expects to continue for the life cycle of its all-new, second-generation QX56 that goes on sale in July 2010.
1005 09+2011 Infiniti QX56+front Three Quarter View
Infiniti has never been a big player in this category, but the outgoing, first-generation QX56 provided Nissan's luxury division with steady sales right up to the end of its run. Infiniti, naturally, expects the new QX56 to continue that success, especially since its buyers represent the highest demographic group of all Infiniti models. In other words, these people can afford a $70K luxury SUV, and they can afford to fuel it. "The bling-bling buyers have left the segment," asserts Ben Poore, VP of Infiniti Americas. "Who's left are families who want and need the QX's utility. They have three or four kids, they're pulling boats." And a not-insignificant number of them are paying cash, he tells us. Recession? What recession?
The QX56's major competitors in the full-size luxury SUV market include the Cadillac Escalade, the Mercedes-Benz GL450, and the Lexus LX570. Unlike the outgoing Infiniti QX56, which was built on the same platform as the Nissan Armada and the Nissan Titan pickup, the new 2011 Infiniti QX56 is based on the Nissan Patrol that is sold in the Middle East and other markets, but not the USA. Like the Escalade and the LX570, the Infiniti is a traditional body-on-frame SUV, whereas the Mercedes GL is built on a unibody platform.
Not a "Bling Truck"
In a clear slam at the Cadillac Escalade, Poore says of his QX56, "We are not a bling truck. Our styling [intent] was to be more like a Lear jet. When you step inside, it will take your breath away. If our dealers are a good gauge, and often they are, this is very good for us. A dealer recently told me, 'this is a game changer.' "
The front styling of the Infiniti QX56 is certainly bold, if not beautiful, and it's recognizable as a modern Infiniti product. Infiniti stylists point out its double-arch grille, its wave-like hood, and its LED taillights as being specific brand characteristics. The swoopy shapes we've come to expect from modern Infiniti vehicles continue on the bodysides and inside the cabin.
Speaking of which, the Lear jet analogy isn't completely a stretch. The 2011 Infiniti QX56 interior is awash in the sort of creamy, soft-touch, carefully wrapped leather and precisely molded plastics and glossy wood trim that you might indeed find inside an executive jet. It's nice. People will feel good when they climb aboard, even if they don't lose their breath.
Everything inside the Infiniti cabin is writ large: the seats, the consoles, the door handles, the center stack of instruments, the knobs and buttons and switches: nothing here is diminutive, as you might imagine, but all these disparate elements are brought together into a surprisingly cohesive whole. Get into the cabin of a Cadillac Escalade after driving the new QX56, and its shapes, its forms, its surfaces, and its textures will suffer by comparison.
Room for the Whole Family!
The 2011 Infiniti QX56 is equipped as standard with three rows of seats, including two second-row captains chairs flanking a huge center console. A second-row bench that increases seating capacity to eight is a no-cost option. The comically big second-row console accommodates the headsets to the optional DVD entertainment system as well as a Wii console, as Infiniti points out, because goodness knows that the children of QX56 owners can't leave home without that. The console is so big, in fact, that an ill-behaved child of a QX56 owner could be stuffed into it, not that we recommend that usage. There aren't any seatbelts in there, after all.
1005 10+2011 Infiniti QX56+front Interior
Seriously, though, there's plenty of room in here, even though the 2011 QX56 is marginally shorter and narrower than its predecessor. The first-row and second-row captain's chairs are high and mighty thrones, and the third row's three positions, if not capacious, are sufficient for three pre-teens. Even when you're full-up with seven or eight passengers, there's 16.6 cubic feet of space for cargo behind the third-row seat.
Same powertrain as the M56 sport sedan
The one and only powertrain is the same brand-new, 5.6-liter V-8 that recently debuted in the M56 luxury sport sedan, mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission (the outgoing QX has a five-speed). For the QX56, it sends 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. With the optional all-wheel-drive system, up to 50 percent of torque can go to the front wheels if the dash setting is set to "auto." Set it to "4 high" and the torque will be locked into a 50:50 split. There's also a low range for, in theory, off-roading, but it's more likely to be used when you're pulling your boat trailer up a ramp.
Chassis Highlighted by Hydraulic Body Motion Control System, Unique Tire Pressure Monitor
A new suspension technology called Hydraulic Body Motion Control System, part of the $5800 Deluxe Touring Package, seeks to maintain ride quality by using hydraulic fluid in the suspension dampers in place of traditional anti-roll bars. Each side of the vehicle has a fluid accumulator that sends fluid to the front and rear dampers. Each damper has upper and lower chambers. The upper chambers of the right-side dampers are linked to the lower chambers of the left-side chambers, and vice-versa. If the vehicle's body leans onto the right-side dampers, fluid pressure is lowered in their lower chambers and raised in the upper chambers of the left-side dampers. This counteracting force resists the body's tendency to lean and provokes less head toss among second-row and third-row passengers. In practice, we did find this to assist ride comfort when we sat in the second-row seat of a QX56 while it was being driven briskly on a hilly, twisting road.
A tire-pressure monitoring system, not surprisingly, is standard, but Infiniti takes this a step further by providing a way for QX56 owners to easily inflate either the standard 20-inch or the optional 22-inch tires to the correct pressure. Put an air hose onto the valve stem and start inflating. As the tire approaches the correct pressure, the turn signal indicator lights on the sideview mirrors blink. When the correct pressure is reached, the horn sounds once. If you overinflate the tires, the horn sounds three times quickly. The system works in reverse if the tire is overinflated; as you depress the valve stem to release excess air, the horn will sound when you have deflated the tires to the correct pressure.
1005 06+2011 Infiniti QX56+rear Three Quarter View
Naturally, every conceivable safety device is standard, including air bags galore, stability control, lane departure warnings and corrections, and the like. Infiniti's very trick Around View Monitor camera system, which compiles an overhead view of the car onto a subscreen next to the rearview screen, is standard, and one can imagine that once you use that to assist with hooking up a trailer to the standard tow hitch (now hidden behind a tasteful bumper panel), you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.
Driving It
The Infiniti QX56 has a great powertrain. Off-the-line throttle response is satisfying, and freeway speeds are reached effortlessly. If you're cruising along at 70 mph and want to pass someone, hammer the throttle and the seven-speed transmission crisply and quickly downshifts several gears while the tachometer needle races to the 8000-rpm redline. Before you know it, you're at 95 mph. Braking performance seems adequate for the task of decelerating this three-ton beast, and the brake pedal has decent feel and feedback. Not so the steering, which feels artificial and a tad lifeless. It's reasonably precise, though, so you don't take long to figure out how to point the QX56 through corners with minimal steering correction. In a brief back-to-back drive between the new 2011 QX56 and the outgoing 2010 QX56, we gave the nod to the old model's steering, which was slightly more communicative and natural feeling.
Ride comfort is impressive on the 2011 QX56, though, especially on smooth pavement. There's only so much you can do to tamp down the dynamic forces of a vehicle this tall and with this center of gravity, but Infiniti does a pretty good job here: the QX56 doesn't suffer from undue pitching and bobbing, at least when equipped with the Hydraulic Body Motion Control System.
At freeway speeds, there's some wind noise coming over the roof rails (which are quite a bit more aerodynamic than on the last QX) and around the big sideview mirrors. The second-row seats aren't noisy, but they're not as hush-hush quiet as the back seat of a big luxury sedan, either. There's simply no way around the fact that the big, boxy QX56 is redirecting a lot of air around itself when it's on the move.
There's plenty here to appeal to the Real Housewives and Husbands of the various upmarket ZIP Codes who will be driving these suburban haulers. (Long Island is far and away the QX56's biggest single market, due to its affluence and, presumably, its large number of boats, horses, and other toys to be towed; the new QX has an 8500-lb tow rating.) Compared with the outgoing QX56, in this one, you have a vague perception of the narrower cabin. But, hey, a narrow, elegantly appointed fuselage just makes you feel like you're in a Lear jet, right?
2011 Infiniti QX56 4WD
1005 02+2011 Infiniti QX56+profile View
Base price: $59,800
Price as tested: $70,900
Engine: 5.6-liter DOHC 32-valve V-8
Horsepower: 400 hp @ 5800 rpm
Torque: 413 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Drive: Rear- or four-wheel
L x W x H: 208.3 x 79.9 x 75.8 in
Legroom F/M/R: 39.6/41.0/28.8 in
Headroom F/M/R: 39.9/40.0/36.8 in
Cargo capacity (behind third-row seats): 16.6 cu ft
Curb Weight (2wd/4wd): 5590/5850 lb
Angle of approach/departure: 20.9/22.3 degrees
Ramp angle: 20.5 degrees
Ground clearance: 9.2 in
Towing capacity: 8500 lb
EPA Rating (city/highway): 14/20 mpg
2011 Infiniti QX56
2011 Infiniti QX56
The Infinity QX is a new addition to the Infinity family of vehicles and is re-branded version of the Nissan Armada. This vehicle was actually built in the same factory as its Nissan counterpart. This full sized luxury SUV vehicle has a very bold look and offers some of the most aggressive styling that you will find on any Infinity vehicles. The QX comes in both a 2WD and a 4WD version. Both of the QX SUV models come standard with a 5.6 L V-8 engine that cranks out 400 HP of sheer trucking pleasure. There are many full size SUV models on the market, but the QX is unmatched when it comes to elegance, style and luxury.

Cadillac Escalades, Land Rover and the Lexus 570 are all in the same class and compete with this Infinity model. The QX56 is going to be a strong competitor without a doubt. With four wheel independent suspension this vehicle offers a very nice ride even though it is built on a truck chassis. With less road noise than other models in the same class, huge horsepower and a striking body design, the QX may be the SUV to beat in 2011.
2011 Infiniti QX56 4WD Front Left View
With the unrelenting news reports about the lingering recession, it would be easy to think that expensive, full-size luxury SUVs are becoming extinct. Although it's true that some of the casual buyers who wandered into this segment during boom times have moved on to less pricey, more modest vehicles, there are still plenty of people with means who need a large vehicle to move their families and their trailers but don't want to sacrifice comfort and all-weather capability while doing so. Infiniti, betting that this profitable segment won't completely disappear, redesigned the QX56 for 2011 to meet the luxury and utility needs of these coveted customers.
Infiniti QX Powered Boat Flip
Work continues on the Infiniti QX56-powered luxury boat, which we first learned about last July. Infiniti provided the latest news on the “luxury boat project” powered by the SUV's 400-hp, 5.6-liter VK56DE V-8-engine. At the start of the project, Infiniti recruited automotive tech students from the Tennessee Technical Center-Nashville and Nashville State Community College who assisted with the extraction of the VK56DE engine from a donor QX56. The students also removed a few components unnecessary for aquatic use (i.e. the power steering pump). Since then, the engine has made a number of pit stops with specialists to further prepare it for life on the open waters. Bracket Marine in Westbrook, Maine for modifications to ensure a proper fit to the ZF/Hurth marine transmission. Next, a shop in Alabama installed water-cooled exhaust manifolds and a closed cooling system. Now, the engine is on its way to the automaker’s factory in Decherd, Tennessee, where it will be dyno’d before returning to Maine for installation into the hull of the donor boat. That boat for the record, is a vintage 1962 Chris Craft Holiday, which will need to undergo heavy restoration before the engine is fitted into the hull. Up to 85 percent of the boat’s wood will have to be replaced as well as all the upholstery, hardware, and wiring. Once completed, the boat is expected to be a outstanding looker and performer. “When the 20-foot Chris-Craft Holiday model was introduced in 1962, it was said to be one of the best performing Chris-Craft hulls ever produced,” said George “Dodo” Brockman, owner of Freeport Boat Outlet, who is overseeing the build of the Infiniti boat project. “It cornered well, was easy to come on plane, and was often used in nationally sanctioned competition water skiing events for just those reasons. We can’t wait to see how this classic design performs with the new engine.” The boat is no stranger to hot-rodding and has previously been powered by four different engines over the course of its lifespan, including a 431-cubic inch Lincoln plank head marine engine and a 440-cubic inch Chrysler Hemi marine V-8. “The use of the powerful Infiniti QX56 V8 is fitting with the history of this particular craft,” said Brockman. “The Infiniti V-8 is actually lighter than all of the previous powerplants and won’t require any special bracing or hull modifications to fit it into the original engine bay." Source: Infiniti
2011 Infiniti EX35 Front Three Quarter
Infiniti has released updated pricing and option packaging for its body-on-frame QX SUV and EX crossover. The QX was redesigned for 2011 and therefore receives minimal changes for 2012. The EX receives pricing updates and minor equipment updates. The biggest news for the QX is the addition of Infiniti’s Blind Spot Intervention system available in the Technology Package. Like other blind spot monitoring systems, Infiniti’s Blind Spot Intervention system alerts the driver if there is a vehicle in their blind spot, but it also has the ability to take over steering to keep the SUV in its lane if the driver begins to move over. The Bose Cabin Surround sound system is now included in the Deluxe Touring Package, and has added two more speakers, bringing the total to 15. Heated second row seats have moved from the Deluxe Touring Package to the Theater Package. Headlight washers are added to the Deluxe Touring Package on 2WD models. Infiniti toed the line on 2012 QX56 pricing, which remains the same as the outgoing 2011 model. The QX56 2WD starts at $58,700 and the 4WD model adds an additional $3100; totaling $61,800. Both models are powered by Infiniti’s direct-injected 5.6-liter V-8 mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. The 2012 EX35 soldiers on almost unchanged from 2011. The biggest news, besides pricing, is the addition of HomeLink Universal Transceiver standard on the EX35 Journey trim. It was previously part of the Deluxe Touring Package. The EX35 is available in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, with or without the “Journey” trim level. The EX35 RWD starts at $35,600, and the EX35 AWD starts at 37,000. Specifying the Journey trim with either model adds an additional $2300 to the bottom line; totaling $37,900 and $39,300 respectively. All models are powered by Infiniti’s 297-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Source: Infiniti

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2011 Infiniti QX56
2011 Infiniti QX56
Base 2WD 4-Dr Sport Utility V8
14 MPG City | 20 MPG Hwy
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2011 Infiniti QX56
2011 Infiniti QX56
Base 2WD 4-Dr Sport Utility V8
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2011 Infiniti QX56
2011 Infiniti QX56
Base 2WD 4-Dr Sport Utility V8
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2011 Infiniti QX56 Specifications

Quick Glance:
5.6L V8Engine
Fuel economy City:
14 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
20 MPG
400 hp @ 5800rpm
413 ft lb of torque @ 4000rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD
  • Navigation
60,000 miles / 48 months
70,000 miles / 72 months
Unlimited miles / 84 months
Unlimited miles / 48 months
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Best Pick
IIHS Rear Crash

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