New Car Reviews

2011 Infiniti QX56 4WD – Four Seasons Update – January 2011

Months in Fleet: Three / Miles to Date: 10,247

Long-Term 2011 Infiniti QX56 Update: Winter 2011 Array Miles to date: 10,247

As the snow started falling, staffers scurried to grab the QX keys. “Winter in Detroit is the most SUV time of year,” mused senior editor Joe Lorio after a night in the QX. He’s on to something there. With the reduced traction available on snowy streets, the temperatures dip below freezing, and everyone looking for a warm, comfortable place to pass the time, our QX seems like the perfect ride for the winter months.
Still, our hyper critical drivers did manage to find a few chinks in the QX’s armor. Copyeditor Rusty Blackwell initially praised the cavernous cargo area’s ability to swallow an end table, coffee table, and some folding chairs without folding down the second row of seats, but also pointed out that the high load floor and 22.4-inch stepover height don’t make for convenient loading or boarding procedures. He also complained that lane departure warning and blind spot warning can’t operate independently, which conflicts with his desire to clip apexes and still know when there’s something in his blind spot.
Deputy editor Joe DeMatio, however, doesn’t mind the fact that the lane departure warning system and blind spot detection systems work in tandem: “I’ll take any electronic assistance I can have, thank you very much, for the task of keeping this big beast in its lane.” DeMatio especially appreciates the electronic aides when it’s time to “fiddle with any of the many controls on the center stack.” Joe is apparently the first staffer to fill the QX with six adults and he decided to test the third row for himself: “Plenty of headroom, but legroom was tight and overall the accommodations were not as good as you’d get in a minivan or in the Ford Flex.”
Despite our love for the QX’s heated seats, steering wheel, and overall great cold weather comfort, we’re already dreaming of warmer weather and more adventurous trips for the QX once the snow starts melting. Be sure to check back next month to find out where the QX goes and what we think of it during its fourth month at 120 East Liberty Street.



  • Base price (with dest.) $60,750
  • Price as tested $72,560
  • Body Style SUV
  • Accommodation 7-passenger
  • Construction Body-on-frame


  • Engine DOHC 32-valve V-8
  • Displacement 5.6 liters
  • Power 400 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Torque 413 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
  • Transmission 7-speed automatic
  • Drive Four-wheel
  • Fuel Economy 14/20/16 mpg (city/hwy/combined)


  • Steering Vehicle-speed-sensitive power steering
  • Turning circle 41.6 ft
  • Suspension, Front Hydraulic Body Motion Control System
  • Suspension, Rear Hydraulic Body Motion Control System
  • Brakes F/R Power-assisted ventilated disc; ABS
  • Wheels 22 x 8.0-inch forged-aluminum
  • Tires Bridgestone Dueler H/T 684II
  • Tire Size 275/50R22 111H


  • Headroom F/2R/3R 39.9 / 40.0 / 36.8 in
  • Legroom F/2R/3R 39.6 / 41.0 / 28.8 in
  • Shoulder Room F/2R/3R 63.8 / 63.5 / 60.5 in
  • Wheelbase 121.1 in
  • Track F/R 67.5 / 67.9 in
  • L x W x H 208.3 x 79.9 x 75.8 in
  • Caro Capacity 49.6 / 95.1 cu ft (3R seats down / with 2R & 3R seats down)
  • Weight 5850 lb
  • Fuel Capacity 26.0 gal
  • Est. Range 416 miles
  • Fuel Grade 89 octane


  • standard equipment

    • 5.6-liter V-8 engine
    • 7-speed automatic transmission
    • Four-wheel drive
    • Snow and tow modes
    • Hill start assist
    • 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS
    • Vehicle dynamic control
    • Traction control system
    • Tire pressure monitoring system
    • 8-way driver/6-way passenger power/heated front seat
    • Power lumbar support
    • Leather-appointed seats
    • Second row captains chairs
    • Power 60/40 split and fold third row seats
    • Power tilt/telescoping steering column
    • Heated steering wheel with multi-function controls
    • Bose 13-speaker premium audio system
    • Single in-dash CD/DVD player with MP3 playback
    • 9.3 GB Music Box hard drive
    • XM satellite radio
    • USB/iPod adapter
    • Bluetooth connectivity
    • Infiniti hard drive navigation system
    • 8-inch color touch-screen display
    • Voice recognition for audio
    • Around view monitor with front and rear sonar system
    • Tri-zone automatic climate control
    • Intelligent key with push button ignition
    • Power sliding tinted glass sunroof


  • Deluxe touring package
  • $5,800
  • 22-inch forged-aluminum wheels
  • Hydraulic body motion control system
  • Climate-controlled front seats
  • Heated second row seats
  • Remote tie up second row seats
  • Advanced climate control system
  • Headlight washers
  • Technology package
  • $2850
  • Intelligent cruise control
  • Blind spot warning
  • Land departure warning
  • Land departure prevention
  • Intelligent brake assist
  • Forward collision warning
  • Adaptive front lighting system with auto leveling
  • Theater package
  • $2450
  • Dual 7-inch color rear monitors
  • Two wireless headphones
  • Wireless remote control
  • Auxiliary audio/video input jacks
  • 120V power outlet
  • Illuminated kick plates $390
  • Roof rail crossbars $320