New Car Reviews

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

Months in Fleet: Six / Miles to Date: 17,723

Long-Term 2011 Infiniti QX56 Update: Spring 2011 Array Miles to date: 17,723

After six months and 17,723 miles, it’s clear we’ve collectively spent a lot of time inside our 2011 Infiniti QX56. Since driving dynamics aren’t exactly the highlight of the QX experience, our editors have been fixated on the big Infiniti’s interior accouterments.
Senior editor Joe Lorio recently looked for traces of cost-cutting efforts in the QX’s cabin and had no luck: “With the M sedan and now this QX, Infiniti is officially the master of the padded-cell interior. One searches in vain for hard plastic. Impressive.” Associate Web editor Evan McCausland recently drove a 2011 Lexus LX570 and offered a comparison of the luxury utes’ interiors: “The QX does a better job of neatly presenting switchgear to the driver than the LX,” adding, “Lexus bombards users with a number of mysterious buttons and switches, many of which are tied to off-road functions that will likely never be used.”
But it’s not all praise for our Infiniti’s interior. Staffers are apparently fooled by the QX’s rather large footprint. Assistant editor David Zenlea, for example, was expecting a cavernous center console: “I opened the center console this weekend and was surprised — once again — to see how tiny it is.” Lorio noticed a more serious issue with the interior’s configuration: “You need to use the third row when carrying any more than four people, due to our tester’s second-row captain’s chairs. So, the QX56 actually doesn’t work so well as a vacation conveyance for a crew of five or six.” That said, a second-row bench seat that increases the QX56’s seating capacity from seven to eight is a no-cost option. And with the third row of seats folded, there’s a decent 49.6 cubic feet of cargo space available behind the second-row seats.
That cargo space came in handy recently when one editor used the QX to tow his 24 Hours of LeMons car to a local race — safety gear, extra clothing, and a variety of food and drink all fit behind the second row of seating and left room for four real adults in the vehicle. Towing a flatbed car trailer with a station wagon full of spare parts on top posed no problem for the 5.6-liter V-8 and seven-speed automatic transmission. It’s almost frightening how quick this SUV can be. Infiniti’s failure to offer an integrated trailer brake controller is a real downer for frequent towers because adding an (essential) aftermarket brake controller instantly downgrades the luxurious interior.
Be sure to come back next month to find out what tasks we test our 2011 Infiniti QX56 with as we begin the second half of our loan. The summer vacation season is quickly approaching and it’s likely the odometer will turn at an even more impressive rate during this season.



  • Base price (with destination): $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
  • Cargo 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