New Car Reviews

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

Months in Fleet: Five / Miles to Date: 15,467

Long-Term 2011 Infiniti QX56 Update: Spring 2011 Array Miles to date: 15,467

Early on in our 2011 Infiniti QX56’s term questions about the 400-hp engine’s thirst for premium fuel filled the logbook. Now that we’ve spent five months behind the wheel, we’re finally beginning to appreciate the capability that Infiniti packs in its luxury SUV.
Assistant editor David Zenlea recently spent a lot of time piloting smaller SUVs and crossovers powered by mere V-6 engines and immediately sang the praises of a big engine in a big SUV; “Sorry, but there’s still no magic concoction of technology that gets a heavy behemoth moving so smoothly and swiftly as a proper V-8.” Zenlea particularly enjoys the 416 lb-ft of torque and wide gearing of the seven-speed automatic transmission for darting in and out of urban traffic. Big displacement means you never have to worry about turbo lag or search for the upper rev range to get to the fat part of the power curve.
While reflecting on the QX’s impressive power delivery, Zenlea also put the fuel economy ratings in perspective for other staffers: “I’d argue the QX’s 14/20 mpg ratings aren’t quite so villainous when you remember that even crossovers with downsized engines don’t score particularly well. An Audi Q7 with a 3.0-liter gas V-6 for instance, achieves 16/22 mpg. For that 2 mpg advantage over the Infiniti, the Audi gives up 3000-pounds in towing capacity along with, in my opinion, a good deal of driving pleasure.”
As we’ve come to expect with big utility vehicles, the miles are quickly accumulating and the QX has already visited our local Infiniti dealer for its 15,000 mile service. This service included a multi-point inspection, tire rotation, oil and oil filter change, and a new in-cabin air filter. The total came to $240.74 and the $63.23 cabin air filter actually cost more than the seven quarts of oil ($27.30) and new oil filter ($14.47).
Our dealer also treated the QX to a complimentary wash while it was in for service, but the SUV is in need of a full detailing after a few months of salt and mud have assaulted the light colored interior. Rubber floor mats trap most of the nasty stuff on passengers’ shoes, but it’s an uphill battle to keep a wheat-colored interior clean when you’re hauling families, dogs, and other assorted cargo on a regular basis.



  • 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