New Car Reviews

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

Months in Fleet: Seven / Miles to Date: 19,845

Long-Term 2011 Infiniti QX56 Update: Spring 2011 Array Miles to date: 19,845

It’s inevitable that a big SUV like our 2011 Infiniti QX56 4WD will be put to the test towing and hauling a variety of objects over the course of its year with us, and we’ve done quite a lot of both in the past month. In other words, we put this big luxury vehicle to work.
“The QX may be a supple suburban cruiser, but lately, I’ve been grabbing the keys more for its cargo capacity and less for its fantastic cabin,” said associate web editor Evan McCausland, who has been using the QX to move. “When you’re moving from house to house, 95.1 cubic feet of cargo space is far more important than heated seats, burlwood trim, or any other interior amenity that typically wins buyers over.” What can one fit into the QX’s cargo area? Try an assortment of books, clothing, and even a disassembled Honda S90 motorcycle all in the same trip. Not bad for an SUV that doesn’t look out of place in a valet line.
There are still some objects that are too big or heavy to fit inside the QX’s cargo area. Luckily there’s a V-8 with 416 lb-ft of torque and a trailer hitch out back, which means we can pull up to 8500 pounds behind the Infiniti. Frankly, though, it’s been tough to find a trailer big enough to really test our QX. Copy editor Rusty Blackwell towed a Wheel Horse lawn tractor on a single axle trailer, which of course was far below the Infiniti’s maximum towing capacity. Another editor needed to take his race car to the shop and that car and trailer combination weighed about 4600 pounds, which was barely more than half the QX’s maximum rating. With 4600 pounds in tow, we did wish for an integrated trailer brake controller.
When there’s nothing hitched to the back, we’re frequently surprised by how quick the QX56 is. Several logbook commenters reported finding themselves travelling 10 or 20 mph faster than they expected because the 400-hp V-8 and seven-speed automatic work so well together. Open it up to hear some exhaust burble, and you can easily find yourself hitting triple digits on highway on-ramps. Luckily Infiniti’s hydraulic body-motion control system does an admirable job of keeping the QX under control during these high speed bursts.
Our more frequent hauling and regular speeding have put added stress on the brakes so we’ll need to have the pads and rotors inspected the next time our SUV heads in for service. Our last service visit, a regularly scheduled 18,750 mile checkup, was performed slightly early at 18,398 miles and included an oil change and multipoint inspection. The service, which rang in at reasonable $51.90, inexplicably didn’t include an inspection of the brakes. Everything else checked out just fine.



  • 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