New Car Reviews

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

Months in Fleet: Four / Miles to Date: 13,440

Long-Term 2011 Infiniti QX56 Update: Winter 2011 Array Miles to date: 13,440

During this winter that just won’t quit, our 2011 Infiniti QX56 remains a top choice for transporting staffers and family members facing this inclement weather. We’ve sung the praises of the heated steering wheel and heated seats in past updates, but they remain a favorite feature as the temperatures remain below freezing.
In the past month, we’ve seen enough snow and ice to give the four-wheel drive system a rigorous workout. From unplowed streets to plowed-in alley entrances, the QX’s massive all-season tires and 22-inch wheels have rolled through any obstacles in their paths. Although the system sends power to the rear wheels most of the time, the automatic four-wheel-drive setting will send power to the front wheels when the rear wheels lose traction. In automatic mode, the QX lets the tail hang out quite a bit on icy roads before sending power to the front wheels. Locking the system into 4-hi solves this problem. We haven’t yet had much reason to engage 4-low, but the extra range position serves as good reminder we’re driving a bona fide SUV, not merely some crossover.
To test the QX’s truck underpinnings, one staffer towed a racecar to a shop for some pre-season preparations. The QX shrugged off the trailer, which weighed around 5000 pounds, and was still perfectly happy cruising at 80 mph. Selecting tow/haul mode for the transmission dialed up revised shift mapping, and produced perfectly-timed downshifts during braking. Tow/haul mode was especially useful because we haven’t installed a trailer brake controller on our QX. If transporting racecars becomes a regular task (and it might be as multiple staffers are avid weekend racers) we’ll need to equip the QX with an aftermarket trailer brake controller since Infiniti does not offer one as a factory option.
Few vehicles are able to bridge the gap between luxury, utility, and people moving like Infiniti’s big SUV, and the Automobile Magazine Four Seasons fleet provides plenty of opportunities to test the QX’s multiple roles. Be sure to come back to see how it handles the various challenges we throw at it.



  • 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