New Car Reviews

2011 Infiniti QX56 – Four Seasons Update – October 2011

Months in Fleet: 12 / Miles to Date: 31,508

Long-Term 2011 Infiniti QX56 Update: Fall 2011 ( 4 of 5 ) Miles to date: 31,508

It isn’t uncommon for Four Seasons test vehicles to begin their stay in the Automobile Magazine fleet with lots of enthusiasm and unrelenting demand. Somewhere over the next three seasons the newness fades and interest wanes. Maybe an editor or two even forgets we have a given vehicle in the fleet. But our 2011 Infiniti QX56 remained in demand until the final day of our test.
I recently purchased an enclosed trailer for my 24 Hours of LeMons car and used the QX to bring it home. Apparently the QX didn’t look like an adequate tow rig for the empty 24-foot trailer, and the seller asked if I was really going to pull it home behind the Infiniti. He had always pulled it with a diesel heavy-duty truck because his Chevy Suburban’s rear suspension couldn’t handle the tongue weight when it was loaded. Using the rear view camera, I was able to back under the trailer and hook everything up while he was inside the house filling out his half of the paperwork. By the time he returned to the trailer, the rear air suspension had leveled out and he didn’t realize the trailer was already attached to the Infiniti.

With an 8500-pound capacity, the QX had no problem towing the 4200-pound box and I only wished for larger mirrors on the 45-mile trip because the enclosed trailer is so wide and tall. As I’ve come to expect, the tow/haul mode performed flawlessly with the seven-speed automatic transmission always in the correct gear and the 5.6-liter V-8 — with 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque — didn’t mind the extra weight one bit. According to the in-dash computer, fuel economy averaged a respectable 10 mpg with the trailer in tow.
If you want to drive something luxurious during the week and need to tow on the weekend, the QX is perfect. Otherwise you’d be looking at a luxury sedan and a pickup truck to fill both of these roles. Not having to choose between those two extremes is a luxury in itself that cuts down on insurance costs and the hassle of maintaining two separate vehicles.
Look for our more detailed Four Seasons Wrap Up of the 2011 Infiniti QX56 in a future issue of Automobile Magazine to get the full report on our cost of ownership, service requirements, and the all-important star rating from our editors.



  • 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