Our 2011 Infiniti QX56 has only been at 120 E. Liberty for a month but we've wasted little time putting it to the test. In the first week alone, it took art director Matt Tierny's family of four on a weekend vacation and then immediately turned around to embark on a week-long journey to Florida with associate editor Eric Tingwall and three fellow Ironman Triathletes as well as their equipment. Shortly thereafter, editor-in-chief Jean Jennings used the QX to shuttle her prize-winning Chesapeake Bay retriever, Bob, to two dog shows in the Midwest.
Closer to home, deputy editor Joe DeMatio noted that, "Our QX56 is quite sumptuously equipped." DeMatio quickly had his Blackberry paired with the Bluetooth interface, but didn't have much luck with the voice recognition system.
Eric Tingwall's 2500 mile trip to Florida and back was a test of the QX's cargo capacity and comfort. With four adults, the group was able to fold the third row of seats and "quickly filled the rear with helmets, wetsuits, race gear, shoes, and one bike with the wheels removed." They used a bike rack to carry the remaining bikes for the triathlon although Tingwall had a difficult time using a Yakima Quickback 3 bike rack because of the rather large lip on the top of the hatch. For future bike-toting excursions we'll likely use a hitch-mounted rack.
Passenger comfort was great on the long drive down to Florida thanks to the supple ride and the ability for passengers in the rear seats to watch a DVD while the driver and front passenger enjoy music from an iPod or the radio. For the group's return trip, a fifth passenger was added to the vehicle and that meant someone was relegated to the third-row seat. Tingwall would have preferred the optional (at no extra cost) 60/40 bench seat in the second row, rather than captains' chairs, in order to keep the third row seats folded.
Jean Jennings immediately folded the third row of seats to make room for her Chesapeake Bay retriever, and noted that the seats do not fold flat-they cant downwards, which makes it difficult to keep a dog crate level. Nonetheless, Bob made it to both of his dog shows in style while his owners remained comfortable up front. As one would expect, the heated steering wheel and seats drew big praise on the November drives.
Now that the snow is flying in Ann Arbor, we're all going to be fighting for the keys of this big, comfortable 4x4. Expect to see the miles accumulate rapidly over the next 11 months and check back to find out what sort of interesting uses we find for our 2011 Infiniti QX56 4WD.
|Base price (with dest.)||$60,750|
|Price as tested||$72,560|
|Engine||DOHC 32-valve V-8|
|Power||400 hp @ 5800 rpm|
|Torque||413 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm|
|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|
|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)|
|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|