For 2012, Infiniti only made minor changes to the QX56's equipment packages and I don't blame them for it. It would be no easy task to make substantial improvements to the QX, which is as capable, luxurious, and well built as any SUV in its class. While its not necessarily unattractive, the QX's exterior is the only area that could possibly use refining. The design is undeniably distinctive but instead of helping to camouflage the Infiniti's immense proportions it actually emphasizes them, giving the QX a slightly awkward look.
Jennifer Misaros, Managing Editor, Digital Platforms
The updates made to the Infiniti QX56 for 2012 were incredibly modest, but also showed that Infiniti is paying close attention to its customers. One of our most-griped about nuisances with our Four Seasons QX was the fact that there was no way to disable the lane departure warning system without also disabling the blind spot monitor (something that drivers will be very grateful for in the QX because of its size). Infiniti had informed us that there would be a software update to remedy that and they held true to their promise - although hidden within a number of submenus, the switch to turn off the overly sensitive lane departure warning system was there and that means the QX was infinitely more serene during my trip to and from Chicago. Infiniti also added in its new lane departure prevention system - different from the warning system in that the LDP will use the car's brakes to nudge the vehicle back to the middle of the lane. Although it's a little scary the first time it happens, it's a neat party trick and immensely handy when battling strong crosswinds.
Donny Nordlicht, Associate Web Editor
I wasn't in the cheeriest of moods when I picked up the keys to this QX56. It was 1 a.m. and below freezing, and I had just returned from a sunny four days in California. The Infiniti, however, was probably the ideal vehicle for me to get home. The heated steering wheel and seat warmed up quickly. The big V-8 makes getting on the highway a breeze. And best of all, the QX56 is supremely comfortable. I was still tired, yes, but at least I was warm and comfortable behind the wheel.
Jake Holmes, Associate Web Editor
It's funny how plans come together. Had you asked me Friday what I had scheduled for a my weekend, I wouldn't have answered, "moving a piano." But, when keys to an Infiniti QX56 landed on my desk, I suppose it was karma.
Although our Four Seasons QX56 proved quite adept at hauling cargo and pulling trailers, I primarily used it as a luxurious people mover and a rather conspicuous commuter vehicle. But there's quite a bit the QX can do. Move motorcycle parts? Check. Carry 20 lawn bags to the recycling heap in a single trip? Sure. Move a spinet piano from Flint to Dayton? Why not?
Before you ask, no, you can't fit it into the QX (and I wouldn't want to even try lifting a 600-plus pound piano the three feet needed to clear the bumper). But you can fit one into a 5x8' enclosed rental trailer, and said trailer can easily be pulled by the QX. Infiniti equips every QX with a class IV hitch, a seven-pin trailer wiring connector, and an 8500-pound tow rating. Seeing as the combined weight of piano and trailer added up to about 1500 pounds, the QX never came close to breaking a sweat. Nor did I, at least once the rig was under way, as the Infiniti's cabin remains one of the most opulently trimmed interiors offered in the segment.
Arguably, the hardest part of towing with the QX is accessing the receiver hitch itself. For the sake of both cosmetics and aerodynamics, Infiniti tucks the towing hardware behind a beauty cover, which can prove a bit tricky to remove, especially in the dark. But if that is the hardest part of moving a piano, I should consider myself lucky -- and thankful for the QX56's brief return to our fleet.
Evan McCausland, Associate Web Editor