Review: 2013 Infiniti QX56 4WD

Friday July 19th, 2013 at 2:77 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

Hypes: Great Visibility, Spacious Living Area, V8 Oomph
Gripes: Space Grabbing 2nd Row Console, Jerky Radar Cruise Control

Painted “Black Obsidian” the QX56 looks as menacing as a nuclear submarine. This is no pretty plaything. Bereft of deft sculptural touches, the chunky QX56 depends on brutality for its brand of beauty. Up front, the immense chromed grill, guarded by slit headlights, makes the hulk look like a Brahma bull. Optional ($2,450) 22” wheels and ultra-wide 275/50HR22 Bridgestone Dueler tires stand so tall they force you to do the Texas two-step when climbing up into the cabin. Standard running boards are essential for short folks. Once ensconced in this plush expanse of Wheat Semi-Aniline Leather and Tuscan Burl Trim, you’ll enjoy a commanding view of the road in all directions. Unlike so many taper-tailed SUVs that trade vision for styling, the boxy QX56 offers excellent sight lines. Even though you’re far removed from pavement height, you can still park this mammoth craft with surprising accuracy thanks to unimpeded vision. Additionally, a standard “AroundView” monitor offers sonar detection of moving objects both front and rear.

Although Infiniti offers a 2WD version of the Q ship for a base price of $60,650, the $3,100 extra you spend on the 4WD version (base price: $63,750) is money well spent if it rains or snows where you live. Moreover, the earth mover size Bridgestone tires, being mud and snow rated, are just itching to strut their stuff in the sloppy outback. Infiniti provides a comforting control knob on the center console with settings for Snow, Tow or Go. The trailer setting allows you to haul a whopping 8,500 pounds behind the Q. The computer-controlled transfer case offers low and high ranges of 4WD. During our dry and sunny week with the Q, we left the controller in 4WD High range and found the big beast to be marvelously effective at conquering any paved terrain we chose to tackle. On twisty backroads, the Q defies its size and near 6 ton weight by blasting through turns with aplomb. Out on the Interstate, it mimics a palatial living room on wheels, especially when equipped with the optional ($4,650) Deluxe Touring Package, which exchanges the standard 13 speaker Bose Premium Sound System for a 15 speaker installation with Surround Sound and digital 5.1 decoding. This unit is really adept at thumping out tunes sourced from XM Satellite radio, MP3 playback, USB Ipod interface, or streaming Bluetooth – all of which are included in the entertainment package.

Precise control of front, side and rear micro-climates keeps all passengers happily pampered in their own comfort zones. In view of the fact that this mother ship can safely carry as many as 8 adults, specific zones for air conditioning and heat are important to group satisfaction. If you choose to fold one or both of the rearmost bench seats, you can easily do so via (slow) electric controls for each side. The second row seats also collapse and fold forward against the backs of the front seats. But if you plan on carrying bulk loads inside your QX56, you’ll want to order your Infiniti with a second row bench seat rather than the pair of captain’s chairs of our test vehicle. A second row bench folds flat whereas the console dividing the captain’s chairs remains a standing impediment even when the chairs are flipped forward.

The QX56 relies on a thirsty but powerful 5.6 liter V-8 which produces a startling wallop when the throttle is floored. The 7-speed automatic transmission features downshift rev blipping and manual gear selection in addition to very savvy Adaptive Shift Control automation. With 400hp and 413 lb.-ft. of torque on hand, you’ll never encounter a situation that taxes the power limit of this SUV. But you will pay for the privilege because the QX manages just 16 MPG in overall driving. But if you can afford the gas, as well as the pricey buy-in, the QX56 is the stoutest, sturdiest piece of equipment a large family could ever need.

2013 Infiniti QX56 4WD

  • Engine: 5.6 liter V-8
  • Horsepower: 400hp
  • Torque: 413 lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 14 MPG City/20 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $78,140
  • Star Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Stars

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2012 Infiniti QX56 4WD Review

Friday May 11th, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

For: Whopper V8, Airy Cabin, Finely Crafted Finish
Against: High Climb-In, Small Sunroof

Only ex-tank commanders or moonlighting semi drivers will find this QX to be beautiful. But if beauty is as beauty does, then a lot of potential buyers who need to tow trailers or haul lots of people will also discern the inner beauty of the QX. Let’s start with trailer towing, a task for which this Infiniti is ideally suited. Since it’s based on Nissan’s rugged Titan truck platform, and powered by a 5.6 liter V8, you’ve got enough horsepower (400hp) and torque (413 lb.-ft.) to pull 8,500 pounds of deadweight. Infiniti assists this task by including an integral Class IV tow hitch, and 7-pin wiring harness (with cover) in the basic specification of the QX. Standard self-leveling rear suspension also aids the drayage process. The 7 speed automatic gearbox keeps the engine working at top efficiency, with manual override and rev matching available via the console mounted stick. Normal dry weather operation calls for 2WD selection, with 4WD offered for extra traction in inclement conditions. The 4WD setting consists of both high and low range all-wheel-drive.

YouTube Preview Image2011 Infiniti QX56 – Drive Time Review. This video is brought to you by Steve Hammes

If it’s human haulage you’re after, you couldn’t do better than the QX without buying a school bus. Like many other SUVs, this one has 3 rows of seats (accomodating 8) , but unlike most others, all 3 rows are eminently accessible and comfortable. Order the optional ($2,900) Theater Package and you’ll turn your QX into a mobile entertainment center that offers 2nd row occupants a pair of 7 inch DVD screens, and wireless headphones with which to follow the action. Best of all, the Theater Package also includes remote tip-up controls for the 2nd row seats to ease entry for passengers in the 3rd row. Of course no one boarding this magic bus has it any better than the 2 front seat riders. The QX features standard 10 way front seat adjustment for the driver, 8-way ditto for the passenger, and 2-way lumbar support for both front seats. In addition, the combination leather/wood steering wheel rim is heated, and the wheel itself tilts and slides at the push of a button. The driver’s command position offers excellent forward, side and rear vision.

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2011 Infiniti QX56 AWD First Impressions Review

Wednesday June 22nd, 2011 at 10:66 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2011 Infiniti QX56
By contributing editor David Colman


  • Feels invulnerable
  • Tour bus front seats
  • Swallows bikes


  • Mismatched door-to-dash trim
  • Hard rear seats
  • Middling fuel mileage
  • Rearview mirror adjustment button inaccessible when seated

The QX56 comes alive when the sun sets. With its brilliant directional headlights scanning the countryside, its 3/4 overhead navigation tableau reeling off street names as you pass them, and the dual movie screens of the optional ($2,450) rear “Theater Package” blasting pixels into the dark, this Infiniti is the wonder of the digital age. While it’s not much to look at from outside, this boxy, heavy SUV gains all its momentum inside, where a palatial interior cocoons up to 8 occupants with Air Force One attention to detail. The BarcaLounger-sized front seats allow you to survey a jungle-like swath of Mocha Burl trim covering the outer rim of the steering wheel, the center stack of the dash, and the front quarters of all 4 doors. The driver’s seat adjusts in 8 ways, the passenger’s in 6.

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2011 Infiniti QX56 Review – Bigger is Better!

Friday December 10th, 2010 at 1:1212 PM
Posted by: twain

By Twain Mein


  • Amazingly nimble handling with surprising lack of body lean
  • Huge interior and more rear legroom than flying business class on Jet Blue
  • Powerful engine with excellent acceleration
  • Beautiful interior with incredibly comfortable seats
  • The traction of all-mode 4-wheel drive
  • A twin-turbo V8 that has more than enough muscle to haul your Airstream trailer and gets respectable MPG


  • Controversial exterior styling
  • Ultra-wide chassis almost requires a “wide load” sign on the rear bumper
  • Cargo room behind third row is disappointingly small

The 2011 Infiniti QX56 is obscenely huge—across many dimensions. The 4WD version we tested tips the scales at 5,850 pounds or three tons with me on board. It’s also got a mammoth 5.6 liter engine that burps out 400 horsepower and 413 lb-feet of torque. Harnessing this engine is a seven-speed transmission which helps it to eek out an surprisingly efficient 14/20 mpg rating. The rig also roles on dubs; 275/50 series tires wrap 22 inch rims – yes, 22 inchers! In fact, at 208 inches long and nearly 80 inches wide, this behemoth is actually longer and wider than the Cadillac Escalade and positively dwarfs our 2006 Toyota Highlander. Infiniti keeps the jiggle to a minimum, though, by using hydraulic shocks to compensate for its mass providing surprisingly svelte handling.

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