Last year Infiniti's top-end SUV got completely redesigned, with an all-new exterior design, a new platform and an updated powertrain. The current QX56 is a large vehicle with excellent power and towing ability.
The QX56 is based on a platform shared with the Nissan Patrol--an SUV that is built for military purposes elsewhere in the world and can hold its own against hard-core off-road competitors such as the Land Rover Discovery, Toyota Land Cruiser and Mercedes-Benz G-Class. The QX56 can be had in either 2- or 4-wheel-drive configuration.
Only one engine is available: a muscular 5.6L V8 also found in the Infinity M56. Thanks to direct injection and variable valve timing, the motor now makes a full 400 horsepower. With a standard 7-speed automatic transmission, the new drivetrain is rated at 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway. Towing capacity is a stout 8,500 pounds. The overall driving experience is said to be quite good, with light steering and excellent acceleration making the QX56 feel a lot smaller than it actually is. Add to that Infiniti's Around View System, which provides a 360-degree view inside the cockpit, and taking on parking lots becomes much less daunting.
Standard safety features include a plethora of airbags, both in the front and side positions for both driver and passenger, as well as side curtain airbags for all three rows of seating. Other items include anti-lock brakes, traction control and Vehicle Dynamic Control. Intelligent Cruise Control, a lane-departure warning system, a blind spot warning system and Forward Collision Warning with Distance Control Assist are optional. An available hydraulic body motion control system minimizes side to side motion while maintaining good wheel articulation for off-roading.
The QX56 comes in only one trim package, but it features an impressive list of standard equipment which includes 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon HID headlamps, heated leather seats, power folding third row seat, keyless start, navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and a Bose 10-speaker stereo system with a six-disc in-dash changer. A Theater package adds dual 7-inch monitors for the rear seats, a wireless remote, headphones, a 120-volt power outlet and heated tip-up second-row seats. A Deluxe Touring Package adds 22-inch wheels, special leather seats, advanced climate control, heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats and headlight washers. A Technology Package adds all of the available safety features in addition to adaptive front lighting.
High-end Technology Features, Comfortable Seating For Eight, Excellent Stability And Utility.
The Theater package now includes a 120V power outlet and heated 2nd-row seats. Otherwise, Infiniti's flagship Utility returns unchanged following 2011's refresh.
Although some might consider its styling a bit polarizing, the QX56 has a lot to offer for the buyer looking for a full-size body-on-frame sport-utility. Despite its size, the QX56 is smooth, quick, and maneuverable and it features a host of luxury amenities as standard equipment.