The 2011 Infiniti QX56 has got a lot of negative press lately because of it’s exterior styling and it’s huge structure, and to be honest I wasn’t too enthused by it’s styling at first either, but it did start to grow on me.
I’m not sure exactly what the thought process was that influenced the exterior design of the new QX56 but it is a bit confusing. With a large front end that has large rounded and soft corners, to a very large flat squared off rear end.
At first glance you kind of think, what’s going on here? But then I realized that it’s definitely different than all the other rigidly squared off large SUV’s in it’s class, like the GMC Yukon and Ford Excursion, giving the QX56 a bit of a stand alone identity.
Love it or hate it on the outside is a personal preference on taste, but once you get inside it I guarantee you will be sold.
Infiniti has always been one of Japan’s higher end luxury auto manufacturers, and I think most of the engineers were more focused on that aspect of the design than the exterior. But it takes more than a nice fancy interior to sell an $83,000 SUV.
With a steep base price tag of $73,000 you do get a lot of truck for your money. The large roomy and luxurious interior has plenty of space to take the entire soccer team on the road. You don’t even have to climb around inside like a jungle gym to flip the seats, everything is done at the touch of a button.
But I started thinking about those nice soft luxurious leather seats, and all those kids kicking, spilling, and dropping food all over them. It made me jump up from my dream in the middle of the night in a sweat. None the less, I guess that’s why we have detailers.
The Infiniti QX56 comes packed with all the latest in safety features too, like the massive structure of the vehicle just isn’t enough. Everything from pre-crash seatbelts, side curtain airbags for all 3 rows of seats, forward collision warning, blind spot and lane departure warning, to the stuff you never even see like the dynamic control system and of course the ABS brakes to name a few.
Some creature comforts on the QX56 are quite nice, like heated seat with climate heat/cool front seats, heated steering wheel, the large sliding glass moon roof, the power lift gate, DVD entertainment system with a BOSE 13 speaker surround sound system, and a large SAT/NAV screen.
Now most of that comes on the base QX56, but the vehicle tested, we had the technology package added that jacked up the price another $8000, but it did give you quite a bit of extras. Not sure though why it’s called the technology package when it includes 22 inch alloy wheels, and a wood grain steering wheel.
Some of the key features in the technology package did include lane departure and blind spot warning, intelligent cruise control, vehicle speed sensitive power steering, adaptive front lighting with auto leveling and an advanced climate control system.
To power this large recreation center on wheels is a 5.6L 32 valve direct injection V8 with 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 7 speed automatic transmission, which is plenty of get up and go for such a full size SUV. The towing capacity on the QX56 is (8500 lb), that’s enough to go on any cottage bound family adventure with boat in tow.
The handling of the QX56 was well thought out, practically no vibration or harshness at all, even on rugged terrain. The independent rear suspension with leveling control and Infiniti’s all mode 4WD system worked great together while taking on some tough Canadian back roads.
One thing I underestimated was the braking system. Infiniti used 4 wheel disc brakes on the QX56, giving it some serious stopping power. It was definitely unexpected at the first stop sign I encountered. With all the components involved, like vehicle dynamic control, hydraulic body motion control, and of course the ABS with traction control, I knew I was in good hands.