PRO’s: Great interior, wonderful road manners, decent mileage for such a large SUV.
CON’s: Questionable styling, small side view mirrors, big price.
FINAL THOUGHT: Even though the QX56 may look like Susan Boyle that doesn’t change the fact that this 2-ton rock star sings like Lady GaGa.
There is nothing subtle about the 2012 Infiniti QX56. I mean truth be told this sucker is huge. At over 17-feet long and 6-feet wide this thing takes me back to the days of Ford’s now defunct two door Bronco. I wasn’t really sure what to make of the QX56 which meant my expectations were set quite low.
I received the QX56 at the urging of Adam, one of the gentlemen who organizes the press car fleet out here in San Francisco. I had mentioned that my entire family was in town for the week and he suggested that I give the new QX56 a try. At first I was a bit reluctant, but he assured me that I’d dig the big Infiniti. The first thing I noticed upon delivery was the presence the QX56 had in comparison to the other cars in my community, as it stood out like a red Ferrari at a funeral. After spending a week with it though my preconceived notions had vanished and I was left in awe of how good this behemoth was.
I had taken possession of the QX56 the day before the forecast called for seven straight days of rain. My first impression was that at 5,900 lbs. the QX56 drove better then most vehicles half its size and more importantly, the ride quality seemed to rival many of the high end luxury cars that are currently on sale. This model was loaded with 4WD, 22-inch 9-spoke forged aluminum wheels and just about every techo-gadget known to man.
*Oh my goodness these seats are good!
Now hear me on this – if you ever get a chance to plant your tukis in the seats of the 2012 Infiniti QX56, DO IT! The drivers seat is 10-way power adjustable (8-way for the passenger), it offers great support and will coddle you in perfect comfort thanks to its vented and heated capabilities. Your passengers (all 6 of them) will be happy thanks to the theater package which offers dual 7-inch color monitors with remotes and wireless headphones. Second row seats are heated and recline as well which is a nice touch for when your fully loaded.
Power comes by way of a 5.6-liter V8 that produces 400 hp/413 lb-ft of torque through a 7-speed automatic transmission. Running at 75 mph showed 20.5 mpg at just under 2,000 rpm. The shifts were seamless with the transmission downshifting abruptly when the accelerator was pushed hard.
As mentioned the QX56 drives much smaller than one would think. It’s also quite confidence inspiring. Running 75 mph in the rain showed a very stable platform that drove without a hint of instability. The VDC (vehicle dynamic control) works in conjunction with the traction control system to provide the driver with a full-sized SUV that is not only capable, but sure footed even in the most inclement of weather. Performance handling was a surprise as well. Now granted, this is not a back roads blaster, however for a truck of this size handling was well mannered with very little in the way of surprises. Get too anxious though and those almost 3-tons become very apparent. Otherwise the QX56 is a joy to drive with good visibility. Larger side view mirrors however would be a welcome addition.
As with most high-end vehicles the QX56 has all the bells of whistles one could ask for. Navigation, XM radio, push button start, blind-spot protection, adaptive cruise control, as well as enough airbags to turn this thing into a giant cannoli God forbid things go astray. All controls, navigation and or otherwise are intuitive and take very little time to master.
*Put those 3rd row seats down and it’s like the Grand Canyon back there.
I put the better part of 500 miles on the QX56 in the 7 days I spent with it and with each passing day I came to enjoy it more and more. The overall looks are still out for debate, but quite honestly they really don’t matter. Think of the QX56 as Susan Boyle from American Idol. Your first impression was to dismiss her, until that is you saw her perform. That’s the 2012 Infiniti QX56. It’s somewhat ungainly looking, but given the chance I can almost guarantee it will impress you.
*Sticker Price: $75,340.00