The second-generation Infiniti QX56 rolls into 2012 on its own platform for the second year after sharing it with the Nissan Armada from 2004-2010. The latest generation QX was introduced at the New York International Auto Show on March 31st, 2010, featuring a complete redesign of Infiniti's big SUV and the 5.6-liter V-8 engine that packs a punch to back up its size. The V-8 engine is rated at 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, making anything in tow feel like just another part of the SUV. The QX is rated to pull 8500 pounds.
The second-gen QX56 is 1.4 inches longer and 1.1 inches wider, with most of the body comprised from high-end steel. Big 20-inch wheels come standard but bigger 22-inch wheels are an available option. The disguised rear door handle has been ditched for the 2012 model year after it was first introduced on the Nissan Pathfinder back in 1985. The exterior styling lines the QX up against luxury SUVs like the Land Rover Range Rover and Cadillac Escalade, and is a more than adequate alternative to both of those. While cargo space is limited behind the third row of seats the QX is more than capable of hauling stuff while maintaining the luxurious appearance.
Engine: 5.6-liter V-8
Transmission: seven-speed automatic
Models: QX56 two-wheel drive, QX56 four-wheel drive
New features on the QX for 2012 include Blind Spot Intervention in the Technology Package, a Bose Cabin Surround sound system with a total of 15 speakers to the Deluxe Touring Package and heated second row seating. Other new features include remote tip-up second row seats in the Theater Package (transferred from the Deluxe Touring Package) and headlight washers to the 2WD Deluxe Touring Package. Tire and Wheel packages also carry over from 2011 to 2012.
The front chrome grille is bookended by automatic High Intensity Discharge headlights and integrated fog lights. An Adaptive Front lighting System with auto-leveling headlights and headlight washers are also available. Other exterior features include LED taillights, heated power-folding sideview mirrors with turn signals, a reverse tilt-down feature, body color running boards and integrated front and rear splashguards. Roof rails, a power sliding tinted glass moonroof and liftgate are also standard. The QX comes standard with 20-inch, seven-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels, but you can also opt for 22-inch wheels.
The spacious QX can seat seven passengers; an eighth can be added with the available second row bench seat. Leather seats adorn all three rows with an even more luxurious semi-aniline leather offered in the Deluxe Touring Package. The driver's seat is 10-way power adjustable and includes a dual occupant memory system for the heated driver's seat, steering wheel, and outside mirrors that are standard. Heated seats are also standard while climate-controlled front seats and heated second row seats are optional. The second row captain's chairs have a tip-up function allowing easier access to third row seating. When the third row of seats is folded flat, 16.6 cubic feet or cargo space is available. Infiniti's Hard Drive Navigation System, Around View Monitor, and a 13-speaker Bose sound system are also standard features.
Performance & Handling
A 5.6-liter V-8 engine rated at 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Infiniti's Variable Valve Event and Lift technology boosts fuel economy and lowers emissions as well. Your choice of a rear- or four-wheel drive system is offered; four-wheel drive models can choose between an automatic mode, four-high, or four-low for serious off roading. The system can designate torque to all four wheels when the road conditions call for it with up to 50 percent going to the front wheels for better traction. The QX comes standard with Hill Start Assist, eliminating roll-back if the driver stops on a hill. A towing capacity of 8500 pounds for both the two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models is standard and tow mode reworks shifting gears when in use. A Class IV hitch and a seven-pin wiring harness is also configured directly into the rear bumper and can be covered up when not in use.
The 2012 QX56 includes safety features such as Infiniti's Advanced Air Bag System, driver and front passenger front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and roof mounted curtain airbags with a rollover sensor for the occupants head in all three rows. Other safety features include front and rear crumple zones, Vehicle Dynamic Control with Traction Control System, and a tire pressure monitoring system with an individual tire display. Available safety features include Blind Spot Warning, Blind Spot Intervention Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Prevention systems, and Intelligent Brake Assist with Forward Collision Warning Front Pre-Crash Seat Belts.
EPA Fuel Economy
QX56 two-wheel drive: 14 mpg city/ 20 mpg highway
QX56 four-wheel drive: 14 mpg city/ 20 mpg highway
- Exterior design
- Beefy V-8
- Around View Monitor
- Towing capacity
You Won't Like
- Cargo space lacking behind third row
Legitimate Escalade fighter
If You Like This Vehicle
- Cadillac Escalade
- Land Rover Range Rover
- Lincoln Navigator
- Mercedes-Benz G-Class