2011 Infiniti QX56 Review

By Shannon McClatchey on 1 June 2010
  • Share

While the old adage ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ may be applicable to some brands, the people at Infiniti chose to throw that logic out the window with their 2011 QX brand where sales were already up 200% in 2010.  Infiniti took their tag line of “inspired performance” to task by focusing updates on several areas – most impressively with their technology – and executed pretty successfully.

I was able to experience this change myself when I test drove the car during a visit to Louisville, Kentucky.  The first thing I noticed were the luxurious interiors.

Infiniti wanted to create the feel of an executive jet and indeed the semi-aniline leather seats were beyond comfortable – one could only wish to have an easy chair such as this. That comfort extends to the second row with 41” of legroom (more than others in its class) and almost 29” of legroom in the third row, providing an overall comfortable ride for up to 8 people. The backseat occupants are no longer relegated to second class and now benefit from heated seats and a rear center console big enough to hold a Wii gaming system along with other accessories.

While it’s a big car,  the QX56 didn’t feel big from behind the wheel. In fact, unless I looked into the back of the car, I probably wouldn’t have thought about the fact there were two rows of seats behind me.  It feels smaller and more agile to drive than what I would have expected. On country roads between Louisville and Frankfort, the QX handled curves comfortably and smoothly.  It was quite a fun car to drive.  On highway 64 back into the city I got the chance to experience the power as well as utilize some of the new safety features. This includes the blind spot warning system, where lights on both the passenger and driver side doors flash on whenever there is a vehicle that comes into the blind spot box.  This was truly helpful on a busy highway.

In fact what most impressed me most were the car’s new safety features, many of which are only available with the technology package. For example,the tire pressure inflation indicator which flashes hazard signals and activates the horn when the correct pressure has been reached, relegating a tire pressure gauge to a relic from the past. There’s also their Around View  Monitor.  It’s not enough to merely see what’s in front or behind your car, especially when parking or towing, but with the press of a button the display shows a 360 degree view around the car. Now you only have to worry about the other guy.

The QX comes in similarly-equipped rear-wheel and all-wheel drive models, although the all-wheel drive model comes with skid plates (to protect the transfer case, oil pan, and fuel tank) and a tow package.  Standard equipment includes a Bose audio system and a hard-drive based navigation system with real-time traffic.

Infiniti is trying to keep its family-oriented customer base happy along with keeping an eye on the competition.  The comfort factor – both with the design updates and the safety features – along with 25% increased power and 14% better fuel economy go a long way to making that happen.  The latest updates help to prove the 2011 Infiniti QX is both aspirational and inspirational.

2011 Infiniti QX
Base price/price-as-tested $59,800/$71,850
Drivetrain Front engine, all-wheel drive
Engine 5.6 liter/320 hp/V-8
Transmission Automatic; 7-speed with overdrive, manual shift mode
Curb weight (lbs) 5850
Wheelbase (inches) 121.1
Length x width x height (inches) 208.3” x 79.9” x 75.8”
0-60 mph (seconds) 7.3
EPA city/highway fuel economy (mpg) 14/20

Shannon McClatchey is a frequent business traveler and managing editor of Executive Road Warrior.

Accura News

Read previous post:
Tumi Alpha Frequent Traveler Expandable Carry-on Review

To many business travelers, luggage is luggage.  Indeed, when I needed a new 22” rolling suitcase, I thought I would...