Review 2011 Infiniti QX56: not very pretty, but grabs people’s attention everywhere it goes


Now I don’t know about you folks, but I like to know about the people who review the products I’m interested in. I’m a car guy through and through, but I’m not cut from the right cloth to scrutinize the overall luxury appeal for most cars. Roman Mica (TFLCar’s sugar daddy) is better equipped for that.

I do know ride comfort and I sure as hell know how a vehicle’s quality should be rated.

The 2011 Infiniti QX56 is one of the best riding vehicles in its class. It’s a high quality, well built, solid and ridiculously massive machine. Naysayers be damned. Drive it and you’ll see that it’s more than competitive with the big boys in almost every way.

Here are five reasons that the 2011 Infiniti QX56 is one of the best in class:

2011 Infiniti QX56-2

1. Mechanical: The 2011 Infiniti QX56 has a 5.6-liter V8 that produces 400 horsepower and 413 lbs-feet of torque. Not too shabby. A seven-speed automatic transmission is brand new and humiliates many competitors when it comes to smoothness. This transmission has manual shift control with a nifty, rev-matched downshifts program. This engine/transmission combo allows impressive 7-second-flat 0 to 60 mph times (measured at about 5,200 feet elevation). It can tow up to 8,500 lbs when properly equipped. According to Infiniti, the 2011 QX56 gets an estimated 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway – not bad for a 6,000 lbs + mammoth.

2. Technical: Let me tell you all about the “Around View™ Monitor” system. Imagine having your very own, low flying satellite beaming you bird’s-eye views of your vehicle – in real time. With mini cameras imbedded in the mirrors, front emblem and tailgate, Infiniti’s software takes those camera angles and resizes them for an accurate 360 degree view of the top of the vehicle.


I have used this system in other Infiniti vehicles – it’s best to use in the QX56. As a test, I pulled into an empty parking lot, pulled my shirt over my head so I could only see the monitor and spent the next half-hour accurately parking the massive QX56 in every direction. Yes – I’m an idiot and YES – this system is THAT good. As for the rest of the QX56: it’s got all of the top-end goodies you would expect including a video system that allows up to three videos to be played at the same time, one on each screen.

3. Driving: It’s as smooth as Bombay Sapphire gin, fever-tree tonic, lime and a Perez-Carrillo made cigar (I’m not a complete Neanderthal) – but there’s more to it than smooth. I was stupid enough to take this monster off road. It was wearing the super-pimp option, 22-inch rims and had a $72,000 price tag (base price is $58,700). Despite its luxury trimmings and MASSIVE wheels, it did well.


Approach and departure angles are good, but the break-over angle is shallow and I constantly worried about high centering. Even when the situation presented itself, suspension travel and tire grip was good enough to keep traction on the wheels as I pulled off the hill’s peak. On the street, all is well. It rides like a dream and corners better than I expected. It’s no Range Rover Sport, but it never feels too big – unlike other large SUVs. Brakes worked very well on and off road.

4. Exterior and interior design: Uh – no… nothing much to say about the outside. It’s a bit overwrought and the side vent holes make the QX56 look like a big Buick. Actually, if you like big, old vehicles – you might like this design. It looks like an American car built between 1930 and 1950. Everything looks supersized (and is) with swooshing lines battling the box shape for recognition. It’s almost too much. Well, at least it no longer looks like a Nissan Armada.


I like the interior design with its metal accents and tasteful use of wood. In the end, mature folk like Roman can regale readers (and viewers) about the comfort of the QX56 interior. I can say with great certainty – the Bose® 2 subwoofer, 13-speaker Premium Audio system kicks ass.


5. Overall: There is a sense of occasion the 2011 Infiniti QX56 fills the driver with. The ride is sublime and the engine has tons of beef within. Everything is effortless, rewarding and comfortable. The technical innovations are more than noteworthy – they’re a game changer. Yes, it’s not very pretty, but it grabs people’s attention everywhere it goes.

Take it from a car guy who loves to write about cars: this truck is outstanding.

Check out our other 2011 Infiniti QX56 review HERE.

Nathan Automotive media, racing, vehicle evaluation, wrecking yards, and car sales are just a part of Nathan Adlen’s vehicular past. He writes out of high octane passion! To read more reviews by Nathan Adlen or just to enjoy more of excellent writing please visit him on at his page HERE.

Are you shopping for a Luxury SUV? Check out the unique mashed-up match-up review video below:


Follow on twitter @TFLcar or watch latest car
review videos on YouTube.