2010 Infiniti QX56 Road Test Review

Arv Voss - CAP staff
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

There are those who might jump to the conclusion that the Infiniti QX56 is little more than a dressed up Nissan Pathfinder Armada, but that would be an incorrect assumption.  It's true that the basic design form and base mechanicals of these corporate cousins are shared to a degree, but there the similarity ends. 

The QX56 first appeared on the luxury SUV scene in early 2004 and underwent extensive revisions in the 2008 model year.  It is truly a full-size and luxurious adventure craft with seating for up to eight; second-row captains chairs come standard for a total of seven.  It is an ideal vehicle for family outings or for hauling huge loads of gear. 

The wheels are large and flashy, and the grille is bold and bright with horizontal bars.  Infiniti refers to this as a "Waterfall" grille, but how many horizontal waterfalls have you ever seen?  Okay, perhaps in a very stiff breeze.  The QX56 is the largest of Infiniti's SUV stable, and was the first Infiniti vehicle to be assembled in North America.  It is built at Nissan Motors Manufacturing Plant in Canton, Mississippi. 

Visually, the QX56 sports a muscular but graceful front end with a big, bold presence.   Accentuated fender blisters and long roofline resemble an early Nash Rambler wagon in a whimsical sort of way.  There are two models of QX56 available, with the distinction being the drive configuration – it comes standard in 4x4 form and features Infiniti's "All-Mode" system with a low range, active centre differential and traction control. 

The QX56 draws its motive power from a 5.6-litre V8 that pumps out 320 horses while delivering 393 pound-feet of torque.  The engine mates to an electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.  When properly equipped, the QX56 can tow up to 4,036 kilos (8,900 pounds).  The standard roof rack will support 90 kilograms (200 pounds). 

Technological and safety features include Vehicle Dynamic Control, Active Brake Control, a DVD-based navigation system, a Bose audio system with six-CD player and ten speakers, a power-operated liftgate, power adjustable pedals, a rearview monitor, Intelligent Cruise Control, supplemental side curtain airbags, a rollover sensor and a tire pressure monitoring system. 

Both second and standard third row seats fold flat, as does the front passenger seat, for additional capacity when hauling articles up to 3 meters (10 feet) in length.  A standard full-length overhead console is included with a DVD entertainment system featuring an eight-inch flip down screen, remote and wireless headphones – perfect for keeping young ones occupied on long trips. 

For a base price set at $71,900, which incidentally is the same as the standard seven-occupant model, the completely loaded QX56 is reasonably good value compared to others in the full-size luxury SUV segment.  It's a luxurious, full-size SUV with plenty of power, athletic handling characteristics and an impressive level of versatility and functionality.  It adds a premium element to the Pathfinder Armada's level of amenities. 

Ride quality is very comfortable, but in a somewhat stiff, truck-like sense.  On the plus side, this stiffness adds to a more controlled feel than is provided by some competitors in its class, plus the ability to take it off-road.  Infiniti's take on QX56 handling and ride quality is that the QX56 doesn't "drive large" -- a matter purely of individual perception.  Be that as it may, room for up to eight occupants surrounded by amenities that contribute to comfort and convenience is what Infiniti's SUV flagship is all about.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: SUV, Infiniti, 2010, QX56, $50,000 - $74,999,

Organizations: Infiniti

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page