By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.4
The 2012 Infiniti QX56 stands with SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator, ironically enough, akin to large, plant-eating dinosaurs in the pre-meteor Cretaceous period. The day may come when these giants shall no longer roam the Earth, but they just don't seem to quite know that yet. With shrinking paychecks come stiffer competition for fewer consumers looking to spend around $60,000 for their land yacht, thus Infiniti stepped up with a redesign for the last year's QX. Rear-drive (RWD) and 4-wheel-drive (4WD) versions, room for up to 8 passengers, and a variety of package options give the QX56 SUV a practicality edge over others in its class.
If you have towing needs and a family of more than 5 to 6, the 2012 Infiniti QX56 is a well-turned and comfortable ride worth looking into.
Not everyone needs what the QX56 has to offer. Those who do may find, of all things, a lack of cargo space compared to other big SUVs, due to its shorter wheelbase.
The 2011 overhaul of the QX56 SUV left little need for further tweaking. New features are found in packages: The Technology Package brings now-ubiquitous Blind Spot Intervention and a system to keep you in your lane. The Theater Package gives second-row heated seats, and there's a new Bose Surround Sound System for the Deluxe Touring Package.
Driving Impressions The 2012 Infiniti QX56 is a smooth, luxurious ride befitting the expectations that you would have of a high-end SUV. Road noise is something you won't have to deal with...from the cabin. Likewise, you'll hardly notice imperfections in the road itself, thanks to the QX56's fully-independent suspension. The 7-speed automatic transmission is seamless and adds even more refinement to the driving experience. Steering on the 2012 QX56 could be a bit heavier, but we don't believe this will be much of an issue around town.
The QX56's option packages are specifically tailored to ensure that the right features are included in the right packages. All of them make perfect sense for the right drivers without adding crippling cost (the most expensive package, and possibly the best, is the $4,100 Deluxe Touring Package).
The Interior Experience
The idea of the 2012 QX56 as an "executive jet" for the road really helps everything about the SUV make sense. The interior is a finely crafted suite, and with the smoothness of its ride and quietness of its cabin, the QX56 is an idyllic place to be.
The sheer number of buttons and controls available to each passenger in the 2012 Infiniti QX56 owe their existence to Infiniti's "executive jet" aesthetic philosophy for their big SUV. Taken in context, it actually makes a lot of sense: Seating is spacious even all the way back in the third row, and the seats themselves are certainly posh and comfortable. The gauges are smart looking, and the wood trim pleasantly frames the dashboard.
The 2012 Infiniti QX56 carries over all the design revamps from the 2011 model. The QX56 is noticeably less boxy than the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade, but its high beltline can appear slightly absurd from some angles, especially considering how short the windows and roof look by comparison. The line from the front fenders to the arched grille is pleasant, and the driver-side air vent is actually functional, which is a nice touch considering how out of place it looks on such a big SUV.
No one will have any qualms with the standard features of the 2012 Infiniti QX56. Twenty-inch wheels, streaming Bluetooth audio, keyless start, pushbutton start, tri-zone climate control and an 8-inch touch screen with Navigation are just some of the features that the QX56 offers for your SUV dollar.
The 2012 QX56's offers the option of 2-wheel (2WD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD), but its optional packages are where consumers really get to hone the vehicle to their specific needs. The Theater Package gives you two 7-inch color monitors, auxiliary A/V jacks, wireless headphones and remote control. It also offers the option of a bench seat for the second row and 22-inch wheels fitted with all-season tires. The Deluxe Touring Package upgrades the leather inside and adds that new 15-speaker BOSE audio unit. Hydraulic Body Control and Advanced Climate Control also come with the Deluxe Touring Package. The Technology Package offers a host of safety-minded systems, including Intelligent Brake Assist, Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, and Distance Control Assist.
The 2012 Infiniti QX56 has a beast of a V8. Its 5.6-liter engine makes 400 horsepower and some 413 lb-ft of torque. Both 2-wheel drive (2WD) and 4-wheel drive (4WD) models have Hill Start Assist and Snow Mode to help get moving when roads are slick. All Season 4-wheel drive (4WD) operates with a slight rear-bias but constantly adjusts power between front and rear as deemed necessary. All models feature a 7-speed automatic transmission with a "manual" mode and downshift rev-matching.
400 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
413 lb-ft torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20
By Jimbo on Friday, November 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Love that horse power!"
Cons: "Inconvenience of third row seat belt."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The design is excellent and it's the most comfortable ride we have ever owned. Wish it made a little bit better gas mileage.I do like the horsepower. We do plan on purchasing another vehicle like this in the near future."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Taxi mom on Saturday, August 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Needed is large SUV to haul around six teenage boys plus gear 25 miles to school and back each day. Had an Acura MDX prior but they don't make a large vehicle so had to look around for something else. Checked out the Lexus, but the jump seats in the third row would not do. Suburban? too big, Sequoia? too truck like plus the service departments stink compared to what I had grown accustomed to with Acura (exceptional service), GMC? heard of several issues with things breaking and poor service again, Mercedes? Too expensive plus small inside, Volvo? way too small. So I tried the Infiniti Qx - the big boy I call it. It has a HUGE engine that roars (which is fine) and the interior is high quality and comfort. I can fit all the boys in comfortably for the 45-60 minute ride to school. The service department in town in great - almost as good as Acura. In the four years I have owned it only had an issue with the gas cap and the backup camera, but both were still under warranty so really not a problem. One slightly annoying issue is the heat and air conditioning - never gets warm enough in winter or cold enough in summer despite having it looked at a couple times. Must be a Nissan/Infiniti engineering issue. Last comment is that the value is not holding up very well - could be due to the newer body style released in 2011? I do see many of these on the road in my local area in the past couple years so they seem to be gaining in popularity. Hopefully that will reflect in my trade when I need to upgrade soon. Perhaps Acura will get on the stick and create that large SUV I have been waiting for....."
6 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Otis on Saturday, April 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,500overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfort inside"
Cons: "Not a Real Truck or SUV-- Very expensive to operat"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"the QX56 is a nice car. The interior is quite nice. The 4 Wheel drive can't handle mud or snow unless driving on a flat straight road. The car seems to have been designed with the interior in mind forgetting functionality. The Back is too high, and you have to lift cargo over a painted and usually scratched bumper. You can not open the rear window and if you need an 8 foot board you have to drive with the door wide open, because they didn't think to give you any way other than the windshield wiper to tie the door shut. There is also a shrill alarm that you can shut off. My car spent the first 45 days I owned in pieces on the dealership floor as the engine needed a significant repair and parts were not available. The car runs noisy and the navigation and other technology is terrible. I am trading mine in at a loss to go buy US Made Real SUV"
8 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Wendy on Wednesday, March 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great in snow. Very comfy. Sporty look."
Cons: "gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I wanted the Lexus LX SUV. But it starts at $80,000+. I thought the Infinity was a better value around $65,000. Withing a few days I was no longer disappointed I didn't get the Lexus. This was great in a very snowy winter this past year. Never had a problem getting through the snow. Comfortable inside. Kids will confirm even third row is comfy. Great car. Would highly recommend."
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Sojivm on Friday, March 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,450overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lots of space, stylish, lots of power, comfortable"
Cons: "Poor to average Gas mileage, larger turning radius"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I purchased this as my 3rd car to travel long distances with my family. This is so far my most comfortable ride equipped with all the power you would ever need. The drive quality is superb and the passengers have enough and more leg room in all the rows of seating (including the 3rd row; where 3 adults can be seated). THis vehicle is wrapped in luxury and high quality parts and features. I decided to get one with a bench in the second row so that I could install a car seat and works very well for me. The gas mileage is what is expected for a vehicle of this size and I am averaging around 14.5 mpg. This maynot be your everyday vehicle due to the gas mileage but would be a good addition and I wouldnot recommend this vehicle if this is going to be your only mode of transportation."
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Cabin Fever on Monday, January 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Big Engine, Great Styling, Quite Interior, Roomy"
Cons: "Fragile Windshield, Lacks Tire Options on 22's"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The QX56 is easily the finest SUV I've ever owned. I know it's a big SUV, but you would never know it by the way it drives. After almost 80,000 miles in three years it's still great to drive and always gets the job done. I occasionally haul trailers, often put the seats down and load it up for trips to the mountain cabin, and regularly load it up with people. Highway driving is where the technology shines. Lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, navigation with traffic, and especially the hydraulic suspension on winding mountain roads (drive with great confidence). I've have only three issues that have been annoying: 1) the windshield is a huge target and stressed in a way that causes any rock hit close to the edge to ruin the glass. I've replaced the windshield 5 times. 2) the front camera is exposed (no lexan cover) and was hit by a rock after 12 months. It can't be repaired only replaced for over $1,000. Needless to say I never replaced it. 3) the Bridgestone tires on 22 inch wheels are one of a kind and hard to get. If you get a flat requiring a single tire replacement, good luck finding one. If you're going to buy a full size luxury SUV there isn't a better value out there. Compared to the QX56 (now QX80) everything else is over priced and under featured."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful