By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 11/9/2011
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.
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
The 2-wheel drive (2WD) version of the 2012 Infiniti QX56 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $58,700, while the 4-wheel drive (4WD) bumps the MSRP to $61,800. This puts it in the neighborhood of the Mercedes GL450 and Lexus GX 460, as well as the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade. Look for the 2012 QX's Fair Purchase Price on kbb.com to get a better read on street prices. Resale value of the 2012 QX56 should hold up well over time – past models have out-performed the Navigator and Escalade.