Premium large SUV; Built in USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $12,700 – $39,000*

2004 Infiniti QX56

2004 Infiniti QX56

2004 Infiniti QX56

2004 Infiniti QX56

  • Cargo room
  • Passenger space and comfort
  • Fuel economy

Though it doesn’t trounce the competition any more than Armada does in its field, QX56 is a capable big rig. Engine performance is laudable, but it trails key rivals on third-row comfort and ease of entry/exit. Both suffer the usual giant-SUV woes–especially poor fuel economy–but the Infiniti boasts a more upscale aura. Quality gaffes in some test models suggest caution, but Nissan and Infiniti have good reputations for mechanical reliability.


Introduced for 2004, Infiniti’s large sport-utility vehicle was a slightly restyled premium version of the Armada wagon from parent-company Nissan. Seating up to eight, the QX56 came standard with such features as a power liftgate, wood/leather interior trim, 18-inch chrome wheels, and xenon headlights. It shared Armada’s 5.6-liter V8 but had 315 horsepower–10 more than Nissan’s SUV.

A five-speed automatic with tow/haul mode was the sole transmission. The QX56 could have rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive that included low-range gearing. The AWD system could be locked in rear-wheel drive, 4-wheel High, or 4-wheel Low; an “Auto” setting selected 2WD or 4WD as needed. Antilock four-wheel disc brakes, traction/antiskid control, and automatic load-leveling rear suspension were standard. Maximum towing capacity is 8900 pounds.

Infiniti’s SUV seated seven with second-row bucket seats, or eight with an available second-row bench. Second- and third-row seats folded flat. Front side airbags, curtain side airbags for all three seating rows, and a tire-pressure monitor were standard. Every QX56 had xenon headlights, a power liftgate, and wood/leather trim.

Also included were heated front and second-row seats, power-adjustable pedals, a navigation system, and rear-obstacle detection. Options included satellite radio, DVD entertainment, and radar cruise control that was designed to maintain a set following distance. Also available was a camera that displayed a rear view on the navigation screen when the transmission was shifted into Reverse. Big-SUV competitors included the Cadillac Escalade, GMC Denali XL, and Toyota Land Cruiser.

Yearly Updates

2005 QX56
Little changed in the QX56’s second season, but the rearview camera for parking assistance was now standard equipment.
2006 QX56
Newly standard power-folding, auto-dimming outside mirrors incorporated turn-signal lights. A wireless cell phone connection also became standard, and the formerly one-piece third-row bench was now split 60/40.
2007 QX56
QX56 carried over unchanged.
2008 QX56
The 2008 Infiniti QX56 got freshened exterior and interior styling. The third-row bench now came equipped with a standard power folding feature. Newly standard were 20-inch wheels and keyless access and starting. Freshened interior styling included real aluminum and wood trim.
2009 QX56
QX56 was largely unchanged.
2010 QX56
The 2010 Infiniti QX56 was largely unchanged for the final model year of its design.


longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive

Only one powertrain is available in the QX56: a 315-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 engine, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.6/341
Engine HP 315
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 390
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic



Road Test

Takeoffs are fairly strong in the QX56, which weighs several hundred pounds more than Armada. It’s definitely no neck-snapper, but even passing sprints are reasonably brisk for a big, heavy SUV. The handy tow/haul mode complements an alert, smooth-shifting automatic transmission. An overly-sensitive throttle pedal on one test example caused unseemly leaps away from a stop.

Fuel economy sinks to mediocre level. A test QX56 averaged only 12.9 mpg in a mix of city/highway driving. Infiniti recommends premium fuel, too.

Although the QX56 rides a tad smoother than Armada, with a more absorbent suspension, rough roads and patchy pavement still induce shuddery jiggle at highway speeds. That’s typical of body-on-frame trucks with big wheels and tires. Still, the QX56 smothers most small bumps and stays reasonably flat over large swells. One test example suffered suspension creaking over low-speed bumps.

Handling is big-truck ponderous and even clumsy, especially in close quarters, but a QX56 is capable on winding roads–within its limits. Expect very good straightline stability, though some testers said steering lacked sharp on-center feel. Steering feels firm, in any case, but reacts slowly to inputs. Cornering behavior is generally good, with no undue noseplow or body lean. Stopping power also is good, though some testers have complained of excessive pedal free play.

Extra sound deadening makes QX56 a bit quieter than Armada, but engine roar is still noticeable during full-throttle acceleration. Tire thrum intrudes somewhat on coarse pavement, but wind rush and road noise are subdued.

Upscale compared to Armada, the QX56 has an abundance of controls, not all of which are optimally arranged or identified. Some are mounted on horizontal surfaces, others on vertical panels. Central audio and navigation controls mimic those of other Infinitis, take a little time to learn, and the three-knob climate system isn’t as simple as it looks. Easy-to-read gauges and the navigation screen are well placed, but can wash out in certain light conditions. While Armada’s cabin is plain, aluminum and wood accents give the QX56 more upscale ambience, befitting a luxury SUV. Still, some knobs have a cheap, hollow feel.

Big-rig step-in height is not fully offset by standard running boards. Front occupants ride high on wide, supportive seats with ample head and leg room. The power-adjustable seat, pedals, and tilt steering wheel aid driver comfort. Despite generally good visibility, helped by jumbo mirrors and unobtrusive headrests, a tall stance hides nearby objects. Rear-window tinting is heavy, so standard rear-obstacle detection and the available rearview camera are helpful.

Running boards also help mitigate lofty rear-seat step-in, but not the high-mount outer door handles that are shared with Armada. Second-row space is bountiful, but seats are ordinary in shape and support. They tilt up for third-row access, which is tight for adults. Adults probably will also dislike the third row’s hard, flat bench seat and limited space.

The load floor is high, as in Armada, but QX56 includes a handy power liftgate. Only grocery-bag space is available behind the third-row seat, plus modest under-floor storage. The third-row backrest flops down to extend the load deck. Folding the second row requires rotating cushions, then dropping seatbacks, but no headrests need be removed. The right-front seatback also folds for extra-long cargo. Raising third-row seats requires crawling into the load area or climbing into the second row. Numerous bins, pockets, and beverage holders provide great small-items storage.


Model Tested: 2005 Infiniti QX56 4WD

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 5
Fuel Economy - 2
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 4
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 5
Room/Comfort Front - 9
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
Cargo Room - 8


Value - 5

Total: 57


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
213.2 206.9 78.8 77.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
61.2 28.0 8
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
41.0 40.0 41.8 41.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2006 QX56 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: Air conditioner may quit working at idle on some early production vehicles. (2005)
Description: The warning lights for brakes, slip and dynamic control may all illuminate due to low brake fluid level caused by very worn brakes or a hydraulic leak. (2006-07)
Cruise control
Description: Cruise control may not set or may cancel itself due to maladjustment of the switch on the brake pedal. (2004)
Engine noise
Description: What sounds like engine knock may be a problem with service port fitting in the evaporative emissions control system and a revised part is available. (2004)
Engine stalling
Description: The engine may not restart after a short trip (less than 10 minutes) in very cold weather (less than 10 degrees F), requiring replacement of the power distribution module. (2004)
Fuel pump
Description: Engine loses power while accelerating due to a failing fuel pump. (2004-07)
Tire wear
Description: Tires may lose air due to broken O-ring for tire pressure monitoring system transmitter. (2004)
Transmission leak
Description: Transmission fluid may leak from the connections for the transmission cooler and revised fluid lines and clamps have been released. (2004-05)
Water leak
Description: The engine may not crank or may crank but not start, or the transmission may misbehave due to water getting into and corroding the connector between the engine control wiring harness and transmission wiring harness. (2004-05)
Electrical problem
Description: The electrical system could be damaged or even start a fire due to a short if trailer wiring is connected wrong. The company was updating earlier models with revised body control module and wiring harness, but only on vehicles that entered the shop so it is important to check that this service was performed. (2004-05)
Electrical problem
Description: Low power at wide-open throttle may be caused by low fuel pressure. (2004-06)
Description: The automatic power-up feature may quit working due to a failed switch. (2004)
Description: The low tire pressure warning light may illuminate and the tire may be low due to a defective sensor seal. (2004-08)

Recall History

2004-2006 QX56
Description: The intelligent power distribution module (IPDM) assembly contains an engine control module (ECM) relay that has a diode for electrical current noise reduction. The ECM relay may allow silicon vapor to form and, over time, this could cause engine stalling increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will replace the ECM relay inside the IPDM assembly. This service will be performed free of charge.
2005-06 QX56 manufactured after March 17, 2005, with a Visteon air-conditioning-condenser fan motor
Description: The fan motor may not be properly sealed allowing excessive water intrusion and inadequate drainage of moisture. This could cause corrosion in the motor leading possibly to overheating and increases risk of fire. Dealers will test the air-conditioning-condenser fan motor and replace it, if necessary.
Description: The fuel gauge may inaccurately display that the vehicle still has some fuel, typically about one quarter tank, when the fuel tank is empty. This could cause the vehicle to run out of gas and stall on the highway, which could cause a crash. Dealers will replace the fuel sender unit inside the fuel tank with a new improved sender card.
2008 vehicles manufactured from February 7, 2007 through February 14, 2007
Description: An out-of-specification a-pillar finisher might impede the correct inflation of the side curtain air bag near the upper portion of the b-pillar. Incorrect inflation of the side curtain air bag may increase the risk of injury to a vehicle occupant in the event of a crash requiring deployment of that air bag. Dealers will replace both right and left front pillar finishers free of charge.
Description: The brake pedal pivot pin end was not spin-formed to specification during the manufacturing process of the brake pedal assembly. The pivot pin could slide and cause the brake pedal to partially disengage from the brake pedal bracket. The driver will experience unusual and noticeable looseness in the pedal and a reduction in braking force increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will inspect to see if the pivot pin had been formed properly and will replace the brake pedal assembly if necessary free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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