Premium large SUV; Built in Japan
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $30,800 – $55,200*

2011 Infiniti QX56 Front

2011 Infiniti QX56 Rear

2011 Infiniti QX56 Interior

2011 Infiniti QX56 Profile

2011 Infiniti QX56

  • Interior materials
  • Passenger room
  • Ride
  • Non-adjustable pedals
  • Cargo floor not flat
  • Too many “warnings”
  • Fuel economy

Infiniti’s redesigned QX56 impresses with a tastefully-finished interior and a smooth, well-controlled ride–especially with the available Hydraulic Body Motion Control System. Downsides include a load floor that isn’t flat in seven-passenger models, as well as the trade-offs in fuel economy and maneuverability expected of an SUV that’s this large. QX56 is much more visually restrained than the extroverted Cadillac Escalade, and hasn’t offered nearly as many options. Still, the QX56 is a very likable and capable premium-large SUV that deserves consideration from shoppers in this class. Note that the same collection of Infiniti warning systems that annoys on the M-series cars annoys here. Be aware that living with these aids may grow wearisome.


In addition to freshened styling, the redesigned Infiniti QX56 obtained more power for 2011. The QX56 shared elements of its basic design with the Nissan Patrol, a large SUV sold primarily in the Middle East. For 2011, QX56 was longer, wider, and lower than the model it replaced. Production of this premium-large SUV also shifted to Japan from the United States. The sole powertrain teamed a 400-horsepower, 5.6-liter V8 engine with a seven-speed automatic transmission. This replaced a 320-horsepower, 5.6-liter V8, coupled to a five-speed automatic. Infiniti’s QX56 was available in a single trim level, with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive that could be left engaged on dry pavement and included a low-range gear for off-roading. Maximum towing capacity was 8,500 pounds. The name was changed to QX80 in 2014.

Standard safety features included all-disc antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system, front side airbags, and curtain side airbags. A QX56 seated seven with second-row buckets, or eight with an available second-row bench. The power-folding third-row bench was split 60/40. A navigation system with real-time traffic and weather information, front- and rear-obstacle detection, hill-ascent control, and a surround-view camera that showed the entire circumference of the vehicle on the navigation screen, were standard. Dual-screen DVD entertainment was optional. A Deluxe Touring Package included 22-inch wheels (replacing the standard 20-inch wheels), ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and Infiniti’s Hydraulic Body Motion Control System, which was designed to reduce body lean in turns. A Technology Package included adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and prevention systems, blind-spot alert, and a collision-warning system. With its QX56, Nissan’s luxury division competed against such large SUVs as the Audi Q7, Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.

Yearly Updates

2012 QX56
Little changed for the 2012 Infiniti QX56 except for a few option-package revisions, including addition of blind-spot intervention to the Technology Package.
2013 QX56
The QX56 was little changed for the second year running, but its lengthy standard-features list added two new items for 2013: auto-dimming exterior mirrors and a Moving Object Detection (MOD) function. The latter extended the capabilities of the standard Around View Monitor camera system with its integrated front/rear obstacle detection.
2014 QX80
The 2014 QX80 was formerly known as the QX56. Outside of the new name, the only change of note for 2014 was the addition of Backup Collision Intervention to the optional Technology Package.


longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

All QX56/QX80 SUVs held a 5.6-liter V8 engine that generated 400 horsepower, mating with a seven-speed automatic transmission.

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.6/339
Engine HP 400
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 413
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual



Road Test

Infiniti’s QX56 has ample power for brisk getaways and worry-free expressway merging. The seven-speed automatic transmission is alert and shifts smoothly.

Fuel economy, as expected, is nothing to get excited about. In Consumer Guide testing, 4WD QX56 models averaged 14.4 to 16.3 mpg in city/highway driving. Another 4WD example got just 12.1 mpg in mostly city use. Infiniti recommends premium-grade gasoline.

A QX56 rides smoothly and comfortably, despite its traditional truck-type design and standard 20-inch tires. The Deluxe Touring Package includes Infiniti’s Hydraulic Body Motion Control System and 22-inch tires. This combination helps further smooth and stabilize the QX56’s ride.

Though big, the QX56 feels relatively nimble for its size, at least on the highway and along suburban streets. Straight-line stability is good, and the steering offers reasonable feel for such a large SUV. Braking control is fine, too.

Some road rumble and wind noise are almost always audible, but neither is loud enough to intrude. The big V8 engine is nearly silent at cruise.

Most controls have an arrangement similar to that of Infiniti’s G-series midsize cars, and that’s basically a benefit. Most functions are intuitive and clearly marked. On the downside, we’ve found distracting the multitude of lights and sounds generated by false positives from warning and safety systems including blind-spot alert, lane-departure warning, collision mitigation, and even real-time weather. Interior materials and assembly quality are fine. Soft leathers and tasteful detailing create an appropriately classy aura.

Front occupants ride high on wide, supportive seats that provide ample headroom. Wide armrests add to long-haul comfort. Pedals are not adjustable, and some testers have found them to be too far forward, which compromises seating position and knee room a bit.

Entry and exit to the second row are easy. Original buyers could choose two bucket seats or a three-person bench seat for the second row. Either seat is comfortable, but the buckets are particularly inviting. The second-row seats tip and fold easily–by pushing buttons from the driver’s seat, or lifting a latch on the backrest–for access to the third row. Entry and exit to the third row demands the typical crouch-and-shuffle. Though the seat bottom sits close to the floor, 6-footers can fit into the third row for short trips.

Space for groceries is adequate behind the third-row seat, and all models have a modest amount of underfloor storage. The split third-row backrests power-fold down–slowly–to extend the load floor. The second row tumbles easily, but the resulting floor slopes upward towards the front. If you often haul large items, steer clear of the available second-row buckets. The large console that came with the buckets remains several inches above the load floor when all seats are folded, resulting in a fairly large obstruction.


Model Tested: 2011 Infiniti QX56 4WD with Deluxe Touring Package

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 - 6
Fuel Economy - 3
Ride Quality - 7
Steering/Handling - 4
Quietness - 7


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


Value - 7

Total: 66


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
121.1 208.3 79.9 75.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
95.1 26 8
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.9 40 39.6 41
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

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

Automatic transmission
Description: The transmission may hunt (excessively shift), hesitate or vibrate when accelerating requiring reprogramming the engine control module and transmission control module (2011)
Description: The intelligent key may not lock or unlock doors. (2011-12)
Engine noise
Description: The engine’s timing chain may wear out prematurely. (2011-14)
Check-engine light
Description: The check engine light may come on and a code for the air/fuel sensor may be stored the carmaker conducted a voluntary recall to reprogram the engine control module (2011) otherwise the air/fuel sensor must be replaced. (2011-12)

Recall History

2011-14 Infiniti QX56
Description: Fuel-pressure sensor may not have been tightened to the correct specification; as a result, sensor may loosen due to heat and vibration, causing fuel to leak.
2013-14 Infiniti QX56/QX80
Description: The driver-side airbag may be defective and could discharge metal fragments during deployment of the airbag.
2014 Infiniti QX80
Description: The Certification label may list an incorrect Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR).

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.

Share this: