Has Infiniti Hit a Home Run With the 2011 QX56?

Automotive news and reviews.

By Pam O'Connell

Coming in next to no time to an Infiniti Merchant near you is the 2011 Infiniti QX56. The SUV has a fully fresh design inside and out. The amount of scientific know-how and features abound in this automobile but the MSRP starting price is barely a hair over the previous generation at $56,000. The first iteration QX56 was short on muscle, so the 2011 example will have a large boost in horsepower as well as a small gain in fuel economy. Does the public still want to buy full sized SUVs? Yes sir, and the last round of Infiniti QX56's had some great sales numbers.

The very first thing you notice about the new Infiniti QX56 is the redesigned and sculptured look. The last generation full sized QX56 had a basic, boxy look. Infiniti saw fit to use the same shape as the ever popular FX35. Looking head on at the QX56, you can really see the sculptured lines. Upgrade to the Deluxe Touring package and you can have 22-inch rims and tires among other things.

More muscle is never a bad thing and for 2011 the QX56 has 80 more horsepower. The 5.6-liter engine is a torque monster with over 400 lb-ft coming from the V-8 motor, this equates to a large towing capacity at over 8500 pounds. The new QX56 engine uses Nissan's patented VVEL hi-tech stuff which stands for Variable Valve Event and Lift. The QX56 also employs the best transmission available from Nissan in the form of a trick 7-speed. In turn the fuel economy gets a great boost. The QX56 should hopefully see real world fuel economy numbers of 13/20. This is fantastic for a automobile weighing over 5k pounds. This SUV can hold 28 gallons of fuel and the range is over 250 miles.

Moving to the interior of the sport utility vehicle, the QX56 can carry 7-8 people. Huge interior space abounds in the QX56. One of the best optional features are the 2nd row recliner-like seats. There is also a center console in the rear. Everyone is kept quite happy with plenty of ventilation, televisions, and room. I don't think any other automobile manufacturer has ever fit 7-inch TV's in the headrests like Infiniti has done in the cutting-edge QX56. Even with the extras, the brand new SUV is a bit lighter in terms of curb weight than the last one.

With every brand new model, Infiniti continues to release up-to-date options. One innovative and futuristic Infiniti advancement is the Hydraulic Body Motion Control System. This keeps the SUV straight while cornering. The system works by moving fluid from one dampener to another to keep the SUV steady. Believe it or not this keeps the SUV more stable than a BMW 5-series.

There are many optional features on the Infiniti in the name of safety. Traction control alone is super important in an SUV, but Infiniti took this one step further with all-wheel drive. There is a differential that the traction control system operates and which can essentially send power to the need wheels. Numerous systems overlap each other to create a large network of safety features. Infiniti has something called an advanced air bag system which has front air bags, side curtain air bags, and roof mounted air bags for roll overs. The Intelligent Brakes can automatically reduce speed if a collision is imminent. Many cars on the road today have some sort of system in place to alert the driver when they are drifting out of their lane, and the latest QX56 has one of the most advanced systems out on the market. The cruise control system is also a smart system that will keep the same amount of distance between you and the model in front even if the slow down a bit. There is also an alert system that will notify you if there are vehicles driving next to your SUV in the blind spot.

The QX56 is a value at a little over $55,000 in the luxury sport utility vehicle segment.

Be sure to check the new inventory online at your local Houston Infiniti Dealer or at Infiniti Los Angeles.